Monday, May 09, 2005

Bush and the British memo

(Not the timeliest of posts, but here goes.)

Juan Cole discusses the British memo, in which the head of MI6 describes what Bush is thinking in July of 2002:

"C [Dearlove] reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Here are Bush's public comments on August 10, 2002, while golfing no less:

Q Do you think the American people are prepared for casualties in Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that that presumes there's some kind of imminent war plan. As I said, I have no timetable. What I do believe the American people understand is that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of leaders such as Saddam Hussein are very dangerous for ourselves, our allies. They understand the concept of blackmail. They know that when we speak of making the world more safe, we do so not only in the context of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, but nations that have proven themselves to be bad neighbors and bad actors.

Here he is on August 16, 2002:

But America needs to know, I'll be making up my mind based upon the latest intelligence and how best to protect our own country plus our friends and allies.

Via, an article by a veteran CIA guy at


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