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Raw acquires copy of letter from British ambassador in lead-up to war
Raw acquires copy of letter from British ambassador in lead-up to war: 'Need to wrongfoot Saddam'
Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne
RAW STORY has acquired a copy of the Mar. 18, 2002 letter dispatched from then-British ambassador to the United States Sir Christopher Meyer to Tony Blair's chief foreign policy advisor, David Manning.
The release comes just before the third anniversary of the Downing Street minutes. The minutes documented a high-level meeting between the Blair and Bush governments, at which the director of British intelligence declared 'the facts were being fixed around the policy' before either nation sought approval for war.
The copy, obtained through British channels, provides further indication of the veracity of the documents and offers striking visual evidence that the communications were made at the highest levels of the Blair government. Meyer drafted the letter on British Embassy stationery.
In the letter from Meyer, he indicates that the British had a "need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN" Security Council Resolutions, possibly suggesting that the British and the United States were coordinating to 'trick' Saddam into starting a war.
Meyer's letter is the third image of the documents to be released. The British Telegraph printed copies of a letter from British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and another by Manning last fall.
His full letter can be read in PDF format here. This copy has been truncated to hide markings that might indicate their source.
The original documents, obtained by Sunday Times reporter Michael Smith, have been destroyed.