One comment from 2006 in a post attributed to the Daily Mail entitled, Will we ever be told the truth about the death of Dr David Kelly?, particularly interested me since it sheds intelligent light on the Hutton Inquiry's purpose.
It's from Tom in Bedfordshire and I reproduce the whole comment here:
This is most likely another example of what I know as "the time value of the truth".Most enquiries of this nature are now aimed at simply putting off the time when the truth might out. That is why semi-competent procrastinators are usually chosen to lead them (with as little knowledge of the issues as possible), difficulties are thrown in the way about access to witnesses etc. The theory is that a holding exercise will satisfy the great British public and it usually does. By the time a report is produced, many people have forgotten the issues. Lots of rumblings take place, but a form of investigation has been followed.Then several years later the truth starts to seep out. But it is usually too late for a real investigation to take place and the guilty get away with it. That is our cynical shadowy democracy in action and how many times have we seen it recently? Until we manage to recover our democracy we are probably all at risk.
- Tom, Bedfordshire
The "time value" of a judicial or public inquiry is to buy survival time for politicians and/or others until the truth gradually leaks out.
What was the "time value" of the Hutton Inquiry for Tony Blair, for example?
The Hutton Inquiry proved a valuable "holding exercise" for Tony Blair.
It allowed him to continue as Prime Minister in circumstances where a less overtly kind verdict from Hutton would, in all likelihood, have been the beginning of the end of Blair.
In early 2004 the "time value" of Hutton's whitewash was significant.
Blair has much to thank Hutton for. Blair didn't have to resign in disgrace. Many in Britain, of course, view that as a bad rather than a good thing.
But is the "time value" of the Hutton Inquiry now in its final stages?
One of the interesting aspects of the Internet age is that information remains publicly visible and can be accessed by individuals who wouldn't dream of visiting some dusty official archive.
The effect is that the "time value" of a judicial cover up is decreasing.
The many gaps and inconsistencies in the evidence which the Hutton Inquiry chose to ignore are increasingly coming to public attention.
Lord Hutton is still alive. I expect him, partly as a result of the Hutton Inquiry, to be remembered as a dishonest judge.
Tony Blair is still a sometimes highly visible public or quasi-public figure. There is still more than enough time for his reputation to plummet. Perhaps even enough time for him to be tried for his crimes contrary to UK Law for the invasion of Iraq.
And, perhaps for the first time, a current inquiry - the Iraq Inquiry run by Sir John Chilcot - is open to scrutiny of its tendency to whitewash long before its report is contemplated.
How Sir John Chilcot must wish he lived in the time of the late Lord Widgery who succeeded in dying before his dishonesty in the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was exposed.
I doubt if Lord Hutton will be so lucky.