Sir John Chilcot's long awaited inquiry into the Iraq was published today, all 2.6 million words of it.
So today, my late friend Charles Kennedy has been vindicated. He was completely right to lead the Liberal Democrats in opposition to the war back in 2003, giving a voice to the millions who knew it was the wrong thing for Britain to do.
He did so in the face of vile taunts and mocking from Blair's Labour, insults and sneers from the Conservatives and blatant abuse from the right wing press.
Charles and his Liberal Democrat colleagues kept to their principles and voted against taking military action.
Every Lib Dem MP in 2003 - all 53 of my colleagues - voted "No" to committing our country to war in Iraq. I wasn't in Parliament at the time but I was one of the hundreds of thousands who marched on Parliament.
Labour and the Tories, including David Cameron, will now try and justify their position with talk of ‘if we knew then what we know now’, but the British people will know they had the power to stop the war, but chose not to.
Because Chilcot concludes exactly what Lib Dems have known for over thirteen years: there was no legal or strategic case for the invasion of Iraq. Instead of improving our security it in fact made our country and our world less safe.
It simply didn't have to be like this. The world would be a very different place if that decision had not been taken.
How sad for all those killed, some estimate a million and billions more affected in some by the impact of the Iraq war.
6th July 2016
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