Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A "Bliar" black coffin is placed on the ground during a protest outside of a Chilcot inquiry session in London in 2010. (Photo: Chris Beckett/flickr/cc)

Tony Blair Should Be 'Dragged in Shackles to Court' Over Iraq War, Says Father of Killed Soldier

Families of servicemen and women killed in Iraq pledge legal action if investigation into war is not published soon

Nadia Prupis

The father of a soldier killed in the 2003 invasion of Iraq said Wednesday that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair should be tried as a war criminal, as military families pledged to take legal action against the UK government if it does not publish a long-delayed investigation into the war.

"I'd like to see Tony Blair dragged in shackles off to court as a war criminal because we have to bear in mind 180 British service personnel were killed here, over 3,500 wounded, two million Iraqis fled Iraq, over 100,000 innocent Iraqis have been killed," Reg Keys, who lost his son, Lance Corporal Tom Keys, during the 2003 invasion, told the BBC.

Keys is part of a group of 29 families that on Wednesday threatened to sue the inquiry's lead investigator, Sir John Chilcot, if he does not set a date of publication for the report within two weeks.

Stalling publication of the Chilcot Inquiry is keeping grieving families of slain veterans from getting "closure," he added. The families have called the delay "morally reprehensible."

Officials have pushed back publication of the Chilcot Inquiry for six years. Keys blamed the logjam on the government's "Maxwellisation" procedure, which gives individuals criticized in official reports time to respond to allegations.

"This is an inquiry into a war... I don't think Sir John has actually got that to be honest, the gravity of what's happened here," Keys said. As the process has dragged on, he added, coverage of the inquiry became "like an open wound that is continually prodded."

Blair has continually denied responsibility for his role in fomenting instability in the Middle East and fended off questions about the progress of the inquiry. During a panel at the World Economic Forum in January, an audience member accused Blair of having "great responsibility" for the region's current conflicts. In response, the former prime minister blamed a "closed minded view of the world" and a "perversion of Islam" which he says has perpetuated a "culture of hatred."

Chilcot last month defended the Maxwellisation process as giving the investigative team "the best chance of getting it right." He also said that the investigation is making "significant progress," but that there is no "realistic timetable for completion." Other sources have indicated the report is not likely to be published this year.

That response was poorly received by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who warned the retired civil servant that the cabinet was "fast losing patience."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

With Election Days Away, Bernie Sanders Headlines Get-Out-the-Vote Rally for Nina Turner

In his keynote speech, Sanders said corporate interests are pulling out all the stops to defeat Turner because "they know that when she is elected, she is going to stand up and take them on in the fight for justice."

Jake Johnson ·


Bush, Pressley, and Omar Sleep Outside Capitol to Demand Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Rep. Cori Bush, who was formerly unhoused, slammed her Democratic colleagues who "chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes."

Jake Johnson ·


As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·


Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

"If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities, needlessly contributing to more death and destruction."

Brett Wilkins ·


Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

Private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges, said a pair of senators, "are highly unusual and can raise concerning questions of fundamental fairness in our criminal justice system."

Jessica Corbett ·