We welcome the new inquiry into the Iraq War – but with a few caveats.
Martin Deane says, "The Green Party has consistently worked against the badly mistaken so-called War on Terror, especially against the War on Iraq knowing already how terribly people had suffered under US-UK sanctions and air attacks - and knowing the determination of the Bush administration to press for illegal regime change against Saddam Hussein.
"After 6 years of fighting in Iraq, British troops have finally been brought home often only to be sent back to Afghanistan - a conflict which also should have ended.
"The Butler Report completely exonerated Blair of any wrongdoing. We hope the Chilcot Inquiry doesn't repeat that mistake."
Even Lord Butler himself was not content with his report alone and went public to say the dossiers on Hussein left out important caveats on the quality of intelligence and also regretted the “grave flaw” that Parliament “had insufficient control over the executive”.
Now we fear the Chilcot Inquiry will be another "stitch-up" since it :
- is to be held in secret – as Blair apparently pushed for
- does not require statements under oath,
- does not have power of subpoena,
- will report only after a year - by which time elections will have taken place and we'll probably have a new government.
Sir John Chilcot, 70, himself is regarded as a very safe pair of hands, a former Northern Ireland specialist, and member of the Butler Report, but he may not be up to taking on former government ministers.
Chilcot will fail to restore people’s faith in government if he does not officially reveal Blair’s role in deciding to go to war by early 2002. An honest inquiry will reflect more clearly how the Prime Minister made this early decision and how indeed intelligence, facts and dossiers were fixed, manipulated and moulded to get precisely that outcome.
Finally Chilcot should underscore the rule of international law and attack the specious last-minute legal justifications that the Blair government undertook.
"Prior to hostilities, the war on Iraq inspired the biggest peace demonstration in British history," Martin Deane goes on, "As the unfixed facts show, the British people were right and Bush and Blair were wrong."
Martin Deane, Chair
Butler - dossiers on Hussein left out caveats on quality of intelligence
had insufficient control over the executive.
Blair pressed for secret inquiryhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/blair-demanded-hold-iraq-inquiry-in-secret-1711549.html