Even British Chilcot semi-whitewash damning for Blair’s Iraq war

This video says about itself:

Chilcot Report Reveals Tony Blair’s Pledge to George W. Bush

6 July 2016

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent a memo to then-U.S. President George W. Bush where he pledged “I will be with you, whatever.”

The war in Iraq was not a blunder or a mistake. It was a crime, by Owen Jones: here.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

A bloody shambles: Blair didn’t tell truth about WMDs, didn’t tell truth about deal with Bush, and didn’t the truth about warnings of fallout– how Britain went to war in Iraq

Chilcot report: Tony Blair convinced himself Iraq had WMDs – but intelligence ‘did not justify’ his certainty

Damning conclusion finds former Prime Minister deliberately blurred lines between what he believed and what he knew

Andy McSmith, Charlie Cooper

Tony Blair convinced himself that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though the secret intelligence reports he had been shown “did not justify” his certainty, Sir John Chilcot concluded.

In a direct contradiction to what Mr Blair asserted to the Iraq Inquiry, Sir John found that he and George W Bush were made fully aware of the risk the country could descend into sectarian violence after the fall of Saddam Hussein, yet went to war regardless.

The issue of whether the then Prime Minister lied to Parliament to justify the UK’s involvement in the invasion of Iraq has been a source of damaging controversy for more than 13 years.

Follow the latest live updates

And while Sir John did not use the word “lie” – in fact his report specified that it “is not questioning” that Mr Blair believed in those non-existent WMDs – his damning conclusion is that the former Prime Minister deliberately blurred the distinction between what he believed and what he actually knew.

Sir John said the risks of internal strife, regional instability and the burgeoning of al-Qaeda in Iraq “were each explicitly identified”, yet planning and preparations for Iraq after Hussein were “wholly inadequate”.

He also criticised intelligence chiefs for allowing the Prime Minister to get away with misrepresenting what they had told him when he presented his now notorious dossier to the House of Commons in September 2002.

“The judgements about Iraq’s capabilities in that statement, and in the dossier published the same day, were presented with a certainty that was not justified,” he said.

“The Joint Intelligence Committee should have made clear to Mr Blair that the assessed intelligence had not established ‘beyond doubt’ either that Iraq had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons or that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued.” …

Sir John’s report damningly added that as the prospect loomed that the US was going to invade Iraq whatever the British decided, the intelligence chiefs gave “no consideration” to the possibility that Saddam Hussein was – for once –telling the truth when he said that his regime had destroyed all the chemical weapons it possessed and used in the 1980s.

During August 2002, Tony Blair became worried about speculation that the US and UK had decided to invade Iraq but were not telling the public. His response to that pressure was to present Parliament with the dossier summarising the available intelligence, and a foreword in which he put his own interpretation on what he believed it meant. His foreword included the discredited claim that “military planning allows for some of the WMDs to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them.”

According to the Chilcot report: “The deliberate selection of a formulation which grounded the statement in what Mr Blair believed, rather than in the judgements which the JIC had actually reached in its assessment of the intelligence indicates a distinction between his beliefs and the JIC’s actual judgements.

“The assessed intelligence had not established beyond doubt that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.

“Nor had the assessed intelligence established beyond doubt that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued… The dossier made clear that, as long as sanctions remained effective, Iraq could not produce a nuclear weapon.”

The Iraq government announced in November 2002 – four months before the invasion – that it no longer had any weapons of mass destruction, but Mr Blair refused to believe it. Speaking on the telephone to President George W. Bush the following month he said that the Iraqi declaration was “patently false” and that he was “cautiously optimistic” that weapons inspectors would be able to prove that the Iraqis were lying. Two days later, he issued a statement saying that “this obvious falsehood”  meant that Saddam Hussein had “rejected the pathway to peace.”

Sir John’s report concluded: “The decision to use force – a very serious decision for any government to take – provoked profound controversy in relation to Iraq and became even more controversial when it was subsequently found that Iraq’s programmes to develop and produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons had been dismantled. It continues to shape debates on national security policy.

“Although the coalition had achieved the removal of a brutal regime which had defied the United Nations and which was seen as a threat to peace and security, it failed to achieve the goals it had set for a new Iraq.”

From September 2002, six months before the invasion, Foreign Office and intelligene reports raised the alarm that the war would create an “easier environment for terrorists” and the destabilisation of the country.

An FCO paper on Islamism in Iraq, shared with the Americans in December 2002, even foreshadowed the rise of extremist groups like Isis which went on to exploit the chaos of post-war Iraq.

It warned that it was likely groups would be looking for “identities and ideologies on which to base movements” and anticipated that a number of emergent extremist groups would use violence to pursue political ends.

Isis, which 11 years after the invasion declared a caliphate in Iraq, remains in control of vast swathes of the country, including its second city Mosul. The group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombing in Baghdad, the death toll of which has now risen to 250– the worst such attack since the invasion in 2003.

“Mr Blair told the inquiry that the difficulties encountered in Iraq after the invasion could not have been known in advance,” Sir John said, as he released the report in London on Wednesday morning.

“We do not agree that hindsight is required. The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability, and al Qaeda activity in Iraq, were explicitly identified before the invasion.”

Chilcot report destroys Blair’s case for war: here.

Families of bereaved speak on Chilcot: here.

Reg Keys hits out as Tony Blair set to avoid Iraq trial after Chilcot Report: here.

Chilcot Report: Bereaved families say Tony Blair is ‘the world’s worst terrorist’ and we want to see him in court. Relatives of servicepeople killed in Iraq are looking to use the report as the basis for legal action – with Tony Blair one of their main targets: here.

Tony Blair Got It Wrong: He And George W. Bush Did Fuel Terrorism: here.

No impunity for Blair’s Iraq war, dead soldier’s parents say

This video says about itself:


17 March 2015

Dr Hans Blix (Former UN Chief Weapons Inspector) interview

Talks of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush being convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction / Have to weigh the evidence before war / 9/11 motivated the Americans / Talks of military action based on poor intelligence / Iraq war has been breeding a lot of new terrorism /

Policy of containment had worked in the case of Iraq.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Chilcot Report: Parents of major killed in Iraq say Blair must now face legal action

A leader who sends a country’s soldiers to fight unnecessarily must face ‘consequences … because the consequences for the people they send is that some of them die,’ father says

Adam Lusher

The parents of the 95th British serviceman to be killed in Iraq have said there would be “something terribly wrong with our political process” if the Chilcot Report did not produce grounds for the families of dead soldiers to take legal action over the Iraq war.

Roger and Maureen Bacon lost their son Matthew, 34, a major in the Intelligence Corps, when his Snatch Land Rover was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Basra on 11 September 2005.

Speaking to The Independent hours before the long-awaited publication of Sir John Chilcot’s report on the Iraq War, Mr and Mrs Bacon accused Tony Blair of betraying their son and misleading Britain into a war that was “a total and utter catastrophe”.

However the former Prime Minister is expected to escape condemnation in the report, although Sir John revealed on the eve of the report’s publication that there were “more than a few” decisions which would be criticised.

There is already a growing backlash against the anticipated findings of the Chilcot Report, with Conservative commentator Peter Oborne arguing that “if Chilcot fails to nail Blair’s lies, it’s final proof our democracy is broken”.

And Mr Bacon, a retired police officer, said there had to be “consequences” for leaders who sent soldiers to war unnecessarily.

“Because the consequences for the people they send is that some of them die doing the job they were told to do,” he said.

As a result of the Chilcot Report, he added, “there has to be a basis for some kind of [legal] action, to ensure this never happens again. If not, I would say there is something terribly wrong with the political process.”

He added that the British and American intervention in Iraq had been “a total and utter catastrophe that was completely unnecessary”.

After Major Bacon died, Mr Bacon found himself thrust into the role of an unofficial spokesman for some of the families of the 179 service personnel who died in Iraq.

