Simon Jenkins has rightly exposed Blair's Chilcot performance for the disgrace it was. But some detail would illustrate the conjuring trick he pulled off to all but the most vigilant of observers.
For example, when the Chilcot Inquiry questioned Blair on the matter concerning the 45 minutes (to launch a nuclear strike), he responded: "I didn't focus on it a great deal at the time, because it was mentioned by me once then, as I say, it was never actually mentioned again....."(longish pause....then very hurriedly) ".....by me". He then remarked that "in the light of .... the importance it subsequently took on, it would have been better to have corrected it". He goes on to flatter the Inquiry for having rightly and sensibly highlighted that it was a matter of judgment - which actually had been his emphasis not the Inquiry's.
Until his pause, he had lied; the subsequent "by me" turned it into the truth but made it nonsense. Dissected, this would suggest that he only needs to focus on things mentioned by him and the fact that the rest of the UK, indeed world, was talking about it need not attract his attention. He made the admission that he should have "corrected it" look an innocent oversight rather than dishonesty. And the flattery played on human nature, dissuading the Inquiry members from exposing his sophistry, assuming of course that they were sharp enough to spot it.
Blair lies by omission and evasion not with blatant, crass porky pies. He is too intelligent and artful for that. His deceits have been exposed in the general but, unless I have missed it (and perhaps I have), the media does not dissect his amoral mendacity with surgical semantic precision. He is a very clever man indeed and he deserves to be the focused attention of Fleet Street’s finest.
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