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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Report: Saddam Posed "No Imminent Threat" In 2003; Damning Indictment Of Britain's Decision To Invade; Oscar Pistorius Handed Six-Year Prison Term; U.S. Justice Department Takes Up Deadly Police Shooting; Families Who Lost Loved Ones Angry, Grief Stricken; The Case Bush And Blair Made For Iraq War; Wales Takes On Portugal In First Ever Semifinal. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 6, 2016 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live outside the British Houses of Parliament. This is THE WORLD RIGHT
The former British prime minister, Tony Blair, says he feels more, quote, "sorrow and regret" over the Iraq war than people will ever know. But he
is standing by his decision to invade despite scathing criticism from an independent inquiry in this country.
The long awaited Chilcot report was released today. It found and concluded that Britain relied on flawed intelligence in a rush to join the U.S.-led
invasion, noting that Saddam Hussein posed, quote, "no imminent threat" at the time. Phil Black has our story.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone knew at that time they were tight. Now the Iraq inquiry has ruled they were too
tight that Tony Blair was too worried about Britain's special bond with the United States. It says he was wrong to think breaking with the U.S. and
Iraq would break the relationship and wrong to believe he could guide President George Bush's thinking.
SIR JOHN CHILCOT, CHAIRMAN, IRAQ WAR INQUIRY: Mr. Blair overestimated his ability to influence U.S. decisions on Iraq.
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I took the decision after 9/11, we should be America's closest ally. Again, you can disagree with that. I
personally think when you're fighting this terrorism in the world today, it would be better if Britain today had a really strong tight relationship
with the United States.
BLACK: The report says Tony Blair often failed to consult widely across his own cabinet of ministers. The two few senior people were aware of big
policy decisions. An example, it quotes from a long personal letter Blair wrote to George Bush in July 2002 in which the British prime minister told
the U.S. president, "I will be with you whatever." Senior ministers didn't see it. The report says they should have and gives other examples too.
CHILCOT: Despite promises that the cabinet would discuss the military contribution, it did not discuss the military options or their
BLACK: Blair is criticized strongly for not pressing the U.S. on its concerns about managing Iraq after the invasion. It says he knew the
significance of the post-conflict phase, but didn't rethink Britain's involvement or make it contingent on having a strong plan ready to go when
the fighting stopped.
Tony Blair has often said the huge security problems which developed through outside actors trying to tear the country apart couldn't have been
predicted. The inquiry disagreed.
HILCOT: The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interest, regional instability, and al Qaeda activity in Iraq were each
explicitly identified before the invasion.
BLACK: Little surprise, the report found the war was justified using faulty intelligence. Of course, there were no weapons of mass destruction.
But a crucial point for Blair, it says there's nothing to indicate his people exaggerated or created information to help sell their case for war.
BLAIR: Please stop saying I was lying or --
BLACK: The report says it doesn't question Blair's belief, but it found his assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein went too far ahead of
the available intelligence. For that Valerie O'Neil says she'll never forgive him. Her youngest son, Chris, was killed by a roadside bomb in
Basra (ph) in 2007.
VALERIE O'NIEL, SON KILLED IN IRAQ WAR: He didn't listen to the intelligence. He listened to what he was listened to. No matter what
anybody said to him, Tony Blair was going to war with George Bush.
BLACK: The report doesn't say explicitly the decision to invade Iraq was a mistake, but it comes close.
[15:05:03]CHILCOT: Intervention which went badly wrong with consequences to this day.
BLACK: Tony Blair responded at length, passionately declaring his sorrow and accepting responsibility while insisting he acted for the right reasons
and the world is still better off without Saddam Hussein.
BLAIR: I mean, I don't regret taking the decision.
BLACK: He's been arguing that difficult and highly unpopular case for more than 13 years. Now the Iraq inquiry's definitive account of a war it says
was unnecessary can only damage Blair's determined efforts to resurrect his legacy. Phil Black, CNN, London.
GORANI: We are covering the story from all angles. CNN political contributor, Robin Oakley is here with me outside the Houses of Parliament.
He reported on the politics behind the lead up to this 2003 invasion. And our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman is live in Baghdad.
Robin, let's start with you. So this is a long awaited inquiry. It's finally out. It's pointing fingers. It's saying that essentially this was
a giant mistake for the various reasons elaborated here in Phil's report. What impact will it have?
