- Apr 17, 2009
Should be making interesting revelations!!Iraq War Inquiry Due To Be Launched
Sir John Chilcot is due to set out details of how he will investigate the Iraq war as he formally launches the long-awaited inquiry into the conflict.
The former senior civil servant and his four-strong panel will set out the terms of reference for the process, which is set to take at least a year to examine the issues.
He has already stated that he feels it "essential" that as much evidence as possible is heard in public, after Prime Minister Gordon Brown was forced to abandon plans for a behind-closed-doors probe.
Opposition politicians want him to expressly rule out hearing anything in private other than material which could pose a "grave" threat to public safety.
Sir John, who was a member of Lord Butler's 2004 inquiry into the intelligence used to justify the invasion, has also been looking into ways to put witnesses under some form of "oath".
Mr Brown's original announcement that the inquiry would not be open was met with scorn and derision by a string of senior political and military figures and sparked a hasty U-turn.
It was reported that predecessor Tony Blair, who sent British troops into the conflict alongside US forces, had urged him to allow witnesses to give evidence in secret.
The Government also quickly moved away from Mr Brown's initial insistence that it would not apportion blame, with Foreign Secretary David Miliband telling MPs it could "praise or blame whoever it likes".
The inquiry is expected to look at an eight-year period from summer 2001 to July 2009, taking in the build-up to the invasion and the intelligence used to justify it, the March 2003 conflict itself and the aftermath right up to this year's withdrawal of UK troops. It has been promised access to "the fullest range of information, including secret information" and will be able to call on any British documents and witnesses.
The Prime Minister has said that "given the complexity of the issues" it would take a year, meaning that its conclusions will not be published until next July at the earliest. That is after the last possible date for the next general election, leading Tory leader David Cameron and other critics to suggest it has been fixed by the Government to avoid "facing up to any inconvenient conclusions".
Worms will Crawl out of the woodwork!