Monday, May 16, 2005

Bush, Iraq and a Very Interesting British Memo

Have you heard about or read the Downing Street Memo that still seems to be flying under journalists' radar here in the U.S? In it Matthew Rycroft, a British foreign policy aide, summarized the minutes of a July 23, 2002 Prime Minister's meeting to Tony Blair's Foreign Policy Advisor Sir David manning. This meeting was held a full 8 months before the U.S., together with Great Britain, invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. The document is quite a smoking gun for conspiracy theorists who claim the Bush administration thumbed its nose at the UN; manipulated intelligence to fit its lust for war; intentionally ignored evidence that disproved Iraq's WMD threat; and then calculatedly sold this charade to the American public. It also shows there was no real plan to deal with the ensuing chaos once we invaded. The document suggests that Bush & Co. knew that Saddam was not a real WMD threat, and that he had essentially been marginalized and contained. From the memo: "C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and fact were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." The memo continues with: "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea and Iran." The Times of London printed the text of this document on Sunday, May 1, 2005, and supports its validity, stating, "British officials did not dispute the document's authenticity." So I ask, where is the outrage here in the States? Where is the accountability for this military debacle and insurgent nightmare? When will someone, anyone, in the Bush administration pay the price for orchestrating this unjust invasion of a sovereign nation--one which posed no real threat to the U.S. or its own neighbors--and which has cost us dearly in human life, $300+ billion, and in countless goodwill currency throughout the world. And, there's no end in sight. Where is the outrage....Andy

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