Secret papers could contradict Iraq evidence: Chilcot
February 10, 2010 - 12:02AM
LONDON: Tens of thousands of secret documents could contradict evidence given by members of the Blair government to the inquiry into the Iraq war, its chairman, Sir John Chilcot, has suggested as the former prime minister lashed out at the hunt for a ''scandal'' and a ''conspiracy'' over his controversial decision to back the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Sir John disclosed that the panel was examining far more documents than previously thought. He said the papers would form the core of the inquiry and show ''what really went on'' in the build-up to the start of the conflict.
He said that the inquiry team would examine the documents ''over the next few months'', adding: ''That will enable us to see where the evidence joins together and where there are gaps.''
Sir John stressed there was no reason to believe material had been ''deliberately withheld''. He was speaking after a second questioning session with the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, who was foreign secretary at the time of the invasion of
Sir Lawrence Freedman, a panel member, hinted that documents seen by the inquiry but not made public showed that George Bush planned to attack Iraq even if the United Nations weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said
But Sir Lawrence said: ''You might want to look through your conversations and check.''
Mr Straw also denied blocking detailed cabinet discussion on the attorney-general's advice on the legality of military action.
He also defended his decision to overrule the advice of the senior Foreign Office legal adviser, Sir Michael Wood, that the use of force would be illegal without a United Nations mandate.
Speaking 10 days after he gave evidence at the inquiry, the former British prime minister Tony Blair told
''There's always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view,'' he said. ''There's got to be a conspiracy behind it, some great deceit that has gone on, and people just find it hard to understand that it's possible for people to have different points of view and hold them reasonably for genuine reasons.''
Mr Blair sparked anger in
Relatives of British troops killed in
It ended combat operations in
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/world/secret-papers-could-contradict-iraq-evidence-chilcot-20100209-npsu.htm
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs