The


Iraq
Inquiry
Inquiry
Actually
Ends


Chilcot: the final frontier.
These are the ponderings of the
Pear Shaped Comedy Club on the Iraq Inquiry.
Its six-year mission: to actually read the Chilcot Inquiry Transcipts,
to seek out new excuses and re-read old sophistry,
to boldly re-read and not understand
what everybody has said and not said before.


All good things come to end and so do not so good things like the Chilcot Inquiry.  Yes, it is the end – as I type men from the security services are perusing the final document but the moment to make final security edits in the interest of national security – but the moment has been prepared for.  The remaining four privy councillor committee members; near octogenarian Sir John Chilcot (now 77) and near septuagenarians Sir Lawrence Freedman, Sir Roderic Lyne and The Right Honourable Usha Kumari Prashar, Baroness Prashar, CBE, (all now 68) have been rushing at a snail’s pace to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s before any more of them shuffle off their mortal coils on the job like the late Sir Martin Gilbert (who would now be 80 if he hadn’t died last year aged 78) in order to rush the report out for this June or July.



The Inquiry sending out Salmon Letters


Having dragged out their interminable quest for the truth for seven long years in an attempt to answer every possible question that can be derived from the deliberately wide terms of reference “to examine the United Kingdom's involvement in Iraq, including the way decisions were made and actions taken, to establish as accurately and reliably as possible what happened, and to identify lessons that can be learned. The Inquiry is considering the period from 2001 up to the end of July 2009” the Knights and Baroness of the realm have at last reached their long awaited conclusions which I am sure will contain wisdom to rival that of King Solomon. 



The Inquiry considers its Conclusions


Two general elections have come and gone, most of the important people who might have been forced to resign have gone into retirement, lots of people have made a small fortune speculating on and claiming they know what happened in the meetings our government won’t release the minutes of in case it destroys the concept of cabinet unity, legal actions have been threatened, Salmon letters have been written and replied to, Sir John Chilcot has been stalked by photojournalists from the Daily Mail, questions have been asked in the house but through it all the committee of privy councillors have remained resolute.  Resolute not to release classified information that would otherwise be made available sooner under the Freedom of Information Act because it would be released “imminently” anyway but should not be seen without the context of their important conclusions.  Information has been leaked online that will be redacted in the final report but Sir John Chilcot has stood firm.  He would not publish early.  He would not give a timetable.  Now he has given a timetable and there will be an end and the end is near.  So will it have been worth it?



The Inquiry Report is Published


Indeed, it will.  The public may have forgotten what it was all about.  I may have forgotten what it is was all about.  Responsible individuals may have all retired and died.  Several new wars may have started and ended but the Chilcot Inquiry remains important.  It can teach us many things that we didn’t know yesterday.  Of course we may not be allowed to read it until after the EU referendum (the 3rd referendum since the Inquiry started during which there is a technical purdah on publication) because we cannot be trusted to concentrate on two major foreign policy issues at the same time … but Sir John Chilcot has written to the Prime Minister at the Prime Minister’s request stating that “June or July” is the absolute latest date the report should be published and has handed his homework into the Prime Minister so if it isn’t published soon David Cameron will have no one else to blame …so it probably will be.

So in case you couldn’t be bothered to read our site during the last six years let alone the official million word report here’s a summary of what I noticed skimming over the interminably dull and [REDACTED] transcripts.  It might be instructive before we start however to remind ourselves again who the committee of privy councillors are …

Sir John Chilcot is the enigmatic Chairman of the Inquiry.  He is a career civil servant who used to be in charge of dealing with staff complaints in the secret service who has spent most of his career in the Cabinet Office.  Sir John the press complained earned £760 a day which was too much.  When Sir John didn’t charge himself to the Inquiry every single day they conversely complained that he did too little work.  Sir John looks a bit like George Smiley and dresses in similarly drab attire except when he is being pursued by photojournalists on his way from or to the Inquiry offices when he accessorises with sunglasses that are slightly out of character.  Not that I’ve ever seen him on holiday.  Perhaps he always wore shades to the office during his days in the secret service like Men in Black.  I never did work out how the inquiry committee divided up their responsibilities with regard to questioning but Sir John was unequivocally in charge of deciding who took on what sphere of responsibility and often vociferously asserted his authority on the issue of when tea breaks should occur and whether plain or chocolate digestive biscuits should be made available to the interviewees.



The Inquiry stops for Tea


Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London.  The Department of War Studies at King's College London is the place to hang out if you’re into war or between wars.  General Petraeus and Paul Broadwell used to hang out there too at various times and this was where their love first blossomed.  The mysterious Emma Sky (see below) has also hung out there too.  If you want to study War there really is nowhere better in the UK, Europe or perhaps even the world.  Sir Freedman’s primary area of interest is “nuclear strategy”.  He has won a host of awards for his writing that is too long and yet abstract to include here.

Sir Martin Gilbert was another military historian who had written more books and articles on Winston Churchill than Winston Churchill did on Winston Churchill.  This is quite an achievement.  Gordon Brown and Sir Martin Gilbert were old mates.  Indeed Mr Brown said at Sir Martin’s funeral that he was “unforgettable friend” who helped him “again and again with his wisdom.”  There were questions too about Sir Martin’s impartiality because he described himself as a “proud jew and Zionist” and because he was on record as saying that George W. Bush and Tony Blair may in the future be esteemed to the same degree as Roosevelt and Churchill.  Then again he was a double agent during the cold war so perhaps it was all a cunning plan.  According to Rabbi Lord Sacks “He understood that to be a Jew is to make memory a religious duty. Martin had this phrase written on his heart - Moses tells the future generations: ‘Remember the days of old.’ That was the religious duty he had.  We don’t make monuments for those who have died; their words are their memorial. Martin gave so many people their memorial.”  Unfortunately Sir Martin also suffered from a heart arrhythmia and began to suffer the sever health problems in 2012 from which he died in 2015 so one presumes his contribution to the inquiry tailed off somewhere between these two dates.  Perhaps his greatest contribution to the Inquiry is to remind the government that it might be an idea for it to conclude its business sometime as the other committee members are not, unfortunately, immortal.

Sir Roderic Lyne is a career diplomat who has occupied so many different positions in the diplomatic service it would be tedious to list them all.  He was British Ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2004.  He is now Vice-Chairman at Chatham House the government run-at-arms-length foreign policy think tank.  When he was ambassador to Moscow he used to go running with Alastair Campbell and was one of those “winners” that Mr Campbell goes on about.  Apart from that he seems to float about the endless series of roles and committees that such potentates seem to occupy sometimes simultaneously without anyone ever complaining they might be in breach of a zero hours contract or something…  Oh alright then … Deputy Chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and a senior non-executive director of Petropavlovsk plc and of JP Morgan Bank International (Russia).  Still he hasn’t had as many gigs as Baroness Usha Prashar of Runnymede.

