Tuesday, May 10, 2005

UK Intelligence Memo

What? Bush had already decided to attack Iraq as early as 2002? And, wait, what's this, they were determined to mold the intelligence to fit the policy? You're fucking kidding me!

Check out the British intelliegence memo dated July 23, 2002 that was leaked in the UK in advance of the elections last week but hasn't made front page news here yet. Here's an excerpt:

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest IC 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.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was 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.

Good stuff right? But perhaps my favorite part of the memo is its plea for confidentiality:

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.

So this seems like big news, right? So why haven't you seen it on the news or in the major newspapers? According to Media Matters, The Washington Post, supposed stalwart of the "liberal media," has only mentioned it 3 times, once in a column by Tina Brown, once in an article about the British elections and finally, in a column by the paper's ombudsman, Michael Getler, in which he notes simply that:

A handful of readers last week also faulted the paper for not following up on a London Sunday Times disclosure of a secret memo by a foreign policy aide to British Prime Minister Tony Blair after a Bush-Blair meeting in July 2002, eight months before the invasion of Iraq.
An ombudsman is the reader's editor. In this role his mandate is not only to listen to and air complaints by readers, but also to address those concerns with action or at the very least with an opinion/comment of his own. Let him know we expect him to challenge his paper's laziness at best, complicity with the administration in burying this story at worst. He can be reached via e-mail at ombudsman@washpost.com.

Let's not allow this story to go away.


Post a Comment

<< Home