He was also awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2016 New Year Honours list for his work as the founder chairman of the Bereaved Families Support Group of the Armed Forces charity, SSAFA.

He revealed that he and his wife had been highly sceptical about the grounds for war right from the start. In February 2003 Mrs Bacon, a retired primary school teacher, had even marched through London along with a million others to voice her opposition to military action.

“It was my quiet protest,” she said. “There were a lot of people from military families there. The US wanted us to go in, and it was Blair who dragged us in. We were absolutely, completely misled by Tony Blair.”

She added that when she told her son she was going on the anti-war march, “he just said ‘If that’s what you want to do, mum, that’s fine”.

Mr Bacon explained: “Most soldiers would assume that if their senior officers told them ‘You are going to be doing this’ it would be the right thing to do – that the whole campaign was the right thing to do, because the Government wouldn’t do it otherwise.”

Which meant, Mr Bacon said: “From our point of view, Matthew was betrayed. Because the full facts weren’t there. Blair was the one who persuaded Parliament.

“We were misled into believing that there were weapons of mass destruction and that the intelligence showed we needed to do something about it.”

Mr Bacon added that he had been incredulous when he saw Mr Blair tell Parliament that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that were deployable with 45 minutes.

“I thought to myself ‘really?!’ It was part of the argument to make us feel directly threatened by WMD, as if Saddam had something like a Soviet-style intercontinental ballistic missile system.

“I thought to myself that if he really had that kind of sophisticated system, the intelligence on it would be a lot more solid than just a dodgy dossier.”

Mr Bacon also accused Mr Blair of delaying military planning and equipment procurement for the war “because he didn’t want it to be seen that he was pre-empting any UN resolution, he was manipulating the system”.

The result, said Mr Bacon, was that his son died in a Snatch Land Rover with inadequate detection systems to protect against IEDs that could go through the insufficiently armoured vehicle “like a knife through butter”.

Mr Bacon said: “Matthew’s was the 27th incident in which a serviceman got killed travelling in a Snatch Land Rover. The first incident had been in 2004. With Snatch Land Rovers it was like Russian roulette.

“If the IED had been laid on that patrol’s route, and if the insurgents had people in place to set it off, then that vehicle was going to get hit.”

Mr and Mrs Bacon said they would wait until they had seen the contents of the Chilcot Report before deciding precisely what legal action they and other bereaved relatives might take.

But when asked what he hoped the Chilcot Report would tell them, Mr Bacon replied: “It’s simple really – the truth as to why Matthew died.

“It was completely unnecessary.”

Last March Mr and Mrs Bacon travelled with a BBC Panorama crew to Basra, to see where the spot where their “always smiling, always joking” son died.

“We wanted to see for ourselves why Matthew lost his life,” said Mrs Bacon. “You try to make sense of it all … but you don’t succeed.

“It doesn’t get better. It gets worse. You don’t get over it. It doesn’t work that way when you have lost your child.

“You make your way through the fog as best you can. Because Matthew wouldn’t have wanted us to mope.”

Mr Blair, she said, “will be able to go back to his family, but 179 families will live the rest of their lives without their sons or daughters. And then there are all those who were injured, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died.  And after all this time, Iraq is still in a dreadful state.”

Mr Blair, she said, had declined to meet with them and other bereaved families.

But she had gone to the Iraq inquiry to see him give evidence.

“He acted his way through,” said Mrs Bacon. “It was like going to the theatre and watching a production where everyone had already learned their lines.

“I am sure he will be well rehearsed again when the report comes out. He will pop up abroad again, on a phenomenal salary.  What do they call him? Teflon Tony.”

Blairite dirty tricks in British Labour

This video from London, England says about itself:

Keep Corbyn Rally – Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner, Jeremy Corbyn

27 June 2016

Several thousand people rallied outside parliament this evening, Monday, in defence of left wing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Hundreds more joined similar rallies in Newcastle and Manchester to defend Corbyn against moves by Labour MPs to get rid of him.

