The courage of our exceptionalism


MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 17, 2013) Distressed persons are transferred from the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) to Armed Forces of Malta offshore patrol vessel P52. San Antonio provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter to the rescued. San Antonio rescued 128 men adrift in an inflatable raft after responding to a call by the Maltese Government. (U.S. Navy photo/Released) 131017-N-ZZ999-009 Public Domain via Wikipedia Commons.

In the home of William Blackstone, they are at least investigating whether the Iraq war was illegal. Just very, very slowly:

An impatient David Cameron will demand that Sir John Chilcot name the date by which his report into the British invasion of Iraq will be ready for publication.

The prime minister is expected to tell Chilcot he wants to see the report as soon as possible. “Right now I want a timetable,” he told journalists.

Its release is not expected before September, and could be delayed until the middle of next year. Chilcot has been at this for some time and has spent £10.3m:

Chilcot has so far declined to give a timetable for the publication of the findings of the Iraq war inquiry, which opened in 2009 and concluded in 2011. He previously told Cameron and separately the chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, Sir Crispin Blunt, that he was still waiting for witnesses to respond to planned criticisms in the report. He is also examining fresh evidence.

Much of the Chilcot report is expected to examine communications between Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush:

In January Chilcot announced that 29 of Blair’s notes to Bush had been cleared for publication, as well as extracts of 130 records of conversations between the two leaders and records from up to 200 cabinet-level discussions. Chilcot also plans to release documents that reveal which ministers and officials were excluded from discussions on military action.

That snip above is from late April. British families are still waiting to know why their loved ones were maimed or killed.

Jeremy Corbyn, current frontrunner for Labour leader in next month’s elections, is still waiting:

He said: “The Chilcot report is going to come out sometime. I hope it comes out soon. I think there are some decisions Tony Blair has got to confess or tell us what actually happened. What happened in Crawford, Texas, in 2002 in his private meetings with George [W] Bush. Why has the Chilcot report still not come out because – apparently there is still debate about the release of information on one side or the other of the Atlantic. At that point Tony Blair and the others that have made the decisions are then going to have to deal with the consequences of it.”

Corbyn is leading the polls as union supporters hope a Corbyn win can loosen “the grip of the Blairites” and neoliberals on the party. Corbyn is raising hackles in his own party by suggesting former Labour PM Tony Blair might eventually stand trail for war crimes.

If America really had the courage of its exceptionalism, we might already have dealt with Bush, Cheney, et. al., whose actions with Blair, Corbyn says, “are still played out with migrant deaths in the Mediterranean and refugees all over the region.”

But as with the Chilkot report, don’t hold your breath. Here at home we still refuse to hold Wall Street magnates criminally accountable for the global fraud behind the 2008 financial meltdown that had banks wielding phony paperwork throwing families into the streets. We are still arguing whether to release 28 pages (unredacted, please) of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, we’re still failing to comes to grips with structural racism while trying to bring back Jim Crow. And 239 years after declaring we would no longer bow and scrape to British royalty, American voters are fawning like peasants over their uber-rich betters from Jamie Dimon to Donald Trump, while refugees drown in the Mediterranean and Dick Cheney keynotes Republican party events in Florida.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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