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it will continue the impact that has already been on Tony Blair's reputation. It will do not that much
more to destroy his reputation because all of those who have opposed him of the war have been saying these kind of things for a long time.
But they're now confirmed by an official impartial inquiry and that will inevitably do damage to his reputation. Though, he was pretty defiant. I
mean, he apologized in one sense. But what was he apologizing for, he was asked?
Well, for mistakes in the process and he stands by the decision to topple Saddam Hussein and involvement with George Bush in that, says, that was
absolutely right. He says he still insists lives were not lost in vain.
Of course, he dismisses some of Chilcot's findings saying that he couldn't have anticipated the insurrection in Iraq that Chilcot was (inaudible).
GORANI: Although many people did anticipate potentially big sectarian strife. Ben Wedeman in Baghdad, Tony Blair, the former prime minister said
part of his address today included a reference to Saddam Hussein's removal, saying essentially, we should be thankful that he's gone.
Because in this post-Arab spring environment, he would have been just as bad if not worse as the Syrian president. What would -- how are the Iraqis
reacting to that type of statement?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Iraqis really haven't reacted very substantially to this report. We spoke to the
spokesman for the prime minister who said that as far they're concerned this report is a strictly internal affair in the U.K. Another journalist
contacted the foreign ministry and their response was, what report?
But for ordinary Iraqis, they look back with a fair amount of bitterness on the experience of the U.S.-led invasion which, of course, was cheerleaded
by Tony Blair. Many feel that when looking back over the years, the Saddam days were difficult.
He ruled this country with an iron fist. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, especially Kurds in the north, Shia in the south were killed including some
by poison gas. He ruled by terror, but you had rule. You had law and order.
There were no blast walls, check points or very few of them. People could go about their business in ways that now they just can't do. I mean, you
did not have in the days of Saddam Hussein the kind of bomb that went off over the weekend killing 250 people, 150 bodies from that explosion so
badly burnt that they still can't be identified.
Saddam Hussein was not a popular president in retrospect to many Iraqis, but they feel that in the grand scheme of things, at least, they were safer
than they are now -- Hala.
GORANI: Well, we hear that in a lot of post-Arab Spring countries where there was dictatorship but certainly there's instability. Let me ask you a
little bit about whether or not in this day and age in a country like the United Kingdom following this report and the disaster that was the Iraq
invasion that anything like this could happen again or are there now safeguards?
OAKLEY: Things have moved on in one sense. David Cameron talking about the report in parliament today said that there's now a national security
council, which would get involved in any decisions like this.
He said he's trying to get a new kind of culture among officials so that they're ready to question policy when it comes up like this. Because it
would appear to happen when Blair joined Bush in the invasion was that they made the decision and then they started looking for evidence to support it.
And people were coming forward rather more -- not on the basis of the facts, but what they thought Tony Blair wanted them to say and that sort of
thing hopefully will happen less under the new culture.
[15:10:09]But we've also had Blair's successor, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Labour Party officially apologizing --
GORANI: Even though he opposed the war very passionately from the beginning. Thank you very much, Robin Oakley, our political contributor
and our senior international correspondent in Baghdad, Ben Wedeman.
The outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron supported the Iraq invasion. He was a back bencher back in 2003. He gave a yes vote on the
decision. He said the country cannot turn back the clock, but it can learn lessons from the war.
Mr. Cameron spoke to parliament today as did and Robin was mentions this by the way, Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn who apologized on his behalf of his
party for what he called Britain's disastrous decision. Have a listen to what both men said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What I put in place as prime minister following what happened in Iraq of a National Security Council,
proper legal advice, properly constituted meetings, appropriate meetings, appropriate staff, and national security secretariat. All of those things
including the proper listening to expert advice in the National Security Council. All those things are designed to avoid the problems that the
government had in the case of Iraq.
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: It's led to a fundamental breakdown in trust in politics and in our institutions of government. We
could see the state broken by sanctions in war, posed no military threats and the WMD evidence was flensing and confected. That going to war without
United Nation's authorization was profoundly dangerous. The foreign invasion and occupation would be resisted by force and they would set off a
series of uncontrollable and destructive events.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, a former Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, is here with me now. He says the Chilcot report should have political or legal
consequences. Thanks for being with us, sir. What do you mean by political or legal consequences?