Labour left group Momentum, which organised the London rally said 10,000 turned out to support Corbyn. It came as Corbyn faced Labour MPs and peers inside parliament, who were meeting to debate a motion of no confidence in his leadership.

The rallies had the feel of Corbyn’s huge public meetings during his leadership election campaign last year.

Speaking at the rally in London, Corbyn reflected the reasons why many of his supporters voted for him last year. He said, “We’re absolutely the spirit of hope—not the spirit of despair”. He also said Labour supporters needed to build a “politics of unity” to beat austerity.

But the rallies were also angry and defiant. It’s incredible and appallling that just when all the attention should be on the Tories’ problems, the right has divided Labour.

Chants of “Tories out—Corbyn in” rang out across Parliament Square in London and at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle city centre.

Jeremy Corbyn coup designed to stop him ‘calling for Tony Blair’s head’ after Chilcot report, says Alex Salmond. ‘It would be a mistake to believe that Chilcot and current events are entirely unconnected. The link is through the Labour Party’: here.

Labour’s new defence chief slams ‘selfishness’ of Corbyn coup plotters: here.

Grassroots movement to #KeepCorbyn snowballs: here.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

More Dirty Tricks up their Sleeve

Monday 4th July 2016

EXPOSED: Labour plotters bid to keep Corbynista off NEC seat

PLOTTERS seeking to topple Jeremy Corbyn were last night accused of dirty tricks to prevent the Labour leader from standing in a second leadership election.

Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) is likely to adjudge whether Mr Corbyn automatically makes the ballot or has to gather signatures from MPs in the event of a leadership challenge.

But today the Star can exclusively reveal that a new left-wing member of the committee has already received an email threatening him with disciplinary action, within 48 hours of taking up his position.

Darren Williams, a PCS union official and Cardiff city councillor, has been accused of having “taken a photo of Welsh Labour print material and sent this to the press.”

Mr Williams could not be contacted for comment yesterday but friends say he is baffled by the allegation.

The email, sent on Friday afternoon by Labour’s head of disputes and discipline Kat Buckingham, invites Mr Williams to attend an “urgent meeting” this afternoon.

Ms Buckingham writes: “Should this allegation be true, the NEC is likely to consider that this action was prejudicial to the party’s interests.

“I should stress that the evidence I have received is strong. I will be reporting this matter to the NEC disputes panel on Tuesday and I am asking to meet with you on Monday to gather your views in advance of that meeting.”

Mr Williams, a runner-up in the previous elections for the committee, has taken the place of Ken Livingstone, who resigned his position on Wednesday night. The former London mayor’s suspension from party membership meant he could not attend meetings.

A source close to the Labour leadership told the Star: “It really strains credibility to think this is a coincidence. It seems like an attempt to prevent [Mr Williams] taking his seat on the NEC in order to weaken support for Jeremy.

“Let’s remember this is a tactic the right has used throughout — they’ve objected to anyone they can joining the party in order to undermine Jeremy.”

The source also said that tonight’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party could be “turned into a hustings for an anti-Corbyn candidate.”

Angela Eagle, who resigned as shadow business secretary in a call for Mr Corbyn to quit, has reportedly been preparing a challenge.

But with the Chilcot report into the Iraq war due to be published on Wednesday, it is understood MPs believe her support for the illegal invasion could hinder her chances against the anti-war Mr Corbyn.

Another candidate touted to run is “soft left” ex-work and pensions secretary Owen Smith.

But in a TV appearance yesterday, the leader of Labour’s largest affiliated union asked the pair to back down. “We would bring both parties together and resolve this issue,” Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said.

“The alternative, if Angela goes ahead with this, and I hope she doesn’t, or Owen, is that we’re plunged into a civil war that will be bitter and ugly and may never allow the Labour Party to re-unite again.

“I’m suggesting that Angela and Owen should desist from this, that they should allow the trade union general secretaries to broker a peace deal.”

