Almost seven years since the Chilcot Inquiry was set up to establish why Britain joined the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, its findings have still not been published.
The mishandling of the investigation has become a scandal in its own right, with the guilty men permitted to sustain almost infinite delays.
Instead, we have a book by Britain’s foremost investigative reporter, Tom Bower, which shows beyond all reasonable doubt that Tony Blair privately committed Britain to war in 2002 before the Cabinet, never mind Parliament, was consulted.
The Secret Intelligence Service, then led by Sir Richard Dearlove, was conscripted by Downing Street to find ‘evidence’ about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, to justify a war Blair had already promised President George W. Bush he would support (Blair and Bush are pictured in 2002)
He conducted systematic deceptions about his intentions, including forbidding the Armed Forces to conduct advance planning, in case the news leaked.
One glaring consequence of this was that vitally needed weapons and equipment could not be ordered: men died for lack of body armour they would have had, but for Blair’s prevarication.
The Secret Intelligence Service, then led by Sir Richard Dearlove, was conscripted by Downing Street to find ‘evidence’ about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, to justify a war Blair had already promised President George W. Bush he would support.
It has been plain for years that Blair took Britain to war under false pretences, but Bower has accomplished what Sir John Chilcot should have done years ago: interviewed nearly all the participants in the military, Foreign Office and Downing Street, except the former prime minister, who, unsurprisingly, declined to talk.
Bower provides the evidence for a moral prosecution before the Bar of history, even if we are likely to be denied the satisfaction of a legal one.
It is hard to imagine a graver charge against a national leader: wilful deceit of Parliament and the British people.
He joined in a course of action that cost 100,000 lives, Iraqi, American and British, yet refused to mandate the necessary advance planning because he claimed it would scupper his pretence of a diplomatic role, saying: ‘I cannot act an honest broker if it is clear that we’re planning to go to war.’
When Blair belatedly did commit himself to send troops into Iraq, he made his case for action by claiming it would make Britain a safer place.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-3470426/MAX-HASTINGS-Blair-barred-public-life.html#ixzz41fglnw9n
TAP – Make Britain a safer place. Lock him up ………… or what would you do?