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Saturday, 19 December 2009

Chilcot Inquiry

There have been some interesting revelations at the Chilcot Inquiry. However, the most noticeable thing about the inquiry is the failure of the committee to ask penetrating questions. On several occasions witnesses have made fascinating comments but committee members have failed to ask follow-up questions. This is not difficult to understand when you look at the membership of the Chilcot Committee.

Sir John Chilcot, a former Whitehall mandarin who spent years at the Northern Ireland office (note the Ireland connection to all the Iraq investigations).

Sir Lawrence Freedman, an establishment historian who was a foreign policy advisor to Tony Blair (wrote most of Blair’s speech on “liberal intervention” in 1999.

Sir Martin Gilbert, Conservative historian who is the unofficial spokesman for Israel’s foreign policy. During the Iraq invasion he wrote that Blair and Bush “may well, with the passage of time and the opening of the archives, join the ranks of Roosevelt and Churchill”.

Sir Roderic Lyne, a former ambassador to Russia.

Lady Prashar, a former first civil service commissioner.

Margaret Aldred, director general of the foreign and defence policy secretariat at the Cabinet Office.

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