The papers show the thinking and advice at “the highest level of government” prior to Gordon Brown’s announcement of an inquiry. They were disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, after the Cabinet Office lost a two-year battle during which it stated that disclosure threatened to “undermine the inquiry”. They confirm that many officials who took part in the events that the inquiry investigated, including former spy chief Sir John Scarlett, were involved in setting it up.
So opens Chris Ames and Jamie Doward's piece for THE OBSERVER. RT, covering the same story, offers:
The Chilcot Report, released in July, was the culmination of seven years of investigation, started by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009, and chaired by Sir John Chilcot. Although the investigation had found that Saddam Hussein had not posed any credible threat to the West – nor were there any WMD in his possession – it stopped short of assigning any blame to Tony Blair, who was UK prime minister at the time of the invasion, or any officials in his government.
Now it has been reportedly revealed that officials at the highest levels were involved in driving the inquiry to that outcome.
Meanwhile, 34 days after the operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul started, it still continues.
This is an operation that, after all, had already waited years.
Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014.
Why the long wait?
(We propose an answer in the editorial for this week's THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW going up shortly.)
The operation has been riddled with War Crimes.
Human Rights Watch notes:
Iraqi government-backed Hashad al-Asha’ri militias detained and beat at least 22 men from two villages near Mosul. The militias also recruited at least 10 children in a camp for displaced people as fighters against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
“Civilians in ISIS-held territory in and around Mosul are asking themselves what will come next. The answer to that question should be greater respect for human rights,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “For some civilians who have come under the control of Hashad al-Asha’ri militias, however, the change in guard has not meant protection from rights abuses.”
On October 17, 2016, the Iraqi central government and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities, with the support of an international coalition, started military operations to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, which ISIS captured in June 2014. The Hashad al-Asha’ri, made up of local Sunni fighters, have joined the fight and are playing a role in Mosul military operations against ISIS. They are being paid by Baghdad’s Defense Ministry, two militiamen and two military analysts in Iraq told Human Rights Watch.
On October 21, 2016, the Hashad al-Asha’ri Fares al-Sabawy militia occupied Douizat al-Sufla, 48 kilometers southeast of Mosul, after ISIS pulled out, arresting more than 50 men and holding them in an abandoned house in the village, a local resident told Human Rights Watch. The local resident said that at least two of the men had been beaten. Some others were moved to another site and have not returned home.
So many turn away from the reality.
Not even photos or video can sway them.
They're safe in their bubble.
Imprisoned by the belief that Hope and Change ended the Iraq War.
It did no such thing.
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name
Kat's "Kat's Korner: Bruno Mars wants to see you dancing" went up earlier. The following community sites -- plus Jody Watlery -- updated:
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