Latest revelations on Iraq: yet another argument for an enquiry

27 January 2009

Latest revelations on Iraq: yet another argument for an enquiry

Documents pertaining to the cabinet discussion on the eve of the Iraq war in 2003, revealed today on the Netherlands' leading TV news programme, show that the government's preparations for military intervention reached an advanced stage. SP Foreign Affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel says that he finds it “impossible to understand” why the existence of these preparations was never announced in Parliament. “Together with earlier revelations this proves that all relevant material must be brought into the open and that a parliamentary enquiry is now unavoidable.”

Harry van BommelIn discussions conducted with Parliament by the government over the last six years, ministers have always denied that they ever made preparations to participate in the war. “Now it turns out, and for the first time,” says Van Bommel, that the government wanted to send a frigate into the war zone. Article 100 of the national constitution requires that Parliament be informed of this in an official letter, and this official letter was indeed almost ready to be sent. The cabinet had a duty to mention this and was thus lacking in the fulfilment of its responsibility to inform Parliament.”

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