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When something goes badly awry in British public life, particularly when a government is caught up in a mess of its own making, the default response of politicians is to set up a public inquiry.Public inquiries can occasionally expose the truth after a scandal or major controversy. In Britain, public inquiries are less about digging up the truth, and more about burying it.In many respects a public inquiry into this long and bloody conflict is desperately needed.In essence Chilcot was charged with establishing precisely why then Prime Minister Tony Blair, who testified to the inquiry in 2011, committed British forces to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq – in the face of huge public opposition – and what lessons could be learned from mistakes leading up to the war and its aftermath.The last witnesses to the inquiry gave their evidence more than three years ago. The long wait for the Iraq inquiry report shows that public inquiries need to be transparent and must be entirely free of government influence.
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