Figures on the left say that Mr Williams’s alleged offence could have been fabricated by Labour rightwingers in order to discredit him. But sources also said it was unusual for a party boss to travel the breadth of Britain for a short-notice questioning session.

A lack of clarity in Labour’s rulebook over whether an incumbent leader is automatically put on the ballot has given a new sensitivity to the NEC’s composition since Mr Corbyn was elected last autumn.

Ms Eagle, who sat on the executive as a shadow cabinet representative, has been replaced by shadow lord president Jon Trickett, who is a supporter of Mr Corbyn.

And the upcoming elections for the constituency posts on the executive have been steeped in controversy since former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy intervened in vain to block a young Jewish GMB rep, Rhea Wolfson, from standing.

The Labour Party could not be reached for comment.

IF YOU’RE confused about last week’s botched coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn, just remember what Tony Blair said about fighting a general election. “I wouldn’t want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform,” he told Labour-right faction Progress during last summer’s leadership race. “Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it”: here.

Labour MPs must abandon their coup and take on the Tories, says IAN MEARNS MP: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Dirty tricks of oblivion

Monday 4th July 2016

SIGNS that a “dirty tricks” campaign is under way aimed at keeping Jeremy Corbyn off the ballot paper in any Labour leadership contest are unsurprising.

The proposal may seem absurd: if the man elected to lead the party by almost 60 per cent of members just 10 months ago is challenged, it’s a no-brainer that he should be allowed to run against his challenger.

But the rebel MPs are desperate and have already reconciled themselves to the hatred of their own party.

We are all familiar with the phrase “the Westminster bubble,” the distorting atmosphere in the corridors of political power that means most MPs see the world differently from the rest of us.

In this strange and rarefied world, things that are obvious become invisible — things such as admitting that British foreign policy has made terrorist attacks more likely, or that renationalisation [of railways] is a vote-winner.

And inside that bubble, the voices of 400,000 party members or trade union leaders collectively speaking for millions are irrelevant.

Members are seen as footsoldiers who can be helpful for knocking on doors at election time but should be strung up for insubordination if they dare to express opinions on anything important.

Decent women and men who care enough about politics to trek to Parliament to support their leader, on a Monday evening with an England [European football championship] game on the telly, are dismissed as “dogs.”

And the trade unions whose members still provide the bulk of Labour’s funds are an embarrassment, tolerated because Labour cannot compete with the Tories when it comes to fat-cat funding but out of order if they think that gives them the right to influence policy.

This battle is about much more than Corbyn. It is about whether the Labour Party has any meaningful future at all.

Unlike the Tories, a party that grew out of a parliamentary faction, Labour has always been about much more than Parliament. It was founded as a mass movement to give the working class a political voice.

Years of aping Tory free-market fanaticism and ignoring the interests of working people have created a gulf between MPs and the communities they serve, a gulf dramatically demonstrated by the EU referendum result.

If Labour is to survive it has to be a movement, not a parliamentary faction. It has to reconnect in the workplace and on the streets. Corbyn and John McDonnell have begun that process, marching alongside doctors and nurses, standing on picket lines with striking workers.

It is precisely this sort of behaviour that the rebels see as un-prime ministerial.

So Corbyn’s removal would not allow the left to pick some smoother-talking candidate and carry on. It would mean the comprehensive defeat of any idea of Labour as a social movement and the end of any concept of it speaking for the organised working class.

The rebels suspect they cannot beat Corbyn in a leadership contest. They are reluctant to break away from Labour and form a new party, because without any support whatsoever outside Parliament they know they would be crushed as soon as an election were called.

So they are resorting to efforts to keep him off the ballot paper. No skin off their noses if the members leave in droves: they would prefer the party to be more like the Tories, funded by big business and with a smaller membership passive to the point of senescence.

As for the electorate, despite a litany of election defeats and the referendum shock, they almost unbelievably still hold they have nowhere else to go.

There is no future for Labour in such a vision. The party and the movement would face oblivion. The dirty tricks campaign must be seen off: if a contest is called Corbyn must stand, and Corbyn must win.

