In the Sunday Times:
There are signs of divisions at the highest levels of government over the issue, with Shaun Woodward, the Northern Ireland Secretary, defending the initial decision to hold the inquiry in private.
Mr Woodward highlighted the example of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, into events in January 1972 in which 27 people died, which began in 2000 and has still not reported. He said that the British public would not accept an Iraq war inquiry that lasted nine years, adding that public inquiries took years to conduct and often involve judicial review.
"The public want to learn lessons and learn them fast . . . nine or ten years to get an answer is not enough," he said.
Lies and bullshit. The complexity of staging an inquiry into events some thirty-odd years ago cannot be overemphasised, especially when murder (or other) charges could result. However, this enquiry also has a well-established reputation as over-complex even considering these factors!
A public Iraq inquiry would be far more straightforward. The documents are available (probably!) and a lot of the evidence has been considered by Hutton and Butler...not all of it, and not in completeness. The boards of inquiry and inquest reports will also be available for many of the deaths in action that would need to be looked at. Hutton was run in public and under cross-examination, and nothing less will suffice for an Iraq inquiry. Blair must be cross-examined under oath in public.
If the inquiry is fixed, the legitimate conclusion will be that it has been fixed because of lobbying by Blair and Campbell who therefore have plenty to hide.
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