A soldier who was left disabled after the Iraq war has said the intelligence services should be "held accountable" after the Chilcot report found that they produced "flawed" information on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).
Adam Douglas, a lance corporal, had gone back into the army aged 36 as a reservist, and was one of the first casualties of the Iraq war, after being injured by a rocket-propelled grenade in 2003. He suffered damage to his spine causing paralysis in his left leg, while wounds to his bladder and bowel left him incontinent. He is now a wheelchair user.
He told BuzzFeed News he had "always maintained" that intelligence services got the information wrong. "The WMDs weren't there, they couldn't find them, and the war wasn't justified," he said.
When asked about Tony Blair's responsibility, he said: "He was adamant [based] on the intelligence they could be launched. He was the prime minister at the time and the buck stops with him."
Chilcot also found that the "peaceful options for Iraq had not been exhausted" and that military action "was not a last resort". Douglas told BuzzFeed News that diplomacy had "not been given enough of a chance".
Douglas was nursed back to health by his wife Maria, who also cared for their young family. In 2013, he won a legal battle with the Department of Work and Pensions, which had docked Maria's £70-a-month carer's allowance after falsely accusing him of benefit fraud.
The DWP had made the decision after obtaining footage of him relating to an insurance claim that showed him helping his friends in the process of moving house. Douglas maintained that he had been forced to do so due to extreme circumstances: He faced legal fees if there was a delay in moving to his new home. He said the process of fighting the legal battle left him suicidal.
Douglas told BuzzFeed News that soldiers who fought in Iraq had "not been treated fairly" in the aftermath. He said: "The DWP have been rubbish. You don't have to look very far to see horror stories about how soldiers have been treated."
As a result of his experience he set up a charity called Forgotten Heroes. He said: "Lots of forces charities out there fall over themselves to help. But the carers need help and support, and that's why I set the charity up."
Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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