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.

137 thoughts on “Beware of Chilcot

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  • Republicofscotland


    No wonder it’s taking so long.

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

    Kind regards,


    Yes John it’s not to be sniffed at.

    According to Sir Jeremy Haywood, the Chilcot inquiry has repeatedly turned down offers of extra assistance to help speed up the report, if true I wonder why that would be the case.

  • harry law

    Peter [email protected];09pm The Attorney-General did not advise that the war would be illegal. The Attorney-General’s legal advice in early March 2003, before the US/UK finally abandoned their quest for a “second” Security Council resolution, the Prime Minister asked the Attorney-General, to supply him with “advice on the legality of military action” in the absence of such a resolution. This advice was contained in a 13-page document by the Attorney-General dated 7 March 2003 [1] (which the Government was forced to publish in full on 28 April 2005, after the summary from it was broad cast the previous evening on Channel 4 News). This advice was equivocal about whether military action was legal, merely saying that “a reasonable case can be made” for it, but the Attorney-General stated this position unequivocally 10 days later in a written answer [2] In the House of Lords on 17 March 2003.

  • Deep Gullet

    Rumours of a Coulson about to rat on Cameron having acted upon hacked GB inbox info to win the 2010 election, are just that, rumours and wishful thinking. Only a real patriot could save England from Lord Astors operative who then easily slithered into 10 Downing, and now appoints fellow turkic Polak into the Lords with complete impunity.But what is really intriguing is Murdoch, after taking a £500m hit in shutting down the NOWT to keep his editor Coulsons hacking far away from the PM, now stealthily backs Corbyn?! Its all very confusing to even the most astute observers watching the fiddlers from the roof !

    Perhaps a West Ham supporting freemason,privy to the devils’ chicanery, can shed more light on this turn of events, before we end up spending billions on bombing instead of bedding in the NHS.

  • fedup

    Murdoch, after taking a £500m hit in shutting down the NOWT to keep his editor Coulsons hacking far away from the PM

    No the money came from the Saudi prince talal!

    stealthily backs Corbyn

    He has his finger on the pulse and knows the hamburger munchers are pretty much backing Corrbyn so he is acting thus!

  • Ruth

    You’re absolutely right. It’s going to be a sham par excellence. The Establishment are preparing for the release with the lead up that the ‘blame’ is going to be diffused.

  • Deep Gullet

    @Fedup – methinks it is a shot across Camerons bows, its all about the JCPOA and Netanyahus coming to dissuade him, its blackmail. It must be remembered Rabin was in Dallas to put a stop to any further attempt by JFK at messing with Israels nuclear supremacy, we are at a similar moment now and its very serious. They can be expected to do something equally deadly.

  • Laguerre

    I imagine that few would disagree that the Chilcott report will be a whitewash, and that the choice of members was doubtful – I thought the latter at the time.

    The point I wanted to recall, though, was that at the time of the witness sessions, it was actually quite exciting. It looked as though something serious might come out, though of course Blair stonewalled. My impression is that “they” got frightened. The time since then has been spent in smoothing things out.

    The technique used has been ‘Maxwellisation’. As Private Eye recently pointed out (no.1398, p.36, ‘The Feedback Loop’), ‘Maxwellisation’ is not a legal obligation, only included in the advice to Inquiries of 2006. Leveson refused it, as taking too long (big thumbs up to Leveson). However Chilcott has embraced it massively, with much use of the ‘Feedback Loop’, presenting a text to persons criticised, receiving their comments, editing the text and going back to them again for yet more comments. It’s an infinite process, and a good way of kicking the ball into the long grass.

  • Mark Golding

    I hold dear these memories – 16th April 2012 Craig gave a speech at Cardiff University hosted by Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA).

    At the presentation we learned from Craig he was called back to a meeting at the Foreign Office some weeks before the <strikeinvasion destruction of Iraq where he was told FCO management were troubled in that it simply wasn’t acceptable to be querying anything related to the ‘war on terror’, particularly intelligence, just weeks before the US and UK invaded Iraq on the basis of false intelligence many were already questioning. One questioner we recall was Deputy Legal Advisor to the Foreign office, Elizabeth Wilmshurst who later resigned, bless her.

    Craig looked back to the time he met met Bill Patey, then head of the Middle East Department, in a corridor and said to him: “This WMD stuff – it can’t be true.” Bill replied “Of course not. It’s bollocks!” Craig challenged another friend: “You know WMD in Iraq doesn’t exist?”

    The friend responded: “Yes, I do, but when I’m in the Foreign Office WMD in Iraq does exist. If I said they didn’t, I’d be sacked.”

    These facts are so important today.. and tomorrow.

  • Laguerre

    I’m rather unclear on how the principle of ‘Maxwellisation’ got from the basic statement of Lord Denning at the time of Maxwell that inquiries “should be subject to no rules save this: they must be fair”. How has this simple statement got to the point where any comment from a person criticised has to be addressed? The Inquiry Rules of 2006 state that no significant criticism can be made unless the individual concerned has been given a warning letter, and has been given “a reasonable opportunity” to respond. Where is that in the law? (I leave it to lawyer commenters to answer. I am not).

    It sounds to me as though the original judgement of Denning was “developed” to suit whitewashing inquiries. But it’s not actually the law.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    First opinion polls indicate that the Greek general election which will take place on 20 September is likely to be a tight one.

    ANEL (the SYRIZA govt’s coalition partner), PASOK and the left-wing break-away party from SYRIZA formed by sacked former energy minister Lafazanis are predicted to do badly. To be noted that Mr Tsipras’s personal rating has also taken a nose-dive.

    From Kathimerini (English edition).


    “NEWS 22:08
    Tight election contest ahead, polls indicate

    TAGS: Politics, Elections

    A slimmed-down 23-member cabinet was sworn in on Friday as Parliament was dissolved and elections were set for September 20 in what opinion polls indicate will be a closely fought contest.

    Caretaker Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou presided over the first meeting of the new cabinet after her ministers were sworn in and stressed that the government’s role is to ensure that the elections pass off without incident.

    “We will do our utmost so that the elections are held in flawless fashion,” said Thanou, who was Supreme Court president until Thursday.

    She said that the new cabinet is staffed with people “with the broadest possible appeal, personalities who have distinguished themselves in the sciences, politics and the arts.”

    A poll conducted by the University of Macedonia on behalf of Skai TV and Radio suggested that the election campaign will prove extremely tense as the final result could remain in doubt right until the evening of September 20.

    The university’s first poll since June indicated that SYRIZA has experienced a dramatic slump in support, falling by 9.5 percentage points to 25 percent. In contrast, New Democracy has seen its backing increase from 16.5 percent in June to 22 percent this month.

    After these two parties there is a large gap to the next six that are seen passing the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament. Potami is seen in third place with the Communist Party on 6 percent. They are followed by Golden Dawn on 5.5 percent, Popular Unity – which was formed by SYRIZA rebels last week – on 5 percent and the Union of Centrists and PASOK on 4.5 percent.

    The current coalition partner Independent Greeks is seen gathering just 2 percent of the vote. Five percent of those questioned said they would vote for other parties, while 14.5 percent did not express a preference.

    The decline in SYRIZA’s popularity is also reflected in Tsipras’s plummeting ratings. The leftist leader had an approval score of 70 percent at the end of March but this has now fallen to 29.5 percent, which is not that far ahead of New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis on 26 percent.

    How Greeks now see Tsipras’s decision to call a referendum on the bailout terms offered by the country’s lenders at the beginning of July also represents a blow to the former PM.

    The University of Macedonia found that 66.5 percent of Greeks believe the plebiscite harmed Greece, while just 14.5 percent think that it helped.

    Other opinion polls published on Friday also indicated that the election race will be a close one.

