A highly classified memo leaked during the recent Britishelectoral campaign raises extremely serious questions aboutwhether or not the US government ever believed that therewere weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The memo, by British foreign policy aide Matthew Rycroft,discusses a July 23, 2002 meeting between Prime Minister TonyBlair in which British MI6 head Richard Dearlove reported ona recent visit to Washington. The memo states: "This record isextremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. Itshould be shown only to those with a genuine need to knowits contents."
Regarding the danger of Iraq, the memo states, "the case wasthin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMDcapability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
This would suggest that subsequentstatements about there being weapons of mass destruction inIraq were known to be untrue by the president andother officials when they were made, and indeed, the memocontains the statement, "the intelligence and facts werebeing fixed around the policy."
In other words, according to this memo, the US governmentwas in the process devising "facts" to fit a policy ratherthan carrying out policy as a result of facts.
The Central Intelligence Agency has been blamed by theadministration and congress for the fact that Iraq was foundnot to possess weapons of mass destruction. Thememo makes it appear that this was known from long beforethe attack actually took place, and was simply a pretext.
The administration has stated that it will not comment onthe memo. Representative John Conyers of the House JudiciaryCommittee has circulated a letter asking President Bush foran explanation.
Ironically, given the fact that it became apparent afterinitial hostilities had ended that the US had no plan tomanage Iraq after the war, the memo also contains thesentence, "There waslittle discussion in Washington of the aftermath aftermilitary action."
To read the memoclickhere.
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