Politics

Ten devastating extracts from the Chilcot report on the Iraq War

The very long-awaited and very weightily long Chilcot report, from the inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war, has just been published. We’ve read all 2.6 million words (we haven’t), and plucked out the bits that really tell the story.

Sir John Chilcot took the stage at the Queen Elizabeth Centre in Westminster to introduce his massive, overdue report on Tuesday morning, UK time, and delivered a speech as calm and poised as it was excoriating, damning of the former prime minister Tony Blair as well as the British intelligence services and the government as a whole.

The findings included the following:

On the 2003 invasion, hindsight and Tony Blair

hindsight

On weapons of mass destruction and ‘a certainty that was not justified’

This from Chilcot’s statement:

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Prime Minister Tony Blair in Basra in 2006. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Prime Minister Tony Blair in Basra in 2006. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

On military action as a last resort

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or, as it was put in Chilcot’s statement:

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On legalityScreen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.16.05 AM

On Iraq and al-Qaida

The UK Intelligence Committee view…

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Newspapers, 2002

Newspapers, 2002

On planning for post-conflict operations

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On the quality of British intelligence

Again from the statement …

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On the UK’s military exit

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.17.18 AMScreen Shot 2016-07-07 at 6.17.26 AM

 Sir John Chilcot, speaking upon the launch of his reportat the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster on July 6, 2016 in London, England. The Iraq Inquiry Report into the UK government's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War under the leadership of Tony Blair is published today. The inquiry, which concluded in February 2011, was announced by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009 and is published more than seven years later.

Sir John Chilcot, speaking upon the launch of his report the Queen Elizabeth II Centre. Photo: Jeff Mitchell/Getty

On Blair’s influence over the US and the transatlantic balance

From Chilcot’s statement:

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And Blair to Bush: ‘With you whatever’

A 2002 memo from the UK PM to the US president outlined the “political context for success” in going to war. It began:whatever

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