By James Faulk
North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson is among a group of congressional representatives demanding answers on whether the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to make a war with Iraq seem inevitable.
Thompson, a Democrat from St. Helena, signed a letter dated June 30 that was sent to the heads of four congressional committees.
"We are writing to request that your committees hold hearings to investigate reports of a pre-war deal between the United Kingdom and the United States and evidence that pre-war intelligence was intentionally manipulated," the letter reads. "On May 1, 2005, the Sunday London Times published a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British government."
The document indicates that intelligence and facts were being fixed around a policy centered on the invasion of Iraq, the letter states. War was seen as inevitable rather than as a last resort, according to the letter.
It also indicates that British officials believed the case for war was thin and that Iraq had less potential for weapons of mass destruction than Libya, North Korea or Iran.
"In addition, since the May 1 story in the Sunday London Times, seven additional documents have been leaked to the press," the letter reads. "Collectively, the documents present serious questions as to whether intelligence was manipulated and whether officials in both the U.S. and Britain misled the public as to whether military action in Iraq was really the last resort as both nations purported to be the case."
The letter then points to the "Raw Story" website, which shows that allied bombings of Iraq spiked before the invasion, and before the U.S. Congress had given its permission.
"These raids -- reportedly done to 'lay the foundation' for future military action -- may have gone beyond the scope of maintaining security in Iraq's no-fly zones and, consequently, may have been illegal," it reads.
In a related document, Thompson also signed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for a broad swath of documents related to the Iraq invasion from when Bush took office leading up to the start of the war, including handwritten notes, formal correspondence, e-mail messages, intelligence reports and other memoranda.
The letter and the request are dated June 30, 2005. Thompson joins 51 other congressmen in signing the letter and the request.
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