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By Robert A. Vella

Today, The Guardian identified 14 key points from the Chilcot Inquiry which scrutinized the U.K.’s involvement in the 2003 Iraq War.  The verdict announced by the publicly commissioned inquiry is a scathing rebuke of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair who had pushed his country into joining the U.S.-instigated war based on false pretenses.  Here’s a summary of the 14 points:

  1. The UK chose to join the invasion before peaceful options had been exhausted
  2. Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein
  3. Blair promised George Bush: ’I will be with you, whatever’
  4. The decision to invade was made in unsatisfactory circumstances
  5. George Bush largely ignored UK advice on postwar planning
  6. There was no imminent threat from Saddam
  7. Britain’s intelligence agencies produced ‘flawed information’
  8. The UK military were ill-equipped for the task
  9. UK-US relations would not have been harmed if UK stayed out of war
  10. Blair ignored warnings on what would happen in Iraq after invasion
  11. The government had no post-invasion strategy
  12. The UK had no influence on Iraq’s postwar US-run administration
  13. The UK did not achieve its objectives in Iraq
  14. The government did not try hard enough to keep a tally of Iraqi civilian casualties

Related stories:

Tariq Ramadan: Iraq War Waged for U.S. Economic Interests Has Destabilized All of Middle East

Obama, in shift, says he will keep 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan until 2017

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21 thoughts on “The Guardian identifies 14 key points from the scathing Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War

  1. I wish such a investigative report could be done in our country, but it wouldn’t ever be allowed and it wouldn’t ever be able to draw on the truth nor report it. It is for history to report on our conduct when we have long passed. Sad. Hugs

    • From Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq (i.e. the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the U.S. intelligence community’s assessments of Iraq during the time leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.):

      After Democrats gained a majority in the Senate during the 2006 midterm election, chairmanship of the committee passed to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). The former chair, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) left the committee; the ranking Republican and vice chairman of the committee is now Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO).

      On May 25, 2007, the committee released a volume of the phase II report titled, “Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq”. This volume of the report includes seven pages of conclusions regarding assessments provided by the intelligence community to U.S. government leaders prior to the Iraq war. The report concludes that the intelligence community had assessed that establishing a stable government in Iraq would be a “long, difficult, and probably turbulent challenge,” that Iraqi society was deeply divided and would engage in violent conflict unless an occupying power took steps to prevent it, and that the war would increase the threat of terrorism, at least temporarily. The intelligence community also assessed that a U.S. defeat and occupation of Iraq would lead to a surge in political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups, and that the war would not cause other countries in the region to abandon their WMD programs.

      This volume of the report includes an appendix containing two previously classified reports by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) titled, “Regional Consequences of Regime Change in Iraq” and “Principal Challenges in Post-Saddam Iraq”, as well as a long list of recipients within the government of NIC assessments on Iraq. The appendix also contains a number of “Additional Views” in which different members of the committee comment on the history of the committee’s work in this area, and criticize what they characterize as the politicization of that work by members of the other party.

      Phase II of the report was publicly released on Thursday June 5, 2008 whether statements by US Government officials were substantiated by intelligence reports.

      This was a bi-partisan majority report (10-5) and “details inappropriate, sensitive intelligence activities conducted by the DoD’s Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, without the knowledge of the Intelligence Community or the State Department.” It concludes that the US Administration “repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.” These included President Bush’s statements of a partnership between Iraq and Al Qa’ida, that Saddam Hussein was preparing to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups, and Iraq’s capability to produce chemical weapons.

      The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen.Jay Rockefeller, stated in press release of report’s publication“It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa’ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. To accomplish this, top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa’ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11. Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses. While the report highlights many of the problems with the intelligence and criticizes the Bush Administration for its handling of the lead up to the war and its reasons for doing so, the report also supports in many cases that claims made by the Bush Administration about Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programs were “generally substantiated by the intelligence”.

      “There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.”