ALEX SALMOND, FORMER SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: Well, we had the consequences of the war in Iraq, which under the (inaudible) Americans,
(inaudible) in Iraqis, the Middle East in flames and we are all living with the terrorist upsurge, which was one of the direct results of the Iraqi
conflict. So that's the consequences for all of us.
And therefore what should follow given the findings of Chilcot, given the evidence that's been presented should be consequences for the person who
led the United Kingdom into that war.
GORANI: You mean Tony Blair.
SALMOND: Yes, absolutely.
GORANI: So what consequence?
SALMOND: Well, there's two options. One is legal and one is political. The legal options are difficult because you'd have go through the
International Criminal Court, which doesn't have providence over the war (inaudible). The domestic legal remedy is they're all equally difficult.
The families themselves can take civil action against the former prime minister and there's a lot in the Chilcot report that will help them. The
House of Commons should stand up on its feet across the political parties and hold the former prime minister into account.
GORANI: In what way?
SALMOND: Well, there's a variety of ways you can do it. You can do it (inaudible) cross party basis, but there's contempt to the House of
Commons. You can strip --
GORANI: He's not an active --
SALMOND: It doesn't matter.
GORANI: In fact he says now all the soul searching had made him want to find peace in the Middle East. How do react to that?
SALMOND: I have him soul searching and taking of responsibility. He said, he'd do it all again. I wasn't impressed by that. I'm not sure the
families of the dead service people are impressed by that.
GORANI: You would have been happier if he said I made a mistake, I never would have done it. I never -- would do it again.
SALMOND: I'd be happier if he'd given a straightforward apology for the appalling consequences of what he's done. There is a killer document in
all of this.
GORANI: Yes. This is a declassified memo that Tony Blair wrote to George Bush in 2002.
SALMOND: Yes. In 20 -- July exactly. Starts off, this is a secret memo, I will be with you, whatever. Now the problem is, of course, he was
telling the House of Commons behind this and the people of this country that he was striving for peace. He was going for the United Nations. He
was dealing on the weapons of mass destruction --
GORANI: But there's nothing illegal about that. I mean, essentially he was not transparent but then in the end it was a parliamentary vote that
gave the authorization for Britain to --
SALMOND: There's something very directly unparliamentary about that you cannot mislead the House of Commons. You are not allowed to do that. You
are not allowed do it unless like employment statistics (inaudible) allowed to do over peace and war.
The House of Commons has the ability to hold people who do that held in contempt. What that means in practical terms is they can be stripped of
any public office, stripped of their honors, a whole range of things.
But it requires, of course, is the cross party support to do it on that basis because it can't be done (inaudible) it has to be done as a
[05:15:02]GORANI: You heard him over and over again in Tony Blair's address today that he is saying I regret the negative consequences, what
happened afterwards, the bad planning after the invasion, but I don't regret removing Saddam Hussein because look at Middle East now. It's in
flames. What if Saddam Hussein was still in power today, he'd be a tyrant and he'd be probably the worst tyrant --
SALMOND: If you take Daesh, for example, it is well known that Daesh's military prowess comes from (inaudible) officers in Iraq where they got the
military muscle, which has threatened not just Iraq but the Middle East and the rest of the world.
So the consequences have been appalling. It's not just the point of saying look, we have to improve the process. It's not super stale government
again. But it's not super stale government that makes decisions. It's individuals that makes decisions. In this case the former prime minister
and he should be held to account.
GORANI: Now he says I never lied. Something that he said bothered him over the last 13 years. Are these accusations directed at him that he kept
secrets, that he lied, that this was all based on lies and he didn't intentionally inflate intelligence. Do you believe he was lying the whole
time? Do you believe he was basically lying that he knew what he was doing.
SALMOND: He misled the House of Commons and the country --
GORANI: Intentionally do you think?
SALMOND: Yes, of course, he does.
GORANI: You're saying he lied. He lied to parliament.
SALMOND: Yes, right. He lied to parliament. He said he was after weapons of mass destruction. We know from the memos, in 2001, he wanted a regime
change. He didn't (inaudible) all in the Chilcot report because he couldn't put a cloak of legality in his actions. Therefore, he had to go
for WMD. That is deception and he is lying. You're telling them you're doing it for one purpose but actually just supporting another.
GORANI: Do you think a decision like that could happen again in the U.K. with the safeguards in place now?
