Chilcot report slams Tony Blair - Iraq War

Chilcot report slams Tony Blair - Iraq War

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:06 am

Chilcot report slams Tony Blair over U.K.'s botched involvement in Iraq war

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Former PM mishandled invasion and aftermath but did not knowingly mislead public, inquiry finds

The Associated Press Posted: Jul 06, 2016 6:24 AM ET| Last Updated: Jul 06, 2016 8:52 AM ET

The head of Britain's Iraq War inquiry released a damning report Wednesday on a conflict he says was mounted on flawed intelligence, was executed with "wholly inadequate" planning, and ended "a long way from success." [ ]

Retired civil servant John Chilcot, who oversaw the seven-year inquiry, said "the U.K. chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort."

The 2.6-million-word report is an exhaustive verdict on a divisive conflict that — by the time British combat forces left in 2009 — had killed 179 British troops, almost 4,500 American personnel and more than 100,000 Iraqis.

Chilcot said then-Prime Minister Tony Blair's government presented an assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons with "certainty that was not justified." He also found military planning for the war and its aftermath were not up to the task.

"The people of Iraq have suffered greatly" because of a military intervention "which went badly wrong," he said. But he refrained from saying whether the 2003 invasion was legal, and did not find that Blair and his government knowingly misled Parliament or the British public.

Chilcot heard from 150 witnesses and analyzed 150,000 documents. His conclusions are a blow to Blair, who told President George W. Bush eight months before the March 2003 invasion — without consulting government colleagues — "I will be with you whatever."


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