Saturday, June 11, 2005

Smoking gun, meet smoking cannon

Sunday 6/12/05 (noon EST)
Here is the memo. Read it for yourself!

(Buzzflash gets props for inspiring the title) Can you believe it? It just keeps getting better and better. If by better you mean worse...

A new article from the Times threatens to blow the Downing Street Memo scandal wide open!

Here are some highlights (but do yourself a favor and read the whole thing),

Ministers were told of need for Gulf war "‘excuse"

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.

The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair'’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "“necessary to create the conditions"” which would make it legal.

[So if it wasn't legal to start the war, does that make it a war crime? Seriously, I don't know. - Robster]

The document said the only way the allies could justify military action was to place Saddam Hussein in a position where he ignored or rejected a United Nations ultimatum ordering him to co-operate with the weapons inspectors. But it warned this would be difficult.

"“It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject,"” the document says. But if he accepted it and did not attack the allies, they would be "“most unlikely"” to obtain the legal justification they needed.

The suggestions that the allies use the UN to justify war contradicts claims by Blair and Bush, repeated during their Washington summit last week, that they turned to the UN in order to avoid having to go to war. The attack on Iraq finally began in March 2003.

If you think that this is going to be bad for Bush, the story goes on,

The White House has declined to respond to a letter from 89 Democratic congressmen asking if it was true -— as Dearlove told the July meeting -— that "“the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"” in Washington.
Yeah, thats the letter I have linked to. Have you signed it?

Conyers promised to deliver it to Bush once it reached 250,000 signatures. By Friday morning it already had more than 500,000 with as many as 1m expected to have been obtained when he delivers it to the White House on Thursday.
The signitures will be hand delivered Thursday by Rep. John Conyers (D-OH) to the White House.

So what are you waiting for? Sign the memo already!!! If the site is down, try back later. The massive interest in DSM has meant that Rep. Conyer's site has crashed a few times.

For some context, you should read this as well, as it details increasing the bombing performed on Iraq to try to get Saddam to retaliate, making a perfect excuse for war. As soon as the text of the new memo becomes available I will post it.

by Robster @ 6/11/2005 09:44:00 PM PERMALink