Baroness Usha Prashar of Runnymede the youngest of the five committee members by some margin is a crossbench peer.  She read politics at the University of Leeds and undertook postgraduate studies in social administration at the University of Glasgow where she obviously decided on a career in politics and realised that in mother of parliaments it’s possible to have one of these without the tedium of ever being elected by anyone.  Her first gig seems to have been the Director of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations Director of the Runnymede Trust “an independent race equality think tank by generating intelligence for a multi-ethnic Britain through research, network building, leading debate and policy engagement” since when she’s pretty much been a professional committee member everywhere that a politically engaged politically neutral ethnic minority potentate with no easily publically discernable or vociferously expressed strong views are needed.  Good for her I suppose… someone’s got to do those jobs one used see advertised in the Times before Monster and Jobsite and think “how on earth does anyone get into or claim to be qualified for that?”  Reader, I have no idea.  These included the First Civil Service Commissioner, Chairman of the Parole Board for England and Wales, member of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice and of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (1992-97), non-executive director of Channel Four Television Corporation, governor and then Chancellor of De Montfort University, Trustee of the BBC World Service Trust, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society and deputy chair of the British Council. Sitting on all these committees designed to promote social equality and mobility is a continual psychological and mental burden for the Baroness – so much so that she says she had to decide not to have children.  According to the Baroness : “I've been the only woman on a great number of boards and committees. But I don't enter a room thinking, "I'm a woman, I'm the only one of my kind here." Rather than wasting too much thought on being the only woman or ethnic-minority in a professional situation, I'd rather think, "These are my skills, what can I bring to this?"”.    To which the answer is I suppose being ever so slightly less dull than the four ageing white middle class men on the committee.  At least she’s significantly changed her hairstyle and clothes during the inquiry which is more than the other four can say.  Having made all these snide comments about her simply because she is a woman I perhaps should conceed that actually the Baroness is, in my opinion, generally the one who asks the most pointed and least blunt questions...

Anyway what did we learn in our attempts to read all the transcripts for the sake of it…  Well, here’s what I can now remember about what the interviewees said…



Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 1 Covers public evidence from Christopher Meyer, Jeremy Greenstock, Tim Dowse, Edward Chaplin, Sir David Manning, Sir William Patey, Vice Admiral Charles Style, General Sir John Reith, Alistair Campbell, Lieutenant General Sir Richard Shirreff and Geoff Hoon

Sir Jeremy Quentin Greenstock (now 73) the United Kingdom Ambassador to the United Nations for five years, from 1998 to 2003 explained how there is no supreme arbiter of international law so it’s up to you to decide if there was a war crime.  Not, us, the US, Tony, the Cabinet, George W and certainly not the UN.  Since then Sir Jeremy has been a Director of the Ditchley Foundation for trying to understand Anglo-American relations, a Special Adviser to BP (so that’ll be why they’re merging with Shell), Chairman of the United Nations Association of the UK, Chairman of Gatehouse Advisory Partners and of Lambert Energy Advisory Ltd, advisor to the International Rescue Committee-UK, advisor to NGO Forward Thinking, and a non-executive director of De La Rue plc.

Sir David Manning (now 67) said George W Bush's administration was so bitterly divided amongst its self that they didn't even know what George W Bush would say to the UN before he said it to the UN ... Sir David Manning formed the Gatehouse Advisory Partners Limited for advising business leaders on the geopolitics of their decisions and stuff like that which he runs with Sir Jeremy (see above).  The Queen has also given him a "part-time, advisory role" in the Household of Prince William of Wales and HRH Prince Henry of Wales.  Well, they’ve done worse for advisors in the past…

Sir John Reith (now 68) Chief Joint Operations Aug 2001-Jul 2004 said something about playing on a field where the goalposts are moving ... and the field as well.  He is now the chairman of the board of governors of Millfield School in Somerset where he makes sure the playing fields are level.

Alastair Campbell (now 59) said that you can't just choose the leadership of another country... and blamed the French.  Alastair Campbell has since provided consultancy services to the government of Kazakhstan on "questions of social economic modernisation" when he’s not writing books on how to be a winner that contain such pearls of wisdom as “Strategy is God.  That is why it has to come first in the holy trinity of Strategy, Leadership and Teamship.”  And “The simplest way to view strategy is to consider three letters which have been on my desk and in the cover of my notebooks since 1994…

O
for Objective
S
for Strategy
T
for Tactics”

One suspects with the Iraq War for example that O (topple Saddam) came first, S (start talking a lot of pastures about WMD) same second and T (tell everyone to trust Tony came third).  Or something like that.

Lieutenant General Sir Richard Shirreff (now 61) complained about the lack of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ... these days he could just have bought one from Amazon that probably was Amazon’s.  Shirreff has now retired from the military and is an Advisory Board member of the non-for profit security organisation Genderforce, aiming to fight and prevent acts of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Jack Straw (now 70) said that while the wider issues were discussed you cant just go around trusting the Cabinet with information.  There are 27 or 28 of them.  Far too many.  Just him, Geoff Hoon, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and erm...?  Wikipedia recalls that in February 2015, Jack Straw was secretly recorded by journalists from The Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 News, who posed as representatives of a fictitious Chinese company that wanted to set up an advisory council. Straw was recorded describing how he operated "under the radar" and had used his influence to change EU rules on behalf of a firm which paid him £60,000 a year.  The Commissioner for Standards dismissed all allegations that he had brought the House of Commons into disrepute, saying that "I have seen nothing which suggests that [Mr Straw's] conduct would have merited criticism if the approach made by PMR [a bogus company established by Channel 4] had been genuine.” She said that "the evidence I have seen supports Mr Straw's assertions that he "neither exaggerated nor boasted" in what he said to the reporters." The Commissioner was sharply critical of Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph, saying "if in their coverage of this story, the reporters for [Channel 4] Dispatches, and the Daily Telegraph had accurately reported what was said by these two members [the other was Sir Malcolm Rifkind] in their interviews and measured their words against the rules of the House it would have been possible to avoid the damage that has been done to the lives of these two individuals and those around them and to the reputation of the House."  Never-the-less Mr Corybn has held off from making him a lord and I recently found a copy of his autobiography “Last Man Standing” in Poundland.

Geoff Hoon (now 63) claims he did not know a misleading impression of the 45 minute claim had been circulating in the press as he was too busy and out the country in Kiev...  In 2010 Geoff was caught in sting operation on political lobbying by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme.  Geoff Hoon told an undercover reporter that he wanted to translate his knowledge and contacts into something that "frankly makes money" which is of course wildly different to how Jack Straw behaved in 2015.  On 22 March 2010 it was announced he had been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party, alongside Patricia Hewitt and Stephen Byers.  On 9 December 2010, Hoon, along with Stephen Byers and Richard Caborn were banned from having an ex-members pass. The Standards and Privileges Committee banned Hoon for a minimum five years as his was the most serious breach, whilst Byers received two years and Caborn six months.  Not one to be pressurised into behaving sensibly Geoff Hoon then took the matter to the European court of Human Rights… who told him to stop making himself look stupid.



Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 2 Covers public evidence from Jonathan Powell, Lord Goldsmith, Margaret Beckett, John Hutton, Sir Kevin Tebbit, General the Lord Walker of Aldringham, Clare Short, Ann Clwyd, Gordon Brown and endless analysis of what Jaques Chirac meant without asking him.
 
Tony Blair (now 63) assured the Inquiry that he hadn't made any promises about going to war and that George W Bush was an understanding person.  We read both George W and Tony Blair’s biographies as I remember but didn’t come to any useful conclusions from either.  Well maybe I did but we'll come to that later...

Lord Goldsmith (now 66) attempted to explain why he changed his legal opinion but was too boring to quote.  The Inquiry then asked if he had thought of talking to the French about what they thought was so important that they had never articulated it and Lord Goldsmith said he couldn't do that because it would undermine the diplomatic effort against Iraq.  Goldsmith resigned as Attorney General in 2007 and has since been appointed head of European Litigation at the London office of US law firm Debevoise and Plimpton.

Margaret Beckett (now 73) who was in charge of liaising with the UN after the invasion admitted that post invasion UN cooperation was a bit grudging.  But cheerfully added that she doesn't care if it is grudging as long as people do what she wants.  Everyone’s forgotten who she was now anyway so no one gives two hoots.

John Hutton MP of yesterday (now 61) viciously slagged off the MOD's ironically titled Future Rapid Effect System program that produced absolutely nothing in only 10 years because no one could decide on the specifications.  He is now a member of the House of Lords and the Cemetery Cottages Working Men’s Club, Barrow which are very similar institutions.

Clare Short (now 70) stated pretty bluntly that Lord Goldsmith had in her view mislead the Cabinet about the surety of the advice he was offering on the legality of war and that everyone ignored her.  Jack Straw said that he didn't wish to invalidate Ms Short's recollection of the cabinet shouting her down but it wasn't his recollection and also the Cabinet wasn't exactly full of "wilting violets".

Ann Clwyd (now 79) MP Prime Minister's Special Envoy to Iraq, 2003 - 2009 and member of CARDRI ("Committee Against Repression and for Democratic Rights in Iraq") who spent much time before the war drawing attention to the most sadistic aspects of Saddam's regime (culminating in this article) gave some gruesome testimony about the Iraqi penal system.  She was re-elected at the 2015 UK General Election despite previously announcing that she intended to retire.

Gordon Brown (now 65) insisted that he didn't know much about the diplomatic and military preparations for the war because he was as Chancellor of the Exchequer engrossed in doing complicated long division sums.  If a war crime was committed Gordon was not there.  Asked about the legal advice he commented that if he had known the uncertainty pertaining to Lord Goldsmith's legal advice then that he did now ... it would not have changed his view unless Lord Goldsmith was prepared to say that his unequivocal advice was that this was not lawful.  Lawyers are of course known for their complete lack of equivocation.




Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 3 Covers public evidence from Douglas Alexander, David Miliband, Cathy Adams,  Sir John Holmes, Sir Jonathan Cunliffe, Mark Etherington CBE and Lord Boateng.
 
Douglas Alexander and David Miliband (the ministers responsible for trying to sort out the post Iraq invasion situation) also gave evidence but as they hadn't been involved much in the build up to war no one was really interested in what they had to say.  Douglas Alexander (now 49) lost his seat to Mhairi Black of the Scottish National Party in the 2015 SNP landslide.  After his brother won the leadership of the Labour party in 2010 David Miliband (now 51) went to the United States to sulk become President of the International Rescue Committee.

Sir John Holmes (now 65) our Ambassador in Paris 2001 to 2007 contradicted Jack Straw saying that the French actually contacted him to explicitly correct the misinterpretations being applied to President Chirac's use of the words "this evening" at the time and that Jack Straw and other senior politicians knew of these communications because he made sure they knew by sending a vey diplomatic telegram.

Lord Boateng (65) and the UK's first mixed-race Cabinet Minister confirmed that neither he nor the rest of the Cabinet had actually seen the legal advice given by Lord Goldsmith.  He claims that the Cabinet should have seen the advice but it may not have changed the decision. He then says that he does not recall Clare Short protesting in Cabinet either.  Of course all this could be cleared up by simply publishing the Cabinet minutes but it seems that is not that simple …Jack Straw vetoed publication.  They were vetoed again in 2012… by The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC much to chagrin of Clare Short



Robin Cook said nothing because he died on top of a mountain.



Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 4 Covers public evidence from Carne Ross, Lt Gen Sir James Dutton KCB CBE, Stephen White, Baroness Elizabeth Manningham-Buller, Sir Peter Spencer KCB, Lord Prescott, Tony Blair (again) and Jack Straw.  It also covers some ludicrous conspiracy theories.

Ex-Deputy PM Lord Prescott said what you do in intelligence is a bit of tittle tattle here and a bit more information there and a judgment made, isn't it, to be fair....? and “Cor Blimey!” before putting as much distance between himself and Tony as is humanly possible for a man called Deputy.  These days he goes around saying that it was Tony’s decision to invade Iraq that caused people not to vote Labour anymore “and not Jeremy Corbyn”.


 
The Iraq inquiry have so far interviewed (as far as I can figure out) at least 12 members of MI6.  SIS1, SIS2, SIS3,SIS4, SIS5 and SIS6 have all had their transcripts published in some form whereas statements have been made that SIS8, SIS9 and SIS11’s transcripts will never be published due to the fact that “The Committee has concluded, in line with its Protocols, that it would not be possible to redact and publish the transcript without rendering it unintelligible”.  Which leaves open the question of what’s happened to SIS7, SIS10 and SIS12’s testimony and will we ever see a transcript because the inquiry has not made a statement that we wont…?



Much of their transcripts are blanked out leaving us with only peculiar enigmatic bon mots such as “We were on the flypaper of WMD, whether we liked it or not” and “We were small animals in a dark wood with the wind getting up and changing direction the whole time” and “Spying, like many other field sports is very dependent on good heart and good fitness.  You can't do it off form.”

SIR JOHN CHILCOT: Yes. You mentioned 45 minutes. There was a gossipy bit going around that it was a Jordanian taxi driver who dreamt this one up. Can you tell us any more about the actual sourcing of that report?

SIS1: It was, again from memory, a subsource who we understood to be [REDACTED].

SIR JOHN CHILCOT: Yes.

SIS1: And subsequently the information did not stack up. But the 45-minute report contained a number of unconnected bits of information, of which the 45 minutes paragraph was perhaps one of the more vivid.

SIR JOHN CHILCOT: It's probably not entirely a question for you, but I'll try it anyway. We have been told that the Assessments Staff and the JIC would have understood thoroughly well what 45 minutes meant, as it were between quite forward deployment and then putting it into the hands of -- it was a range of times, 20 to 45 minutes, quite realistic. Whether it was understood, was it, by ultimate consumers in that sense?

SIS1: I think it was. I mean, it made reference to chemical and biological weapons. The biological reference was less convincing, and I think I saw comments from the DIS to the effect that this doesn't make as much sense, and I think that whole process of working through the intelligence, it's not holy writ. These are human processes. You are looking down a very, very long tube at a very small part of the picture, and you have to understand that in transmission the intelligence can be misunderstood. So you have to interrogate back down the tube to make sure that you have got it right.

When in doubt the staff at SIS would blame the DIS … or would they?

SIR RODERIC LYNE: When [redacted] put out a [redacted] notice in March 2005, describing what the Foreign Secretary was going to say in response to or about implementing Butler, it included a statement: "The Foreign Secretary would record that SIS and the DIS have agreed a procedure to ensure that the distribution of sensitive reports can be extended when necessary." Can you decode this for me?
* Extended to whom?

*the short answer is no

SIS5: Yes. I mean, the particular point there was that I think there had been occasions in the past when some [of the most highly classified] reporting hadn't gone to DIS at all. What we agreed was that every [very highly classified] report that we issued would go to at least one person in the DIS. They would then look at it, and it was, I think, at deputy director level, but it was quite a senior level. They would then look at it, and if they felt that there was somebody at a lower level, or a different part of the DIS who needed to see it, they would then ask us to extend the distribution to that person. So there wouldn't be a case where we were issuing [very highly classified] reporting that wasn't being seen by the relevant person in DIS.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Was that because previously you weren't confident of the security of DIS, or were there institutional rivalries here?


SIS5: I don't know, actually. I don't know. I find that puzzling. I don't know.



Reconstruction goes Pear Shaped in Iraq Covers the reconstruction effort after the invasion and the private evidence of Edward Chaplin CMG OBE, The Hon Dominic Asquith CMG and Christopher Prentice CMG, HM Ambassadors to Iraq (2004 – 2009 collectively) and DFID and FCO functionaries JOHN TUCKNOTT, JONNY BAXTER, RICHARD JONES, ROB TINLINE, KATHLEEN REID, LINDY CAMERON, SIMON COLLIS, JAMES TANSLEY and TIM FOY

I don’t know either.  Another group of people who didn’t know things are remembered on the Reconstruction goes Pear Shaped in Iraq page… the poor souls who had to put Iraq back together again.  Starting a new government from scratch was a bit tricky and had several false starts. 

The initial interim leader of the “Transitional Government” was Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi.  Ahmed Chalabi (now 72) was an exiled dissident who ran the Iraqi National Congress (INC) and it has been claimed that he deliberately fed the US faulty intelligence information to help push them to war in books such as this “The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, And Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi“ by Aram Roston but we’ll leave that up to Sir John Chilcot to rule on.  He was in charge of "deBaathification" after the invasion - removing Saddam's old guard from positions of power.  The only problem with this was that the invasion was in 2003.  And it was stretching creduility to the limit for him to have still been using these powers to ban up to 500 candidates from participating in the general election of March 7, 2010 ... anyway he's still knocking about somewhere... and one can see why the US might have had second thoughts... after Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi Iraq got Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari (now Minister of Foreign Affairs )…

Dominic Asquith (now 59 and great great grandson of Herbert) gave some interesting information on the US and the UK trying to start a government with Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari (now 67 and winner of the 2005 Iraqi election) who he branded as ...well, a chronic bore ...far more interested in discussing Winston Churchill, Queen Victoria or whichever historical figure he saw as analogous to himself than in the issue at hand....  Then again it could be that al-Jaafari just didn't like or trust Asquith and diverting every conversation into a historical dissertation made it easier to frustrate the twit.  "We used even to get onto Greek mythology".  Mr Asquith now does something or other in Libya…




Kurdistan Goes Pear Shaped With Emma Sky - Emma Sky was sent to the US controlled region of Kirkuk in Kurdistan by the USA who secured her services from the British Council.  She maintains she was acting as effectively as a private citizen (not an employee of the British Government) at the time which is why she has a page entirely to herself.
 
We also learnt that Emma Sky (we are too polite to ask a lady’s age) went to Kurdistan where she served as the political advisor to U.S. General Ray Odierno and as the Governorate Coordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority from 2003-2004… although not why a British citizen is allowed to work for the US army …why she in particularly was sent or interviewed …or just why in general she was working for the General.  We do not know how old she is now be we do know that now she is now Director of Yale World Fellows Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and wrote a book called “The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq” as thought it were nowt to do with her.  I haven’t read it …sorry.  I’ve got a life.  Honestly.  The question of why Ms Sky was working for the Americans and what her motivations were was piercingly scrutinised by the Inquiry thusly…

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Right. So essentially you were accountable purely to General Odierno. Your links back with the UK were pretty limited and confined largely to the people you were working with.

MS EMMA SKY: Yes. I was seen by the Brits more as an American.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: With a British accent.

MS EMMA SKY: Yes. “It sounds like us, but isn't”, you know.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Okay. Fine. Thanks very much.

A bit more information was drained out of Ms Sky by Baroness Usha Prashar about the less contentious issue of whether or not there was a civil war.

BARONESS USHA PRASHAR: I do. You very clearly described as to what was happening. Was this understood at the time by those who were trying to deal with the situation or were they having a very simplistic view of it? I mean, you did make reference that, you know, we tended to look at it through the ethic, sectarian divisions and didn't understand it is part of a struggle. Was it understood at the time?

MS EMMA SKY: You know, the way in '03/'04 there was -- we can't call it an insurgency. '06/'07, we can't call it a civil war.   I think by any definition, any definition of the term, Iraq was in a civil war.  How else can you describe that level of killing of -- you know, Sunnis were being killed with drills through their heads.  Shia were having their heads chopped off. You could see who was killed by a Sunni and who was killed by a Shia on the types of murders that were taking place.  You could see a spiral of attacks all the time: blowing up of mosques, chopping off or drilling of heads. You just see this constant cycle.

BARONESS USHA PRASHAR: But what I'm asking is: was it understood by the coalition as to what was happening at the time, that this is something --

MS EMMA SKY: Well, they won't call it that, because it was politically too difficult to call it that, but people would start to say "the sectarian violence" and the coalition by the beginning of '07, when we were having our discussions on what to do, could understand that government was part of the problem, that we had to stand back a bit and act a bit more like a third party to shape everybody's behaviour. So it became a virtual circle, because we started changing our behaviour. Sunnis start to change their behaviour. Government starts to change its behaviour. Sadrists, the Shia community start to change behaviour. So everyone started to react differently in what became a virtuous circle.



The JIC goes Pear Shaped in Iraq - Sir John Scarlett and Julian Miller (heads of the JIC during the run up to the invasion) and Sir William Erhman and Tim Dowse (heads of of the JIC after the invasion of Iraq in 2003) discuss the actual evidence or lack of it for the claims within the two dossiers and illuminate us as the JIC intelligence QC processes in what is widely regarded as one of the most boring pages on the internet.



Sir John Scarlett and Julian Miller
(heads of the JIC during the run up to the invasion - left)
and Sir William Erhman and Tim Dowse
(heads of of the JIC after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -right)



Sir John Scarlett (now 68) and Julian Miller (now ?) (heads of the JIC during the run up to the invasion) and Sir William Ehrman (now 65) and Tim Dowse (now ?) (heads of the JIC after the invasion of Iraq in 2003) discussed the actual evidence or lack of it for the claims within the two dossiers and illuminate us as the JIC intelligence QC processes in what is widely regarded as one of the most boring pages on the internet.

Issues discussed included could a load of aluminium tubes be used for centrifuges …



JULIAN MILLER: The initial reporting [REDACTED] was saying that attempts had been made to procure these tubes. They were a controlled material, controlled because of the potential use of aluminium in centrifuge production, and it looks as though the specification would be suitable for the production of centrifuges. [REDACTED].  In subsequent consideration there was recognition, I think by our own people [REDACTED] that the specification of the tubes or the materials suitable for centrifuges, the length and the machining finish wasn't ideal for centrifuges, but it could be used in production of multiple launch rocket systems. So there was a debate, an unresolved debate, as to what these controlled materials were being procured for.  The judgment was very much at a technical level.

Conversely Sir John Scarlett was not sure that they couldn’t be used for that…

SIR JOHN SCARLETT: [REDACTED] By the time we went into 2003, the view that this was more likely to be for rocket manufacture, of course, grew stronger, but as of September 2002, and Julian was describing the state of the debate at that point, maybe different experts had different views.  As I said in my testimony back in December, my clear recollection at that time was that the possibility or more than possibility that this was for centrifuge production was a very serious one. It was. Of course, subsequently a different view was reached, but at the time, a very serious view was taken that this was likely to -- this was very possibly to be for centrifuge production because there were reasons why it wasn't the right specification for rocket manufacture as well. It wasn't a clear-cut situation. Is that fair enough?



... oh well Colin Powell told the UN they were definitely for nuclear refinement so it must have been so...





There were questions but not many answers about VX

JULIAN MILLER: [REDACTED]*2 So they seemed to be reports to which we should pay serious attention, given the indications that they were from people who would have been in a position to know. But one of them, at least, was a new source. I think there was inevitably a question over whether that that was established sufficiently for us to be fully reliant on it.

*2 A note says "The witness outlined briefly the information that had been available to the Assessments staff about the access of the sources.".

Not to mention 45 minute claims … and mobile chemical weapons labs that were nothing of the sort but Colin Powell told the UN definately must be mobile labs... 



Honestly it’s all a haze to me now… on and the dossiers …

We pondered on missiles … most of which seemed to have been dismantled before the invasion … And somewhere there was talk of Uranium from Niger…



Defence Intelligence goes Pear Shaped - Martin Howard the head of the DIS is interviewed by the inquiry both in public and in private. This page is extremely tedious.
 
After this we pondered on like down the DIS… with Martin Howard (now ?) …where many of the leaks that embarrassed the government seemed to come from.



There was a lot about “red teams” (used to think like the enemy)… but it wasn’t as interesting as Paula Broadwell (now  43)’s  affair with General David Petraeus (now 64 and ironically the only major player so far to get a prison sentence …if a suspended one. 



I did attempt to read “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus” once … my advice is … don’t… even if you aspire to be a “soldier scholar”…

THE CHAIRMAN: I would like to ask really one question which is of a fairly broad nature. Looking at the situation in MND South East over the whole period, for quite a long time, certainly into 2005, there was a relatively benign security environment there, and then it progressively became worse and more violent.We have taken a lot of evidence about the contributory factors to why this happened, how it came about, but there is a contrast that can be struck, I think, between what the Americans did in terms of their reaction to the insurgency in Baghdad and central Iraq. They adapted, we have heard, British evidence, British military evidence, from people like General Fry that the Americans adapted well and quickly and, over time -- and I'm quoting now from General Fry's evidence: "The intellectual baton in counter-insurgency terms passed from the British to the US military."  I would like to know whether you agree with that, but beyond it lies the question: have the US military got a lesson to teach us about how you make a large military a true learning organisation capable of quite rapid adaptation to changing circumstances?

MARTIN HOWARD: Yes, that's quite a big question. Of course, I have never argued with my old boss, Rob Fry. I think in general he is right. I think that US forces did adapt to the situation they found and they came up with different -- with new approaches. 

Of course, it is not sufficient that that happened on the ground. It is necessary for changes to happen at the political direction level as well. But I think that's true. Whether we have passed the baton to them in terms of managing counter-insurgency is a hard question to answer.





GCHQ goes Pear Shaped - Sir David Pepper tells us what went on at GCHQ after the war and no one tells us what went on at GCHQ in the run-up to the war
 
After this we pondered on the words of Sir David Edwin Pepper (now 68) KCMG … down GCHQ which were mainly along the lines that it was merely a sub-branch of the NSA.  Sir David was very boring at the Inquiry.  These days he says things like “Nobody wants the easy stuff anymore and there is no point spending effort and money collecting it...Thanks to Google Maps and Streeview anyone can today see photographic detail of far away countries which hitherto would have been available only through secret and highly sophisticated national satellites."  And “You can find out a lot about potential spies without ever meeting them, simply by looking at their online footprints."  Indeed.  One wonders what GCHQ does these days that a good Human Resources Department can’t…  of course if it was that easy it raises the question why in 2002… ?





Major General Michael Laurie goes Pear Shaped - More fun from the DIS

Back down the DIS Major General Michael Laurie (age unknown) cogitated on how big a threat Iraq was compared to other countries and reached the following conclusions…

SIR RODERIC LYNE: You listed your priorities as being [REDACTED]. How did the picture in Iraq compare with what you were picking up on Iran, North Korea and Libya?

REDACTED

MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL LAURIE: [REDACTED].

SIR RODERIC LYNE: [REDACTED]?

MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL LAURIE: [REDACTED].


Major General Michael Laurie ‘s most famous quote however comes from one of his emails to the inquiryAlastair Campbell said to the inquiry that the purpose of the dossier was not “to make a case for war”. I had no doubt at that time this was exactly its purpose and these very words were used.

Ouch… well he is the chief executive of Chief Executive of Crimestoppers UK



Major General Tim Tyler goes Pear Shaped - A view of the Major General's view as Deputy Commander Iraq Survey Group and a review of Decision Points insofar as it relates to the Tony Blair/George W relationship

Meanwhile Major General Tim Tyler (age unknown) cogitated on the how the invasion went in particular the capture of Saddam Hussein … 

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: Can I turn to debriefers and the shortfall in debriefers. What impact did the shortfall have in terms of your ability to get --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Can I just step back from answering the question a little bit and say that one thing that absolutely startled me was both the UK and US lack of capability in this area going into an operation of that sort.  When Saddam was captured, it's my view that no-one had ever thought about quite what was going to happen when they captured him. There wasn't a debriefing team that had been put in place who had thought about how they were going to do it and there was a bit of a struggle about who was going to do it. So I don't think that the coalition, generally speaking, had thought about this properly before and certainly it didn't have a plan to get on to a smarter footing while we were there.  So the military -- both the US and the UK -- have a structure of people who are trained to question, by and large, prisoners of war and some of them are more qualified than others and they were deployed in what I consider to be a task which was well outside the expectation and we are very lucky that we have -- I didn't realise this until I got there -- quite a number of policemen as reservists who are trained questioners. So we relied on them fairly heavily and they were much respected by the US.


…we couldn’t find out how old Tim Tyler is but using the same techniques as GCHQ we looked him up on LinedIn and it seems these days he’s Chair of Governors at The Royal Star and Garter Homes.  Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was not interviewed by the Iraq Inquiry because he was hung in 2006 aged 69 – 3 years before the Inquiry started. 



As a result he was unable to answer any questions about what he knew about what George W Bush knew before the war.  There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.  And what we don’t know is what a dead man might have said because someone killed him.  If he was alive today he’d by 79.  Of course we could ask the Judge who sentenced Saddam to death (Rauf Rashid) what the old bore waffled on about if he too hadn’t been killed (by ISIS in 2014).  At least that’s what Facebook and the Daily Mail said.  The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Justice in Erbil claims he’s still alive.  Who knows?



Ian Lee - goes Pear Shaped in Iraq - Director General Operational Policy, Ministry of Defence, 2002 to 2004 waffles on...
 
Ian Lee (age and physiognomy unknown but not to be confused with Iain Lee), Director General Operational Policy, Ministry of Defence, 2002 to 2004 also gave evidence that was so intensely boring I’ve forgotten to put a link to it on many pages of this website.   Possibly the nearest bit to something interesting is this about the dissemination of information about the legality of the war…

BARONESS USHA PRASHAR: In your statement that you submitted to us, you say that:

"We were aware throughout the planning period that the legal base would be an issue."

And that you were asked by the CDS to get a clear statement on that issue. Can you just describe to me your involvement in the areas linked to the legality and what briefings did you receive throughout this period?


IAN LEE: Throughout the period? I think I should probably start by saying that my major involvement in questions of the legality was always to do with the military campaign plan, and within that, questions of targeting. So we were always conscious that we had to have a plan, and particular parts of the operation had to be planned in a way that was legal in the sense of proportionality and only targeting military objectives and things like that. That works through from the level of the campaign plan right the way down to the level of clearing individual targets. It was also obvious to everyone that there needed to be a legal base for the campaign as a whole, and I think we just continued on the assumption that that legal base would be there because without it we wouldn't be able to proceed. And I think we proceeded in the hope anyway, perhaps -- at some points even the expectation -- that that legal base would be provided by a UN resolution of some sort, now thought of as the Second Resolution. So that was the assumption that we had. That would be in place. Then our involvement, my involvement, with legality was at the sort of level below that, if you like. When we got to the point fairly late in the day when the Second Resolution fell away, then obviously there was a question, because what we had been assuming would be there, wasn't there. So what is the legal base now? That's when this debate came up, and that's when the CDS asked me, because he had seen, and I had seen, a long minute from the Attorney General explaining the legal situation, but without coming to a firm conclusion --

BARONESS USHA PRASHAR: Is this the minute of 7 March?

IAN LEE: Yes. I recall having a discussion with the Chief of Defence Staff at that time, and him saying, well, this is all very well, but at some point down the road here, I'm going to have to give an order to the forces and therefore I need a clear yes or no statement.

BARONESS USHA PRASHAR: Who else had seen the minute of 7 March?



Mr Hoon


IAN LEE: I couldn't give you a complete list. I'm sure Geoff Hoon and his office had seen it, the Chief of Defence Staff, me, the MOD legal adviser. As I recall, the distribution was very limited beyond that, if anyone. I couldn't give you a list, but I remember it being a very, very limited distribution. Even within a context that had lots of limited distributions, that was even more limited.

About this point I started to run out of transcripts to read apart from those of Sir Peter Ricketts (now 64), who, in 2001, was the Director General Political in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Sir William Patey (now 63), who was head of the Foreign Office's Middle East Department; and Simon Webb (now 65), who was Policy Director in the Ministry of Defence …


Sir William recalled the nadir of the oil for food program…

SIR WILLIAM PATEY: I think, by March [2003], we had reached agreement with the Americans on a sort of structure and framework for narrowing and deepening the sanctions, the essence of which was to try to produce a system where everything was allowed that wasn't controlled. We had got ourselves into a position where everything that could conceivably be of dual use was subject to holds, and we had our own small number of holds, but the Americans adopted quite a liberal policy on hold. I think at one stage we even had eggs on hold because they could be incubated for weapons of mass destruction.

… how the government had to rely on people like George Galloway for information and cogitated on the chances of Saddam being toppled by a coup…

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Sir William, you were the head of the department. How much did you know about what was going on inside Iraq in 2001?

SIR WILLIAM PATEY: We had to rely on officers who would go into northern Iraq. We had officers -- I had an officer based in Ankara who covered northern Iraq and made regular visits into the Kurdish area. So we had a reasonable insight into what was going on in northern Iraq and we would talk to the Kurds about what was going on in other parts of Iraq. We talked to the opposition. We were -- didn't have a -- we had a less good picture than we would have had if we had had some people on the ground, but we put it together with -- we talked to people who did go to Iraq, there were people who went to Iraq, George Galloway and a few MPs went to Iraq, others went to Iraq. We talked to the opposition, but, if you are asking me, did I know as much about what was going on inside Iraq as I knew what was going on inside Iran, probably the answer was no.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Did you feel that Saddam Hussein was firmly in control?

SIR WILLIAM PATEY: Yes. That was our assessment, that he wasn't under any threat. He was ruthless, he had a long history of eliminating anyone who appeared a threat to him. So our assessment was that he was secure and comfortable.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: So if someone had come to you, maybe an exiled group and said, actually, there would be a chance of toppling Saddam through an internal uprising or set of uprisings, how would you have responded to that?

SIR WILLIAM PATEY: We were fairly sceptical…



Disaster Points - A read of George W's Autobiography
 

Having run out of transcripts I then attempted to read George W Bush (now 70 and last seen undergoing the “ice bucket challenge” in an attempt to look less cold and ruthless) ’s autobiography … he seemed to be quite upset about Saddam trying to blow up his brother and his father some years earlier.  There were amusing sections on President Vicente Fox of Mexico not picking up the telephone because he had a bad back.  Feeling that going to war was an enormous intellectual burden George W cast about for advice from unbiased observers Elie “Mr President, you have a moral obligation to act against evil” Wiesel (now 88),  Donald “We can’t leave 150,000 troops on the border of Iraq forever” Rumsfeld (now 84) and Dick “Are we going to take care of this guy, or not?” Cheney (now 75).  By this point even George W’s mum was calling him “the first Jewish President”.

 

George W also pondered on the complicated ethical dilemmas involved in “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “waterboarding”…



Informed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (now 52) via George Tenet (now 63) that he would talk to the CIA only after he had, like Vinne Jones, “talked to my solicitor” … George W recalled that...  "George Tenet asked if he had permission to use enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  I thought about my meeting with Danny Pearl (would be 53 if he hadn’t been kidnapped by Pakistani militants and later murdered in Pakistan in 2002 aged 38) ’s widow, who was pregnant with his son when he was murdered.  I thought about the 2,973 people stolen from their families by al Qaeda on 9/11.  And I thought about my duty to protect the country from another act of terror. “Damn right,” I said".

Yes, there was a lot of right and wrong in George W’s memoirs for while he has many faults no one could accuse Mr Bush of seeing the world in shades of grey.



Chilcot Stasis - A read of Tony Blair's Autobiography

After this one perused Tony Blair’s political memoirs which is full of paragraphs like.... 

“If you had told me then that we would not find WMD after we toppled Saddam, and that following his removal there would be six years of conflict as we grappled with the terrorism so cruelly inflicted upon the Iraqi people, would my decision have been different?  I ask that question every day.  So much bloodshed.  So many lives so brutally affected or destroyed.  Yes, a new Iraq is now emerging and at last there are signs of hope.  But at what cost?

If you read that paragraph carefully, of course, he doesn’t actually answer the question “would my decision have been different?” no …or indeed yes and many other questions remain unanswered by the doorstep of a book.  Tony still seems confused about regime change being an illegal motivation for war …  “The moral case against war has a moral answer: it is the moral case for removing Saddam.  It is not the reason we act.  That must be according to the United Nations mandate on weapons of mass destruction.  But it is the reason, frankly, why if we do have to act, we should do so with a clear conscience”.  But surely the moral case for war was supposed to be to protect ourselves from attack?  Confusing, isn’t it?  It’s almost as if he’s saying “look we all know it isn’t about WMD really”.  Throughout the book Tony continues to try to sell his new policy of regime change but the dead horse remains dead no matter how hard he flogs it.



“The 45 minutes claim was not put in the dossier by anyone in Downing Street or anyone in government, but by the JIC,” says Tony as if “the government” and the JIC that meets in the Cabinet Office next door to and connected to Number 10 are completely different entities.  The problem is that with so many politically appointed staff such as Alastair Campbell it’s not clear where the government ends and the civil service begins anymore or indeed if there is a meaningful distinction to be found between them at all.  Or as Tony recalls early on having so many special advisors might be seen as “something of a constitutional outrage” … however he insists they are all essential.  I’m sure they all were. 



Mr Blair spends a lot of pages explaining why Saddam was an immediate threat in 2003 because of things that happened before the 1990-1991 Gulf War.  One could analyse the so called “revival argument” again but one wont as it’s one of the most implausible arguments for retroactive justice since James I put Sir Walter Raleigh to death in 1618 using a death warrant from 1603 by rescinding a pardon issued in 1617 and has already been a similar public relations success … to the point where it now feels like kicking a man when he’s down.




Alastair Campbell goes Pear Shaped - A read of Mr C's Diaries



One of Mr Campbells many Diary Compilations

There was a lot of stuff too about the 45 minute claim which brings us onto Alastair Campbell (now 59).  I ploughed through his diaries too… These days Alastair finds the war and the dossier a bit stressful to talk about…





His line these days is that people are so angry about the decision to go to war that they have simply stopped listening to the truth.  If only people would listen to Alastair properly as they used to the scales would fall from their eyes and they would realise now that actually Tony Blair is an “honourable man” underneath.  The decision, he tells us, weighed heavily on Tony …which must mean that he was completely honest …Alastair now says it was not just about the dossier but the regime.  The problem is that Lord Goldsmith said "any force used pursuant to the authorisation in resolution 678 ... must be proportionate to that objective, i.e. securing compliance with Iraq's disarmament obligations.  That is not say that action may not be taken to remove Saddam Hussein from power if it can be shown that such action is necessary to secutre the disarmament of Iraq and that is a proportionate response to that objective.  But regime change cannot be the objective of military action.  This should be borne in mind in making public statements about any campaign."  Advice Mr Campbell seems not to heed anymore. 



Ian Duncan Baker



The Chilcot Inquiry Continues to go Very Pear Shaped - The waiting game ...

And so time rumbled on toward the 2015 general election during which the report could not be published (the inquiry also shut down for the 2010 General Election).  By this point the Inquiry had gone from being never talked about in parliament to being regularly talked about in parliament.  Unfortunately the government front bench had been unable to make much political capital out of the Iraq War in 2010 or 2015 because “Ian Duncan Baker” had been inconveniently keen on it in 2013 saying:  "Proving one threat does not disprove another. And against many of these threats we are currently literally defenceless. That is particularly the case when it comes to ballistic missiles. Traditional methods of arms control will not solve the problem. Those countries like Iraq are the least likely to observe treaties.  Preventative defence, seeking to bring these countries within the family of civilised nations, clearly has a part to play".  And believing almost without question in Tony Blair’s dossiers: "The Government dossier confirms that Iraq is self-sufficient in biological weapons and that the Iraq military is ready to deploy these and chemical weapons at some 45 minutes' notice." 



Endgame - Mr Corbyn and Stop the War topple New Labour
 
However, now that what had been the Labour government backbenches has become the Labour opposition front benches, the whole of Scotland has turned SNP and relatives have started to make legal threats against Sir John Chilcot the Inquiry has accelerated to enough of a glacial page to look as though it might reach a conclusion in July.



As to the issue of whether anyone will end up at the in court at the end of all this … Well, Tony Blair hasn't been tried as a war criminal yet as "aggressive war" - the main charge that might be made against him - is still in the process of being "defined" by the International Criminal Court.  Who cogitate that…

"Nations agreed that the ICC can exercise jurisdiction over crimes of aggression, but only over those committed one year after 30 States Parties have ratified the newly-made amendment."

And…

"This is will not happen until at least 2017, when States meet against to review the amendment, according to the new resolution adopted in the Ugandan capital."

...so even if they do define Tony Blair's actions as a war crime ... the crime will be judged "out of time".  The chances of a conviction are even slimmer given that the UN Security Council will be the new CPS of the ICC in such matters ...

"It also noted that if the ICC Prosecutor wishes to move forward with an investigation of possible cases, he or she will take the case to the Security Council. Once that body has determined that an act of aggression has taken place, the Prosecutor will move forward with a probe."

So no doubt the US will use their veto to save Mr Blair if it ever comes to it.  The chances of the members of the Security Council either shopping each other's potentates or using their own veto is zero ...? 

Perhaps in the light of this we should re-read Lord Goldsmith's legal advice less in terms of "is it legal?" and more in terms of "can we get away with it?"




Our initial interpretation of the transcripts (entirely filmed in Xtranormal) can be found
here which is more than you can say for Xtranormal (see here) ...although someone seems now to have bought Xtranormal and it has risen Lazarus like from dead ... but I dont think I'll be rushing to use it again.   Fortunately all the old Pear Shaped Iraq Inquiry Animations still exist on Youtube - and we have now gone through the painstaking tast of re-editing the Youtube videos into the old html.  Although for some reason people only ever watched the videos on Xtranormal...

Here's the usual resume of what we've covered so far in previous articles:


Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 1 Covers public evidence from Christopher Meyer, Jeremy Greenstock, Tim Dowse, Edward Chaplin, Sir David Manning, Sir William Patey, Vice Admiral Charles Style, General Sir John Reith, Alistair Campbell, Lieutenant General Sir Richard Shirreff and Geoff Hoon
Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 2 Covers public evidence from Jonathan Powell, Lord Goldsmith, Margaret Beckett, John Hutton, Sir Kevin Tebbit, General the Lord Walker of Aldringham, Clare Short, Ann Clwyd, Gordon Brown and endless analysis of what Jaques Chirac meant without asking him.
Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 3 Covers public evidence from Douglas Alexander, David Miliband, Cathy Adams,  Sir John Holmes, Sir Jonathan Cunliffe, Mark Etherington CBE and Lord Boateng.
Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 4 Covers public evidence from Carne Ross, Lt Gen Sir James Dutton KCB CBE, Stephen White, Baroness Elizabeth Manningham-Buller, Sir Peter Spencer KCB, Lord Prescott, Tony Blair (again) and Jack Straw.  It also covers some ludicrous conspiracy theories.
Most of the first 4 pages are brief commentary with the transcripts re-edited in Xtranormal format (the videos are on Youtube).  For the next article we tried a different approach with a mixture of commentary, transcripts and Xtranormal animation...
MI6 goes Pear Shaped Iraq Covers SIS private evidence from MI6 officers SIS1, SIS2, SIS3,SIS4, SIS5 and SIS6 and C (Sir Richard Dearlove).  The Iraq Inquiry have so far interviewed (as far as I can figure out) at least 12 members of MI6. SIS1, SIS2, SIS3,SIS4, SIS5 and SIS6 have all had their transcripts published in some form whereas statements have been made that SIS8, SIS9 and SIS11’s transcripts will never be published due to the fact that “The Committee has concluded, in line with its Protocols, that it would not be possible to redact and publish the transcript without rendering it unintelligible”. Which leaves open the question of what’s happened to SIS7, SIS10 and SIS12’s testimony and will we ever see a transcript because the inquiry has not made a statement that we wont…?
Reconstruction goes Pear Shaped in Iraq Covers the reconstruction effort after the invasion and the private evidence of Edward Chaplin CMG OBE, The Hon Dominic Asquith CMG and Christopher Prentice CMG, HM Ambassadors to Iraq (2004 – 2009 collectively) and DFID and FCO functionaries JOHN TUCKNOTT, JONNY BAXTER, RICHARD JONES, ROB TINLINE, KATHLEEN REID, LINDY CAMERON, SIMON COLLIS, JAMES TANSLEY and TIM FOY
Kurdistan Goes Pear Shaped With Emma Sky - Emma Sky was sent to the US controlled region of Kirkuk in Kurdistan by the USA who secured her services from the British Council.  She maintains she was acting as effectively as a private citizen (not an employee of the British Government) at the time which is why she has a page entirely to herself.
The JIC goes Pear Shaped in Iraq - Sir John Scarlett and Julian Miller (heads of the JIC during the run up to the invasion) and Sir William Erhman and Tim Dowse (heads of of the JIC after the invasion of Iraq in 2003) discuss the actual evidence or lack of it for the claims within the two dossiers and illuminate us as the JIC intelligence QC processes in what is widely regarded as one of the most boring pages on the internet.
Defence Intelligence goes Pear Shaped - Martin Howard the head of the DIS is interviewed by the inquiry both in public and in private. This page is extremely tedious.
GCHQ goes Pear Shaped - Sir David Pepper tells us what went on at GCHQ after the war and no one tells us what went on at GCHQ in the run-up to the war
Major General Michael Laurie goes Pear Shaped - More fun from the DIS
Ian Lee - goes Pear Shaped in Iraq - Director General Operational Policy, Ministry of Defence, 2002 to 2004 waffles on...
Major General Tim Tyler goes Pear Shaped - A view of the Major General's view as Deputy Commander Iraq Survey Group and a review of Decision Points insofar as it relates to the Tony Blair/George W relationship
Disaster Points - A read of George W's Autobiography
Chilcot Stasis - A read of Tony Blair's Autobiography
Alastair Campbell goes Pear Shaped - A read of Mr C's Diaries
The Chilcot Inquiry Continues to go Very Pear Shaped - The waiting game ...
Endgame - Mr Corbyn and Stop the War topple New Labour

By the way if you cant see the inline videos properly you're probably using the 64 bit version of Windows Explorer 9.  Use a 32 bit version - you can download off the Microsoft website ...although it might just work now.  Or just use a browser that isn't entirely composed of old ActiveX controls and actually uses the HTML standards because its not built by egomaniacs.  You can also view all the animations on this Youtube page if that's easier.  As stated in the previous article this page is nonsense.  If you want a sensible analysis instead try the Iraq Inquiry Digest

That said there are NO inline animations in this page because I couldn't be bothered to struggle with GoAnimate.  We've gone for inapporopriate images instead.  I may insert some animations at a later date.  If I can be arsed..




 


Photo Credits
Gordon Brown - National Archives and Number 10
Mostly the US Army and Chatham House
and
some have been stolen off the internet and wikipedia
in the public interest