SALMOND: Well, the safeguards are both political -- I'm not underrating these. These are an important improvement. But it comes down to the
individual decisions of a prime minister. One example, aftermath of the Libyan conflict was just as chaotic as the aftermath of the Iraqi conflict.
But secondly, the way to prevent these things is to make sure that he cannot get off scot-free. He is called to account. That's the one sure
way to make sure that something like this doesn't happen.
GORANI: But he's still working in the Middle East as an envoy. He gives many speeches. He's consulted on world affairs.
SALMOND: I'll tell you Tony Blair as piece on envoy is the biggest oxymoron I've ever heard.
GORANI: All right, thank you very much, Alex Salmond. We really appreciate your time on CNN this evening. We'll have much more on this
story coming up including reaction from some families of British service members killed in Iraq.
I'll speak with a man who lost his son in fact in 2005. He traveled in Basra in order to see where his own child was killed and what he wants to
see happen next.
Also ahead this hour --
GORANI: Anger over the killing of a black man by police caught on tape. Stay with us.
GORANI: Welcome back. After Brexit, it has been just a little chaotic on world markets. What's going on today, here's a look at the big board for
you. The Dow is up almost 65 points trading at 17,903. A look at the other markets right now for you across Europe, it was a down day with the
FTSE 100 down 1.25 percent.
And the pound has yet to find its floor in the post-referendum world, it was close to 129 today against the dollar breaking the 130 mark. Once
again hovering at 31-year lows against the dollar.
Now to what could be the end of a long running courtroom drama, Oscar Pistorius has been handed six years in prison for murdering his girlfriend
model, Reva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day 2013. Now it's far less than the minimum 15 years the prosecution had requested. David McKenzie has the
latest on the surprising sentence.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Oscar Pistorius entering court facing 15 years for murder.
(on camera): It's the final act in the legal saga and soap opera that has gripped South Africa for several years.
(voice-over): But from the opening moments, Judge (inaudible) seemed ready to hand out one more surprise.
UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Murder is always a serious crime. The fact that the accused thought it was an intruder does not make it less serious.
(Inaudible) of sentencing it is always useful to (inaudible) that led to the particular matter in perspective.
MCKENZIE: She said there were substantial and compelling reasons to give him less than the mandatory minimum sentence.
UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: The accused showed no remorse as he did not come clean before this court. I disagree.
MCKENZIE: The judge agreed with the defense's argument, which it dramatically illustrated in court during hearings that Pistorius was a
broken man, highly vulnerable on his stumps when he shot Reeve Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He suffered from an anxiety disorder. We know when he was on his stump his balance was seriously compromised and without anything
he would not be able to defend himself.
MCKENZIE: But the judge ruled Pistorius still needed to be punished for his crime that Steenkamp's family will never get over her death.
BARRY STEENKAMP, REEVA STEENKAMP'S FATHER: I don't wish on any human being (inaudible) what happened. It devastated us.
UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Six years' imprisonment.
MCKENZIE: The sentence shocked some, but (inaudible) it was said for the court of law to decide not the court of public opinion. He'll now be
heading to a private cell in the hospital wing of a maximum security prison. After just three years, he could be released on parole. David
McKenzie, CNN, Pretoria, South Africa.
GORANI: Now in Louisiana, in the United States, a black man is dead at the hands of a police officers. A U.S. Justice Department is investigating. A
warning that this is a disturbing story that includes some graphic video.
A witness recorded the last moments of this man's life when officers shoot him at point blank range. Polo Sandoval reports.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of protesters taking to the streets in Baton Rouge after this graphic video circulated on
social media of a deadly encounter between police and a man at a convenient store.
According to police two officers responded to an anonymous call just after midnight on Tuesday. The caller said a man selling CDs outside of the
store threatened him with a gun. The officers attempted to subdue 37-year- old Alton Sterling.
The store owner says that one officer used a taser, but Sterling remained on his feet. Sterling is then tackled by an officer over the hood of a
car. As officers wrestled to restrain Sterling, someone yelled --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got a gun.
SANDOVAL: Sterling was then shot several times at point blank range.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was actually maybe two, three feet away when it happened.
SANDOVAL: The owner says while Sterling lay in the parking lot, he saw officers pull a gun from his pocket. Sterling's family now demanding
[15:25:09]MEGAN CHAMBERS: I really want to know more about what happened, about the whole situation because my brother didn't deserve it. He didn't
deserve it at all.
