Bri­tain in­vaded Iraq based on “Flawed In­tel­li­gence”

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ABritish in­quiry into the Iraq war strongly crit­i­cised for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair and his gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day for join­ing the US-led in­va­sion with­out a sat­is­fac­tory le­gal ba­sis or proper plan­ning. Mr Blair re­sponded that he had taken the de­ci­sion to go to war in Iraq “in good faith”, that he still be­lieved it was bet­ter to re­move Iraqi dic­ta­tor Sad­dam Hus­sein, and that he did not see that ac­tion as the cause of ter­ror­ism to­day, in the Mid­dle East or else­where. The long-awaited in­quiry re­port stopped short of say­ing mil­i­tary ac­tion was il­le­gal, a stance that is cer­tain to dis­ap­point Blair’s many crit­ics. “We have, how­ever, con­cluded that the cir­cum­stances in which it was de­cided that there was a le­gal ba­sis for mil­i­tary ac­tion were far from sat­is­fac­tory,” said John Chilcot, the in­quiry’s chair­man, in a speech pre­sent­ing his find­ings.

“The re­port should lay to rest al­le­ga­tions of bad faith, lies or de­ceit,” he said in a state­ment. “Whether peo­ple agree or dis­agree with my de­ci­sion to take mil­i­tary ac­tion against Sad­dam Hus­sein; I took it in good faith and in what I be­lieved to be the best in­ter­ests of the coun­try.”

Rel­a­tives of some of the Bri­tish sol­diers who died in Iraq said they would study the re­port to ex­am­ine if there was a le­gal case to pur­sue against those re­spon­si­ble. The Chilcot re­port said there was no im­mi­nent threat from Sad­dam in March 2003, and the chaos in Iraq and the re­gion which fol­lowed should also have been fore­seen.

Protests against Tony Blair erupt in the United King­dom.

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