Tuesday, May 10, 2005
The Discreet Charm of Tony Blair and Iraq
So we come to what I would refer to as a "Memorandum of Understanding." You know, like the 36 page document drawn up for the Kerry/Bush debates. The broad outlines of the acceleration of tensions toward full war is basically outlined in a recently disclosed memo. The following is from a Newsday story:
The document, which summarizes a July 23, 2002, meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair with his top security advisers, reports on a visit to Washington by the head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service.PM Tony Blair is quite the gladhander. It must be his charming smile that won the hearts of the British.
The visit took place while the Bush administration was still declaring to the American public that no decision had been made to go to war.
"There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable," the MI-6 chief said at the meeting, according to the memo. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD," or weapons of mass destruction.
The memo said, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.
The White House has repeatedly denied accusations made by several top foreign officials that it manipulated intelligence estimates to justify an invasion of Iraq.
It has instead pointed to the conclusions of two studies, one by the Senate Intelligence Committee and one by a presidentially appointed panel, that cite serious failures by the CIA and other agencies in judging Hussein's weapons programs.
The principal U.S. intelligence analysis, called a National Intelligence Estimate, wasn't completed until October 2002, well after the United States and United Kingdom had apparently decided military force should be used to overthrow Hussein's regime.
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