Britain’s ‘Open Inquiry’ Into Iraq War Censored

Officials Press Reporters Not to Cover 'Blackout' of Coverage

The Chilcot Inquiry, Britain’s long sought public inquiry into the start of the Iraq War, has had its share of interesting testimony, but today the testimony got a little too interesting when Sir Jeremy Greenstock took the stand.

Sir John Chilcot

Sir Jeremy was discussing US failures in the wake of the 2003 invasion when suddenly the video feed was cut. Officials later confirmed that the Greenstock testimony was not victim of a technological error but had been censored outright as mentioning “sensitive information.”

British reporters say that they were urged not to report the censorship of testimony, and it has been reported that the blacked out moment included a claim from Sir Jeremy that US officials in Iraq preferred British intelligence reports because the US reports were overly optimistic and unreliable.

Spokesmen insisted the censorship was on the ground of “national security,” but the comments appear to have been innocuous, albeit embarrassing. This is raising concern that the open testimony, designed to give Britons closure for their role in the disastrous Iraq War, is going to be a whitewash which keeps anything potentially damaging from coming to light.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.