Sunday, June 26, 2005

Downing Street Document Summaries Plus Original

First, my two cents...

Either you want to know if you've been lied to, or you don't..

I read a very true statement earlier which said Whether you've always opposed Iraq or recently reached that conclusion, Team Bush thinks you're irrelevant

The above statements should be a slap in the face to all Americans as we shout WAKE UP! It is exceedingly ironic...during the presidential race, Kerry was lambasted repeatedly because he voted in favor of the war in Iraq, last week the White House belittled John Conyers' after he was forced by the Republican controlled House to hold the DSM forum in a basement because he had voted in opposition to the Iraq offensive. It does appear that however someone might have voted on Iraq makes no difference whatsoever. If you are not allied with Bush, you do not matter and your two cents is not needed or allowed.

I meant to get to the other Downing Street information earlier but had a game to know...when an idiot tries the distractions and then attempts to insult you in order to make you feel unsure of yourself with the sole purpose of silencing you.. I was finally asked "are you going to remove this "After Downing Street" thing?", to which I emphatically replied that I had no intention. *grin*

The Rest Of The Downing Street Document summaries are below along with the first one published by the Sunday London Times. Let us not forget that between June 2002 and March 20, 2003 when the ground war began in Iraq, the "allies had already flown 21,736 sorties (air raids) over Southern Iraq, attacking over 345 targets. The Bush administration started the war before ever going to Congress or the UN in the attempts of weakening Iraq's forces in preparation for a ground assault. This action was illegal because there is no justification for it especially if Bush was telling us he had no plans for a military assault before taking it to Congress. How much destruction did we cause and how many people lost their lives in unauthorized and illegal military actions we will never know. BTW...the destruction and death were witnessed and reported by UN humanitarian personnel on the ground in Iraq and reported every 3 months to the UN, UK and US...and not all the targets were in the "no fly zone".

March 8, 2002 - Iraq: Legal Background - Written by Legal advisors of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

"In the UK's view a violation of Iraq's obligations which undermines the basis of the cease-fire [...] can revive the authorization to use force [...]. The US [...] maintains that the assessment of breach is for individual member States. We are not aware of any other State which supports this view."

March 8, 2002 - Iraq Options Summary - Written by Overseas and Defense Secretariat, Cabinet Office

"Continue to make clear (without overtly espousing regime change) our view that Iraq would be better off without Saddam. We could trail the rosy future for Iraq without him in a 'Contract with the Iraqi people'..."

March 14, 2002 - Memo writting by David Manning, Foriegn Policy Advisor to Blair after meeting with Condi Rice.

I touched on this previosly.
Condi [Rice]'s enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed."
"Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions: 1) how to persuade international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified 2) what value to put on the exiled Iraqi opposition 3) how to coordinate US/allied military campaign with internal opposition (assuming there is any) 4) what happens on the morning after?"
I think there is a real risk that the Administration underestimates the difficulties.They may agree that failure is not an option but that does not mean that they will avoid it.

This memo to Blair also raises the questions of whether Bush will send enough troops to get the job done and what will happen if it becomes an Urban War (which it has). It also questions what if "Iraqi troops don't conveniently collapse into a heap as Richard Perle and others confidently predict" Apparently the US overlooked the concerns from the UK because we did not have enough troops to succeed in the first place, it has become and urban war and the Iraqis made a liar out of Perle and his cohorts, there never were any plans for the morning after or any exit plan ever made...and there is no end in sight.

March 18, 2002 - Memo written by Christopher Meyer, British Embassy, Washington, the day after having lunch with Paul Wolfowitz

On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Condi Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option. It would be a tough sell for us domestically, and probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go it alone if it wanted to. But if it wanted to act with partners, there had to be a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam. I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SCRs and the critical importance of the MEPP as an intrgal part of the anti-Saddam strategy. If all this could be accomplished skillfully, we were fairly confident that a number of countries would come on board.

In discussion, Meyer concluded that Wolfowitz was pro-IRC (exiled Iraqi National Congress) and that he was opposed to any other faction taking control of Iraq. They discussed Chalabi and how US intelligence had little use for him. That kind of makes you wonder...if the CIA had little use for Chalabi in early March of 2002, how did it come to pass that Chalabi sold us on his fabricated stories unless the intelligence and facts were being fixed around policy of the Bush administration as the minutes of the July 2002 memo stated? This memo.sets the stage for the July memo that states that intel and facts were being molded to the Bush policy.

