Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iraq inquiry finds you made your mind up ages ago

11 August 2010: The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, announced by Gordon Brown last year, reported yesterday, to mixed reaction.

Its findings that A, B and C were dismissed by you as being “old news…we didn’t need this charade to tell us what we already knew”. However, the report’s judgement that P, Q and R was welcomed. “This is exactly what we’ve been saying since the start,” you argued, “and now this means that we can keep saying it, only now we get to add the word ‘official’.”

However, you also branded it a “whitewash” for its failure to conclude that X, Y and Z. “We all know the truth,” you angrily declared, adding that “this so-called ‘official’ attempt to sweep things under the carpet will not wash”.

Perhaps most controversial was this passage from chapter 6 of the report:

There is clear evidence that many members of the public had made their minds up as early as spring 2002, and that they went on to interpret all new information in light of these preconceptions. Many others formed tentative views in early 2003 but then reconsidered over the next two years; despite this apparent readiness to reconsider, though, these people now hold fast to their new opinions with the zeal of converts. Nothing we say can change that.

Your response was swift: “I knew they’d say something like this, and I’m frankly astonished that they have.” You declined to make further comment until you’d gone through the whole thing with a couple of highlighters, deciding which bits of the report were “in my name” and which were “not in my name”.

The Guardian, to save money on writers, reprinted its editorial from 16 June 2009:

What is already known about Britain's decision to invade Iraq is surely more extraordinary than anything that could possibly be uncovered by the inquiry…
The chief point of a new probe, then, cannot be to get at things that have necessarily lain under wraps until now. No, the real reason an inquiry is needed is to draw together what we already know, and in its light to try to grasp how such a monstrous blunder could have been made.

No comments: