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Blair Evades More Questions; Declines to Call Dearlove Mistaken or Dishonest

LONDON, England (AP) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday defended the war in Iraq, and brushed off a new question about a government memo that suggested Washington was determined to justify the invasion.

"I was glad that we took the action we did," Blair told the House of Commons when asked about the so-called Downing Street memo.

According to the leaked minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting between Blair and top government officials at his Downing Street office, Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of Britain's intelligence service, said the White House viewed military action against Saddam Hussein as inevitable.

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD," read the memo, seen by The Associated Press. "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

British lawmaker Adam Price asked Blair in the Commons on Wednesday whether he believed Dearlove was a reliable source of information on Iraq.

"Is it safe to assume that Sir Richard's statement ... that the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy was an accurate assessment of the intentions and actions of the Bush administration?" Price asked.

Blair said the contents of that memo had already been covered by a high-level independent investigation into the British government's case for war in Iraq.

He emphasized that the 2002 meeting took place before Britain and the United States sought and secured a resolution from the United Nations Security Council -- a path that indicated they were not bent on military action.

"I have to say that this was of course before we went to the United Nations and secured a second resolution, the resolution 1441 that had unanimous support," Blair added.

Blair, who met on Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, went on to defend the U.S.-led war.

"When I stood next to the new prime minister of Iraq, somebody who has had five of his relatives assassinated by Saddam ... and realized that he was in power because of the democratic votes of 8 million Iraqis, then I was glad that we took the action that we did and made sure that Iraq was no longer governed by a dictatorship, but by a democracy."

Details of the memo appeared in British newspapers early last month but the news in Britain quickly turned to the May 5 election that returned Blair to power.

In the United States, however, details of the memo's contents reignited a firestorm, especially among Democratic critics of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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HAHA assmonkey!

Finally their day is coming...this is building up a nice steady momentum, I forsee rolling heads and for once it's not Iraqi's. Your going down Bush, your going down little weasel. A reminder to Americans please take time to read carefully especially the little references to Iraq

Again, the press allows Blair to escape the evidence contained within the DSM that the trip to the UN was a mere exercise and facade to rally public support behind the War. It instead allowed him to again repeat that apparant lie that the UN venture demonstrated a quest for a diplomatic not military solution.

he suppose to believe that nobody had read the memos.


Tony Blair is quoted in today's press releases as saying that he is "a bit astonished" that the DSM is getting so much traction in the U.S. media. He notes that the memo was written long before the decision to go to war was made and suggests that it is taken out of context. There is so much wiggle room on all of this that it's easy to spin a hundred different ways. Ex. Bush probably made the decision to go for regime change in Iraq when he came into office-however, he obviously didn't make the final decision until right before the invasion. Q. When was "the decision" made? It's like Cheney's assertion that "9/11 changed everything"-that's a correct statement but in the context of Iraq it only means that 9/11 gave the administration the excuse or cover they were looking for long before 9/11.

You idiots are scrambling to find anything that supports your stupid view point about the war. The war was over a year or two ago. Let it go and get a life. Bunch of wankers.

... because it means that we're succeeding. The fact that you took time out of your undoubtedly busy schedule to call us wankers means our message is getting through.

Tell that to my next-door neighbor who's son was killed THIS PAST MAY by insurgents in Iraq. You cold, callous and simple twit!

How many lies does Bush's think the American people will swallow? First we went to war because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. When that lie failed he tried linking Iraq to Bin Laden and that was proven to be untrue. He would now have us believe that Iraq attacked us on September 11th. Why is there no mention of the Downing Street memo proving that the attack on Iraq was being planned 8 months before we went to war. How many more of our rights are we going to relinquish before we wake up to what is really going on in our country?

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