When it comes to politicians lying, it’s bad enough to lie over things like expenses, the economy, etc – but to lie to generate support for a war has to be entirely unacceptable. To send our service personal into harm’s is one thing, something that should cause much thought before the deed. However, to send them into harm’s way on the basis of a concoction of lies and mistruths is surely tantamount to a criminal act.
I personally think that it is important that the Chilcot Inquiry does not prejudice the possibility of any criminal prosecutions of those responsible for the production of the dodgy pre war dossier that helped to make the case for the war. Those individuals who auctioned the lies and made that decisions should have their day in court, if not here then perhaps in The Hague.
It’s time for the plain truth; people need to know the truth about events leading up to that decision to go to war. Plaid Cymru rightly contends that all relevant and pertinent information be published. Any failure to do so will lead people to assume that this enquiry has been a waste of time and public money, not to mention cheapening the sacrifices made by our service personnel and their families.
|The beginning of a beautiful friendship?|
The fudge over the release of the edited highlights of the raft of documentation relating to Tony Blair’s conversations with President George W Bush in the run up to the Iraq war I suspect will surprise few people. The Iraq war was and is likely to remain deeply controversial for some time. No matter how much spin was spun to add weight to the reasons for the invasion, the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the occupation of Iraq it is impossible to avoid the idea that the then New Labour leader Tony Blair lied to the House of Commons and the rest of us.
It should be alarming that it has taken four long years for the Chilcot Inquiry to get to this point. In June 2009, the then New Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown established an inquiry to learn the lessons of the Iraq conflict. The then PM wanted witnesses to be questioned behind closed doors (to protect national security and so they could be free to speak). Understandably all hell then broke loose and Gordon rapidly caved into pressure from the opposition, former government officials and ordinary members of the public - many of whom wanted public hearings.
At the time the PM was pretty clear about the pressing need for openness when it came to the release of secret papers to the inquiry. He stated that: "No British document and no British witness will be beyond the scope of the inquiry. I have asked the members of the committee to ensure that the final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information - that is, all information except that which is essential to our national security" – let’s hope that this inquiry finally delivers the plain and simple truth.