Friday, February 03, 2006

The Mother of All Downing Street Memos?

Did Bush propose the creation of an incident that would justify his war? Channel 4 News in England says it has a January 31, 2003 memo that says so. It records a discussion between Bush and Blair. Some excerpts:
"President Bush to Tony Blair: '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'

Bush: 'It was also possible that a defector could be brought out who would give a public presentation about Saddam's WMD, and there was also a small possibility that Saddam would be assassinated.'

Blair: 'A second Security Council Resolution resolution would provide an insurance policy against the unexpected and international cover, including with the Arabs.'

Bush: 'The US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would 'twist arms' and 'even threaten'. But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.'

Blair responds that he is: 'solidly with the President and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam.'

Bush told Blair he: 'thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups.'"

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