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‘Gist’ of Blair-Bush secret Iraq war communications to be disclosed to public

Published time: May 29, 2014 20:51
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) and former U.S. President George W. Bush (Reuters / Jason Reed)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) and former U.S. President George W. Bush (Reuters / Jason Reed)

An agreement to release details of communications between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and ex-US President George W. Bush has been reached, promising to finally make public some extracts from sensitive conversations prior to the 2003 Iraq war.

The classified information is likely to be released as part of the Iraq inquiry – or Chilcot inquiry, after its chairman Sir John Chilcot – which was announced in June 2009 by Britain's then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The investigation aims to explore the UK's role in the Iraq war. The inquiry completed public hearings in 2011, and it was hoped the details would be delivered the same year.

The long-delayed details of the inquiry came one step closer to publication on May 29, when a deal was reached between the inquiry and the Cabinet Office on how to release confidential documents.

The problem concerned 25 so-called “notes,” more than 130 records of conversations between the two then leaders, and some 200 cabinet-level discussions. While the inquiry was originally focused on Blair's involvement in the war and aimed at learning lessons from the US-led invasion and its aftermath, the US reportedly opposed the publication of classified material concerning George W. Bush.

In a deal that has now been reached, the inquiry may be allowed to publish some quotes, but those will be kept to the "minimum necessary to enable the inquiry articulate its conclusions," and "consideration will be based on the principle that our use of this material should not reflect President's Bush views," Chilcot said.

Tony Blair has been previously blamed for blocking the release of the secret communications. He has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying: "I don't know what the reason for the delay is because I'm not in charge of the inquiry and not in charge of the Government," adding that he has "as much interest as anyone in seeing the inquiry publish its findings and then be able to go out and frankly restate my case and defend my position."

A national election will be held in Britain in May 2015, contested by David Cameron's Conservative party and the opposition Labour party – once led by Blair. It has been argued that the latter deliberately misled the public over the reason he decided to commit 45,000 British troops to the invasion in Iraq, as alleged former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's illegal weapons of mass destruction have never been found.

The date of publication has yet to be agreed, and "detailed consideration of the gists and quotes requested by the Inquiry has now begun.” It is not yet clear how long that will take, Chilcot added.

Comments (47)

 

Zaba Da 17.06.2014 11:58

To plant democracy is only a fraud.I believe Jews still lead America and U.K behind curtain like at the past..Hence America and U.K will not intervene.This just happened in Syria.The West not intervene even there is genocide using chemical in big quantity,missiles are shooting on the roof of civilian houses.American will let Iran to intervene in Iraq or send their Syiah armies .By that they are fully destroying both Sunni and Syiah.How smart Jews was.

 

A H 17.06.2014 04:21

There is only one secret regasding whole misadventure "OIL" ...... and if anybody thiinks it was for freedom and democracy ...... that anybody is obviously American or European.

 

Jack Forest 16.06.2014 01:12

"Bush and Blair should be hung." I agree. But will they>
No, of course not.

View all comments (47)
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