Smoking MemoI meant to blog about this last week or maybe even the week before. But during the recent British election, the existence of a "smoking memo" was revealed. From Joe Conason on Salon:
On May 1, the Sunday Times of London published the confidential minutes of a meeting held almost three years ago at 10 Downing Stree, residence of the British prime minister, where Tony Blair and members of his Cabinet discussed the British government's ongoing consultations with the Bush administration over Iraq.
What the minutes clearly show is that Bush and Blair secretly agreed to wage war for "regime change" nearly a year before the invasion -- and months before they asked the United Nations Security Council to support renewed weapons inspections as an alternative to armed conflict. The minutes also reveal the lingering doubts over the legal and moral justifications for war within the Blair government.
"C [Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6] 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 U.N. route ... There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."
Conason starts his piece by asking:
Are Americans so jaded about the deceptions perpetrated by our own government to lead us into war in Iraq that we are no longer interested in fresh and damning evidence of those lies? Or are the editors and producers who oversee the American news industry simply too timid to report that proof on the evening broadcasts and front pages?
When shit like this happens -- the media totally ignores a smoking memo -- we are fucked.