Chilcot Inquiry: why Blair-Bush messages will be censored

May 30, 2014

Inquiry into Britain's role in Iraq War is condemned as a 'whitewash' as private messages suppressed

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Chilcot Inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq War has been branded a "whitewash" after crucial messages from Tony Blair to George W Bush were suppressed.

The inquiry, named after its chairman Sir John Chilcot, was set up five years ago in part to examine why Blair decided the UK should go to war. But Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has vetoed the release of more than 150 letters and phone calls from Blair to Bush in the run-up to the 2003 conflict. Critics claim the British public will now never know the real truth about the war...

What will be censored?
The inquiry committee has spent years wrangling with Whitehall about what it can and cannot include when it finally publishes its report, possibly within the next year. It has now agreed that it will not publish 25 letters sent from Blair to Bush, nor the transcripts of 130 phone calls between the two men in the lead-up to the war. According to the Daily Mail, the messages show Blair telling the US President: "You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I'm with you." The US president's replies or any material that reflects his views will not be published in any form.

What will be published?
As a compromise, Chilcot has said the long-awaited report will publish only "the gist" of Blair's messages. He hopes to include some quotes but will have to negotiate with Heywood about the precise wording. The details of over 200 Cabinet-level discussions on the Iraq War will, however, be made available for publication or reference by the inquiry. Overall, the inquiry aims to provide a "reliable account of events" that will identify lessons for future governments making decisions about potential conflicts. The inquiry covers the period from 2001 up to the end of July 2009.

Why has the Chilcot Inquiry been censored?
The official reason for the censorship is that publication would deter future prime ministers from speaking freely with world leaders in private. Blair, who is expected to face heavy criticism in the report, has always denied trying to block the release of the messages. US authorities explicitly ordered Britain not to publish confidential conversations involving the former president, The Independent revealed last year.

Why does it matter?
Critics are furious as they say the truth about the Iraq War is being concealed. Former Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay described it as "a bad, bad day for democracy and justice". He claims the country has been lied to "time and time again" about Iraq and says the lies will now "endure". Labour MP John McDonnell said the move by Heywood "confirms all the suspicions people had that the inquiry will be a whitewash". He added: "Unless there's full and open transparency, the credibility of this inquiry will be completely undermined." Meanwhile, families of some of the 179 British soldiers killed in the conflict, who had hoped the correspondence would reveal the real reason Blair took the country to war, have said they feel betrayed by the decision. Reg Keys, whose son Lance Corporal Tom Keys was killed at the age of 21 in 2003, told BBC 2's Newsnight programme: "I need to draw a line under this and until I know the whole truth I can't. It will be an open wound until the day I die."

When will the Chilcot Inquiry be published?
The date of publication is yet to be agreed. Legal letters will be sent to certain witnesses, including Blair and his spin chief Alastair Campbell, asking them to respond to criticism in the draft report – a process expected to take several more months. The report will then be sent to Prime Minister David Cameron, who will decide if it should be published in the run-up to next May's general election. Cameron has previously suggested that he wants the report to be published by the end of this year.

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...would this be the same Jeremy Heywood who made such a Horlicks of the Andrew Mitchell/Plebgate inquiry?

God help us all - with the US, effectively, vetoing our internal judicial arrangements, they have no moral right to regard us as their "closest allies" - we are merely their useful fools, wheeled out at appropriate times in order to lend some legitimacy to their latest acts of interventionist lunacy.

Blair fell for that one, hook, line and sinker, in his craven desire to be "buddies" with Bush. We should encourage our political "leaders" to distance themselves from leaders of other world powers and to concentrate on what is best for this nation - history should have taught us that supporting the US in its military adventures has brought us very little benefit - rather, it has made us many more mortal enemies throughout the Moslem world than we deserve.

The public perception will be that without full publication Blair lied too and mislead the public,this is exactly why very few people even listen to politicians never mind trust them anymore and UKIP takes votes from other sleazy parties,once trust is lost it takes a huge amount of hard work to regain it and Westminster has failed spectacularly.

America, in my opinion, are the biggest "warmongers"
in the World. O.K. other countries get into internal
wars-America orchestrates a war anywhere they can.
Just say "Oil" and they will be on the way. I have just
thrown out a tin of W.D. 40 in case the invade my
garden shed!!!!

I could have written this article, come to think of it I probably did, 5 years ago.

“Chilcot Inquiry: why Blair-Bush messages will be censored”. I think under American pressure. A solution could be to publish all with just Mr. Blair’s part of the conversations with the well known CNN censor on that of Mr. Bush.Which understandably may contain some comprehension problems such as “How do you do and how do you do your wife”

Whitehall are the nation's greatest threat as they stifle innovation and the truth. The latest situation with Chilcot is just as much a cover-up from the past and present Cabinet Secretary as it is with Blair and Bush. As Cameron says, We are all in it together, but where with this government's backing to withhold information, they are culpable also in this cover-up. Is it no wonder that the people despise all politicians these days as they treat the people with absolute contempt. Although I am not a UKIP voter I wish that come 2015 they get a resounding vote to give that big kick up the backside that the three main-stream parties need. For if this does not happen in some shape or form, the dire liberties that these senior politicians continually take to exclude the voter will just go on infinitum. Time has come I feel therefore where the people really have make their point and to indicate to the politicians that we are not the fools that they think we all are. And that goes for the USA also.

Wotta surprise... that anyone is surprised. The most obvious reason bLIAR wanted their cozy chats removed is the extra strength XXX drivel at the time that he was in with Shrub to act as a "moderating influence" on his cowboy shoot'em up mentality. Clearly he was egging him on so which is preferable, a moron or a mendacious god botherer? We should never forge his self righteous solipsism "it's not a lie when you believe it" which is the constant justification of religious fanatics.

I believe in government, in the right to vote, public service. It is a privilege to represent, to be entrusted to do it. What makes me cross and sad is that there is no accountability.

...Jennifer - Blair cared very little for democracy - he enjoyed such a massive Parliamentary majority after the 1997 General Election that he took this for a mandate to govern as he so wished, without due process or regard for Parliamentary democracy, for Parliamentary scrutiny or for clarity; his cynical encouragement of uncontrolled immigration into Britain, in order to - potentially - boost the Labour vote, his "armchair" cabinet meetings with like-minded cronies, his quivering bottom lip when protesting that he is "just a regular guy" all conspire to shed light on this man's almost psychopathic tendency to deny any accusation put to him.

Until he is properly held to account, by people who care not for his protestations of innocence, until he has his feet roasted against the fire of unarguable truths - we will remain frustrated at our inability to hold this odious individual to proper scrutiny and account.

We desperately need to set up a committee of independent-minded and determined individuals - a committee that will disregard the protestations of the USA and a committee that will order Chilcot to "publish and be damned".

Cameron is not of that persuasion, unfortunately.

This all goes back to the lie of 9/11. Anybody paying attention since then knows this did not happen as the Bush administration said it did. If you doubt that have a look at the documentary "Where did the towers go" on Youtube.(essential viewing for anybody reporting on this subject) Take time out from x factor,football and reality mind numbing television to inform yourselves of what really happened.Frightening as it is.
Work from there and you will understand what a colosal scam the whole thing was, and is, resulting in the on going surveillance and invasions of our freedoms and privacy desclosed by Snowdon..Some one on the reporting staff of this blog should view Dr Judy Woods doco and write something about that piece of excellent research to help bring it to a wider audience. Have some balls you reporters and report and demand a proper investigation of that event so the sheeple will at last get it and support a proper investigation of 9/11. The failure of the mass media and lack of courage of their reporters has bought us to this point.