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article imageUS government helps stall release of UK Iraq War inquiry report

By Ken Hanly     Nov 14, 2013 in Politics
London - The UK Inquiry into the Iraq war, often called the Chilcot inquiry after Sir John Chilcot who headed the inquiry, was begun back in July of 2009 but the final report has still not been released.
From the beginning there have been attempts to restrict information available to the inquiry and also criticism of the inquiry itself. Tony Blair tried to prevent an inquiry from even happening. In July of 2012 the government of the time vetoed the release of documents that detailed minutes of UK Cabinet meetings in the days before the invasion by a US led group. Also, the UK Foreign Office was successful in appealing a decision that had ordered the disclosure of a conversation between Bush and Blair days before the invasion. Revealing the conversation would present a "significant danger" to US UK relations the appeal court decided.
As a recent article notes: The British government has invested a lot of effort into a four-year-long inquiry into the Iraq War headed by Sir John Chilcot, but the report never seems to come out. Diplomatic sources are now saying that this is because of explicit US orders, and that the report, if released at all, may end up heavily redacted at the Obama Administration’s insistence.
The inquiry was particularly interested in conversations between Tony Blair who was then prime minister, and George W. Bush, who was then US president. The US government apparently claims that all those conversations are property of the US government and classified. As an article in The Independent summarized the situation:
Although the Cabinet Office has been under fire for stalling the progress of the four-year Iraq Inquiry by Sir John Chilcot, senior diplomatic sources in the US and Whitehall indicated that it is officials in the White House and the US Department of State who have refused to sanction any declassification of critical pre- and post-war communications between George W Bush and Tony Blair.
Evidence from the Inquiry show that Blair and Bush actually began plotting the Iraq War only weeks after the Bush inauguration in 2001. Even though the government was advised the war was illegal it was launched with UK support in 2003. The Chilcot report is scheduled to be released in 2014. However, it may not be released at all or may be heavily redacted to remove any parts that the US government objects to being revealed.
More about Chilcot inquiry, Iraq war and UK, Tony blair
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