Is Iraq report being blocked because it proves Blair and Bush war crimes?
The US and Britain are trying to block the inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the invasion of Iraq, anti-war activist Lindsey German told RT. Conversations between former British PM Tony Blair and former US President George W. Bush remain unattainable.
RT: Who is trying to stall the inquiry, the UK or the US?
Lindsey German: They are both trying to block this inquiry. It was set up in 2009. It was supposed to report in 2011. It is now being pushed back to at least the middle of next year and might be pushed back even further than that. And they are saying they can’t release American confidential documents, but this is something they must have known when they set the inquiry up. So they could easily release them. People in this country are becoming very perturbed about the fact that 8 million pounds has been spent on this inquiry, but there isn’t likely to be an outcome any time soon. That really seems to be a cover up on both the parts of people who support Tony Blair and George W. Bush.
RT: We hear officials in Washington and London saying they need more time to figure out their position on this report and some of its details. Why? Are they censoring it?
LG: There are definitely suspicious things going on here. The cabinet secretary in this country is the person who is blocking things. He is now blaming it on the US. But the truth of the matter is that neither he, who was an adviser to Blair previously, nor Blair, nor David Cameron, who supported the war, are particularly keen for the truth to come out. It makes you wonder exactly what is in these conversations between Bush and Blair. There must be quite a lot to hide for them to be so worried about them being released. I think surely it is in the interest of the public in this country and the US to have them released. After all, there was mass opposition to this war 10 years ago and it hasn’t diminished. People still feel the same way, they still feel that we are living with the legacy of these wars and they’d like for the truth to come out.
RT: The relationship between the US and the UK has always been called “special.” The US basically dragged the UK into war, and doesn’t want to talk about it afterwards. It doesn’t seem like a win-win situation, does it?
LG: Both governments have their reasons for not wanting these things to come out. We've had a recent war in Libya, we've had the threat of war this summer in Syria, and we have terrible consequences in Iraq, and of course many thousands of NATO troops still in Afghanistan. These are still live issues and people want to know: What did Tony Blair and George W. Bush agree? How early did they agree to the war? What were the conditions of it? Because if this was agreed when many people believe, in the spring of 2002, it means that all the effort to produce a dossier, all the pressure for the second resolution at the UN, were a charade because Tony Blair already knew that he was going to go to war.
RT: Does Washington need other countries to justify its actions? Is England just another suitable friend?
LG: What people are worried about is that there is maybe lots of evidence here for war crimes, for an agreement for a war over regime change, which of course is illegal under international law. There may be lots of other things to come up. We’ve had a number of reports over the Iraq war, none of them satisfactory. People felt that maybe Chilcot would be better because it was a much more thorough going report. Nearly 200 British soldiers died during the Iraq War, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died, and millions of people were demonstrating. All of these people have the right to know, and it is absolutely shameful that our government and the US government are trying to prevent them from knowing.
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Speakers include Jeremy Scahill, Owen Jones, Tariq Ali. Full details...