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British Inquiry: Blair Conspired with Bush as Early as 2002 to Plot Iraq Invasion

Tony Blair at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009. Photo by Andy Mettler/flickr

Tony Blair at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009. Photo by Andy Mettler/flickr

Most Americans are blissfully in the dark about it, but across the Atlantic in the UK, a commission reluctantly established by Prime Minister Gordon Brown under pressure from anti-war activists in Britain is beginning hearings into the actions and statements of British leaders that led to the country’s joining the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Even before testimony began in hearings that started yesterday, news began to leak out from documents obtained by the commission that the government of former PM Tony Blair had lied to Parliament and the public about the country’s involvement in war planning.

Britain’s Telegraph newspaper over the weekend published documents from British military leaders, including a memo from British special forces head Maj. Gen. Graeme Lamb, saying that he had been instructed to begin “working the war up since early 2002.”

This means that Blair, who in July 2002, had assured members of a House of Commons committee that there were “no preparations to invade Iraq,” was lying.

Things are likely to heat up when the commission begins hearing testimony. It has the power, and intends to compel testimony from top government officials, including Blair himself.

While some American newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, have run an Associated Press report on the new disclosures and on the commission, key news organizations, including the New York Times, have not. The Times ignored the Telegraph report, but a day later ran an article about the British commission that focused entirely on evidence that British military leaders in Iraq felt “slighted” by “arrogant” American military leaders who, the article reported, pushed for aggressive military action against insurgent groups, while British leaders preferred negotiating with them.

While that may be of some historical interest, it hardly compares with the evidence that Blair and the Bush/Cheney administration were secretly conspiring to invade Iraq as early as February and March 2002.

Recall that the Bush/Cheney argument to Congress and the American people for initiating a war against Iraq in the fall of 2002 was that Iraq was allegedly behind the 9-11 attacks and that it posed an “imminent” danger of attack against the US and Britain with its alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Of course, such arguments, which have subsequently been shown to have been bogus, would have had no merit if the planning began a year earlier, and if no such urgency was expressed by the two leaders at that time. Imminent, after all, means imminent, and if Blair, Bush and Cheney had genuinely thought an attack with WMDs was imminent back in the early days of the Bush administration, they would have been acting immediately, not secretly conjuring up a war scheduled for a year later. (The actual invasion began on March 19, 2003).

As I documented in my book, The Case for Impeachment, there is plenty of evidence that Bush and Cheney had a scheme to put the US at war with Iraq even before Bush took office on Jan. 20, 2001. Then Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill in his own tell-all book, The Price of Loyalty, written after he was dumped from the Bush Administration, recounts that at the first meeting of Bush’s new National Security Council, the question of going to war and ousting Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was on the agenda.

Immediately after the 9-11 attacks, NSC anti-terrorism program czar Richard Clarke also recalled Bush ordering him to “find a link” to Iraq. Meanwhile, within days, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was ordering top generals to prepare for an Iraq invasion. Gen. Tommy Franks, who was heading up the military effort in Afghanistan that was reportedly closing in on Osama Bin Laden, found the rug being pulled out from under him as Rumsfeld began shifting troops out of Afghanistan and to Kuwait in preparation for the new war.

It is nothing less than astonishing that so little news of the British investigation into the origins of the illegal Iraq War is being conveyed to Americans by this country’s corporate media—yet another example demonstrating that American journalism is dead or dying.

It is even more astonishing that neither the Congress nor the president here in America is making any similar effort to put America’s leaders in the dock to tell the truth about their machinations in engineering a war that has cost the US over $1 trillion (perhaps $3 trillion eventually when debt payments and the cost of veterans care is added in), and over 4000 lives, not to mention as many as one million innocent Iraqi lives.

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist. He is author of Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal (Common Courage Press, 2003) and The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at thiscantbehappening.net

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9 Responses for “British Inquiry: Blair Conspired with Bush as Early as 2002 to Plot Iraq Invasion”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Reddit by SarcasmAlert: Are we blissfully in the dark, or is it common knowledge and we’re just sadly resigned to the fact that we were deceived?…

  2. Davo says:

    Bush and Blair did not lie about anything. Prove it losers…prove it…. Liberals are so laaaame….

  3. dobropet says:

    Exacting a neo-con response as usual Davo?

    Who here doesn’t believe that Bush/Cheney lied to the American people, to justify the invasion of Iraq? Any more evidence supporting this, as I’m positive there is, and we should be allowed the right to slap Pelosi for not allowing impeachment on the table. Freaking Democratic House speakers.

    Evidence like this should be printed and distributed, as I’m doing now.

  4. vivzizi says:

    Davo,

    No one wastes time with you guys anymore.

    It has been proved.

    What has ALSO been proved is most of you guys still ranting “prove it ” about this any other well proven facts like the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 either are

    1.paid or unpaid propaganda people who don’t even really believe what you write in places like this or

    2. are frankly too ignorant for anyone to care if you are ever truly in possession of the truth becuase there is likely little good you could do with it.

    You are permanently on the short bus and no one can help you to get off.
    Accept it. You will always be ignorant. You don’t have the capacity to learn. We can’t help you.

    And you are so uncaring about others that noone cares about you anymore.

    vivzizi

  5. Rich Bowden says:

    One wonders if the inquiry has been given any real “teeth” or whether it has been set up as an election year stunt by the Labor Government.

