Washington is refusing to to declassify documents that could provide information to the UK probe into the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Documents which could finally reveal the truth about Tony Blair’s reasons for invading Iraq have been suppressed by the White House after a year-long battle for their release by The Mail on Sunday.
A cache of over 80 files detailing discussions between Blair and George W Bush in the run-up to the 2003 war have been found by the US Government, but classified on the grounds of ‘national security’….and yet the State Department spokesman says he has never heard of the Chilcot Inquiry.
Among the reasons blamed for the delay has been the US refusal to allow the publication of certain documents deemed vital to “national security.” When the Daily Mail requested filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to obtain the documents, US officials tracked down 97 documents pertaining to the 2002 meetings between President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, at the Bush family ranch in Crawford, Texas. They refused to release 82 of them, citing national security and privacy concerns.
When asked about the US obstructionism of the Chilcot Inquiry documents, however, State Department spokesman Admiral John Kirby professed ignorance.
Kirby’s puzzlement is odd, considering that he had spent much of his Navy career in public information, and that he spent almost 18 months as the Pentagon spokesman, prior to replacing Jen Psaki at Foggy Bottom in May.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was aware of the Chilcot Inquiry from the very start, courtesy of her personal adviser Sidney Blumenthal.
“Britain and Europe are riveted by Chilcot, especially official circles,” Blumenthal wrote in November 2009. “The objective correlative, of course, is trust in any U.S. administration and deep skepticism about the Afghanistan project.”
Last week, the Daily Mail received from the Bush presidential library 15 non-classified documents related to the Crawford meetings, and another 31 pages of Bush-Blair discussions between 2001 and 2007. Most of the material consisted of cover sheets and itineraries, while the actual minutes of the meetings were redacted.
“It is understood the decision to redact material was taken after talks with White House security and intelligence advisers,” reported the Mail.
Washington is withholding details of conversations between George W. Bush and Tony Blair regarding the invasion in Iraq because they are “incredibly embarrassing” and “discourage future wars the US is interested in,” American author and activist David Swanson, who believes this information is being withheld deliberately, told RT.
Otherwise Washington would lose the ability to threaten war on nations like Iran on very similar grounds – and have Britain involved in killing people in, for example, Syria.
“They don’t want the Vietnam syndrome, they don’t want out something that discourages further wars,” Swanson said.
In the video below RT talks to David Swanson about why he thinks information is being deliberately withheld.
Meanwhile families of British soldiers who were killed in Iraq are growing impatient with the panel’s stalling. Calling the delay “morally reprehensible”, they have threatened to sue Chilcot if the report is not published soon.