21 July, 2010

Iraq: the truth seeps out

The comfortingly named Baroness Eliza Manningham Buller doesn’t sound like a spy, but she was head of MI5 at the time of the Iraq war. And she doesn’t sound like someone who is going to make much in the way of political waves, but she has lit up the Chilcot enquiry into the Iraq war with a testimony which at last had a hold-the-front-page feel to it.

It has to be said that few were expecting much from this enquiry, given that the other two were establishment jaunts determined not to rock the boat and after Tony Blair’s brilliant performance smoothing down concerns.

But Dame Eliza said

- Osama bin Laden had not been involved in Iraq, but our invasion gave him his chance

- the invasion increased the terrorist threat to the UK

- Our involvement in Iraq radicalised a few among a generation of young people who saw it as an attack upon Islam

- She was not surprised that Britons were behind the 7th July bombings in London

Apparently several senior officials believed the above but were too scared to say anything.

Surely this must be one of the shoddiest episodes in our history. I hope the enquiry invites Tony Blair back to say whether, having read this evidence at the time, he now feels responsible for the deaths of the 52 innocent people on 7th July, 2005.

No comments: