Here is the smoking gun

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Ann, May 19, 2005.

  1. Ann

    Ann Guest

    The memo that has "IMPEACH HIM" written all over it.

    The top-level government memo marked "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL",
    dated eight months before Bush sent us into Iraq, following a closed
    meeting with the President, reads, "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."

    Read that again: "The intelligence and facts were being fixed...."

    For years, after each damning report on BBC TV, viewers inevitably ask me,
    "Isn't this grounds for impeachment?" -- vote rigging, a blind eye to
    terror and the bin Ladens before 9-11, and so on. Evil, stupidity and
    self-dealing are shameful but not impeachable. What's needed is a "high
    crime or misdemeanor."

    And if this ain't it, nothing is.

    The memo uncovered this week by the TIMES, goes on to describe an elaborate
    plan by George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to hoodwink the
    lanet into supporting an attack on Iraq knowing full well the evidence for
    war was a phony.

    A conspiracy to commit serial fraud is, under federal law, racketeering.
    However, the Mob's schemes never cost so many lives. Here's more. "Bush had
    made up his mind to take military action. 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."

    Really? But Mr. Bush told us, "Intelligence gathered by this and other
    governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and
    conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

    A month ago, the Silberman-Robb Commission issued its report on WMD
    intelligence before the war, dismissing claims that Bush fixed the facts
    with this snooty, condescending conclusion written directly to the
    President, "After a thorough review, the Commission found no indication
    that the Intelligence Community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's
    weapons." We now know the report was a bogus 618 pages of thick
    whitewash aimed to let Bush off the hook for his murderous mendacity.
    Read on: The invasion build-up was then set, says the memo, "beginning
    30 days before the US Congressional elections." Mission accomplished.
    You should parse the entire memo -- reprinted below -- and see if you
    can make it through its three pages without losing your lunch. Now sharp
    readers may note they didn't see this memo, in fact, printed in the New York
    Times. It wasn't. Rather, it was splashed across the front pages of the
    Times of LONDON on Monday.

    It has effectively finished the last, sorry remnants of Tony Blair's
    political career. (While his Labor Party will most assuredly win the
    elections Thursday, Prime Minister Blair is expected, possibly within
    months, to be shoved overboard in favor of his Chancellor of the
    Exchequer, a political execution which requires only a vote of the
    Labour party's members in Parliament.)

    But in the US, barely a word. The New York Times covers this hard
    evidence of Bush's fabrication of a casus belli as some "British"
    elections story. Apparently, our President's fraud isn't "news fit to

    My colleagues in the UK press have skewered Blair, digging out more
    incriminating memos, challenging the official government factoids and
    fibs. But in the US press nada, bubkes, zilch. Bush fixed the facts and
    somehow that's a story for "over there."

    The Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over his cigar and Monica's
    affections. And the US media could print nothing else. Now, we have the
    stone, cold evidence of bending intelligence to sell us on death by the
    thousands, and neither a Republican Congress nor what is laughably
    called US journalism thought it worth a second look.

    My friend Daniel Ellsberg once said that what's good about the American
    people is that you have to lie to them. What's bad about Americans is
    that it's so easy to do.

    Greg Palast, former columnist for Britain's
    Guardian papers, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The
    Best Democracy Money Can Buy". Subscribe to his columns at GregPalast.COM.
    Media requests to CONTACT(at)GregPalast.COM.
    Permission to reprint with attribution granted.

    [Here it is - the secret smoking gun memo
    - discovered by the Times of London. - GP]


    From: Matthew Rycroft

    Date: 23 July 2002 S 195 /02

    cc: Defence Secretary,Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General,
    Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C,
    Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell


    Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

    This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It
    should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

    John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment.
    Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to
    overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was
    worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not
    convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime
    expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that
    regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public
    was probably narrowly based.

    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.

    CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August,
    Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

    The two broad US options were:

    (a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72
    hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time
    of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

    (b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous
    air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60
    days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

    The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia
    and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were
    also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK
    involvement were:

    (i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

    (ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

    (iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a
    discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two
    Iraqi divisions.

    The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of
    activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken,
    but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to
    begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US
    Congressional elections.

    The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this
    week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military
    action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin.
    Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was
    less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan
    for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors.
    This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

    The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a
    legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases:
    self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The
    first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR
    1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of
    course change.

    The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically
    and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime
    change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was
    producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with
    Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would
    support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan
    worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military
    plan the space to work.

    On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was
    workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

    For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one,
    or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said
    that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the
    Defence Secretary.

    The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military
    plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK
    interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK
    differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the
    ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

    John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in
    only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

    The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military
    involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many
    in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It
    would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political
    context to Bush.


    (a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any
    military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we
    could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we
    were considering a range of options.

    (b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds
    could be spent in preparation for this operation.

    (c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed
    military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

    (d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background
    on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam. He
    would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries
    in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

    (e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence

    (f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would
    consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers. (I have written
    separately to commissionthis follow-up work.)

    (Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)
    Ann, May 19, 2005
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