Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair is said by tomorrow’s newspapers, 25th October, to have ‘apologised’ – with marked obliquity – on American television [CNN] , saying: ‘I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong’.
Mr Blair appears to have made no mention of the fact that his henchman, Alastair Campbell, was party to the concoction of some of this incorrect ‘intelligence’ in promoting what is now known as ‘the dodgy dossier’. The same Campbell also suborned intelligence chief, John Scarlett, to ‘firm up’ some of the expressions used in intelligence reports, as with, memory says, the knowingly fictitious threat that Saddam Hussein could hit the UK at 45 minutes notice with weapons of mass destruction. In fact what they were talking about was Iraq’s possession of battlefield weapons, not the ICBMs it would have taken to hit the UK.
This non-apology then made it possible for the Flying Dutchman the former PM has become to admit that the war on Iraq may have contributed to the rise of Daesh.
At the same time as this excursion on CNN, former Blair Home Secretary, David Blunkett said when it came to planning for the war and for the aftermath of the war, Blair – ah – didn’t do any of that. He trusted the Americans to do it.
Donald Rumsfeld’s planning for the post war situation in Iraq centred on making sure that the major reconstruction contacts went to Halliburton, the firm whose CEO had been Dick Cheney, George W Bush’s largely invisible Vice President.
Journos are asking why Blair is making some fist of an pseudo apology now?
Obvious. The Colin Powell email nailing the prematurity of Blair’s private commitment to this illegal war is now in the public domain.
Whether or not the report of the Chilcot inquiry ito this war ever appears and whether or not Chilcot is remotely critical of Blair, people now know more than enough to be certain of Blair’s culpability – so he is getting in a an advance attempt at reputational rehabilitation.
That will never be possible. Documented history many of us will never see, will inform future generations.