Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Judgement Day?: British Iraq War Report to be Released
by Lamiat Sabin in Britain
Morning Star

- Chilcot to finally publish inquiry – SEVEN years after it was announced - Victims’ families and anti-war activists fear Establishment whitewash

ANTI-WAR activists are hoping Tony Blair faces justice today as the long-awaited Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq invasion is finally published seven years after it was first announced.

Peace activists will stage a demonstration in Westminster as Sir John Chilcot presents his delayed 2.5 million-word report on Britain’s involvement in the 2003 war.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said protesters would demand “truth and justice” over the deaths of millions of Iraqis and will call for the ex-prime minister to face the full force of the law.

Mr Blair “knowingly” lied to Parliament, said Chris Nineham of Stop the War Coalition.

He added: “Anything short of an open admission will surely confirm people’s suspicions that the Chilcot circus has been yet another convoluted attempt at a cover-up.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the delayed report must be examined so that Britain “never ever gets into this tragic mess again with such loss of life.”

Prosecutors will search the report for evidence to use against British soldiers who are suspected of torture or abuse, but could ignore the actions of Mr Blair.

The Hague’s International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Sunday that his decision to take Britain to war in Iraq in 2003 “falls outside the court’s jurisdiction.”

However, parliamentarians led by former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond are hoping the report holds revelations damaging enough that they could lead to Mr Blair’s impeachment.

Impeachment — last enacted in 1806 — would require Mr Blair to face “trial” by MPs over allegations of misleading Parliament and invading Iraq on the back of unproven claims.

Human rights organisation Reprieve said an independent inquiry is needed into use of torture — if it is found that the basis on which Mr Blair commanded the military was extracted through interrogation of a victim of a CIA “rendition” programme.

The claim that executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was supporting terror group al-Qaida was made by Libyan detainee Ibn Sheikh al Libi, and subsequently abandoned on the basis that it was made under torture.

Mr Blair previously said that he would not make any comments until the report was public.

PM David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are both expected to give statements on the report before battling it out during Prime Minister’s Questions.

An executive summary of the report is 150-pages long, prompting complaints from journalists and campaigners that the scope of the inquiry is too vast to scrutinise properly.

Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas was granted earlier access to the report after saying it was “essential” that parties other than the government and opposition be given a head start from 8am.

Ms Lucas had said before being given permission: “Proper scrutiny requires giving parliamentarians the time they need to read the report and digest its findings.

“There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t be able to see Chilcot’s findings in advance like Cameron and Corbyn and have the same opportunities to follow up.

“Yet the government is denying the British public the parliamentary debate they deserve — and opening itself to more accusations of a stitch-up.”

No comments: