Thursday, June 09, 2005
Bush And Blair Lie About Downing Street Memo--Analysis
At a joint press conference on June 7, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair both blatantly lied in response to a question about the Downing Street Memo (DSM). Rather than respond to the substance of the memo itself, they repeated the very propaganda line which minutes reveal as a deliberate falsehood. Bush and Blair did not even try to discredit the minutes themselves, which is the only possible way to refute the underlying claim.

The question asked was, "On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street memo from July 2002 says intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military action. Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?"

Naturally, both men responded to the ineptly-stated question by denying everything. "No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all," said Blair.

But the memo itself—minutes of a meeting Blair held with his top advisors on July 23, 2002—said, "C [British intelligence chief Sir Richard Dearlove] reported on his recent talks in Washington.... 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."

Blair made no attempt to explain why the meeting minutes directly contradict him.

"And somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth," added Bush.

That somebody, Sir Richard Dearlove, is the head of MI6, the British equivalent of the CIA. Bush made no attempt to justify his accusation that Britain's chief of national intelligence is a liar.

Bush also said, "[W]e worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully, take a -- put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, and say, the world speaks, and he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously." Not only is this statement contradicted by the Downing Street Memo, it also lies about Saddam's response: he allowed the weapons inspectors back into Iraq, essentially complying with Resolution 1441.

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