      The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen.Jay Rockefeller twice alleged that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, or its former head Douglas Feith may have engaged in unlawful activities,[8] Phase II of the report “found nothing to substantiate that claim; nothing unlawful about the “alleged” rogue intelligence operation in the PCTEG , nothing unlawful about the Office of Special Plans, and nothing unlawful about the so-called failure to inform Congress of alleged intelligence activities.”[8] The previous year, the chairman released a press statement claiming that it appeared that the office’s were “not in compliance with the law.”[8] Yet, rather than pursue these allegations, Rockfeller decided to pursue an issue unrelated to the intelligence, and unrelated to Iraq.[8] He pursued and inquiry of an exploratory meeting held in Rome in 2001 between two DOD officials and two Iranians.[8] Writing for the Minority Opinion as part of the report it was stated that “After four years of making unsubstantiated allegations of unlawful activities, the calculus appears to be that proclamations of “inappropriate” behavior will generate the desired headlines focusing only on the caustic words, rather than the lack of substance behind them. We hope that these additional views will help redirect that focus to the evidence, or lack thereof.”[8]

      Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s telling her caucus members “that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it,”[9] Dennis Kucinich D-Ohio introduced a formal resolution to the House of Representatives in an attempt to impeach President George W. Bush from the White House.[10] House Democrats unanimously voted to send it to a committee; a maneuver that essentially killed Kucinich’s efforts.[11]

      • Wow. I knew some of that even if I did not know the source. I wonder what was the real reason that no action was taken, not to punish those who lied or deceived the country, ruined or destroyed a sovereign nation, and did what many felt was an illegal acts? I wonder if anyone will ever know the reason Bush and his inner circle were focused on destroying Iraq from the time he took office. He was waiting for an excuse to invade the country and get Hussien, yet I have never heard a definite reason why? Thanks for the information and the sad showing that nothing was done with what we learned. I think there is still more to learn. Hugs

      • Oh, I think the main reasons why Bush invaded Iraq are pretty clear – to maintain the control of oil and to reinforce American geopolitical hegemony.

      • I always thought it was to avenge his daddy. I was of the idea that he felt his dad had been wronged and that Hussein still being in power made his daddy look weak. Also there was some idea floated at the time that there was a small group of very influential people who felt that the war would benefit Israel and once one government fell in the middle east then all would fall like dominos with little or no help from us. The idea being that even if they were in ruin it would again be better for israel and the hope would be for a whole new democratic middle east that looked just like us. only junior to us! I think one of the backers of that was William Kristol and of course his cronies. And getting their hands on some oil… having an american oil company heading the oil fields would have been a great financial asset. Hugs

      • I’m sure that avenging Bush’s daddy was a personal factor for W., but a minor one in comparison to the larger issues.

        The Israel connection makes little sense. Saddam’s regime was Sunni, and the Middle East nations ruled by that Muslim sect (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, etc.) had long since accepted Israel’s right to exist. It was and still is the Shiites (Iran, Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, etc.) which pose the greatest threat to Israel. Removing Hussein would only empower Iran, and that’s exactly what happened.

      • It may not make sense but I am looking up william Kristol and that is one of the things he was pushing, plus we would be welcomed as liberators and a bunch of other garbage I can not stand to repeat. Plus what is worse he still is pushing his views far after it has been proven so very very wrong. Hugs

      • Oh and I just read what he wrote on may 2015.. It is sickening.
        ……………I’m convinced Americans will come to the view that there’s no alternative to American world leadership, and that such leadership must be backed by the threat of military strength and the willingness, in the right time and circumstances, to use it………….
        William Kristol.

      • Crap. Just looked up the words “american geopolitical hegemony” and while all results were a bit different the ones I understood were what I said about the middle east but dealing with the soviet satellite type countries and us wanting to get them under our systems and trade deals. If I don’t have that right I may need to you to expand on that hegemony thing. As I read it , it is to get poorer countries to align with our politics, financial systems, and our goals. Is that about right? Hugs

      • ya but haven’t the “bigger” powers been trying that since we discovered “smaller” powers? I mean the british became an empire, the USA had the manifest destiny. All over the world, the stronger leaned on the weaker. In fact I hate to say it but the same seems to be going on in both race and politics. I hate it, I fight it, I do my best to fix it when I can, but it is a part of life we have to deal with. Hugs

      • oh and by the way… if you are correct about all this stuff… I hope you do keep fighting.. because people like me are going to need you. That is the weird thing.. no matter what you do you will not get the credit you’re due. Thanks and hugs. I enjoyed the learning even though I admit I was pushed a few times. Not as quick as I use to be I guess, and way too dependant on google now. Hugs

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