"Nothing justifies killing of innocent people." (Tony Blair, CNN, 15th January 2015.)
The publication of the Chilcot Inquiry which began in 2009 and concluded three years ago, investigating the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, so far costing a reported £10,375,000, is to be delayed until after the 23td June UK European Union referendum on whether Britain stays in or leaves the EU.
By Felicity Arbuthnot
According to the Daily Telegraph Prime Minister David Cameron is "delaying (the) Chilcot Report to avoid embarrassing Tony Blair", whose government's "dodgy dossiers", produced when he was Prime Minister, were such an integral part of America's excuse to invade, overthrow and murder many of a sovereign government - with the UK tagging along as the fig leaf "coalition."
One dossier of special significance was that of 24th September 2002, published on the day Parliament was recalled to discuss its fictional "findings." Fairy stories contained within included a government "investigation" in to weapons of mass destruction stating that Iraq possessed WMDs including chemical and biological weapons and that they had again developed a nuclear weapons programme. As was quickly established after the invasion, the all was entirely untrue..
Also included was the claim that Iraq had sought to acquire "significant quantities of uranium from Africa" another claim also found to be complete nonsense.
In fact, had Iraq determined to have a nuclear programme it had no need to purchase uranium from anywhere, it has extensive deposits - which were discovered by the British in the 1950s, documentation of which must be somewhere in government records.
The forward to this piece of fiction was written by Blair and reads: "The document discloses that his (Saddam Hussein's) military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."
Major General Michael Laurie, who was involved in producing the dossier wrote to the Chilcot Inquiry in 2011 saying: "The purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war, rather than setting out the available intelligence, and that to make the best out of sparse and inconclusive intelligence the wording was developed with care."
Given that which has come out over the years - even in spite of the Chairman of the Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot's close relationship with Tony Blair with whom he had worked on the Northern Ireland peace process and who was knighted by a grateful Blair - the final Report is hardly likely to show Blair's significant part in Iraq's destruction in anything but a very bad light. There will certainly be a resultant vociferous clamour from the public, legal experts, families of soldiers dead and maimed and Iraqi victims themselves for his appearance at a War Crimes Tribunal to explain his actions.
The reason for the delay it seems hinges on Blair's support for Prime Minister David Cameron who heads the campaign for Britain to remain in Europe, with Blair speaking at every opportunity on the benefits of staying in (he also still has ambition, so far thwarted, to be EU President it has been reported.)
Were the Chilcot Report to be published prior to the referendum and shred any remaining claims to credibility to which he might aspire those who were persuaded to vote to remain might change their minds and vote to leave on the basis if Blair says it misleading is writ large.
As David Davis MP, the former Conservative Shadow Home Secretary put it, the delay could be to save the blushes of Tony Blair, a "cheerleader for the 'In' campaign".
Further: "Now that it is clear that the Tony Blair is going to be a cheer leader for the 'In' campaign it is obvious that this delay on the Chilcot report is nothing more than cynical political expediency."
Of course Cameron may have an additional reason for delaying as long as possible the judgement on his friend and admitted "mentor" Teflon Tony. Many are referring to his involvement in the shameful attack on Libya as "Cameron's Iraq."
Chilcot might yet lead to calls for closer scrutiny in to his actions in helping to destroy another country: "with a high standard of living and a robust per capita daily caloric intake of 3,144 ..." with, according to the UN FAO: "strides in public health ... since 1980, child mortality rates have dropped from seventy per thousand live births to nineteen in 2009. Life expectancy has risen from sixty one to seventy four years of age during the same span of years."
David Davis has called the delay in publication: "Incomprehensible and unacceptable." It is certainly the latter, but on reflection, not the former.