SANDOVAL: CNN affiliate WAFP reports that the officers in question were wearing body cameras but they apparently fell off at the altercation.
Baton Rouge Police have placed the officers on administrative leave.
CPL. L'JEAN MCKNEELY, SPOKESMAN, BATON ROUGE POLICE DEPARTMENT: This is an ongoing investigation. We're going to review the video. We are going to
review the audio. We have witnesses, non-bias witnesses here. We are going to bring them down to our station and interview them.
SANDOVAL: Coroner ruling that Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
ABDULLAH MUSTAHI, STORE OWNER: God bless his soul. It could have been handled differently on both sides.
GORANI: Well, that was Polo Sandoval reporting. Let's get the very latest. CNN's Nick Valencia is in Baton Rouge and he joins me now. I
mean, clearly people are very angry. We see the video. What are police saying now about justifying, basically shooting this man pinned down at
point blank range like that?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have reached out to the local police department here in Baton Rouge, but they are saying very little only
to say that they've handed over this investigation to the Justice Department as well as the U.S. attorney recommending all questions go
We know that there's a civil rights investigation into this shooting, but already, Hala, a very emotionally charged atmosphere here in Baton Rouge
on. It was an hour ago that we saw a handful of demonstrators, activists in this community that came out to protest the action of those two officers
here with the local police department.
It seems that that video is enough to have made up the minds of many residents here in this community. People coming out saying that this was
excessive force. We only know what happened from one perspective that cell phone video that was shot by the bystander in that parking lot.
Part of the frustration and concern here among activists is that they believe there's more video of this shooting. They are asking about body
cameras. We're told by a local representative that those body cameras police were wearing them, but that they came off during the struggle and
that the cameras did not record the incident.
There's also surveillance footage from inside that convenient store that people want to get their hands on. They want to see, they want that made
public. But we are told by police that that has been handed over to investigators and we should not expect to see that anytime soon.
Talk about this being a charged environment with the mayor of Baton Rouge came out and gave some pretty stirring comments here at a press conference
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIP HOLDEN, BATON ROUGE MAYOR: You find people who want to jump and everyone wants to make a political statement including the Justice
Department. We've got a congressman from New Orleans saying I'm calling for a full investigation. Well, we've already been working on that.
It's not like we need to be handheld and spoon fed when it comes down to doing what's right. And so when we tell you these things, it's important
that you understand we're doing our best to make sure we get all the answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Fueling criticism of the police department and city leaders is that it took them more than 48 hours after the shooting to respond and that
the statements only came after intense protests here last night.
We know unfortunately in precedent shootings like this, there is an incredible amount of information given about the person that is shot, but
very little information released about the officers involved in the shooting.
That holds true. All we know is that the officers being named as Howie Lake. He is three-year veteran of the police department and Blaine
Salamoni, a four-year veteran. We know also that the person involved in the shooting did have a criminal history -- Hala.
GORANI: All right, we'll continue to follow that story. Thank you so much, Nick Valencia. Of course, many of our international viewers know
that this comes after a string of shootings of black suspects by police officers in the United States. But it's angered many in the African-
American community. We'll continue to keep an eye on that.
Still to come, a family with a painful connection to our top story. The father of this soldier killed in Iraq will join me to talk about the
damming report against that war. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right. Welcome back, everybody. A look at our top stories. Former British Prime Minister Tony
Blair says he believes he made the right decision in going to war in Iraq and stands by his decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power. His
comments today followed the damning findings of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. He made very long statements, about two hours there on
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the death of a black man at the hands of police. A 911 call led to an altercation between officers and
this man Alton Sterling, who they claimed was armed. Cell phone footage showed the two officers apparently shoot him at point blank range and that
has sparked outrage in Louisiana and beyond.
Also this story, a judge in South Africa has sentenced Oscar Pistorius to six years behind bars for the murder of his girlfriend three years ago.
The Olympics sprinter described by the judge a fallen hero must serve at least half of that sentence before he's eligible for parole.
