Bush and Blair’s Smoking Gun

I’ll be honest: I’m not a big fan of US President Bush. Not a big fan of his oil connections, his family’s connections to the Saudi royals, his environmental policies, or his abuse of religion to justify his other actions. (In short, I’m a conservative who doesn’t believe for one second the myth that Bush is an infallible, divinely inspired leader whose actions are in line with the Almighty’s word at all times.) But after reading the following, I’m completely in shock that possible impeachment hearings haven’t yet started.

The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so.

(Source: The Raw Story)

Here are some more frightening details:

Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said the leaked minute showed Blair had “agreed to an illegal regime change with the Bush administration. It set out to create the justification for going to war. It was to be war by any means.”

(Source: The London Times)

Finally, here’s the letter of inquiry being sent by 88 Congress members to Bush in regards to this issue:

May 5, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O’Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair’s representative claimed the document contained “nothing new.” If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.

The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government. Among other things, the document revealed:

* Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush’s plans for invading Iraq.

* British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged that the case for war was “thin” as “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran.”

* A separate secret briefing for the meeting said that Britain and America had to “create” conditions to justify a war.

* A British official “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 facts were being fixed around the policy.”

As a result of this recent disclosure, we would like to know the following:

1) Do you or anyone in your Administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?

2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain’s commitment to invade prior to this time?

3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?

4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?

5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to “fix” the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?

We have of course known for some time that subsequent to the invasion there have been a variety of varying reasons proffered to justify the invasion, particularly since the time it became evident that weapons of mass destruction would not be found. This leaked document – essentially acknowledged by the Blair government – is the first confirmation that the rationales were shifting well before the invasion as well.

Given the importance of this matter, we would ask that you respond to this inquiry as promptly as possible. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Members who have already signed letter…

This… is seriously… scary. Peope made such a big deal about Clinton and Monica (and it was a big deal), but sending hundreds of our countrymen to their deaths… for what? To settle a personal account? To “bring democracy to the world” (ie. open up new America-friendly oil fields)? Shouldn’t the “Fair and Balanced” (sic) Fox News be doing something with this? What about the rest of America’s media mega-lords? (Gee CNN, thank you for this wonderful headliner. Heart-warming, isn’t it?) I think this deserves a seriously massive Ken Starr-esque investigation.

I agree, Saddam had to go, but do the ends justify the means? I’m sure I could convincingly argue that yes, in this case they did, but how many more of these secret meetings have already decided our future for us?

Again: seriously scary.

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