  6. Mike Starke says:

    Do some of you people actually think that planning and plotting a war is something
    that happens overnight? The war plans never ended since the first Iraq war,there
    was a reason why they didn’t snuff out their CIA patsy Sadaam Huissen until
    the second Iraq illegal invasion. Neocons such as Douglas Feith and Paul
    Wolfowitz were the main architects of the second invasion which we drawn
    up before Bush Jr. even took office.

  7. Jesse Hemingway says:

    Let’s take a short trip on the way back machine, during the bush administration they were paying people to respond to Blogs, Internet articles, and other alternative news sites that were critical to their polices. These Trojan horses that masqueraded as true believers of the bush administration were nothing more then well financed special interest cabals via a plethora of organizations that received taxpayer hand outs to brain wash the weak minded amongst us.

    “Bush’s faith-based initiative was conceived to be the centerpiece of his administration’s domestic agenda, spearheading the final attack on the New Deal and the War on Poverty by replacing, not augmenting, federal social services.”

    http://usliberals.about.com/od/faithinpubliclife/a/Funds_Faith2.htm

    Sara Palin is the creation of “Bush’s faith-based initiative” Sara Palin is not qualified to shovel shit. The point I am trying to get at is that every second of broadcast time that is wasted or controlled that second can never be regained. As the main stream media waste hours of broadcast time on Sara Palin or what ever topic de jour is chosen then vital information is lost. Let’s draw a correlation using an economic down turn as you’re bases; the component that is permanently lost and can never be replaced is lost productivity time the same thing has been occurring with main stream media broadcast time.

    Below is a link of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 – 2005 if you peruse through it you will see and industry sector that dominates the upper 4% consistently for 50 years.

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500_archive/full/2005/

    That industry in all senses is the United States of America, those two are synonymous. We the People are just an inconvenience to this relationship, which is just the reality. We need to understand that broadcast media is a dying industry and there is no useful value left in the broadcast cast media; it is in such disarray that are all battling for the 20% of the delusional Trojan horse demographics.

  8. Jesse Hemingway says:

    The manifestation of Sara Palin’s pseudo success only proves without doubt that the main stream media is criminally liable and scared shitless to ask any fucking question about 9/11 that’s off script. (Example the most obvious question would be “your saying two air planes did all this damage to New York City”) LOL

    Even the most simplistic experiment in the most controlled environment like dropping a single droplet of fluid into a bowl of fluid, every variable is equal, even that would not produce the exact same result that is scientific fact. The independent actions of two different airplanes hitting two different world trade center buildings at two different times would cause precisely the same result, that is impossible. Even light waves or photons can not go back in time.

  9. Nick says:

    The Media
    Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.
    The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)
    MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names
    8 of 20 11/24/09 4:31 PM
    The Origins of the Overclass http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-overclass.html
    of those recruited reads like a Who’s Who of journalism:
    Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post) William Paley (President, CBS) Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine) Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
    Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star) Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News) Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal) James Copley (Copley News Services) Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor) C.D. Jackson (Fortune) Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post) ABC NBC Associated Press United Press International Reuters Hearst Newspapers Scripps-Howard Newsweek magazine Mutual Broadcasting System Miami Herald Old Saturday Evening Post New York Herald-Tribune
    Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.
    After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspaper’s relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:
    We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.

    I could go on and on about what a sham all of our “institutions” have become after this:

    The Origins of the Overclass
    By Steve Kangas
    The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.
    The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface — and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine’s creators had CIA backgrounds.
    During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA’s expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent — the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.
    How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General “Wild Bill” Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that “OSS” stood for “Oh, so social!”
    Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite.
    1 of 20 11/24/09 4:31 PM
    The Origins of the Overclass http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-overclass.html
    By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives. Their employment with the agency took a variety of forms, which included:
    Leaving one’s profession to work for the CIA in a formal, official capacity. Staying in one’s profession, using the job as cover for CIA activity. This undercover activity could be full-time, part-time, or on-call. Staying in one’s profession, occasionally passing along information useful to the CIA. Passing through the revolving door that has always existed between the agency and the business world.
    Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have been one and the same people. This means that their interests and goals are one and the same as well. Perhaps the most frequent description of the intelligence community is the “old boy network,” where members socialize, talk shop, conduct business and tap each other for favors well outside the formal halls of government.
    Many common traits made it inevitable that the CIA and Corporate America would become allies. Both share an intense dislike of democracy, and feel they should be liberated from democratic regulations and oversight. Both share a culture of secrecy, either hiding their actions from the American public or lying about them to present the best public image. And both are in a perfect position to help each other.
    How? International businesses give CIA agents cover, secret funding, top-quality resources and important contacts in foreign lands. In return, the CIA gives corporations billion-dollar federal contracts (for spy planes, satellites and other hi-tech spycraft). Businessmen also enjoy the romantic thrill of participating in spy operations. The CIA also gives businesses a certain amount of protection and privacy from the media and government watchdogs, under the guise of “national security.” Finally, the CIA helps American corporations remain dominant in foreign markets, by overthrowing governments hostile to unregulated capitalism and installing puppet regimes whose policies favor American corporations at the expense of their people.
    The CIA’s alliance with the elite turned out to be an unholy one. Each enabled the other to rise above the law. Indeed, a review of the CIA’s history is one of such crime and atrocity that no one can reasonably defend it, even in the name of anticommunism. Before reviewing this alliance in detail, it is useful to know the CIA’s history of atrocity first.

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