    SYRIZA was supported by 23 percent of those polled by ProRata for Friday’s Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, with New Democracy second on 19.5 percent. The previous ProRata poll in early July showed a wider gap in SYRIZA’s favor, putting the party on 26 percent compared with 15 percent for New Democracy.

    SYRIZA would get 29 percent and conservative ND 27.8 percent if elections were held now, a poll conducted by Metron Analysis for Parapolitika newspaper showed.”

  • RobG

    Habba, it’s obvious why you keep banging on about Greece. See Dr Goebbels for slightly more sophisticated propaganda.

    You might like this: over on Guardian comments someone has just described Corbyn as “a trotskyist version of Catweazel”, which made me laugh.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    “Habba, it’s obvious why you keep banging on about Greece”

    So tell us why. Share your insight.

  • Bert

    Surely, Mr. Murray, Sir, did you ever think that we would expect anything else?

    Who else gets to choose their own judge: Hutton, Chilcot, Puh-leeeze.

    The sadness is that this country and yours are thoroughly fed up of the whole damned charade; but what can we do. Voting gets us nowhere; they are all the same; bought and paid for by the same corporate slime-balls; and all serving their own narrow interests.

    With the possible exception of Corbyn the ball of wax is no more than a perverse joke that few of us finds the leasts bit funny.

    Sadly, these damned wars are not at all funny, they have cost real people’s lives; not least the estimated 2.7 million Iraqis who did not need to die.


  • Mary

    How about ‘must’. A command.

    The smear carrying Torygraph.

    Jeremy Corbyn must publicly reject Hamas and Hezbollah, leading Jewish group demands
    Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies, says Mr Corbyn’s ‘very hostile’ stance of Israel has caused ‘deep concern’ among British Jews
    28 August 2015

  • Resident Dissident

    “You might like this: over on Guardian comments someone has just described Corbyn as “a trotskyist version of Catweazel”, which made me laugh.”

    Is this a game we can all join – RobG is a Trotskyist version of Oblomov is my starter.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    The purpose of an inquiry is to hide the truth.
    The purpose of newspapers is to misinform.
    The purpose of democracy is to control the electorate.
    The purpose of foreign aid is to exploit foreigners.

    Our freedoms are restrictions.
    Our leaders are led.
    The purpose of banks is not monetary.

  • harry law

    Peter [email protected];57 The Attorney General had an ambiguous opinion when first consulted on the legality of the war, I don’t doubt he had reservations made clear in his Lawyerspeak to Blair, but his change of mind, no doubt influenced after his trip to the US, is the official legal stance of the Government. Unfortunately all rather moot since as Dr Morrison pointed out..”Academic lawyers in their thousands may protest that taking military action against Iraq was illegal because it lacked proper authorization from the UNSC, but it is of no consequence in the real world, when there is no possibility of the UK or its political leadership being convicted for taking such action. In the real world, an action is legal unless a competent judicial body rules that it is not illegal”. I agree the war was a disaster and Blair is responsible, and I would like him to face some kind of justice,unfortunately it probably will not come from any of the current legal avenues.

  • RobG

    Resident Dissident, I don’t know you well enough to be able to do a good character assassination job, so I’ll just say that you’re probably the Trotskyist version of Paddington Bear.

  • Gordie

    Didane hold any hope oot for it back when it was announced Craig.

    How much information could be considered ‘public knowledge’ with regard to the last years of empire in Kenya, Malaysia, Yemen etc? Reports such as these seem to me about the the making of that thing that will eventually become public knowledge. No sure how it works though!

  • John Goss

    “I could copy more evidence including his advice that charges of murder may result from British involvement in military action; and will if you need to be convinced.”

    Thanks to some research done by Peter Beswick I wrote this FOI to the Royal College of Pathologists. Their reply was not very helpful. I was expecting them to confirm, or not, my speculation of some alternative to suicide from a medical viewpoint. In a prissy businesslike response they let me know they were not subject to FOI requests. Of course I did not know that. However they ought to have some medical knowledge since it is a school for training pathologists and they could have confirmed my speculation that another cause of death than suicide was a possibility. Clearly they want pathology knowledge to remain a trade secret.

