This video says about itself:
Former British deputy PM admits regrets over Iraq war
10 July 2016
The man who was UK Deputy Prime Minister when British forces went to war in Iraq has issued an apology.
In a newspaper article written in the wake of the Iraq Inquiry, John Prescott also issued a damning indictment of Tony Blair‘s leadership at the time.
Meanwhile, British MPs are preparing to put forward a motion that finds former Prime Minister Blair in contempt of Parliament.
Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego reports from London.
From daily The Independent in Britain today:
Tony Blair could be barred from public office over Iraq War ‘deceit’
Jeremy Corbyn will support motion to hold Blair in contempt over Iraq War
A cross-party alliance of MPs is pushing for Tony Blair to be declared guilty of “contempt” towards Parliament over the Iraq War – as calls for legal action against the former Prime Minister grow. A parliamentary motion, being tabled this week subject to approval by the Speaker, will declare that Mr Blair used “deceit” in the run-up to the invasion. Its proponents say it could see him barred from public office and stripped of his privy council position.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today signalled his backing for the motion, urging MPs to examine evidence suggesting that Mr Blair had misled Parliament over the invasion. The parliamentary device, to be formally proposed by outspoken Conservative MP David Davis, has attracted the backing of MPs from Labour, the Tories, Scottish National Party, Green Party and Plaid Cymru.
The landmark Chilcot inquiry, which, since 2009 had been investigating the circumstances of the invasion, said last week that Mr Blair’s intelligence case for the attack on Iraq was “not justified” by the facts. Mr Corbyn’s backing for the motion comes after John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister at the time of the invasion, said Mr Blair had led Parliament into backing an illegal war.
“I urge colleagues to read the Butler report and the Chilcot report about the way Parliament was denied the information it should have had, the way there was lack of preparations for the conflict’s aftermath, and the way in which assertions of weapons of mass destruction [were made],” Mr Corbyn told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show. “Parliament must hold to account, including Tony Blair, those who took us into this particular war. That is surely how a parliamentary democracy works. I haven’t seen [the motion] yet, but I think I probably would [back it].”
The Liberal Democrats, who opposed the war on the basis it did not have United Nations support, have also not ruled out backing the motion. The Independent understands that the party’s MPs will be meeting on Monday to discuss their position. Other supporters include former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, who has long opposed the war, and Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams. Green MP Caroline Lucas, who is supporting the contempt declaration, said the Chilcot report was “a damning indictment of Blair’s record”.
“It showed that the former Prime Minster actively deceived Parliament and led this country into a disastrous and bloody war under false pretences,” she said. “I’m joining with fellow MPs to hold Blair to account by tabling a contempt motion which could see him barred from public office and have his privy counsellorship stripped from him.” Mr Blair’s office declined to comment on the motion when approached by The Independent. …
A spokesperson for the group of MPs organising the censure motion said parallel legal action threatened by families of soldiers who served in the Iraq War could proceed separately to their efforts. “This initiative does not interfere in any way with legal action either by the authorities in terms of criminal law or by the service families in the civil courts. However, there is a specific parliamentary matter of holding the former prime minister to account given the revelations in Chilcot,” the spokesperson said.
“Most damning of all is the detailing of what Blair was promising US President George W Bush in private memos while he was telling Parliament and people something entirely different in public statements.
“If we are to prevent such a catastrophe happening again it is essential that parliamentarians learn to hold the executive to critical examination in a way that Parliament failed to do in 2003. Holding Blair to account will be an essential part of that process of parliamentary accountability. The case has been made by Chilcot and any Parliament worth its salt is duty bound to take action.”
At a press conference last Wednesday, families of some of the British soldiers killed in Iraq said they “reserve the right to call specific parties to answer for their actions in the courts”. Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew died when his Snatch Land Rover was hit by an improvised explosive device in Basra in September 2005, named Mr Blair as someone who might face legal action.
The 2.6 million-word Iraq Inquiry report was finally released last Wednesday around seven years after its launch was announced by Gordon Brown. Overall, Sir John Chilcot, the investigation’s chair, was damning in his verdict on the invasion. “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options of disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort,” he said.
“We have also concluded that the judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were presented with a certainty that was not justified. Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated and the planning for Iraq after Saddam Hussein [was] wholly inadequate.”
Chilcot report: Tony Blair could be sued for ‘every penny’ by families of soldiers killed in Iraq War
For the sake of all the dead, the Iraqis, the soldiers and their families, Tony Blair must not be let to ride Chilcot out, writes LINDSEY GERMAN: here.
HOLDING Tony Blair in contempt of Parliament is “crucial” to providing accountability for the Iraq war, anti-war activists said yesterday: here.
Abundant grounds now exist to indict Tony Blair on war crimes charges, writes ROB GRIFFITHS: here.
ICC won’t investigate Blair but might prosecute soldiers. The Hague says it is not in its mandate to prosecue Blair, but may use the long-awaited Chilcot report to prosecute British soldiers for malfeasance: here.
Monday 11th July 2016
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain
TONY BLAIR’S decision to go to war with Iraq was “illegal” and motivated by a desire to be a “special friend” to the US, his former deputy John Prescott said yesterday.
