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imperialism & war

Impeachment Time Distilled

Greg Palast reported on a London Times Article implicating Bush and Blair fixing the election 8 months prior to the invasion of Iraq. It was taken from 33 pages done by the BBC. I have distilled parts relevant to the American Public in hopes we will keep impeachment a front burner issue.
: THIS TRANSCRIPT WAS TYPED FROM A TRANSCRIPTION UNIT RECORDING AND NOT COPIED FROM AN ORIGINAL SCRIPT: BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF MIS-HEARING AND THE DIFFICULTY, IN SOME CASES OF IDENTIFYING INDIVIDUAL SPEAKERS, THE BBC CANNOT VOUCH FOR ITS ACCURACY.
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PANORAMA
Iraq
Tony & the Truth
RECORDED FROM TRANSMISSION: BBC-1 DATE: 20:03:05

Reporter
JOHN WARE
Research
BEN LIMBERG
DANIEL COLLINGS
KATHLYN POSNER
AMANDA VAUGHAN-BARRATT


RICHARD HAASS
Director of Policy Planning
US State Department 2001-2003
Well the first time I came away persuaded that a war was 99% likely was in early July of 2002 during one of my regular sessions with Condoleeza Rice, then the National Security Adviser. I was uneasy about it, thought that it raised questions to me at least whether it was worth it, and when I began to raise these concerns Condi's reaction was essentially save your breath, hold your fire, this decision has pretty much been made, this is where the President is.

: Several well placed sources have told us that Sir Richard Dearlove was minuted as saying: "The facts and the intelligence were being fixed round the policy by the Bush administration." By 'fixed' the MI6 chief meant that the Americans were trawling for evidence to reinforce their claim that Saddam was a threat. Not for the first time the Foreign Secretary questioned whether the threat was sufficient to justify invasion

JOHN BOLTON
United States Under Secretary of State
Let there be no mistake, our policy insists on regime change in Baghdad. We are content that at the appropriate moment we will have the requisite degree of international support.
But if you don't have it, and all the indications are that at the moment you wont, then what?
BOLTON: We will have it Mr Humphries.

: Half the country was still opposed to war. Mr Blair decided now was the time to publish the dossier, the Joint Intelligence Committee was to approve. The demands from Downing Street on the intelligence services to provide more material became urgent.

ROBIN COOK
Foreign Secretary 1997-2001
Leader of the House 2001-2003
He saw the evidence, he probably saw more of the evidence than any other single person in government, therefore he was well placed to judge how thin it was.

COOK: I've no doubt he believed that those weapons were there. What surprised me, astonished me, about the September dossier was how one-sided it was. It was propaganda. It was not an honest presentation of intelligence.

. We now know that in Washington in March 2002 there had been a discussion at the British Embassy on how sending back the inspectors might be used to trigger an invasion. The Ambassador, Sir Christopher Meyer, sent an account of that discussion back to London. It has since leaked out.

No, what was propelling the Prime Minister was the determination that he would be the closest ally to George Bush. His problem is that George Bush's motivation was regime change. It was not disarmament.

: But British troops wouldn't be able to fight alongside the Americans unless government lawyers concluded that an invasion was justified by international law. The Prime Minister trained as a lawyer and often stressed that he would be bound by this.

31 January 2003
BUSH: Any attempt to drive the process on for months will be resisted by the United States, and as I understand the Prime Minister, I'm loathe to put words in his mouth but he's also said weeks not months.
WARE: Privately the Americans had explained to the British that they would work to get a second resolution but only so long as it didn't delay their military timetable which had scheduled an invasion in about a month. On his return to Britain Mr Blair was questioned about the Bush administration's commitment to helping Britain get a second resolution.

In public the Prime Minister continued to maintain no decisions had been taken. But on the 20th February he confided in Hans Blix that one had.
HANS BLIX
Executive Chairman UNMOVIC
2000-2003
He said, if I remember rightly, that it was until the end of the month that action was fairly imminent at that time, and "end of the month" was an expression that he used.

BLIX: As we got closer to the war the will to go to war went up like this but the evidence went down in the other direction.

But would the American President really take yes for an answer? Mr Bush had already said he was committed to getting rid of Saddam's regime. The dictator may have begun to cooperate meaningfully with the inspectors. But Mr Blair now sought to dissuade the Security Council this was a sham. He needed enough votes to win the second resolution to persuade MPs an invasion would be lawful.

ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER
Mexican Ambassador to the UN
2002-2003
And they had this pile of files on the table and there were three, four officers, and they begin to show us in a map. I asked them: "Do you have full proof of the existence of the weapons in any one of this particular sites that you are referring to?" And the MI6 officer told me: "No, we don't."

COOK: Oh I'd never accuse the Prime Minister of being deliberately untruthful. I think there was a lack of candour.

I think there's no doubt that the French card was deliberately played. I mean...
WARE: Blame it on the French.

ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER
Mexican Ambassador to the UN
2002-2003
The British were asking the Americans give us a little more time. It was not France, it was the United States who did not want to give us more time. They did not want to give Saddam Hussein, the United Nations, or the Security Council, or the British for that matter, more time.

However, what has astonished so many senior civil servants is that the Cabinet only had the assurance from the Attorney General that war would be legal just three days before the bombing started.

So the Cabinet was never told Mr Blair risked being brought before an international tribunal. To this day No.10 refuses to disclose the Attorney General's legal advice about the risks of going to war without a second resolution.
HANS BLIX
Executive Chairman UNMOVIC
2000-2003
I think that's an absurdity that here a minority of the council goes to war to uphold the authority of a majority that is against it.

But there is one issue that none of these inquiries has focused on, the evolution of Mr Blair's Iraq policy, what he said in public, what he knew in private and whether he can reconcile the two.
Your Turn 10.May.2005 22:03

Peach

It's someone else's turn to keep this public. Last I heard, the memo is an opinion. Who is diffusing the truth?