Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed serving in Iraq, told RT that any money raised in a civil case by military families against Tony Blair will be donated to the Iraqi people to improve their lives.
Matthew Bacon, a British Army major, was killed by a roadside bomb while traveling in a lightly-armored Snatch vehicle in Iraq in 2005.
His bereaved father described to RT his awe at the staggering success of the Iraq War Families Campaign’s crowdfunding drive to fund a full legal examination of the Chilcot Report for evidence challenging the legality of the war.
The online fundraiser hit its first target of £50,000 (US$66,000) within a day of launching on Tuesday, and it is now rapidly approaching its secondary target of £150,000.
Roger said the funds are needed to hire a “firm of lawyers to look at the Iraq report, to see just what kind of illegalities or misuse of constitutional powers have taken place.”
He recognized Sir John Chilcot’s long-delayed report, published on July 6, is “not a legal document, and that the legality of going to war would have to be decided in a properly constituted and recognized court.”
Bacon said the families of the 179 troops killed in the war are “really relieved about the report itself. It says all we thought it should say, but we do actually need to find out the legality of it because that is the only way of making sure if there has been anything that transgresses the law.”
“It is the only way of making sure that what happened in Iraq never happens again,” he added.
“Matthew was a soldier’s soldier, he loved the soldiering life, and by the time he went to Iraq he was a major in the Intelligence Corps,” Bacon said of his late 34-year-old son.
The consensus among the families, for whom Roger has been a regular spokesman, is “we did not think we should have gone into Iraq in the first place, we are also concerned, of course, about some of the equipment failures, which had resulted partially because of the lack of planning at the beginning.”
Much of the controversy around Iraq, he said, “goes back to some of the decisions made by Tony Blair in taking us up to the war.”
He pointed out that with the International Criminal Court (ICC) not yet able to rule on war crimes, criminal charges unlikely, and no indication from the government or parliament that “punitive action” will be taken, “the only recourse we have left is to take civil proceedings in this country.”
The result of civil action, Bacon acknowledged, would be compensation, which he said the families were not “particularly interested” in.
“But the advantage of that is that we can then use it to somehow give back to the Iraqi people, to do something to improve their lives,” he said.