The Labour peer, who publicly backed the war at the time, spoke out as a cross-party group of MPs prepared to table a motion that would hold Mr Blair in contempt of Parliament.
He also backed Jeremy Corbyn’s apology for the war on behalf of the Labour Party, adding his own “fullest apology” for the role he played as deputy prime minister.
He said the intelligence backing an invasion “seemed to be tittle-tattle, not hard evidence” and he had raised concerns with then-cabinet secretary Lord Butler over Mr Blair’s style of governance.
“A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think of the decision we made to go to war. Of the British troops who gave their lives or suffered injuries for their country,” he wrote in his Sunday Mirror column.
“Of the 175,000 civilians who died from the Pandora’s box we opened by removing Saddam Hussein.
“I will live with the decision of going to war and its catastrophic consequences for the rest of my life.”
Mr Corbyn yesterday said he would “probably” support a motion that would hold Mr Blair in contempt of Parliament for misleading MPs on five separate counts.
“Parliament must hold to account, including Tony Blair, those who took us into this particular war,” he told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.
Tory MP David Davis said: “People are saying: when is [Mr Blair] going to be punished for this?
“Well, this is a fairly symbolic punishment but nevertheless it does at least give a verdict.”
Friday 8th July 2016
posted by Paddy McGuffin in Britain
THE sister of a British soldier killed in Iraq has challenged Tony Blair to meet the grieving families of service personnel who died in the unlawful conflict.
Sarah O’Connor, whose brother Sergeant Bob O’Connor was killed when his Hercules plane was shot down near Baghdad in 2005, accused the former prime minister of failing to “look [the families] in the eye” after the publication of the historic report into Britain’s involvement in the war.
Ms O’Connor, who has described Mr Blair as “the world’s worst terrorist,” hit out at his appearance before television cameras on Wednesday afternoon, in which he delivered a lengthy statement and took questions from journalists.
She said: “There is one final thing I would like to say to Mr Blair. He said yesterday that while he takes responsibility he can look the families in the eye. Well, looking down the lens of a camera is not looking us in the eye.
“So, Mr Blair, challenge accepted. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Come and look me in the eye.”
She added: “He’s had enough requests from us, he’s always refused.”
Ms O’Connor pointed out that the former PM had not acknowledged bereaved relatives during his evidence at the inquiry, when he was spirited in and out via the back door to avoid the hundreds of protesters gathered outside the QEII centre in Whitehall.
He had also failed to attend the publication of the report, she added, preferring to deliver “a two-hour, rambling indictment of the inquiry findings.”
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Wednesday 20th July 2016
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain
Military families raise cash for Iraq war justice
FAMILIES raising funds to put Tony Blair in the dock and secure justice for their relatives killed in Iraq smashed a £50,000 target for legal fees within hours yesterday.
The Iraq War Families Campaign Group, representing the 179 service personnel who were killed in the rush to follow the US into military action, extended their target to £150,000 after the overwhelming display of support.
The group launched the appeal in the wake of the Chilcot report’s damning conclusions that Britain went to war based on “flawed intelligence” about Saddam Hussein’s proclaimed weapons of mass destruction.
A cross-party group of MPs is also planning to put a resolution to the Commons holding Blair in contempt of Parliament for his conduct in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Top secret messages from Mr Blair to the then-US president George Bush were also revealed to show he had told him months before invading Iraq: “I will be with you, whatever.”
The report stated that Saddam did not pose an “imminent threat” before he was toppled and executed in 2003. The war lasting eight years killed more than a million Iraqi people.
Roger Bacon and Reg Keys, whose respective sons Matthew and Tom were both killed in action, are leading the fight to take the case to court.
Mr Keys said: “The public support the families have received over the years has been unstinting. With the report’s publication, we now have the evidence that may mean individuals could now face trial.
“We hope and trust the British people will take this unique opportunity to help us determine what legal actions can be taken and support the campaign to get justice for our loved ones and our country.”
Mr Bacon added: “Before Matthew, Tom and so many of their fellow servicemen and women died, we knew the risks all British military personnel assume when serving Queen and country.
“However, the long-awaited Chilcot report has confirmed that there were serious failings in the lead-up to, planning and conduct of the war, which led to so many unnecessary deaths.
“Our armed forces must never again be so callously sacrificed by political ambition and the irresponsibility and failings of government and Whitehall.”
The £150,000 will fund lawyers from McCue & Partners, who are currently working free of charge to analyse Sir John Chilcot’s 2.6 million-word report to put together a “comprehensive opinion” approved by a senior barrister.
Sir John said the way the decision on the legal basis for the war was reached was “far from satisfactory,” but his long-awaited report did not rule on the legality of the military action.
McCue & Partners managing partner Matthew Jury said: “The report told us what went wrong and who was responsible but it was not a court of law. If they can, the families are determined to hold those individuals to account by bringing them to trial to answer for their actions.
“Not just for them or their loved ones, but to ensure that never again will our politicians act with such impunity in taking our country into an unjust war with such tragic consequences.”
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