March 22, 2002 - Memo written by Peter Rickets (Political Director)

This I have touched on but I shall reiterate the prime message in more detail.
By broad support for the objective brings two real problems that need discussing.
First, the THREAT. The truth is that what has changed is not the pace of Saddam Hussein's WMD programs, but the tolerance of them post-11 September. This is not something we need to be defensive about, but attempts to claim otherwise publically will increase skepticism about our case. I am relieved that you decided to postpone publication of the unclassified document. My meeting yesterday showed that there is more work to do to ensure that the figures are accurate and consistent with those of the US. But even the best survey of Iraq's WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years on the nuclear, missile or CW/BWfronts: the programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as far as we know, been stepped up.
US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Quada is so far frankly unconvincing. To get public and Parlaimentary support for military operations, we have to be convincing that:
- the threat is so serious/imminent that it is worth sending our troops to die for
- it is qualitatively different than the threat posed by other proliferators who are closer to achieving nuclear capability (including Iran).
We can make the case on qualitative difference (only Iraq has attacked a neighbor, used CW and fired missiles against Israel). The overall strategy needs to include re-doubled efforts to tackle other proliferators, including Iran, in other ways (the UK/French ideas on greater IAEA activity are helpful here). But we are still left with a problem of bringing public opinion to accept the imminence of a threat from Iraq. This is something the Prime Minister and the President need to have a frank discussion about.
The second problem is the END STATE. Military operations need clear and compelling military objectives. For Kosovo it was: Serbs out, Kosovars back/peacekeepers in. For Afghanistan, destroying the Taliban and Al Quada military capability. For Iraq, "regime change" does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraqi WMD before Saddam uses it or gives it to terrorists. This is at once easier to justify in terms of international law but also more demanding. Regime change that produced another Sunni General still in charge of an active Iraqi WMD programme would be a bad outcome (not least because it would be almost impossible to maintain UN sanctions to a new leader who came in promising a fresh start). As with the fight against UBL, Bush would do well to de-personalise the objective, focus on elimination of WMD and show that he is serious about UN inspectors as the first choice means of achieving that (it is win/win for him: either Saddam against all the odds allows Inspectors to operate freely in which case we can further hobble his WMD programmes, or he blocks/hinders, and we are on stronger ground for switching to other methods).

It is rather clear that regime change was what the US had to go on and it took the UK to fill in the blanks with better reasoning. It is also clear that the UK did not want unclassified documents published until they could match theirs with the US documents in detail (which did not match to this point). Another clear picture is that the UK/US wanted to have a certain amount of control over who Iraq's new leadership would be, therefore denying the Iraqi people of electing their choices and only allowing them US/UK sponsored choices. Don't you just love selective democrasy! It is also crystal clear that the idea was to pressure Saddam into doing the wrong thing (possibly denying UN Inspectors) to give us a valid reason for military action since no valid reason existed. Saddam was no imminent threat and it was known. He could not be pressured or goaded into war so when the time came, Bush denied the UN Inspectors the time they needed and plunged us into war. If he would have allowed the inspectors to do their job, no WMD would have been found and no war would have taken place. This memo was marked as: IRAQ: ADVICE TO THE PRIME MINISTER.

March 25. 2002 - Memo written by Jack Straw (Foriegn and Commonwealth Office)

In this memo to Blair, Straw brings up how 9/11 plays a big role in the US wanting to use military action against Iraq, the same history that Iraq has used WMD in the past and threatened it's neighbors (as a basis for Iraq being more of a threat than Iran and Korea, acknowleges no viable links between Saddam, AQ and 9/11, and the idea that UN Inspectors should be allowed unfettered access to help make it legal. He also mentions that a new UN mandate may be necessary but the US would most likely not be agreeable to it. The excerpt I am posting here makes a very strong statement.
A legal justification is a necessary but far from sufficient pre-condition for militart action. We have also to answer the big question - what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than on anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraq's WMD threat. But none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better.

It is quite obvious that while the UK fussed over how to make the war legal, the Bush administration had no plans at all other than to remove Saddam...and it appears that they did not care about much else unless you take into account later meetings Cheney had with big oil (dividing up Iraqi oil fields on a map) or Bush's meetings with different big oil execs with a plan to privatize and sell off all of Iraq's oil (which the oil industry would not agree to).

July 23, 2002 - The Minutes of the meeting with Blair at his Downing Street residence, recorded by Foriegn Policy Aide MATTHEW RYCROFT

This is the big one that was published by the Sunday (London) Times on May 1, 2005 that started it all. Being such, I will post it again. ("C" is the UK equivalent to our CIA Director)
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell


Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.


(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)



At 1:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Myst said...

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At 7:14 AM, Blogger jefftyrome said...

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At 11:28 PM, Blogger Myst said...

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At 12:27 PM, Blogger TyromeJeff said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Myst said...

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At 7:01 PM, Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

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At 9:52 PM, Blogger Myst said...

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