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Posts Tagged ‘Chemical weapon’

Families reject Blair apology over Iraq dead

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 21, 2011

By DAVID STRINGER

LONDON — Former Prime Minister Tony Blair offered an emotional apology for the deaths of soldiers and civilians in Iraq, as he testified Friday to Britain’s inquiry into the war.

The 57-year-old Blair, making a second appearance before the panel to clarify evidence he gave to the same panel a year ago, also urged Western leaders to confront a growing threat posed by Iran.

Addressing the five-member panel scrutinizing Britain’s role in the unpopular war, Blair acknowledged that in phone calls and messages in 2002 – months before Parliament approved Britain’s role in the conflict – he reassured U.S. President George W. Bush and told him: “You can count on us.”

Alongside his evidence, the inquiry published a previously unseen 2002 memo from Blair to his chief of staff, in which the leader called for a “gung-ho” approach toward Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Critics of the war hope the inquiry will conclude Blair had been determined to back the U.S. invasion, whether or not it was supported by the public, Parliament or legal opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

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IRAQ INQUIRY: War Protesters Accuse Blair Of ‘Sneaking’ In (Videos)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 21, 2011

Ruth Barnett and Sky News reporter Mark Stone 

Protesters have said they are angry Tony Blair “sneaked” into the Iraq inquiry venue ahead of his second session of evidence.

Protester wears a Tony Blair mask at the Iraq inquiry

A protester wears a Tony Blair mask outside the QEII centre in London

Watch the inquiry live on Sky News

Mr Blair arrived two hours before his hearing was set to begin, pausing briefly to allow photographers to take his picture.

In contrast to his previous evidence session, he was not greeted by hundreds of protesters as he got there before most had assembled.

Andrew Murray, chairman of the Stop The War Coalition, said the former prime minister had “sneaked in under cover of darkness”.

He called on the panel to challenge Mr Blair to “tell the truth” about the legality of the war.

Another protester, Chris Nineham, told Sky News there remained “scepticism” about the hearings.

“There have been four of these inquiries and the truth hasn’t come out,” he said.

Mr Blair has been recalled to explain possible gaps and inconsistencies almost a year on from his last session before Sir John Chilcot and his panel. Read the rest of this entry »

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