By Democracy Now!
The fallout from the revelation of a secret meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team appears to be growing.
We take a look at the so-called "Downing Street Memo" which reveals how the former director of the British intelligence agency, MI6, told Prime Minister Tony Blair that the U.S. had already made plans to attack Iraq as early as July 2002.
It was marked "Secret and strictly personal - UK eyes only." That was the header of the Downing Street memo that exposed a meeting in July 2002 between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team. The text to the minutes of the secret briefing was published by the Sunday Times of London last month.
In the briefing Richard Dearlove, then-director of the British intelligence agency, MI 6 - told Blair that the U.S. had already made plans to attack Iraq. According to the leaked minutes, Dearlove said the US attack would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD." He went on to say "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Though the revelation of the so-called Downing Street memo initially saw very little attention from the mainstream U.S media, calls for a full investigation, have gained momentum. 89 House members have called on President Bush to answer questions surrounding the memo; Representative John Conyers is in the process of collecting 100,000 signatures demanding that the president address the accuracy of the document.
And Last week, former presidential candidate Senator John Kerry told the Massachusetts Standard Times newspaper that he will be raising the issue of the memo when he returns to Washington this week. He went on to say, "I think it's a stunning unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."
Since the Downing Street memo revelations, more evidence has come out showing that the U.S and the Royal Air force increased their air strikes on Iraq in the months preceding the invasion in order to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war.
Jeremy Scahill, Producer and Correspondent, Democracy Now.
Hans Von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. In the late 1990s, he was the coordinator of the United Nations Humanitarian Mission in Iraq.
John Bonifaz, lawyer and author of the book "Warrior King: The Case For Impeaching George W. Bush." He is also co-founder of afterdowningstreet.org which is a coalition of various groups urging Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.
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