Tony Blair has said he is sorry for the mistakes in the planning of the Iraq War, following the publication of the Chilcot report.
"What I cannot do and will not do", Mr. Blair said, 13 years after he first ordered British troops into action in Iraq, "is say we took the wrong decision".
"The intelligence assessments made at the time of going to war turned out to be wrong, the aftermath turned out to be more hostile, protracted and bloody than ever we imagined... and a nation whose people we wanted to set free from the evil of Saddam became instead victims of sectarian terrorism".
He pleaded for people to stop saying he had lied about the intelligence that formed the basis of the then-Labour government's decision to follow the United States into Iraq and expressed his "profound regret" to the families of UK soldiers who had died.
"We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for military action were far from satisfactory", Sir John said yesterday.
That was the message from former prime minister Tony Blair during an over two-hour mea culpa on live television soon after the Chilcot report was released on Wednesday, piling more flak on his legacy.
"I mean, hindsight is always a wonderful thing, and in hindsight, some of the information that was presented at the time was proven to be incorrect, but you don't know that - what you do know is is that all you can do is make the decisions based on the information you've got".
He said the report proved the Iraq War had been an "act of military aggression launched on a false pretext", something he said which has "long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of worldwide opinion".
But Chilcot said Blair should have been able to imagine it.
Then-Prime Minister Helen Clark officially condemned the invasion, despite having a strong relationship with the USA and Britain.
"Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated". Blair promised - without consulting government colleagues - "I will be with you whatever".
Howard said that he agreed with Blair's decision at the time and stood by his judgment.
The report also criticised Blair for failing to challenge Bush on the lack of planning for the post-invasion phase - and dismissed his assertion that the impact of local militia and Iran could not have been predicted.
Britain's scarring experience in Iraq has made it deeply wary of committing ground troops to worldwide military interventions in countries like Syria and Libya.
Chilcot also criticized spy chiefs who failed to ensure their partial intelligence about Saddam's weapons was not hardened into certainty by government spin. The country remains plagued by violence, seen most recently in Sunday's vehicle bomb in Baghdad that killed more than 200 people. "I really don't", he said.
He said Blair "destroyed our country".