Reaction from the White House on the memo that shows Bush Made the Intelligence Fit His Iraq PolicySomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Reaction from the White House on the memo that shows Bush Made the Intelligence Fit His Iraq Policy
 


6 May 2005 at 5:28:25 PM
salon

Background:

The principal U.S. intelligence analysis, called a National Intelligence Estimate, wasn't completed until October 2002, well after the United States and United Kingdom had apparently decided military force should be used to overthrow Saddam's regime.

The newly disclosed memo, which was first reported by the Sunday Times of London, hasn't been disavowed by the British government. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington referred queries to another official, who didn't return calls for comment on Thursday.

A former senior U.S. official called it "an absolutely accurate description of what transpired" during the senior British intelligence officer's visit to Washington. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

A White House official said the administration wouldn't comment on leaked British documents.

In July 2002, and well afterward, top Bush administration foreign policy advisers were insisting that "there are no plans to attack Iraq on the president's desk."

But the memo quotes British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, a close colleague of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, as saying that "Bush had made up his mind to take military action."

Straw is quoted as having his doubts about the Iraqi threat.

"But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran," the memo reported he said.

Straw reportedly proposed that Saddam be given an ultimatum to readmit United Nations weapons inspectors, which could help justify the eventual use of force.


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