Chilcot inquiry: ‘UK bowing down to US’

Demonstrators protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London September 26, 2014. © Neil Hall
The Chilcot inquiry members in the UK have no interest in exposing facts about the war in Iraq back in 2003 and the US in turn is doing everything to discourage them, author and activist David Swanson told RT.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper has reported that Washington is withholding documents that could help explain why Tony Blair decided to invade Iraq while he was British Prime Minister.

RT: The State Department spokesman, John Kirby, was unable to comment on the Chilcot inquiry. Do you find that surprising?

David Swanson: I don’t know whether its’ believable or not but, they surely don’t care about appearing incredibly ignorant. I think they prefer that to actually speaking to a question like this. There is no inquiry into the fallacious, fraudulent marketing of that war happening in the US. It’s only happening across the ocean.

READ MORE: Chilcot what? State Department spokesman stumped by inquiry

RT: The British media say Washington is withholding details of conversations between Tony Blair and George Bush in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Why would they do that, do you think?

DS: Because it’s incredibly embarrassing, because it discourages future wars. The US is interested in having the ability to threaten a new war on very similar grounds against Iran; they want Britain involved in killing people in Syria right now. This is what national security grounds means. It doesn’t mean that anyone would be endangered these many years later by exposing more details as if we don’t know the basics on how the war on Iraq was begun in 2003. What they mean is they don’t want the Vietnam syndrome; they don’t want something out there that discourages further wars. And of course nothing that could be revealed could possibly make legal or moral or less than catastrophic the war that was launched in 2003 - it is blatantly illegal as Tony Blair was advised at the time and there is nothing that could change that at this point.

Tony Blair, George W. Bush © Jim Young

RT: The inquiry into why the UK entered the Iraq war has been dragging on for six years now. Why do you think it's taking so long?

DS: The inquirers in Britain have no interest in exposing the facts and the US is doing everything it can to discourage them, and they are bowing down to the US just as Tony Blair bowed down to George W. Bush. And we already know that he was willing to go into Iraq before Afghanistan as long as Afghanistan happened first. We know from the “Downing Street Minutes” July 2002, the head of British intelligence learned from the head of the CIA they were going into Iraq and lying about it. We know from the White House memo January, 31, 2003 that Bush proposed cockamamy schemes to Blair - “Let’s paint a plane with UN colors and fly it low and get it shot at” and the two of them walked out to a White House press conference and said they were trying to avoid war. We don’t need to know much more. They are stalling because they don’t want to reveal any more facts or to talk about this in any way.

READ MORE: Tony Blair holds up Iraq inquiry report over tough criticism?

RT: Are we ever likely to see a similar probe in the United States, into the decision making that led to the invasion of Iraq?

DS: We’ve seen a great many that have been unofficial. Of course when the Democrats were out of power back in 2005 and the "Downing Street Minutes" came out they held unofficial hearings and Reg Keys who lost his child in Britain in the war in Iraq, who is not threatening to sue over it and so forth, came and was one of the witnesses. But for the US government to formally take it on would require electing our own Jeremy Corbyn or some radical shift in power in the US White House and Congress. I don’t see that on the horizon.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.