The inquiry aims to shed light on every aspect of Britain’s involvement with Iraq from 2001 to 2009, from the build-up to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to the withdrawal of combat troops, and to identify lessons that can be learnt.
The Iraq War, and in particular the role of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair in leading the nation into it, are still live political issues in Britain and the inquiry has come under repeated criticism from lawmakers and relatives of those killed over how long it has taken.
“My colleagues and I estimate that we will be able to complete the text of our report in the week commencing 18 April 2016. At that point, national security checking of its contents … can begin,” John Chilcot said in a letter to Cameron published on the inquiry’s website.
Chilcot said due to the length of the report – more than 2 million words – it would then take many weeks to prepare for printing, making publication in June or July most likely.
Cameron welcomed that there was now “a clear end in sight” for the inquiry, but said he was disappointed Chilcot did not believe it would logistically be possible to publish the report until next summer.
“I recognise that you have a significant task, but would welcome any further steps you can take to expedite the final stages of the inquiry,” he said in a letter to Chilcot released by his office.
More resources will be provided to the inquiry team if it allows the report to be published sooner, Cameron said, adding that the government planned to take no longer than two weeks to complete the national security checking process.
Publication has been held up by so-called “Maxwellisation”, a confidential process in which people who are to be criticised in the report are given advance copies so that they have a chance to defend themselves.
On Sunday, U.S. network CNN aired an interview with Blair in which he apologised for what he described as mistakes in planning and intelligence before the war, with media accusing him of trying to pre-empt the report’s criticism.
Reg Keys, whose 20-year-old son Thomas was killed in Iraq, said seven years was too long.
“We, the families, believe that Sir John allowed this ridiculous Maxwellisation process to run on far too long,” he told the BBC. “It went on for two years when six months would have been fine.
“All we will get now is a watered down version of all the criticisms that Sir John put to these civil servants and senior politicians.”
Iceland have now jailed 26 bankers
In a story not reported on at all by any Western mainstream media source, Iceland just sentenced another five high level bankers to prison for directly contributing to the collapse of the country’s economy in 2008.
This brings the total to 26 bankers now behind bars in Iceland, with most being CEOs of large financial institutions, rather than low level traders.
Most of those jailed will serve terms of two to five years, according to a report by Iceland Magazine, which notes that three executives at Landsbankinn and two at Kaupþing, along with one prominent investor, have been prosecuted.
Their crimes include market manipulation, embezzlement, and breach of fiduciary duties. Their market manipulation destroyed the country’s economy and to this day Iceland is still having to repay the global loan sharks at the IMF, as well as governments of other countries, which kept the nation operating.
The article explains that the prosecutions have been possible because rather than protect and reward the very institutions responsible for the collapse, and the gangsters that run them, the Icelandic government let them fail, and then created a financial supervisory authority to strictly oversee the banks.
Iceland’s President, Olafur Ragnar Grimmson noted:
“Why are the banks considered to be the holy churches of the modern economy? Why are private banks not like airlines and telecommunication companies and allowed to go bankrupt if they have been run in an irresponsible way? The theory that you have to bail out banks is a theory that you allow bankers enjoy for their own profit, their success, and then let ordinary people bear their failure through taxes and austerity. ?People in enlightened democracies are not going to accept that in the long run.”
The President added:
“We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.”
While the country’s economy is far from what it once was, it has stabilized and is in a position to recover.
Meanwhile, the governments of the US and Europe bailed out most of those responsible for playing a direct role in the financial crisis that crippled the global economy.
In the US, Congress gave American banks a $700 billion TARP bailout at the expense of taxpayers.
Not one banker in the US has even been charged with a crime relating to the financial collapse, there is still virtually no regulation of the banks, and they are pulling in a near record $160 billion in annual profits, all from “money” created out of thin air.