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CIWI Bulletin #11
6 June  2014

Dear members, supporters, readers and well-wishers,
Welcome to the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry bulletin.

In this edition:
Hillary Clinton on Iraq: ‘I got it wrong’
-Gist of Blair-Bush discussions to be published
-Study links US vets’ respiratory problems to ‘burn pits’ at base
-Blair: I am not delaying Chilcot

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Hillary Clinton on Iraq: ‘I got it wrong’

The New York Daily News reports:

“In a stark admission, Hillary Clinton says she "got it wrong. Plain and simple” when she voted as a U.S. senator to authorize the war in Iraq, according to her new memoir.

“Clinton’s support, in 2002, for the Iraq War Resolution dogged her unsuccessful 2008 run for President against Barack Obama, who opposed the war from the start. Clinton has distanced herself from her vote — but never in such forceful terms as in her soon-to-be released book, “Hard Choices.”

““Many senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution. I was one of them,” she writes, according to CBS News, which obtained an advance copy Thursday and posted excerpts on its website.

“[…] In a 2006 interview on NBC, Clinton said, “Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn't have been a vote. And I certainly wouldn't have voted that way."”


Gist of Blair and Bush discussions to be published

The Guardian reports:
“The gist of conversations between Tony Blair and George Bush is likely to be published as part of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, after the government reached a deal in principle to make some secret information public.

“The agreement between the inquiry and the Cabinet Office, which was announced on Thursday, comes after months of deadlock over what will be released, as politicians blamed each other for causing delays. Blair has repeatedly denied being responsible for the blockage, while Nick Clegg called for those likely to be criticised to accept public scrutiny and help move the process on.

“The inquiry announced that agreement had been reached on the type of "gists and quotes" would be released from 25 notes and 130 records of conversations between Blair and Bush. No decision has been taken, however, on exactly which ones will be published. There is also now an agreement to release a small number of extracts from the most critical minutes of more than 200 cabinet-level discussions.

“The Chilcot inquiry had requested the full content of correspondence between Blair and Bush, but appears to have watered down its demands and accepted that the gist of the conversations will be "sufficient to explain our conclusions". It may also be allowed to publish some quotes, but this will be kept to "the minimum necessary to enable the inquiry to articulate its conclusions".

“The inquiry also accepts that the use of material from the letters "should not reflect President Bush's views".”


Study links US Iraq vets’ respiratory problems to ‘burn pits’ at base

According to the Raw Story:

““Burn pits” used to dispose of everything from styrofoam cups to junked computers to unexploded ordnance could be to blame for respiratory symptoms affecting a number of Iraq War veterans.

“According to the armed forces newspaper Stars and Stripes, titanium and other metals have been found in the lungs of at least six sick Iraq veterans, metals found in dust samples from Camp Victory in Iraq.

““We biopsied several patients and found titanium in every single one of them,” said Anthony Szema, a pulmonary and allergy specialist at New York’s Stony Brook School of Medicine. “It matched dust that we have collected from Camp Victory.”

“[…]“At Balad Air Base in Iraq, workers burned 240 tons of trash a day in an open pit a mile from servicemembers’ sleeping quarters,” reported Stars and Stripes.

“Other possible causes include leftover byproducts of combat from the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when U.S. and Iraqi weapons detonated throughout the country, possibly fusing metal dust to microscopic debris. That theory was outlined by Antonietta Gatti of the Italian Scientific Committee for Prevention and Control of Diseases in soldiers of the Italian Ministry of Defense.”

Blair: I am not delaying Chilcot

The Guardian reports:
“Tony Blair has said he resents suggestions that he is delaying the publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the handling of the Iraq war, saying it is in his personal interest that the report be published as soon as possible.

“The former prime minister said he did not know the reason for the delay. "I am not in charge of the inquiry or in charge of the government. All I can tell you is that it is not from me and I actually resent the suggestion.

“"I have got as much interest as anyone in the inquiry publishing its findings and then I can go out and restate my case and defend my position."”


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The views expressed in this bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry (Inc). Readers should note that the Campaign for an Iraq war Inquiry (Inc) seeks a diversity of views and opinions in order to identify common ground.

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