by Chris Ames
The Sun (on Sunday) says:
TONY Blair and Jack Straw will be savaged in a long-awaited report into the Iraq War, sources revealed last night.
The ex-PM “won’t be let off the hook” over claims he promised America he would send our troops in a year before the 2003 invasion.
And harsh criticism will be aimed at ex-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw over the disastrous post-invasion stewardship of Basra and southern Iraq. An ex-minister with knowledge of the report’s findings said: “It will be absolutely brutal for Straw.”
We have to be careful of course about what axe an ex-minister with knowledge of the findings has to grind. Is it someone who himself – or herself – is due to be criticised and wants to make sure attention is focussed on other culprits?
Here are some more of the Sun’s claims, perhaps with different sourcing:
Mr Blair will be lambasted for over-egging the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, a source who has spoken to two of the report’s authors claims.
Ex-spy chief Sir Richard Dearlove will also be rapped for letting Mr Blair and his aides put a “gloss” on intelligence about the Iraqi tyrant’s doomsday weapons.
An insider says the report will slam Mr Blair for telling US President George Bush a year before the war that he would support military action.
He said: “It is clear that he did commit himself to Bush at an early stage and didn’t want to be seen as letting him down.”
This led to a “gloss given to intelligence assessments” and the claim in a dodgy dossier that Saddam could attack British targets at 45 minutes’ notice.
Of course, to anyone who has followed all the evidence, all of this is obvious, It’s always been a question of whether Chilcot, like the Butler review on which he collaborated, will pull his punches.