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Let Chilcot spill the beans -- at long last.

If we are to believe the words of Sir John Chilcot, the British official responsible for penning the official report into the events surrounding the United Kingdom's decision to joining the United States in their illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, his long-awaited dossier is to be published next June or July.

The planned publication date was revealed by Chilcot in a letter to British Prime minister David Cameron, but we are not holding our breath. The reality is that if indeed Chilcot releases his report as planned, then -- other publication dates have come and gone -- it will be more than 13 years since the actual invasion occurred and the long-suffering people of Iraq deserved answers long ago.

Chilcot, the former Northern Ireland office permanent secretary said he would finally complete his work seven years after the inquiry was set up by former British prime minister Gordon Brown.

There are more than two million words in the report and a good portion of those ought to point the finger at former British prime minister Tony Blair. He has already started damage-control operations, acknowledging last week and apologising somewhat for faulty intelligence issued prior to the invasion.

The most recent delay is due to the fact that Chilcot has asked Blair, and reportedly another 150 or so senior officials and lawmakers, for their comments on his report. Hopefully, the process of seeking responses will not water down the main findings and Chilcot will have the spinal fortitude to name names, reveal details and give the Iraqi people and the families of British service men, lost on the futile and ill-advised mission, some solace. What is clear since the invasion is that those western nations that illegally invaded Iraq did so under false pretence -- there were no weapons of mass destruction waiting to be uncovered; there were no stockpiles of chemical weapons; no superguns; no atomic arsenal under development; no ballistic missiles that could target the UK within 45 minutes.

Chilcot has a responsibility to name names. But we won't hold our breath.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 31, 2015
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