Tuesday, June 16, 2009

David Cameron says he favours a more open approach to Iraq inquiry.

And so, as expected, Brown has announced a secret inquiry into the Iraq war, the results of which will not be known until after the next election.

It will start next month and take at least a year, Mr Brown said. It will not aim to "apportion blame", he added.
It sounds to me like a complete waste of bloody time. It will not be public, it will announce only it's conclusions and it will studiously avoid apportioning blame.

We have waited six long years to be handed this?

It was designed on a similar basis, he added, to the Franks inquiry into the 1982 Falklands War, and it would aim to identify "lessons learned".

He added it would hear evidence in private so witnesses could be "as candid as possible".

The prime minister said: "No British documents and no British witness will be beyond the scope of the inquiry."

He said the final report would reveal "all but the most secret of information" and the "unprecedented" process would be "fully independent of government".

There will be no legal obligation to participate, and no civil or criminal liability will arise as a result of giving evidence.
Ever the opportunist, David Cameron immediately promised.... well, nothing, but it sounded like he might be offering a different policy.

David Cameron disclosed today that an incoming Conservative government may change the basis of the long-awaited inquiry into the Iraq war, hours after Gordon Brown told MPs evidence would be heard entirely in secret.

Brown said the inquiry would not seek to apportion blame, and would not report for at least a year, ensuring a potentially embarrassing paper is not published until after the election.

Conservative sources said later that if he was elected, Cameron reserved the right to change the terms of the inquiry if they were proving too restrictive.

He called for some of the sessions to be held in public, and for the issue of blame to be addressed.

Cameron has merely reserved for himself the possibility that he "might" change the terms of the inquiry.

If he shared an iota of our outrage over this war he would be making much more substantial promises, making sure that the entire thing was held in public and, obviously, assigning blame.

The truth, of course, is that the Tories supported Blair in his desire for this war and, were it not for Tory support, the British involvement in this war would never have occurred. A record number of Labour MP's defied the whip to vote against this war:
Amid dramatic scenes in the Commons on Tuesday night, 217 MPs - 139 of them Labour backbenchers - backed a rebel amendment opposing the government's stance on Iraq, with 396 opposing the motion.
The Liberals - and a mere 15 Tory MP's- voted against the war, but the vast majority of the Tory party were for it, which is why the Labour party's huge protest ultimately came to naught.

Indeed, Cameron himself voted very strongly for the Iraq war, so we should be wary of any claims that he now makes suggesting he wants any kind of accountability for the moronic decision to join Bush in the worst foreign policy debacle since Suez.

As always, Cameron merely wants to position himself as offering something new, whilst making sure that he has actually promised no such thing.

So, he "reserves the right" to look into an abominable decision which he, at the time, utterly agreed with. So, you can bet your last dollar that, given the opportunity to do so, Cameron would desist.

The problem for any public inquiry into the Iraq war is that the leadership of both the major parties supported this insane exercise. So, they may make noises, but it is in neither of their interests to seriously question how this terrible decision came to be made.

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