Beware of Chilcot 137

I am worried that the continued delay in the publication of Chilcot’s report is giving rise to expectations that it will be forthright and damning of Blair and his supporters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though Blair plunged us into an illegal war with dreadful long-term consequences, the report has always been designed to be a typical Whitehall fudge. Mistakes made – errors of judgement – all in good faith – lessons learned. You don’t have to wait for it, that is it.

The Chilcot team was handpicked by Gordon Brown – himself up to his neck in guilt for the illegal invasion – and three of the five had been aggressive proponents of the war. The remaining two, Chilcot and Baroness Prasad, are “sound” for the Establishment. Let me remind you of my analysis of the committee members in 2009. Sir Lawrence Freedman was an active propagandist for the invasion while Sir Martin Gilbert (died while contributing to the committee) was so enamoured of the invasion he compared Bush and Blair to Roosevelt and Churchill. Rod Lyne was actively involved in selling the WMD lies and arguably in danger of war crime accusation himself.

None of the committee members had ever expressed the slightest doubt about the Iraq War while 60% had actively promoted it. Of Chilcot himself the eminent international lawyer Phillippe Sands noted:

“Sir John’s spoonfed questions give every impression of being designed to elicit a response from the attorney general that would demonstrate the reasonableness of his actions and those of the government.”

The point of the delay is to give the impression Chilcot has been absolutely painstaking and therefore the bucket of whitewash he will throw cannot be hiding anything.

Do not be fooled.

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137 thoughts on “Beware of Chilcot

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  • John Goss

    I agree. It is going to be another whitewash. There will be some criticism but it will soon be forgotten, or as you say ‘fudged over’. Cameron does not want it because he knows one day there will be an Inquiry into his own war-crimes in Libya. If it looks like being too damning he’ll cancel it like he did with Gibson.

    Another possibility of course is that certain people have seen it and Chilcot has been told to rewrite his report. That would take time I should think. I am a cynic.

    “Do not be fooled.” I agree. So many are.

  • Mary

    Also from the Dugdale thread.

    ‘[..] I have said from the beginning (2009!) that Chilcot was a piece of theatre, a conversation. One of the five members, Freedman, had even written speeches for Blair. See the cosy relationships described here.

    Does Blair know Iraq Inquiry members?
    By Lewis Hannam

    12 January 2010
    Key links between Tony Blair and members of Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq Inquiry panel have been highlighted by Channel 4 News’ “Who Knows Who”.

    The network of connections is outlined as Blair prepares to give evidence to the five-member committee within the next few weeks.

    Read more from Who Knows Who

    It was an illegal war carried out under the command of Bush and Blair as President of the US and Prime Minister of the UK. Both should have been sent to The Hague.

    The ministers and other functionaries were acting under orders. They should have resigned.

    A total and very expensive farce.

    The Iraq Inquiry has already published the final expenditure for financial years 2009/10 to 2013/14. Expenditure for 2014/15 is shown below. The total since 2009 is £10,375,000.

    {Mary 25 Aug, 2015 – 10:28 pm page 7 }

  • John Goss

    I’ve just read the profiles of the hand-picked team, which I missed in 2009. Can you believe six years ago and still no report? Not likely to be one this year either.

    They seem par for the course. Establishment right down to their bow-ties and cummerbunds, Ascot hats and hairpins.

  • fedup

    This report is to set the ground for the future generation of the warmongers and whitewash the actualities that usual end up as the usual drivel and classed as history. Chilcot was handpicked to make sure that the report will favorable, and none would face the wrath of any laws after its publications.

  • John Goss

    Craig, I don’t believe it was trying to prolong an argument just making a correction to an important inaccuracy, which if left to stand would perpetuate the meme.

  • craig Post author


    The point being that whatever you were addressing was not on this thread, or about this thread. You had already addressed it in the appropriate place, where your comment remains.

  • YouKnowMyName

    “Extend & protect,” the maxim from the financial chaos industry seems to be a key objective for Chilcot, kicking the cans down the road until everyone is dead or distracted. The piece in the independent by the Oxford Prof is a reasonable one page summary of the same ground as Chilcot.

    But, hey, it’s only one illegal war that he’s (not) reporting-on. If anyone has been following the Cancun conference on the Arms trade, you’ll have noticed this analysis of our current zeitgeist:

    “What we see is an enormous availability of weapons to actors on the ground and these weapons cause enormous suffering.