This video from Britain says about itself:

Tony Blair’s epitaph: the lies that killed one million Iraqis

25 September 2012

Tony Blair’s attempts to rehabillitate his reputation are doomed. This report on the tenth anniversay of the “dodgy dossier” recalls the lies and the assault on democracy that Blair used to take the UK into an illegal war on the coat tails of George W. Bush and the USA.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

McDonnell won’t rule out calling for trial of Tony Blair

Monday 4th July 2016

SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell refused yesterday to rule out calling for Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes over Iraq.

A number of MPs are expected to try to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister once the findings of the long-awaited inquiry into the Iraq war are published on Wednesday.

Mr McDonnell did not confirm or deny whether he felt Mr Blair should face questions in the International Criminal Court.

“I want to see the Chilcot report,” he told Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News.

“Nobody can comment on this until we see the report itself and I’m hoping that the report will be thorough and for me the importance is not Tony Blair or any individuals — it’s about the processes so we never ever get into this tragic, tragic mess again with such loss of life.”

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said there “has to be a judicial or political reckoning” for Mr Blair’s role in the Iraq conflict.

“He seemed puzzled as to why Jeremy Corbyn thinks he is a war criminal, why people don’t like him,” he told Sky News.

“The reason is 179 British war dead, 150,000 immediate dead from the Iraq conflict, the Middle East in flames, the world faced with an existential crisis on terrorism — these are just some of the reasons perhaps he should understand why people don’t hold him in the highest regard.”

Britain faces dangerous times after the EU referendum campaign and Labour plotters trying to oust their leader, but amid it all there’s the chance to beat back Tory policies, says GLYN ROBBINS: here.

Tony Blair, forever guilty of Iraq bloodbath, his ex-minister Short says

This video from Britain says about itself:

2nd February 2010

Clare Short, the former international development secretary, today accused Tony Blair of lying to her and misleading parliament in the build-up to the Iraq invasion. Short, giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the war, also said that the 2003 conflict had put the world in greater danger of international terrorism.

Declassified letters between Short and Blair released today show she believed that invading Iraq without a second UN resolution would be illegal and there was a significant risk of a humanitarian catastrophe. She told the inquiry that she had a conversation with Blair in 2002. He told her that he was not planning for war against Iraq and that the evidence has since revealed that he was not telling the truth at that point, she said.

She also said she was “stunned” when she read the 337-word legal advice on the war written by the then-attorney general Lord Goldsmith during a cabinet meeting on 17th March 2003, three days before the war began. She was forbidden by Blair from discussing it during the meeting.

From Middle East Eye:

Clare Short: Blair will never be forgiven for suffering unleashed on Iraq

Jamie Merrill

Sunday 3 July 2016 09:00 UTC

Short, who quit as international development secretary after war, says Tony Blair has lost the plot and will never escape ‘crimes against peace

Tony Blair will never be forgiven for “terrible suffering” unleashed by the invasion of Iraq, Clare Short has warned in a fierce intervention in advance of the publication on 6 July of the long-awaited Chilcot report, the outcome of an inquiry into the UK’s role in the Iraq war.

In an interview with Middle East Eye before the release of the report, the former Labour cabinet minister, who quit her front-bench role over the conflict, launched a broadside against the former prime minister for his “crime against peace,” and said his recent attempts to justify the war showed he had “lost the plot”.

She also said that:

She expects Blair to be heavily criticised in the report, and that other senior figure will also face censure

But that she fears the 12-volume report will fail to address the root cause of the government’s failure

She also says Blair had “lost the plot” in his ongoing attempts to “spin” the media in advance of Sir John Chilcot‘s findings

She also revealed that she held meetings with Gordon Brown in early 2003 calling on him to oppose the conflict.

The former international development secretary at first supported Blair’s plan to invade Iraq, then resigned in protest in 2003 after British and American forces became occupiers.

Short, who said she had not spoken to Blair since she resigned from his cabinet, told MEE: “We all know Blair will never be forgiven, both for his deceit but also for the terrible, terrible suffering he has brought on the people of Iraq.