Football superstar, Lionel Messi, has been found guilty of defaulting Spanish tax authorities. He will not be going to jail because it is his
first offense and his jail sentence is less than two years. The Barcelona star will only be imprisoned if he offends again. He was fined more than
Let's return now to our top story, the findings of the Chilcot report. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed deep regret today he said, but
he insist that British soldiers killed in the conflict did not die in vain. It was an apology of sorts but it was of little comfort to the grieving
families of those British service personnel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: In a nation whose people we wanted to set free and secure from the evil of Saddam became, instead,
victim to sectarian terrorism. For all of this, I express more sorrow, regret, and apology than you may ever know or can believe.
SARAH O'CONNOR, BROTHER KILLED IN IRAQ WAR: Personally for myself, anger, that healing, 1-1/2 years I've worked for, I've gone back to the time when
I learned that my brother had been killed and there was one terrorist in this world that the world needs to be aware of and his name is Tony Blair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Biting words there from an emotional Sarah O'Connor whose brother was killed in the war. I'm joined by Roger Bacon, his 34-year-old son,
Major Matthew Bacon was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra 11 years ago.
Your reaction first to this inquiry. It's been years and years you've been waiting. In fact, you pushed for it to be released earlier.
[15:35:06]ROGER BACON, SON KILLED DURING IRAQ WAR: Yes, we did. That turned out to be a really good thing because I think a lot of us were very
apprehensive because this had taken so long, because we got no information from being the inquiry. They were always silent.
There seems to be a lack of transparency that it was going to turn out to be simply a whitewash, even though it was 2.6 million. When we had the
opportunity of looking at it this morning before Sir John made his statement, it quickly became apparent that actually this was the real deal.
That he had actually done a real investigation that the panel had drilled down into what went wrong, what happened and that he was going to say so.
That they were finding that to be the case.
GORANI: What do you think should be the consequences? You heard what Tony Blair had to say. He said, I will feel more apology, regret, and sorrow
than anyone will ever know. However, I stand by my decision.
BACON: It's difficult to actually see that the two things work together really. Because clearly if he stands by his decision, he thinks he was
right to go to war. I have held a view that I have held before that it was the wrong thing to do.
I've heard the arguments that he keeps putting forward about the fact that we had to remove Saddam Hussein for the betterment of the world in general,
but I don't actually agree with that.
I think we would have been perfectly capable of containing it and the fact that he had done this, he's left the state worse than it was while Saddam
Hussein was in power.
GORANI: Let's talk about your son, Matthew. Tony Blair said these soldiers, these service men and women did not die in vain. How did you
react to that?
BACON: Well, my reaction is has he been out there recently to see what it's like? I have.
GORANI: You went to Basra.
BACON: I went to Basra in March with my wife. We had the opportunity of going out there. We desperately wanted to go and see the place where
Matthew had died or been killed, and we were able do that. And at the same time, we were able to get a sense of what the place was like, what had
And it was clear to us and what people were telling us, what the local people were telling us was actually they had a better life and Saddam
Hussein, even though he was the dictator that he was and that now they were in a worse situation than they had ever been.
GORANI: What is it like living, then, with that realization that your son was sent into this battlefield and so tragically was killed, lost his life?
You visited the place where he died and you feel like it was not just all for nothing but even made things worse.
BACON: Yes. And arguably that's how we feel about it. For Matthew, it's a different situation. He's a professional soldier. He is soldier for 14
years all around Europe and the world. He had been out in Afghanistan, the Balkans. He had been in the first gulf war. So he was not a stranger to
And he -- soldiering was his life. That is what suited him best and he was out there serving queen and country on the understanding that he was doing
what the government wanted him to do. But there was trust there.
You have to have it and he trusted the government to be doing the right thing and sending him in to a situation with just cause and that didn't
GORANI: So -- but do you -- as you look back on this and think, my son was sent to this war and he's a career soldier, so this was his job. This
wasn't, you know, a draft or anything like that. It was his job and his duty. Do you feel that this war -- and Tony Blair has said time and time
again this wasn't the case but it was based on a lie?
BACON: That's difficult. I don't know whether he told a lie or not. I know there's been a lot of talk about it. The only way I'm going to know
that is by reading the report and there's a lot of report to read.
GORANI: More than 2 million words.
BACON: More than 2 million words. You need to actually see whether on the everyday he did lie. What I will say is what Hans Bliks (ph) says and I go
with him entirely. He misled us into war.