    From: John Goss
    11 July 2013
    Dear Royal College of Pathologists,
    Dr David Kelly was a weapons’ inspector found dead in the edge of woodlands at Harrowdown Hill, Oxfordshire. Unusually there was no inquest into his death. Instead Lord Hutton was called in to deal with his death in an inquiry.
    One post mortem report into Dr David Kelly’s death, that of Roy James Green, mentions that semen was found in Dr Kelly’s underpants (See page 12) and also that this is not uncommon.
    However, a nineteenth century pathology book which a colleague, Peter Beswick discovered, Principles of Forensic Medicine. William A. Guy, Henry Renshaw, London, 2nd ed. 1861, contains the following regarding sudden and violent deaths such as hanging:
    “(245) State of the Genital Organs. – The genital organs of both sexes are affected in death by hanging. In the female, redness of the labia and discharge of blood have been occasionally noted, and in the male a more or less complete state of erection of the penis, with discharge of urine, or mucus, or of prostatic fluid, is a frequent occurrence. It may be expected to be present in at least one case in three. But it must be borne in mind, that these appearances in the genital organs, when they do occur, are not characteristic of hanging or strangulation, for they have been observed in other forms of violent (246) and sudden death, as in fatal gun-shot wounds of the brain, and of the large vessels, and in poisoning by prussic acid. It is probable that the fluid ejected from the urethra is not semen but mucus; for, in the report of the case of a criminal executed in America, (‘American Journal of Medical Sciences,’ May 1840,) there was no priapism, but a fluid was discharged which is stated not to have contained any seminal animalcules.”
    I realise that pathology has moved on, and if we were living in the nineteenth century the police would almost certainly be looking for a murderer or murderers. Sudden and violent death does cause ejaculation. Ejaculation of seminal fluid can also be caused by certain venoms. Murder therefore cannot be ruled out, yet as far as I can see no investigation into this possibility was conducted by the pathologists. The toxicology report of Dr Alexander Richard Allen (page 2) states that he was asked by “Thames Valley Police to analyse the post-mortem samples for the presence of alcohol, drugs, medicines, and volatile substances in order to determine if any of these substances were involved in Dr Kelly’s death”.
    Dr Allen next writes in his report that blood and urine samples were tested for the presence of alcohol and a wide range of “commonly available drugs” (page 2) but when the presence of paracetamol and dextropropoxyphene (ingredients of co-proxamol) were found in the blood and stomach “no further analyses were carried out on the stomach’s contents.” That was despite the fact that his own conclusion was, in the absence of alcohol, it was unlikely that the co-proxamol would have killed Dr Kelly. Dr Allen was informed by Home Office pathologist Dr Hunt, who attended the scene of death, that three blister packs of co-proxamol were found in Dr Kelly’s pockets and there was some vomit present. If my understanding is correct no sample of this vomit was taken for laboratory analysis. I also understand that vomiting is found when venoms (for example those of certain spiders and scorpions) are injected into the body.
    To my mind the pathologists in this case have failed to investigate two possible other causes of death.
    1) Sudden or violent death.
    2) Death caused by venom injection, or some other “uncommon” substance.
    I am writing to you because pathology is a specialised subject and I am having difficulty finding out how much forensics have advanced since 1861. In essence I am looking for advice as to where to make representation when, in the absence of an inquest, a most unusual thing in itself, Lord Hutton reached a conclusion of suicide based partly on pathologists’ reports. However the pathologists appear not to have exercised their duties as thoroughly as might be expected in such a high profile case in which the public has an interest. Dr Kelly revealed that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, and we were taken into an illegal war on the premise that there were. Where, if my assumptions are correct, do I take my complaint about the pathologists?
    Yours faithfully,
    John Goss”

    In fairness it could be me because my discipline is not medicine but I would have thought they might know a ittle about pathology.

  • Peter Beswick

    Hi John

    I remember this extract but you omitted the most important line

    “(‘ American Journal of the Medical Sciences,’ May 1840,) there was no
    priapism, but a fluid was discharged which is stated not to have con”
    tained any seminal animalcules.

    This sign then, when present, is one of considerable importance, for
    it is strictly vital, and affords a sure proof of violent and sudden

    para 246

    The point was Hutton’s conclusion was Kelly died (in part) from exsanguination, a very slow death combined with coproximal &dextro poisoning (an even slower death) combined with arteries being 80% less diameter than normal (even slower migration flow rate of toxins and blood loss)

    Kelly, according to 19th century wisdom demonstrated “sure proof” of violent and sudden death. Something that did not occur to our modern day Home Office pathologists or if it did they didn’t let on.

    There are none so blind as those that will not see.

  • Hieroglyph

    I’ve noted before – quite seriously – that Blair is guilty of High Treason.

    High Treason as define in Wiki (yeah, I know): “High treason is criminal disloyalty to one’s government.”

    That Blair was the head of the Government isn’t a disqualifier. He lied not only to parliament, but to his own cabinet, and also to the JIC. That, to me, is criminal disloyalty to the executive branch of Government. He lied at the behest of a foreign power, to boot, and as such betrayed his own country. He utilised his considerable power to illegally invade a sovereign nation – a war crime – and in doing so entirely ruined the reputation of the UK. Also of coure the subsequent terrorist attacks are entirely due to our actions in Iraq. Guilty, m’lud, as charged. As such, due to the UK’s antiquated laws, it might be that he could have his head chopped off in the tower. I’m not big on the death penalty, and rather think that life-long psychiatric care is probably the better option – Blair’s problems strike me as very very serious indeed.

    Don’t think Chilcot will agree. What will happen is that Chilcott’ report will be seen to be hard-hitting – and indeed, in some respects will indeed be hard-hitting. But only enough to have a kind of cathartic value, and not enough to piss of the Americans. And of course, nobody resigns, and nobody gets fired: the mantra of the decade.

  • Habbabkuk (buy generics)


    “Habba, it’s obvious why you keep banging on about Greece”

    So tell us why. Share your insight.”


    I asked you the above yesterday evening. When you’ve recovered from your hangover you might consider enlightening us. Should be easy as you say it’s “obvious”, surely.

  • Mary

    ‘The head of the Armed Forces has hired his own private lawyers to help rebut criticism of him in Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq inquiry report, the Daily Mail can reveal.

    General Sir Nicholas Houghton – Chief of the Defence Staff – has rejected free government legal advice and is understood to be one of those whose objections are holding up the inquiry, which has dragged on for more than six years.

    Sir Nicholas, who is David Cameron’s top military adviser, has been told that he is among several senior military commanders facing criticism in the report.

    Questions about his record are likely to relate to the aftermath of the 2003 invasion when he held senior roles in Iraq. He gave evidence to the inquiry in 2010 when he was pressed on Britain’s decision to withdraw from southern Iraq despite a growing insurgency and concerns about corruption and violence in the British-trained police.

    22 August 2015

  • Mary

    MP David Davis wants legal support curb in Iraq war inquiry

    A limit should be placed on the taxpayer-funded legal support available to individuals criticised by the Iraq war inquiry to speed up the publication of the final report, a Conservative MP said.


    [..] Conservative Mr Davis said curbing legal support could speed it up.

    “There are two groups of people who are suffering most from these inordinate delays of Chilcot: one group are the families of the dead who are being denied closure and the other group are the ordinary taxpayers who are being denied an answer as to the causes of the war,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

    “It seems ridiculous that the second group – the taxpayers – are also having to pay the cost of this answer being delayed ad infinitum.

    “Surely the reasonable action for the Government to take now is to say ‘there should be a limit in time and money on what can be spent on government lawyers to allow this inordinate delay to continue’.”

    The dead Iraqi people are not mentioned.

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