Telegraph claims further delay

by Chris Ames

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that:

Families of soldiers killed in Iraq reacted with dismay yesterday after it emerged that Sir John Chilcot’s report into the war has been hit by yet more delays after objections over declassifying Tony Blair’s private messages.

It’s another story that links delay with the issue of the government refusing to allow documents to be published but without making it entirely clear what the connection is. Here’s the core of the story:

Sources close to the Inquiry have told The Daily Telegraph that Sir John and the Cabinet Office are still deadlocked over some of the documents.

“The big issue still remains the inquiry’s belief that it should be able to publish documents that the Cabinet Office is still withholding,” said one source.

“Sir John is hoping to send letters out to people next summer to invite their responses to any criticisms he might intend to include in his report.

“Their responses could take weeks or months to come back, then the inquiry will have to consider whether it needs to change the wording of the report in the light of their responses.

The Telegraph also notes that:

The Cabinet Office has still not disclosed a secret document relating to discussions between George Bush and Tony Blair over the Iraq war, nine months after it was ordered to do so by the Information Commissioner.

The account is a bit confused but it appears that this is the story it is following up.

The last word here should go to Reg Keys, who sums up what most of us are probably thinking by now:

“The report was supposed to be published in 2011, when it was still a very hot potato, but by the time we eventually see it people might think it was all a long time ago and it doesn’t really matter any more.”

Covering up the abuse

by Chris Ames

As the Iraq Inquiry falls further and further into the background and possible irrelevancy, arguably as a result of the breadth of its remit, the one issue that it has insisted on ignoring keeps making the news. In the last week the doctor who joined in the cover up of the killing of Baha Mousa has been struck off while the Guardian has reported that

The Ministry of Defence has paid out £14m in compensation and costs to hundreds of Iraqis who complained that they were illegally detained and tortured by British forces during the five-year occupation of the south-east of the country.

The row about these abuses goes on with the government determined to resist a full public inquiry and others determined to force one.