    People are dying; people are seriously wounded; hospitals are attacked; residential areas are attacked; schools are attacked.

    But that’s only the POV of the normally reticent comité internationale de la croix rouge

    and WTF with these arms . . . Is the Nazi gold-train going to come out fighting?
    Heavy Weapons to be deployed to Poland

  • Mick

    Can’t disagree with the points made about the composition of the inquiry panel.

    On the point regarding the ‘delayed publication’ of Chilcot I would compare it to the Saville Inquiry. Irish Republicans complained about the length of time the Saville Inquiry took to deliver judgement right up until the final report was published. Then they were happy, well at least stopped complaining for a short time before pressing for prosecutions. No sooner had the report been published than unionists started complaining about the cost of the inquiry because ‘their’ army had been found wanting by Lord Saville.

    Will the same occur with Chilcot, will those urging a quicker release be satisfied to read a comprehensive, if long awaited, report if it matches what they already consider the truth to be?

  • Old Mark

    Spot-on analysis from Craig here; when the report finally sees the light of day you can bet it will be an elephantine version of the one line summary given here ‘Mistakes made – errors of judgement – all in good faith – lessons learned’.

    It will also most likely be lauded in Graun/Observer leaders as a ‘brave’ report that ‘pulls no punches’,when it will almost certainly possess neither of these attributes.

  • OED

    1. Coventry, n.

    1. to send (a person) to Coventry : to exclude him from the society of which he is a member on account of objectionable conduct; to refuse to associate or have intercourse with him.

    NEW OED ENTRY PROPOSED 2015 via CM blog

    1. Chilcot, n.

    1. to do a Chilcot : to premeditatively set out to delay,obfuscate,muddy,stall proceedings in a court of law; to engage in legal niceties with the an underlying intent to exhaust all interested parties into submitting to the issue under inquiry. So also done a Chilcot.

  • Mary

    Claire Short! Don’t mention her name.

    Britain: What Clare Short’s resignation says about New Labour
    By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland
    15 May 2003

    The resignation of International Development Secretary Clare Short from the frontbench of the Labour government on Monday, May 12, would have had greater impact if she was not politically compromised by her decision to support the war against Iraq.

    Nevertheless, her resignation speech and subsequent statements have inflicted serious damage on Prime Minister Tony Blair and his closest allies and have brought issues to the fore that will plague the government in the months to come.

    Short’s broadside focussed on three areas: the legality of plans for the postwar Iraqi regime, the internal regime in the party, and the necessity for a change in party leadership.


  • giyane

    It is to Clare Short’s enduring credit that she envisaged a program of emergency assistance after the 2013 Iraq invasion. Nothing of the kind was envisaged by Blair or Bush. It was a ploy to get a senior critic of the invasion on board their evil plans.

    Has there been any emergency assistance to Libya or Syria, apart from a trickle?
    Instead there has been continuous USUKIS stirring up of troubleusing their Al Qaida mercenaries.

    Listening to Clare Short speaking about Chilcot it seems that the report wants to pin blame onto Clare for UK inaction.

    If so, the Chilcot report will very much worse than whitewash. The UK government , dominated as it is by Zionist thinking, has got off so many war crimes that it has now become confident that they can deposit blame on innocent dupes like Clare Short who were deceived by Blair’s lies.

    Chilcot is going to blacken the name of one of our only decent, surviving politicians.
    It will be an outrage on a monumental scale, as everything that is touched by Israel has become.

  • BrianFujisan

    ” Mistakes made – errors of judgement – all in good faith – lessons learned. You don’t have to wait for it, that is it”

    Lessons Learned.. Like Cameron’s Crimes in Libya, Syria, Yemen,

    yep I do Prefer Craig’s Version, As opposed to –

    “The statement details the principles of openness and fairness that guide the Inquiry as it works to produce its report on the UK’s involvement in Iraq between 2001 and 2009.”

  • Peter Beswick

    I disagree Craig, not with your analysis of the intended whitewash but with the implication that it will be a damp squib.

    Chilcot’s million or so words will be a damp squib, no doubt about it; he has been entrusted to deceive the public but will fail miserably.

    The reason? Hutton!

    No one bar a few that you register your concerns about are going to fooled.

    After 10 million quid plus Chillers has finally come up with his lessons but he’s not telling us what they are, some of those responsible for the atrocities have been given a sneak preview but the sum of Sir John’s interpretation of the facts is being withheld, perhaps so Cameron is unfettered by lessons which would hamper his ambition to drop a few more bombs on the region.

    You would have thought Cameron would have asked the government lawyers for a legal opinion regarding the 2003 decimation of a civilisation in order to help him decide what to do about Syria (Not Assad + accomplices who he wanted to bomb last time but Syria this time).

    There are IS/ISIS/ISIL etc supporters in Oldham, Bradford and Leicester plus every city in the land, does he want to bomb them next?

    Chilcot’s team put in less than 8 weeks work last year, they don’t have to put in many hours to come up with what is expected of them. But it is anticipated public outrage that is causing the delay. They know it will be far greater on the richter scale than Hutton was able to produce but I suspect they have no idea of what the consequences will be.

    The public have learnt the lessons from causing mass destruction in Iraq for no benefit but when the government place man delivers the message of his masters I think that moment is well worth raising expectations for.

  • Mark Golding

    Recent (26th August) Chilcot statement:

    We remember:

    Tony Blair, the former prime minister, misled MPs and the public throughout 2002 when he claimed that Britain’s objective was “disarmament, not “regime change” and that there had been no planning for military action. In fact, British military planning for a full invasion and regime change began in February 2002.

    The need to conceal this from Parliament and all but “very small numbers” of officials “constrained” the planning process. The result was a “rushed” operation “lacking in coherence and resources” which caused “significant risk” to troops and “critical failure” in the post-war period.

    The son of a close friend who sometimes writes here on Craig Murray as ‘Rose’ was killed while serving in Iraq with the British Army by reason of military divergence as a direct consequence of political pressure from a British government bound to US and NeoCon doctrine and morals.

  • Republicofscotland

    Of Sir John Chilcot.

    He is described as “a mandarin with a safe pair of hands”, though some doubt his forensic skill. International lawyer Philippe Sands is reported as saying “Having some familiarity with Sir John’s questioning …

    It is not immediately apparent that he will have the backbone to take on former government ministers.” Sands also commented specifically in The Observer, on Sir John’s questioning of attorney-general Peter Goldsmith during the Butler inquiry.

    “He [Lord Goldsmith] gave evidence on 5 May 2004. The uncorrected transcript shows some members of the inquiry pressing him [Goldsmith] hard.

    By contrast, Sir John’s spoonfed questions give every impression of being designed to elicit a response from the attorney general that would demonstrate the reasonableness of his actions and those of the government.”

    Chilcot is paid £790 a day as head of the inquiry.

  • Kempe

    ” On the point regarding the ‘delayed publication’ of Chilcot I would compare it to the Saville Inquiry. ”

    The Saville inquiry was allowed to turn into a gravy train for the lawyers, several were made millionaires at the taxpayers expense, Saville allowed each of the opening speeches to last a entire week and even when it wasn’t sitting legal costs ran at £500,000 a month. The cost of Chilcot is unlikely to approach the £400 million that Saville cost although it’s already over-budget by a factor of three but the similarities are there nonetheless.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    28/08/2015 4:57pm


    No wonder it’s taking so long.

    Perhaps there are more prosaic reasons for the delay in publication!

    Kind regards,


  • KingOfWelshNoir

    It will be a mealy-mouthed, waffley, pseudo-forensic verbal blancmange of incomprehensible mandarin-speak, faux regret and pallid knuckle-rapping rebukes. In short, a bright shining insult to the dead, the maimed and those displaced millions whose lives have been wrecked.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I will be interested to see what Chilcot has to say about the evidence of Carne Ross. In particular, these comments:

    “It remains my view that the internal government assessment of Iraq’s capabilities
    was intentionally and substantially exaggerated in public government documents
    during 2002 and 2003”.

    “Post 9/11, the prevailing
    FCO view is summed up in a minute from the Political Director to the Foreign
    Secretary on 22 March 2002 to the effect that the assessment of Iraq’s WMD
    capability had not changed over recent years, but that the UK reaction to that
    assessment had changed. This minute explains that there had been “not much”
    advance in Iraq’s WMD programmes over recent years and that they had not been
    stepped up. The minute adds that there was no evidence whatsoever of any
    connection between Al Qaida terrorists and the Saddam Hussein regime. This
    judgement is repeated in many different documents during this period.
    What changed however was the presentation of that evidence, notably in the
    WMD dossier published in September 2002. In these public documents, of which
    there were several, the nuanced judgements contained in the internal JIC
    assessments, for instance, were massaged into more robust and frightening
    statements about Iraq’s WMD capability”.

