by Chris Ames
I will provide some views on the substance of the hearing with Tony Blair later – and please add your own views in the meantime – but my initial reaction is that it became a farce over the suppressed documents.
There was a discussion over the leaked March 2002 Iraq Options Paper where the panel got confused over the Cabinet Secretary’s advice over whether they should quote from the leaked version or the official one. Blair quoted from the official version, which turned out to be correct. It is completely farcical that the Inquiry is unable to publish a document a version of which has been in the public domain for years.
And Blair maintained his insistence on discussing only the generalities of what he said or wrote to George Bush. He told Bush, he claimed, that he was “up for the policy… of dealing with this issue.” Utterly meaningless.