The left in Britain and America greeted the report with glee, claiming it validated their "Bush lied, people died!" theory of the Iraq War, though it did not validate their notions that Blair or Bush were war criminals.
But even that is not true.
Tony Blair Refuses to Grovel
The closest the Chilcot report comes to criticizing Blair’s use of the intelligence produced by the allies is that he at times didn’t convey the full nuance and uncertainty contained in the reports.
But Blair’s statements about Iraq’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs—which were almost identical to President Bush’s—were consistent with what the military and intelligence community were telling him.
Similar conclusions about the Iraq war’s origins came from American investigators.
As two reports from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence made clear, the U.S. intelligence community agreed that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons programs.
A few agencies issued dissenting opinions, but the conclusions were rational, reasonable and consistent.
There was an interview on NPR this past weekend with former Presidential Envoy Paul Bremer.
(Bremer has endured significant criticism for his decision to disband the Iraqi Army and the de-Baathification of the entire Iraqi government bureaucracy.)
He was asked whether he agreed with the Chilcot report’s conclusion that the decision to go to war in Iraq was based on flawed intelligence and assessments.
“Of course the flawed intelligence only became clear after the war,” Bremer said.
Not only were the American intelligence agencies wrong, “but also those in France, Britain, Germany, Russia, all agreed that Saddam was continuing his programs of mass destruction.”
And “after he was captured, Saddam Hussein told the interrogators that he fully intended to resume those programs.”
Maybe it's true that we just haven't found the goods, yet, as defenders of this neocon war have claimed.