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Chilcot: Tony Blair Was Not ’Straight with the Nation’ over Iraq War

July 6, 2017 (EIRNS)—In a rare interview with the BBC, Sir John Chilcot, who chaired the British public inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War, charged that then Prime Minister Tony Blair was not "straight with the nation" when he took Britain to war against Iraq in 2003.

"Tony Blair is always and ever an advocate. He makes the most persuasive case he can. Not departing from the truth, but persuasion is everything."

When asked by the interviewer whether Blair was truthful with him and the public, he replied:

"Can I slightly reword that to say I think any Prime Minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her. I don’t believe that was the case in the Iraq instance."

Asked whether Blair had given the fullest version of events to the inquiry, Chilcot said:

"I think he gave an—what was—I hesitate to say this, rather, but I think it was, from his perspective and standpoint, emotionally truthful, and I think that came out also in his press conference after the launch statement. I think he was under—as you said just now—very great emotional pressure during those sessions... He was suffering. He was deeply engaged. Now in that state of mind and mood you fall back on your instinctive skills and reactions, I think."

He agreed the questioning sessions with Blair had been "extraordinarily intense".

While Chilcot gave his interview to the BBC, in another part of London a high court was listening to an appeal by private individuals to allow them to take Tony Blair to court for the war crime of waging aggressive war. This hearing will go on for another week before a judgment is made by the court.