The Chilcot inquiry, the British investigation into the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, will be delayed for at least six months due to a dispute with the government over the release of secret documents.
The findings, resulting partly from 18 months of public hearings including prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, senior Cabinet ministers, military commanders and diplomats, were supposed to be released in late 2011 or early 2012, but that it may now need until next summer at the earliest.
The trouble seemed to center on the permission the government would give to release classified information central to the inquiry. “As well as drafting the report, the inquiry will need to negotiate the declassification of a significant volume of currently classified material with the government, to enable this to be quoted in, or published alongside, the inquiry’s report.
“That process has begun but there will be a series of further major requests as drafting progresses. The inquiry has made clear that it will need co-operation from the government in completing this in a satisfactory and timely manner.”
Surprisingly, the United States has initiated no such inquiry into the highly questionable government activity, particularly in the Executive Branch during that time. False and fraudulent evidence and a mass of official lies surround the decision to invade Iraq, which turned out to be a war waged without the justification of self-defense, making it a war crime under international law.