Lies and mistellings...
February 2, 2006 11:02 PM   Subscribe

"We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq." A newly released memo of a meeting of George W. Bush and Tony Blair reveals a determination to invade Iraq regardless of a second UN resolution or evidence of a weapons program. UK's Channel 4 News claims to have seen the memo, which is dated 31 January 2003 (two months before the invasion), and aired a report this evening. Mr Bush told Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of “flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours”. Mr Bush added: “If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach [of UN resolutions]”. More discussion here, here, here, and here.
posted by youarenothere (65 comments total)
 
The memo was initially disclosed in a new edition of Phillipe Sands' Lawless World.
posted by youarenothere at 11:03 PM on February 2, 2006


Stop with the revisionist history: we went to war to give Iraq the gift of Democracy. WMDs had nothing to do with it.
posted by orthogonality at 11:07 PM on February 2, 2006


What a collosal, collosal asshole.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:12 PM on February 2, 2006


Will this post fair any better than this one?
posted by Mijo Bijo at 11:13 PM on February 2, 2006


Those present, as documented in Mr Sands' book, also discussed what might happen in Iraq after liberation.

President Bush said that he: "thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups."


Of course not. How could they fight, when united by their love for America and Freedom?
posted by namespan at 11:28 PM on February 2, 2006


Nothing new... Wait, you all didn't believe that shit (pre-invasion Bush Admin reasoning) did you?!?
posted by j-urb at 11:29 PM on February 2, 2006


Blindingly obvious, at the time, and no less so now. Are people's memories so very short? Was nobody actually paying attention in the runup to the shock and the awe (and the excuses and the coverups (and the collapse and the corruption))?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:49 PM on February 2, 2006


Nothing the sod can be impeached for tho, eh? bah...
posted by slater at 12:22 AM on February 3, 2006


What will it TAKE to get Oprah INVOLVED in this? Christ!

This administration lies more than a parapalegic without a chair.

It is high time the American people jammed our collective size elevens up his sociopathic ass and reclaimed a shred of our dignity.

Clinton, love him or hate him, gave us eight years of peace and wealth, and we slow-boiled him in ass juice for getting a blow job from a fat chick and trying to keep it a secret.

The current administration is giving the entire planet Earth a dirty Sanchez and we're all too bored to even care.

I just don't know what it's going to take to motivate a little outrage.

Someday they'll refer to this as the WTF decade.

Did you get all that NSA? And, if you have a copy of my phone conversation of last night with my friend, I would very much like a copy so that I may prove that the bastard does indeed owe me ten bucks. Thank you.
posted by JWright at 12:39 AM on February 3, 2006


Old news, my ass. This is a newly leaked memo that might bring Blair down. The people who want him to step down and be replaced by Gordon Brown have been looking for a good excuse to force the issue, and for the British people, lying to the public and to the House of Commons is a good reason.

If the BBC doesn't seem to think it's old news, then why should MeFi?

Keep in mind that Channel 4 obviously has the full text of the memo, much of which has been released. Short of Lord Goldsmith ordering the press not to release the memo, I can't see how it won't become public knowledge real soon.

Here is the direct link for the Channel 4 news report.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:43 AM on February 3, 2006


Stop with the revisionist history: we went to war to give Iraq the gift of Democracy. WMDs had nothing to do with it.

Well, it actually had everything to do with why we thought we where going to war. Most of the campaign focussed on the enormous abundance of WMDs Iraq had stockpiled. Like the place was a holiday camp for cruise missiles or something.

Sure giving the Iraqi people all that wonderful fluffy freedom was mentioned a bit. But we would of probably never gone if that was the only excuse to invade. We aren't that charitable. It's not like it's going to be a profitable enterprise.
posted by public at 12:46 AM on February 3, 2006


In what sense are Bush and Blair not war criminals? For unleashing an illegal invasion of a sovereign state should see them in the Hague. The are not just liars, they are criminals.
posted by salmacis at 12:48 AM on February 3, 2006


The shit is getting deep my friends.
posted by AllesKlar at 12:51 AM on February 3, 2006


"Nothing the sod can be impeached for tho, eh?"

Not necessarily.

If it can be shown that the President and/or his staff knowingly lied to Congress -- either publically, or even in private to the Select Committee on Intelligence -- that is an impeachable offense.

If it can be shown that the President conspired to break international laws regarding war (i.e. knowingly invading Iraq with full knowledge that he lacked a cassus belli consistant with that law), that too is an impeachable offense.

Also, if it can be shown that he conspired to violate laws regarding the assassination or attempted assassination of political leaders, that is an impeachable offense.

Those are the ones just off the top of my head, though.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:55 AM on February 3, 2006


The question is, can he be impeached with a Republican-controlled Congress. Chances are, no, he cannot be, unless there is undeniable evidence that the President clearly lied to and willfully deceived Congress.

If the full text of this memo comes out, and if it indicates that the president conspired to assasinate the leader of another country before a state of war existed, then it could become very hard for some to argue that an impeachable offense wasn't committed... at least without saying that Congress, by authorizing the President the power to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" was also giving him the right to assassinate its leader while the issue was just starting to be debated in the UN. I severely doubt that most in Congress would agree with that legal argument, however.

There are still some Republican lawmakers -- albeit not many -- who don't tolerate being lied to by the executive branch very well.

That said, it may not be a Republican-held Congress for very long...
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:06 AM on February 3, 2006


That said, it may not be a Republican-held Congress for very long...