[15:40:03]GORANI: Hans Bliks (ph) is a former weapons inspector, who came out and said that what you said, that he misled us. That this was not the
right decision to go to war at that time and under these circumstance. But do you think as some of the families of the killed soldiers in Iraq that
there should be legal consequences here? And if so, which one?
BACON: I do. But the reasons for that is to prevent it ever happening in these circumstances again. There need to be changes in the way that you
make decisions about going to war. War is a last resort and it has to be a just cause. I has to be a last result. So to do to that you need the
proper checks and balances.
We have an unwritten constitution here in the U.K. and that causes problems in the way that we make decisions. So what parliament has to do in my view
is enact a law, which lays out how you go to war. And that is the only way, really, of dealing with the situation.
GORANI: Just one last question regarding your son. I mean, I know it's an inquiry and it's words on paper and it's two million words. Does this
bring you some degree of comfort?
BACON: I wouldn't describe it as comfort.
GORANI: Not comfort, but some sort of closure?
BACON: Something that has been hanging over our heads for a very long time and has slowed down the possibility of getting on with life. The one thing
that Matthew would want us to do is to get on and make the most of our lives. He made the most of his life. He would want us to make most of our
lives. So getting this behind us will help us do that.
GORANI: I wish you that very sincerely. Roger Bacon, thank you very much for joining us. We really appreciate your time.
You could check out, by the way, we'll be posting some of our chat with Roger Bacon on our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagorani.
This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. The Chilcot report comes 13 years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. We take a look back at how it all began next.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We shouldn't have been there. We should have destabilized. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was
a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The presumptive Republican nominee there with praise for Saddam Hussein saying he was bad but he killed terrorists. Well, as we know, he
also killed Kurds and political opponents. Donald Trump initially supported the invasion of Iraq, but now says the U.S. shouldn't have de-
stabilized the country. Trump claims Iraq is now, quote, "Harvard for terrorism."
The Chilcot report comes 13 long years after the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq. Christiane Amanpour looks back at the case the U.S. and the U.K. initially
made for going to war and the chain of events, the tragic chain of events that followed.
[15:45:11]Take a look.
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: At this hour, America and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to
free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With that began the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. A war that's haunted
much of the world ever since. The United States and the United Kingdom claim that Saddam Hussein possessed the most deadly weapons and could use
them against the west.
CONDOLEEZA RICE, THEN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapon, but we
don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
AMANPOUR: In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair published that infamous report on Saddam's capability.
TONY BLAIR, THEN BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: He has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could
be activated within 45 minutes including against his own Shiite population.
AMANPOUR: The drums of war were pounding. U.N. weapons inspectors flew to Iraq to investigate. A U.N. resolution threatening Saddam with serious
consequences if he didn't cooperate. But the inspectors searching the country for WMD found none.
Still demands for military action persisted. In a defining moment, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the U.N. there was no doubt that Iraq
did have WMD and the world must do something. But with the Security Council divided, Blair made the case for war to the British parliament.
BLAIR: To show that we will stand up for what we know to be right. To show that we will confront the tyrannies and dictatorships and terrorists
who put our way of life at risk. To show at the moment of decision that we have the courage to do the right thing.
AMANPOUR: Parliament backed him believing that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction, and in the days leading up to the war, one pollster said
that around half the country backed him too. But more than a million Brits came onto the street against the invasion and millions more joined from
across the world.
It was one of the largest demonstrations in history. But on March 20th, "Operation Iraqi Freedom" began. They called it shake and awe. But 13
years later, the real shock was that no WMD were ever found.
That the American and British governments misled their people. That hundreds of thousands of ordinary civilians had been killed in a war that
unleashed forces that to this day terrorized the region and the world.
GORANI: Christian Amanpour there with what led up to the invasion and what followed. Let's go more into the findings of the Chilcott report. Tony
Blair expressed regrets today, however, he stands by his decision. He says he insists British soldiers killed in the conflict did not die in vain.
The apology was of little comfort to the grieving families of British service personnel.
Isa Soares spoke to one of them whose son was killed only weeks after the Iraq war began.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Peter Brierley has waited seven long and painful years for this moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It shows you it's true.
SOARES: Now with the Chilcot report in hand --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He could have been on his vehicle and not been killed.
