by Chris Ames
I am told by the Inquiry that there is no update on plans to give the report to the government for National Security Checking this week.
In the meantime, my colleague Peter Oborne has written a book Not the Chilcot Report, which is to be published on 19 May, almost certainly before Chilcot publishes.
Here’s the story on the book on the Bookseller website:
According to the publisher, Not the Chilcot Report is a “concise summary of what should be in the Chilcot Report”. The publisher added: “Peter Oborne shows how the British government colluded in deceiving the public, grossly exaggerating the threat from Saddam Hussein. The book will prove that Tony Blair repeatedly misled the British people in his determination to stand with America at all costs.”
The publisher continued: “The invasion of Iraq was ‘the defining calamity of the post-cold war era’, in Peter Oborne’s words. It has led to the collapse of the state system in the Middle East. Iraq is shattered, Syria may never be put back together again. And the great wave of refugees unleashed by this breakdown is threatening what is left of democracy in Turkey and the very existence of the European Union.
“Oborne provides a forensic examination of the way evidence was doctored and the law manipulated in order to justify a war for regime change. The government bent facts to fit its determination to go to war, Parliament failed to scrutinise wild allegations, the intelligence service was perverted, and the media lost its head.”
Oborne said: “I hope that this short book, which is based very largely on evidence publicly presented to the Inquiry, will assist lay readers who want to make sense of Chilcot. It stretches to 35,000 carefully written words. The Iraq Inquiry by contrast is a reported 2 million words long – which is approximately four times the length of War and Peace.”
I should declare an interest: I have read through and checked the book at Oborne’s request and am acknowledged in its foreword.