Monday, March 27, 2006

Bush Lies Memorialized in British Document

Doug Mills/The New York Times
Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and President Bush arriving for a White House news conference on Jan. 31, 2003, after a meeting about Iraq that would be summarized in a memorandum by an adviser to Mr. Blair.

The war plan was definite at least by January 31, 2003: three days after Bush's State of the Union speech (filled with lies like: Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production") the date for invasion was set. (The actual invasion took place nine days later than anticipated, on March 19, 2003.) And I imagine the war plan was 'set' long before this. Contrary to Bush's lies at his press conference last week, he was set to go to war all along.

NYTimes: Bush Was Set on Path to War, Memo by British Adviser Says

LONDON — In the weeks before the United States-led invasion of Iraq, as the United States and Britain pressed for a second United Nations resolution condemning Iraq, President Bush's public ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was blunt: Disarm or face war.

But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.

"Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Mr. Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six of their top aides.

"The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March," Mr. Manning wrote, paraphrasing the president. "This was when the bombing would begin."

: Was my face red ... must have more coffee before posting ... this is just another one of the Downing Street memos, which has been out there on the web for two months. It was reported in the Guardian (uk) on February 3, 2006:

Blair-Bush deal before Iraq war revealed in secret memo
PM promised to be 'solidly behind' US invasion with or without UN backing

I even blogged about these very documents before:

Going to the UN Was a Sham; War Was Already Decided (Feb. 3, 2006)

The charge: Blogging while sleepwalking. The verdict: guilty as charged. Penalty: We report, you decide.

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