LONDON, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Officials in the United Kingdom on Tuesday opened an inquiry into Britain's involvement in the war in Iraq.
The hearings started with testimony from people familiar with British moves and decisions made ahead of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. A final report from the inquiry isn't expected for about a year, the BBC said.
The panel is led by John Chilcot, who has said the goal is to fashion lessons from what happened in Iraq through evaluations to determined "what went well and what did not and crucially why," the BBC reported.
One of the first to appear before the inquiry was former Joint Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Ricketts, who said there was a "palpable" threat posed by a Saddam Hussein-led Iraq. He said there was a belief that Saddam planned to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
Rickets also said "voices" in Washington called for Saddam's removal from power even before George W. Bush became president and those calls increased once Bush took office.