February 06, 2006

The White House Memo

As you may know by now, details of the new White House Memo quoted in the latest edition of Phillipe Sands' Lawless World are now beginning to filter into the media. But (as with the earlier Downing Street Memos) it looks like drawing attention to the massive importance of this story will be a very slow and painful process.

Predictably, details of this White House memo first emerged in the UK. Britain's Channel 4 new had some solid video coverage (.wmv) and the Guardian had this report. The BBC, Independent, Telegraph and Financial times, among others, have all run stories. But as a Google News search for "White House Memo Iraq" shows, once again the international press is days ahead of the US media in picking up this story and running with it.

Both the Christian Science Monitor and CNN have run reports on the reports of the story, but that's about it so far in Bush's blinkered USA. How do YOU feel about being kept in a state of ignorance by the vast left-wing media conspiracy?

You know, if you can remember watching this Jan 2003 press conference, two months before the invasion, you might recall what a huge story it was back then - top item on all networks worldwide, I imagine. It sure scored some rating for FOX and CNN...

Which only makes the silence today more bizarre. Turns out Bush and Blair were talking crap and hatching criminal plots - who woulda guessed, eh?

This latest memo just confirms what every anti-war activist already knows: the stated reasons for the illegal invasion of Iraq were a crock of dung. Think Progress has a good overview of the evidence thus far. The following quotes are all assembled from leaked documents:
“Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” [Link]

“US is scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al [Qaida that] is so far frankly unconvincing.” [Link]

“Even the best survey of Iraq’s WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years on [the] nuclear, missile or CW/BW fronts.” [Link]

“Indeed if the argument [for attacking Iraq] is to be won, the whole case against Iraq and in favour (if necessary) of military action, needs to be narrated with reference to the international rule of law.” [Link]

“A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to law Officers advice, none currently exists.” [Link]

“The NSC (National Security Council) had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record.” [Link]

“The two leaders [Bush and Blair] were worried by the lack of hard evidence that Saddam Hussein had broken UN resolutions, though privately they were convinced that he had. According to the memorandum, Mr Bush said: ‘The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.’” [Link]

“On January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - … Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme.” [Link]

“[Bush] added that he had a date, 10 March, pencilled in for the start of military action. The war actually began on 20 March.” [Link]

“What happens on the morning after?” [Link]

“There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.” [Link]

“Bush said that he ‘thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups.’” [Link]

“We have to answer the big question – what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than anything.” [Link]

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