[Marxism] VERY LATE NEWS: Washington Post hobbles explosive 'fix the facts' report - WnPost May 13, 2005

Ralph Johansen michele at maui.net
Fri May 13 18:02:29 MDT 2005


<Although critics of the Iraq war have accused Bush and his top aides of 
misusing what has since been shown as limited intelligence in the prewar 
period, Bush's critics have been unsuccessful in getting an 
investigation of that matter.>

Why would it be that this investigation hasn't come about?  Could it be 
that a supine US press including CNN, MSNBC, Newsweek, Time and the 
Washington Post sitting on this story has anything to do with it?  Could 
it be that only a burst of coordinated complaints to the Post by email 
in the past two days has forced what information we have finally 
received from this paper?

This article follows by almost two weeks the original disclosure, coming 
at the conclusion of Britain's election campaign and first published by 
the Sunday Times of London on May 1, which quotes a leaked classified 
memo reporting that US administration officials in July 2002 said to 
British counterparts that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed 
around the policy.".

[http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-523-1592904-523,00.html]

Yet when they do publish the report, the Washington Post conceals it 
behind a bland headline which conveys that it is old stuff: " British 
Intelligence Warned of Iraq War."

This is how things go with the beltway paper of record.

This memo discloses what are palpable, undeniable grounds for 
impeachment.  Thousands have been killed in the past two years as a 
result and the US public has been misled and has acquiesced in a savage 
pointless war.

But then we have as well the supine sitting Congress, except for a very 
few.

And Clinton was impeached by Bush's party over a cigar and a thong.

----------------------

washingtonpost.com

British Intelligence Warned of Iraq War

Blair Was Told of White House's Determination to Use Military Against 
Hussein

By Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, May 13, 2005; A18

Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign 
intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush 
wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in 
Washington intelligence was "being fixed around the policy," according 
to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, 
summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British 
intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington 
along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, "Bush 
wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the 
conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the 
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

"The case was thin," summarized the notes taken by a British national 
security aide at the meeting. "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours 
and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

The notes were first disclosed last week by the Sunday Times of London, 
triggering criticism of Blair on the eve of the May 5 British 
parliamentary elections that he had decided to support an invasion of 
Iraq well before informing the public of his views.

The notes of the Blair meeting, attended by the prime minister's senior 
national security team, also disclose for the first time that Britain's 
intelligence boss believed that Bush had decided to go to war in 
mid-2002, and that he believed U.S. policymakers were trying to use the 
limited intelligence they had to make the Iraqi leader appear to be a 
bigger threat than was supported by known facts.

Although critics of the Iraq war have accused Bush and his top aides of 
misusing what has since been shown as limited intelligence in the prewar 
period, Bush's critics have been unsuccessful in getting an 
investigation of that matter.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has dropped its previous 
plan to review how U.S. policymakers used Iraq intelligence, and the 
president's commission on intelligence did not look into the subject 
because it was not authorized to do so by its charter, Laurence H. 
Silberman, the co-chairman, told reporters last month.

The British Butler Commission, which last year reviewed that country's 
intelligence performance on Iraq, also studied how that material was 
used by the Blair government. The panel concluded that Blair's speeches 
and a published dossier on Iraq used language that left "the impression 
that there was fuller and firmer intelligence than was the case," 
according to the Butler report.

It described the July 23 meeting as coming at a "key stage" in 
preparation for taking action against Iraq but described it primarily as 
a session at which Blair favored reengagement of U.N. inspectors against 
a background of intelligence that Hussein would not accept them unless 
"the threat of military action were real."

During the July 2002 time frame, Bush was working to build support in 
the United States for a war against Hussein, while a U.S. base in Qatar 
was being expanded and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz was 
trying to get Turkey to assist in potential military action against the 
Iraqi leader.

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington said he would not 
comment on the substance of the document.

Blair's senior advisers at the July 2002 session decided they would 
prepare an "ultimatum" for Iraq to permit U.N. inspectors to return, 
despite being told that Bush's National Security Council, then headed by 
Condoleezza Rice, "had no patience with the U.N. route," according to 
the notes. "The prime minister said that it would make a big difference 
politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the U.N. inspectors."

Although Dearlove reported that the NSC had "no enthusiasm for 
publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record," the Blair team soon 
set in motion preparation of the public dossier on Iraq, which was 
published in late September 2002.

Another piece of the British memo has relevance now, as the United 
States battles an insurgency that some say was exacerbated by faulty 
planning for the post-invasion period. "There was little discussion in 
Washington of the aftermath after military action," the notes say, 
without attributing that directly to Dearlove.

The "U.S. has already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the 
regime," the British defense secretary reported, according to the notes. 
Although no final decision had been made, "he thought the most likely 
timing in U.S. minds for military action to begin was January, with the 
timeline beginning 30 days before the U.S. congressional elections."

As it finally worked out, the Bush administration's public campaign for 
supporting a possible invasion of Iraq began the next month, in late 
August, with speeches by Vice President Cheney, followed by a late 
October vote in Congress to grant the president authority to use force 
if necessary. Later in October, the British and the Americans introduced 
their resolution on Iraq in the U.N. Security Council and it passed in 
early November, shortly after the Nov. 2 elections.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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