British Inquiry Slams Tony Blair’s Decision to Join George W. Bush in the Iraq War

“I will be with you, whatever,” the former British prime minister wrote to Bush in 2002.

On Wednesday, the Iraq Inquiry—also known as the Chilcot Commission—published its seven-years-in-the-making report examining the events leading up to the Iraq War launched in 2003. The inquiry concludes that then-Prime Minister Tony Blair ignored more peaceful options and relied on flawed intelligence to make the decision to go to war with President George Bush. The report notes that Blair made a public case for war based on false and exaggerated statements and that he inadequately prepared for what would come after the invasion. It also says the negative consequences of the military action—such as an increase in terrorism—were presented to Blair prior to the invasion.

The findings are not surprising, but they are a strong condemnation of Blair—and, by association, Bush and his crew.

British news reports have been headlined with a sentence from a 2002 note that Blair sent Bush: “I’ll be with you, whatever.” Blair’s critics have cited this as proof they were correct years ago to deride Blair as Bush’s lapdog.

“I express more sorrow, regret, and apology than you can ever believe,” Blair said in response to the blistering report. He insisted the British soldiers who died during the military action had not sacrificed their lives in vain.

The long-awaited, 2.6 million-word report cost British taxpayers nearly $14 million dollars to complete.

Read the report’s summary below. For a deeper dive into the consequences of the war, read Mother Jones‘ investigation here  along with our “Lie by Lie” Iraq War timeline: