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The Downing Street Memo
The Downing Street "Memo" is ... a document containing meeting minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on July 23, 2002—a full eight months PRIOR to the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003. The Times of London printed the text of this document on Sunday, May 1, 2005, but to date US media coverage has been limited. [] is intended to act as a resource for anyone who wants to understand the facts revealed in this document.

The contents of the memo are shocking. The minutes detail how our government did not believe Iraq was a greater threat than other nations; how intelligence was "fixed" to sell the case for war to the American public; and how the Bush administration’s public assurances of "war as a last resort" were at odds with their privately stated intentions.
- home page extract -

Downing Street Memo: Bush wanted to remove Saddam ... justified by the conjuction of terrorism and WMD
C 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
-- Matthew Rycroft - aide to Foreign Policy Advisor, David Manning, wrote up the minutes of the meeting --

"It is an invasion, but it will act like a coup. The original plan was to liberate Iraq from the Saddamists and from the regime."
-- Falah Aljibury speaking on BBC Television's Newsnight. Aljibury was a US oil industry advisor who, along with others, was asked to interview would-be replacements for a new US-installed Iraqi dictator after the coup. --

Paul Wolfowitz: Photo credit unavailable
Paul Wolfowitz: Photo credit unavailable
For bureaucratic reasons...
For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
-- Paul Wolfowitz, now President of the World Bank but then Deputy Secretary of Defense (U.S.) and a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), Vanity Fair interview, May 28, 2003 --

New methods of attack -- electronic, 'non-lethal', biological -- will be more widely available ... combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes ... advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.
-- REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century, Project for the New American Century (PNAC) --

WMDs were the excuse...
"[British] claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were 'not the reason to go to war, but the excuse to go to war'."
-- Sir John Walker, former British officer, Air Marshal, a former chief of Defence Intelligence, 'Claims about WMD 'may have been excuse rather than reason for war', By Paul Waugh, Deputy Political Editor, 25 August 2003 --

WMDs aren't really the issue...
"[Whether Saddam's regime actually possessed weapons of mass destruction] isn't really the issue... Whether he possessed them today or four years ago isn't really the issue ... As long as that regime was in power, it was determined to get nuclear, chemical and biological weapons one way or another.. " -- John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, Associated Press, 2003.9.03 --

We now know that documents ... had been forged
" We now know that documents alleging a transaction between Iraq and Niger had been forged. "
-- Michael Anton, spokesman for the national security council, "White House Says Iraq Uranium Claim Forged", Reuters, 2003.07.08 --

Iraq provides the immediate justification
"The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. "
-- Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC) to advise Richard Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff) among others. --
Duo Found Guilty Over Leaked Iraq Memo // "A civil servant and an MP's researcher have been found guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act. They leaked an 'extremely sensitive' memo about talks on Iraq between Tony Blair and President Bush. Keogh (L) and O'ConnorCabinet Office communications officer David Keogh passed the four-page document to Leo O'Connor, a researcher for anti-war Labour MP Anthony Clarke. Keogh was found guilty on two charges and O'Connor on one. The jury heard Keogh, 50, believed the memo exposed President Bush as a "madman".'"
-- Duo Found Guilty Over Leaked Iraq Memo, May 09, 2007 --
The Secret Downing Street Memo // Times of London, May 1, 2005
Palast Statement To Conyers On Downing St Memo.
Downing Street Memo - Deception & Cover-up.
Nail It to the White House Door