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WikiLeaks: Britain Pledged to Protect US in Iraq Inquiry

A man views a news stand displaying newspapers, some carrying the story on WikiLeaks' release of classified US State Department documents, in London, Nov. 29, 2010

Documents released on theWikiLeaks website indicate Britain's previous government gave secret assurances to Washington that it would "protect U.S. interests" during a special inquiry into the Iraq war.

VOA Senior News Analyst Gary Thomas speaks with Middle East Monitor host Susan Yackee about Wikileaks and the Middle East:

U.S. embassy cables from September 2009 disclose that a top British Defense Ministry official, John Day, had "promised that the UK had put measures in place to protect" American interests during the inquiry.

The Chilcot inquiry was launched in July of 2009 by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to look into how decisions were made in the run-up to the conflict in Iraq. Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot had said at the start of the investigation that some sessions would be private to protect national security interests.

Two months after the cable was sent, additional restrictions were imposed on disclosure of the probe's work, citing commercial and economic interests.

Critics of the Iraq war call the reported assurances "despicable." Britain's decision to send troops to Iraq sparked large protests across the country.

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