A few more Downing Street memo links: From Eric Boehlert at Salon (one-day pass required): Bush lied about war? Nope, no news there! And from the Sunday Times of London: Ministers were told of need for Gulf war.
That last one features a new twist: It seems the Times of London has published most of a secret briefing paper that was distributed at the meeting summarized by the original Downing Street memo. I’m sure Bush defenders will be all over certain parts of it; the following quote, for example:
Although no political decisions have been taken, US military planners have drafted options for the US Government to undertake an invasion of Iraq.
Bush critics, on the other hand, will likely focus on passages like this:
A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise. As already made clear, the US military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden.
It’s a real crowd-pleaser. This top-secret document has something for everyone!
Jumping back to the story about the briefing paper that I linked to above (before I linked to the actual briefing paper), I also like how the Times of London is now reporting on the US media’s reporting on the previous Times of London reporting on the original memo:
The Downing Street memo burst into the mainstream American media only last week after it was raised at a joint Bush-Blair press conference, forcing the prime minister to insist that “the facts were not fixed in any shape or form at all”.
I also like the following:
John Conyers, the Democratic congressman who drafted the letter to Bush, has now written to Dearlove asking him to say whether or not it was accurate that he believed the intelligence was being “fixed” around the policy. He also asked the former MI6 chief precisely when Bush and Blair had agreed to invade Iraq and whether it is true they agreed to “manufacture” the UN ultimatum in order to justify the war.
He and other Democratic congressmen plan to hold their own inquiry this Thursday with witnesses including Joe Wilson, the American former ambassador who went to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium ore for its nuclear weapons programme.
Yay! We have Joe Wilson to kick around some more!