SOARES: He said he can breathe a little easier. What he feels is an anger but disdain. After all Tony Blair was the man who sent his 28-year-old
son, Lance Corporate Shaun Brierley to war. A radio assistance operator, Shaun died in the traffic accident in Kuwait in 2003 because, his father
says, his Land Rover wasn't equipped properly.
PETER BRIERLEY, FATHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER: They were driving in the pit black desert. They hit some debris in the road which would have been shown
by the headlight. His vehicle was turned over and he died when he fell out.
SOARES: It's this memory of how his son died that Peter has to live with for 13 years. He's been comforted by the letters he's received from his
son's old colleagues.
BRIERLEY: One says Shaun really looked after me. It was my first time away from home. Sometimes I'd sit in a corner crying. Shaun got me
through all that.
[15:50:00]SOARES: In this father's eyes, Shaun was a gentle giant whose life was taken away by a man who sent soldiers to war unnecessarily.
(on camera): Peter, let me tell you what Tony Blair said. The decision I took I took in good faith and what I believe to be the best interests of
the country. Do you truly believe that?
BRIERLY: I don't believe that at all, no. If that had been the case, then they wouldn't have agreed to go to war.
SOARES: Now that this report is out, you've been waiting for it for seven years, can you look to the future?
BRIERLY: This report is the future. Eventually we have to say that's done. We can go no further.
SOARES (voice-over): In the meantime Shaun's father refuses to succumb to hate.
BRIERLY: I don't hate Tony Blair. Hate is an emotion that if you live with it, it will swallow you.
SOARES: Isa Soares, CNN, London.
GORANI: We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back on CNN.
GORANI: Well, when you think of weightlifters, you probably don't see them fueling up on things like spinach, but you should toss out your assumptions
because there is one of the strongest men in Germany who is disrupting all these assumptions in today's installment of "Going Green."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Patrick (inaudible) and I'm vegan. I don't eat meat or dairy products. I do this for the animals, for the
environment, and for future generations. I'm probably the most unthinkable vegan there is on the planet. What really surprised me was the positive
effect it had on my body.
My performances got better. I got heavier, I got stronger, I broke three world records, but at the same time my recovery time was so much faster so
I could train more, train harder.
The impact of animal agriculture on the environmental is that you just need space to have livestock on. The overall population on earth is getting
larger and larger. If everyone would try to live and eat like we do in the west, we'd destroy big forests.
That's where we need to tackle it. Now, this is something very crucial for me. Being a real dairy addict. I had some days where I had ten liters of
dairy -- of milk actually. So when I went vegan, I just replaced that with soy milk. It's much more efficient with resources. If you just use soy
instead of taking the milk from the cow.
When it comes to veganism, sometimes people are really afraid of it. A huge part of the scariness of the idea is to think of not being allowed to
consume some things like cheese or something that you love for the rest of your life.
[15:55:13]I always tell them, just try it for four weeks. In most cases four weeks is enough to get to a point where you really have all these
positive effects and you really feel then. It has a huge, huge impact on the planet. I just try to be a part of a movement to try to push aside in
GORANI: All right, well, he looks like he is getting all the food he needs.
Now it has a population of just 3 million people and is appearing in its first football tournament since 1958, but Wales have defied the odds to
reach the semifinals of Euro 2016. They are playing Portugal as we speak. It is halftime and the score is 0-0.
Let's go live to Christina McFarland. She's live at a giant viewing party -- Christina.
CHRISTINA MACFARLAND, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes. Thanks, Hala. You're joining me at half time from a very loud arena. The organizers have had to move
the event from a 6,000 capacity park to this. The Principality Stadium formerly known as the Millennium Stadium and known around the world of
sports as the home of Welsh rugby.
But tonight it's all about the football. There are some 30,000 fans who cued long and hard to get tickets to this event. There are twice as many
fans here as there are in the stadium in Lion.
Now they're in the semifinals. Twenty years in fact since a British team have made it this far. We've had quite an exciting first 45 minutes as you
say it's 0-0, and we'll be crossing our fingers and toes here with everyone to find out exactly what the score will be in the 45 minutes. Wales fans
here, though, very on edge.
GORANI: All right. I'm going rush to the nearest TV screen to watch the rest of it. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW live from London Houses of
Parliament. Thanks for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next on CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After some early losses, the Dow managed to pull its way back into the black. It's Wednesday, July 6th.
Tonight, a war that was flawed from the start, a British inquiry slams the decision to invade Iraq.