    “Processes such as this inquiry are rare indeed and only instituted for the most
    egregious cases. And even here, a process devoted only to “learning lessons”
    does not provide for proper legal accountability, including the possible
    prosecution of those who may have committed criminal offences. Moreover,
    there is no legal measure to prevent perjury, just as there is no cross-examination
    to uncover facts that might otherwise be too easily concealed. It is striking that
    in my preparations for this testimony, I found several documents germane to the
    inquiry whose existence was not revealed by earlier witnesses, including those
    who authored them. Other documents by certain officials contradicted the
    testimony they have given at this inquiry and yet these witnesses were not
    questioned about these contradictions”.

    Plus much other interesting testimony, including that given to the Butler Inquiry.

    Kind regards,


  • Republicofscotland


    One of David Cameron’s new peers is Douglas Hogg, you may remember his antics on the expenses fraud, if not here is, a recap afterall it was the taxpayer who paid for them:

    £2,000 moat cleaning;

    £18,000 for a gardener;

    £40 piano tuning;

    £200 annual Aga cooker maintenance;

    £4,500 for ‘machines and fuel’;

    £1,000 for lawn mowing;

    £700 fees for a ‘mole man’;

    The costs of running his housekeeper’s car;
    Thousands in repairs, including for his stables; and

    £93 for tongs.

    Now Douglas Hogg has booked his seat on the gravy train of life.

  • harry law

    Whatever this prospective whitewash produces,it will not declare the invasion of Iraq illegal. “The Attorney-General declared this military action by the UK To be legal. Professor Sands spends two chapters of his book contesting this. But in practical terms all military action by the UK is a priori legal, since the UK is immune from conviction and punishment by the Security Council for carrying it out (and there’s only a very small chance that any other body will bring the UK, or its Political leaders to book”. David Morrison went on to say Professor Sands omitted to mention in his book that Roosevelt and Churchill built into the architecture of the United Nations the principle that the US and UK are above law FOR ALL TIME by virtue of being accorded permanent seats on the Security Council. The result is that they can engage in aggression against other states, as and when they like, without fear of a slap on the wrist. That’s why those permanent members will be in no hurry to change things.

  • Jemand

    Chilcot is irrelevant in any case if it does not address the real reason for the war – ie the long term strategy of managing exclusive access by Western economies to rapidly diminishing sources of fossil fuels and the crooked arrangement of inflating the value of the US dollar by denominating all Middle Eastern energy transactions in it.

    Primer for novices :

  • Peter Beswick

    Harry Law

    You’re right Chilcot will not declare British participation as illegal (or legal) as it is outside his remit.

    Goldsmith gave an opinion that British paricipation would be illegal and flowing from that advised that individuals could be charged with murder. Then he said under certain conditions British force may be legal but those conditions were never met.

    British war criminals will not be taken before the ICC because of an oversight in ratification however they would not become involved before domestic legal processes have been exhaused but as we know Cameron is refusing to take legal advice on the matter. when a British prime minister, perhaps Corbyn, does ask government lawyers for a legal opinion they will be told that international law had been broken and a thorough criminal investigation should be undertaken with charges brought if deemed appropriate so as to allow a British Court of Law to decide guilt or innocence.

    Happily for Blair, when Chilcot finaly produces his report, he will be able to claim that a fair trial is no longer possible for him.

  • RobG

    In Whitehall, if you want to whitewash something you set-up an inquiry.

    If you want to really get to the bottom of something you get Special Branch in.

    And with regard to what Kempe said at 4.58pm:

    And they’re saying that the Goddard inquiry won’t report for at least another five years. What?! and this is an inquiry that has no real legal powers. *Goes into Chunky Mark mode*.

    Fortunately the police do appear to now be taking some real action with regard to the Westminster child sex abuse scandal.

    After HP’s little tantrum earlier this week I would have laid even money on an arrest by today. I would imagine that there’s another lawyer-fest going on, since the MET have thus far refused to release a statement about HP’s press conference.

    But of course I am only mentioning here some alleged allegations, allegedly.

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