THIS week the chairman of the influential Public Administration Committee urged ministers to ‘sort out’ the delay in publishing the official inquiry into the British backed invasion of Iraq (the Chilcot inquiry) which was produced in 2009 and still hasn’t been made public.
Despite all the public protestation that everybody wants the report published, it is quite clear that powerful forces in the government and state are terrified of the crisis its publication will precipitate, and behind the scenes are doing everything possible to hold it up indefinitely.
One way to obstruct and delay publication, has been the insistence that everyone named or criticised in the report must be given every opportunity to respond and challenge anything said about them – in the case of Blair this lengthy process, which will take years to complete, has not even begun.
The coalition government also has good reason to do all in its power to obstruct publication. The whole drive by US and British imperialism to invade and conquer those countries in the oil rich region of the Middle East, did not stop at Iraq, or with the downfall of Blair.
The Iraq war was followed by the stepping up of the war in Afghanistan, which in turn was followed by the UN-sponsored attack on Libya, where UK warplanes acted as the airforce of Islamist jihadists in another exercise in regime change and oil theft.
The same path was mapped out for Syria but was thwarted by the mass opposition from the working class in both the US and Britain. Cameron was defeated in parliament on going to war to overthrow president Assad and Obama couldn’t even put it to the vote in Congress for fear of a similar defeat.
Public inquiries like Chilcot, from being the means to try to uncover the truth behind illegal wars, must not be allowed to become the means to suppress the truth and allow the war criminals to escape.
Journalists using the Freedom of Information Act to access government papers relating to the events surrounding the Iraq invasion are refused on the grounds that the Chilcot inquiry is still ongoing. However, the struggle to stifle awkward questions and suppress the truth is becoming ever more desperate.
Last January, the firm of Public Interest Lawyers sent a 250-page document detailing human rights abuses carried out by British troops in Iraq to the International Criminal Court.
Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers earlier this week reported: ‘The prosecutor has recognised that the gravity threshold has been crossed and that accordingly she must investigate whether war crimes have been committed. . . and if so who was responsible, in particular at the top of the chain of command, including politicians, senior civil servants, lawyers, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Defence.’
Blair must be beginning to have some sleepless nights – the pressure to reveal the truth about the lies and machinations that took place to achieve the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is becoming enormous.
Publication of Chilcott would reveal that the war with Iraq was so odious and illegal, that even the UN Security Council could not support it. Nevertheless the big two, Bush and Blair were determined that there would be a war.
It would be confirmed that Bush was convinced that the September 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre provided the perfect opportunity for attacking Iraq, despite the fact that Iraq was opposed to Al Qaeda and had nothing to do with the attack.
It would publicly confirm the grounds for war were lies and were known to be lies – that Iraq possessed wmds, and could use them within 40 minutes. Bush and Blair were determined to go to war and smash up Iraq from 2001 onwards.
The alleged suicide, in July 2003, of whistleblower David Kelly, who was sceptical about the false claims of the ‘dodgy dossier’, produced to get the House of Commons to go to war, was not allowed to affect the imposition of the brutal occupation of Iraq.
Justice for all those millions who have been killed and maimed in the pursuit of imperialist domination demands that the full Chilcott inquiry evidence and findings be published at once, and that Blair, his lieutenants, and his general staff, who predicted that they would face war crimes tribunals, are sped on their way to The Hague.