Britain’s Chilcot Report Probes Start of Iraq War

US, Britain Began Discussing War in Early 2001

Britain’s public inquiry into the Iraq War, also known as the Chilcot Report, began today and very quickly revealed info about the early discussions on the war, which began in early 2001, just weeks after President Bush took office.

Sir John Chilcot

Incredibly enough, the inquiry heard from Sir William Patey, the head of the Middle East policy group for the Foreign Office at the time, and Sir William insisted that the government at the time abandoned the US call for “regime change” because it was illegal.

Yet just two years later, the British government was among those leading the charge in America’s “coalition of the willing” which invaded Iraq. Exactly what changed over those two years will likely be another question for the Chilcot hearing to address.

Dozens of other officials are expected to be briefed, and former US officials will be asked to present evidence, though they will not be called to testify. The Blair government had long sought to prevent any public inquiry into the conflict.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of