“That can never be put right. He can never be sorry enough, and he’s not even sorry. I don’t think there is anything I could say to him.

“I think he’s lost the plot. He thinks the sort of spin that [was] used when he was prime minister before Iraq will still work.”

Short added that “anyone serious” knew the invasion could be directly linked to the rise of the Islamic State group and the turmoil in Iraq today.

Blair, alongside former senior generals and former foreign secretary Jack Straw, is expected to face fierce criticism in the Chilcot report. Short is also expected to face criticism over how her department handled the aftermath of the conflict.

Short also repeated the charge that Blair had “lied” to cabinet in the run-up to the war and withheld crucial legal and planning documents that, she says, could have swayed MPs against the war. “We never saw the legal documents,” she said.

She also warned, citing sources close to the report, that Chilcot might fail to land a strong blow on Blair if it attempts to spread blame and criticism too widely.

“I have heard that virtually every permanent secretary, every secretary of state, every senior person in Whitehall is being criticised, which makes me worry that if you blame everyone you don’t hold anyone to account.

“And also, that is just not the truth of what happened. What happened was that there was complete deceit in the run-up to war.”

During the wide-ranging interview, Short also revealed that her cabinet colleague Gordon Brown, then the chancellor of the exchequer, had considered resigning in the run-up to the conflict.

“I was trying to get Gordon to try and stand against [the war] because then we could have stopped it. And he would listen. He’s a cagey, calculating human being and never said that he would, but it seemed like a possibility.”

Short said the two often met for coffee to discuss their concerns over Iraq and other Labour policies, and that it was a “tragedy” the pair had not joined together to oppose the conflict.

She added that if the pair had been able to join former foreign secretary Robin Cook, who resigned in the run-up to the war, and had “stood together” they would have been able to stop Blair, in a move that would have likely brought down the government.

In the end, she said, Brown favoured the “special relationship” and despite being alienated from Blair decided to back the conflict.

Much of the attention over Chilcot has focused on Blair and his senior colleagues, but Short says she hopes the report will also focus on the “failure of cabinet government,” which allowed Blair to push through “such ill-informed and dishonest decisions”.

She said: “There is no question that Blair took advantage, in a cynical way, of how power could be wielded in Britain. I think everybody knows it. There is no question.

“There really was no cabinet government under Blair. He did everything informally and outside of cabinet. Cabinet meetings were very short. There was no decision making, it was just a confection.”

The former Birmingham MP, who now works on various causes from Palestine to corruption in the oil and gas industry, has called for the attorney general, who provides legal advice to the cabinet, to cease to be a political appointee of the prime minister.

She also called for members of the House of Commons to have access to independent legal advice and a formalisation of what papers cabinet members are entitled to see.

“The real question is how can the British government be so informal and faulty that such ill-informed and dishonest decisions can be made. This is the second time this has happened; it happened in Suez as well. This is a very serious constitutional crisis for Britain.”

The Iraq Inquiry, informally known as the the Chilcot report, which was set up by Gordon Brown in June 2009 while he was prime minister, will report on the way decisions to go to war were made and to identify “lessons that can be learned”.

Much of the report will focus on the reconstruction phase after the invasion, when Iraq was beset by sectarian conflict and militant attacks.

Short has seen parts of the report under a Maxwellisation process, which allows individuals facing criticism an opportunity to respond. According to Short, she faced “unfair criticism” over her role in overseeing the immediate aftermath of the conflict.

She said: “Whoever drafted it didn’t understand the difference in international law between immediate humanitarian needs … and the reconstruction of the country, which requires a separate UN resolution because you are not allowed to interfere in the institutions of a country as an occupying power without a Security Council resolution, which was something I was arguing for throughout.”

She added that this was the reason she eventually resigned from Blair’s cabinet. She said: “I was very conscious that I was not going to let my officials to work in breach of international law, to carry out actions that would not be legal.”

