Chilcot: more delay
I have no idea what is going on with the Chilcot inquiry, which now seems deadlocked in dispute with Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, who, with the support of the Prime Minister, refuses to allow it to publish Cabinet minutes and notes and transcripts of phone calls between Tony Blair and George Bush.
Heywood is right to maintain the principle that Cabinet discussions and communications between heads of governments should remain confidential.
Sir John Chilcot (pictured) was wrong to say, in 2011: “The question when and how the prime minister made commitments to the US about the UK’s involvement in military action in Iraq, and subsequent decisions on the UK’s continuing involvement, is central to its [the Iraq Inquiry's] considerations.”
I disagree, and was alarmed that Chilcot could appear to subscribe to this simple-minded anti-war myth. Blair had said in public that he supported US-led military action should it prove necessary. There were no “commitments” he could have given in private, at any time, that could have bound the British Parliament in its decision.
The Chilcot panel must know this, so I do not see why it wants the documents published.
I can only assume that it suits Chilcot to delay publication of the report, to mitigate the cries of whitewash when he fails to come to the “right” conclusion, just as all the inquiries before him failed to do.
PS. Much overlooked is this letter from Sir John Chilcot to the Prime Minister last year, in which he sets out the chapter headings of his report and summarises what is in it.Tagged in: chilcot, iraq inquiry
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