Hague uses Opposition Day debate to call for public Iraq war inquiry

Left to right: Hague, Jackson, Walker, Thompson, Gapes

Suspecting a cover-up, senior military and intelligence officers want their enquiry into the Iraq war and circumstances leading up to it to be openly investigated and aired in public – particularly the manipulation of intelligence.

William Hague tabled an Opposition Day debate for next week to demand a public inquiry. The Tories are expected to gain support from the LibDems and rebel Labour MPs.

General Sir Mike Jackson wants witnesses to give evidence under oath to dispel “the climate of suspicion and scepticism about government”

Air Marshall Sir John Walker (ex- head of Defence Intelligence), alluding to the 179 soldiers who have lost their lives in the war was suspicious of the government’s motives: “There is only one reason that the inquiry is being heard in private and that is to protect past and present members of this Government. There are 179 reasons why the military want the truth to be out on what happened over Iraq.”

Among the chief concerns are the “dodgy dossier” on WMD and many believe the government decided to hold the inquiry in secret for political reasons.

Major General Julian Thompson, a highly decorated Falklands veteran: “I do not see why this has been based on the Franks inquiry into the Falklands. At that time the Cold War was on and protecting Western secrets in things like communication was used as the reason to hold the inquiry in secret. That is certainly not the case now. Also, the Falklands was essentially a failure of intelligence.

“Here we are looking at something much more serious: the allegation that a British government manipulated intelligence to take part in an illegal war.

“There is no reason why the public should not be able to hear the witnesses and judge what they say for themselves. We should not have to depend on a group of people hand-picked by the current Government. A report from a secret inquiry will look like a whitewash.”

Another senior officer wants the army’s kit shortages made public:

“One thing I do remember is how urgent procurement orders were delayed and delayed because the Government wanted to pretend it was still following diplomatic channels. This was one of the main reason for the shortages we faced and this resulted in lives being lost. We won’t mind details of that coming out to the public.”

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Labour’s Mike Gapes, criticised Gordon Brown on his “missed opportunity” to “reassure the public that nothing was being held back because it has been such a controversial topic. This will not help”.

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2 Responses to “Hague uses Opposition Day debate to call for public Iraq war inquiry”

  1. Idi Amin Says:

    Nothing will come to light that we don't already know. No heads will roll.

    But "lessons will be learned" by the culprits who will retire on fat pensions.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Even though the inquiry will be more public than Brown intended, there will still be cover-ups. The big guns will go free.

    No chance of a Nuremberg.

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