Short added that that the criticism was “ignorant” but that she has responded and the final version “may well have taken that on board”.

However, she agreed that the reconstruction phase was a “complete and utter disaster”.

“The motives were dishonourable from the beginning and the reason I didn’t resign at the time of the vote and stayed on was to try to negotiate with Blair and get a promise from him, that he breached, that the reconstruction would be led by the UN and the international system, not the UK and America. And I still believe it would have been much better,” she said.

Chilcot is also expect to touch upon the “volumes of preparatory” work for the post-invasion phase that were reportedly “thrown away” when responsibility for reconstruction was moved to the US defence department, triggering planning chaos in Washington and Whitehall.

Short said: “This was gross negligence and hubris. They believed their own propaganda. They believed the people of Iraq would be in the streets waving flowers, so grateful to be liberated from Saddam Hussein, and it would all be easy.

“That is criminally irresponsible. It wasn’t an accident. An explicit decision was made to throw away all the State Department preparatory work.”

She said she expected the report to be “fairly hard” on Blair, who she says “convinced himself that even by being dishonest he was being honourable”.

Middle East Eye contacted the office of Tony Blair but did not receive a response.

For her part, Short vanished from the public eye after she stepped down from parliament in 2010. She is no longer even a member of the Labour Party, although she backs calls for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to apologise on behalf of the party for the conflict.

“I back Corbyn apologising for illegal war. The reason in the end that I resigned from the party, not just the government, was that there was no inquiry or look into how the party in government had done this.”

When asked if she thought Blair was a war criminal, she responded: “A crime against peace, certainly.”

She said that, ultimately, the British people had drawn their own conclusions, and her final comments echo her 2003 resignation letter, which said she was she was “sad and sorry” her time in government had ended.

“I’m sad and sorry that the Labour Party shamed itself and Britain shamed itself. Whatever Chilcot says, that can never be put right. It’s shameful. I will be sad and sorry about that for the rest of my life.”

The lie used to cover up war crimes in Iraq: here.

‘Blairite anti-Corbyn British Labour coup because of Iraq war’

This 2010 video from Britain is called Blair rakes in money from Iraqi oil while Middle East peace envoy.

By Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan (sacked for his opposition to the Uzbek regime’s human violations by the Blair government, cronies of the bloody Uzbek dictator Karimov) and Rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland:

It’s Still the Iraq War, Stupid

26 June 2016

No rational person could blame Jeremy Corbyn for Brexit. So why are the Blairites moving against Corbyn now, with such precipitate haste?

The answer is the Chilcot Report. It is only a fortnight away, and though its form will be concealed by thick layers of establishment whitewash, the basic contours of Blair’s lies will still be visible beneath. Corbyn had deferred to Blairite pressure not to apologise on behalf of the Labour Party for the Iraq War until Chilcot is published.

For the Labour Right, the moment when Corbyn as Labour leader stands up in parliament and condemns Blair over Iraq, is going to be as traumatic as it was for the hardliners of the Soviet Communist Party when Khruschev denounced the crimes of Stalin. It would also destroy Blair’s carefully planned post-Chilcot PR strategy. It is essential to the Blairites that when Chilcot is debated in parliament in two weeks time, Jeremy Corbyn is not in place as Labour leader to speak in the debate. The Blairite plan is therefore for the parliamentary party to depose him as parliamentary leader and get speaker John Bercow to acknowledge someone else in that fictional position in time for the Chilcot debate, with Corbyn remaining leader in the country but with no parliamentary status.

Yes, they are that nuts.

If the fault line for the Tories is Europe, for Labour it is the Middle East. Those opposing Corbyn are defined by their enthusiasm for bombing campaigns that kill Muslim children.

Thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters march on Parliament against Labour Party leadership challenge. The Labour leader called on people to unite together to oppose racism: here.

‘Tony Blair is a psychopath’

This video from Britain says about itself:

5 June 2016

Reporter lays into former Prime Mister Tony Blair for being “a sociopath”, “a psychopath” and a “comedy genius”.