War Inquiry Met Second-Tier Bush Officials
By Mark Hosenball, Newsweek
The British official inquiry team examining the origins and conduct of the Iraq War met with some relatively senior former officials of the George W. Bush administration on a weeklong visit to the U.S. earlier in May. But neither Bush, Dick Cheney, nor any other very senior Bush-era policymaker, military, or intelligence official appears to have been willing to speak to the inquiry team, which is led by Sir John Chilcot, a former senior civil servant.
In an official statement issued on Friday, the inquiry committee said that it had held a series of "private discussions" between May 17 and May 21 with "people from the current and former administrations," as well as the current ambassadors. Although the committee has held public hearings in London in which most of the top U.K. officials involved in war-relateddecisions—including former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and many of their top advisers—gave testimony in public, the inquiry commission said that while the Americans they met had agreed to have their names released to the public, because the meetings "were not formal evidence sessions, records of the conversations are not being published." (See the complete list of former Bush administration officials who spoke to the inquiry whose names were released today, but whose contributions are not spelled out in any detail, here.)... (more)