I thought that's more or less wishful thinking, no? Not that many seats up for grabs that would "cross the aisle", so to speak.
posted by slater at 1:12 AM on February 3, 2006


I watched the report last night and was surprised that, although it unfolded like the banal plot of a novel you've already unravelled from the sleeve notes, I was still disappointed in the two naughty boys plotting to forge a sick note and get out of gym.

I supposed buried deep under the cynicism and the desperate loathing of modern governance, I'm still an optimist. Maybe the next one will be better. Maybe the next one. Maybe the next one.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:23 AM on February 3, 2006


"Fuck Saddam, we're taking him out." --GWB March 2002
posted by Optamystic at 1:38 AM on February 3, 2006


insomnia_lj writes "If it can be shown that the President and/or his staff knowingly lied to Congress --"

-- then Joementum Lieberman will pause his fellating of the President long enough to castigate any Democrat who might "aid the terrorists" by question the Glorious Leader's right -- no duty -- to lie to the American People, break the law, and trample the Constitution.

We're in the "Long War" -- Rumsfeld releases his Twenty Year Plan today -- and the military-industrial complex isn't about to let this plum get away.
posted by orthogonality at 1:38 AM on February 3, 2006


Bush and Blair meet on the 31st January in which it's conceded that they will not find their final straw, their cause for war.

Colin Powell addresses the UN on 5th February on the dangers posed by Iraq's mobile chemical and biological weapons labs. "Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option"

Tell me that doesn't make you feel low.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:46 AM on February 3, 2006


He's a lying, cheating war criminal who should be locked up. It's quite unbelieveable that he got voted in for a second term.
posted by kenchie at 1:47 AM on February 3, 2006


The vote in 2004 was 51% to 48%. There was PLENTY of outrage folks, just not quite enough.

Elections are nine months away, lets see if we can do a bit better. Seriously, volunteer with your local party and work hard to get better people in office.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:48 AM on February 3, 2006


this is all very strange, because until today I believed in Bush's good faith.

anyway, good luck with the impeachment thing. here's what, he wouldn't get impeached by a Democratic Congress, much less by a Republican one. Filibuster Alito, anybody?

my Democrat friends should accept the sad fact that their representatives in Washington, when it comes to a real fight, are wimps, always afraid to look, you know, shrill, or "out of the mainstream". Republicans, on the other hand, are badasses, who don't care about anything except winning. hence, the Democrats in Washington will always get their teeth kicked in.
posted by matteo at 2:46 AM on February 3, 2006


Never elect someone who wants to be elected.
posted by NinjaPirate at 3:01 AM on February 3, 2006


Clinton, love him or hate him, gave us eight years of peace and wealth

Clinton, just to be fair here, signed NAFTA and ordered the bombing of four seperate countries.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:24 AM on February 3, 2006


We aren't that charitable. It's not like it's going to be a profitable enterprise.

To you, possibly. To the Iraqi people, perhaps. To the citizens of this country, most definately. But for others it will reap them record profits.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:33 AM on February 3, 2006


because until today I believed in Bush's good faith.

well, they do say there's a sucker born every minute.

Bush, Blair and co are War criminals. There can be absolutely no arguing that. They lied, they invaded another country illegally and are ultimately responsible for 200,000 dead. Unfortunately they are also amongst the most powerful people in the world, so they are untouchable.
posted by twistedonion at 4:37 AM on February 3, 2006


You have got to love how the media are pouncing all over this. Oops, where is that story?
posted by caddis at 5:08 AM on February 3, 2006


So long as Bush's opponents sit in their pajamas typing on Metafilter, Daily Kos, etc instead of getting out into the streets and protesting, nothing will happen.

Sitting on your fat ass and whining is not a substitute for political action.
posted by unSane at 5:12 AM on February 3, 2006


I just watched the BBC documentary Why We Fight. Very thought provoking and strongly recommended.
posted by Meridian at 5:15 AM on February 3, 2006


salmacis writes "In what sense are Bush and Blair not war criminals?"

I've been pondering this question since 2004.
posted by clevershark at 5:16 AM on February 3, 2006


insomnia_lj writes "Also, if it can be shown that he conspired to violate laws regarding the assassination or attempted assassination of political leaders, that is an impeachable offense."

If it can be shown?!? refer to "decapitation strategy" by Bush, Rumsfeld et al., March 2003.
posted by clevershark at 5:17 AM on February 3, 2006


Only since 2004? Dude, I was pondering that shit when the first wisp of smoke trailed a bomb on its way to Baghdad on CNN.
posted by odinsdream at 5:32 AM on February 3, 2006


Okay. I'm giving the Democrats until the end of the month. They have the Dionysian feast of scandals here. If they cannot use them either politically or legally to get real traction into holding people accountable, I'm changing to independent and forming my own damn party.
posted by VulcanMike at 5:47 AM on February 3, 2006


We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.

Well, people, he didn't mean that literally.
posted by c13 at 6:04 AM on February 3, 2006


Meridian, I second the Why We Fight documentary. It's like getting hit over the head by a board. See it, folks!

The testimony from CIA, defense department and other insiders is damning, damning. The director intercuts that with right wingers like William Kristol doubleplusgood duckspeaking and the effect is beyond jarring.

The US is going to have to disassemble its entire political system and wash the parts in undiluted bleach to fix this one. Oy.
posted by fleetmouse at 6:05 AM on February 3, 2006




I think the Democrats could easily take over dominance in both Houses of Congress this November by just running on the idea that they will start impeachment proceedings immediately after assuming control. I really think there are enough people in this country that are that digusted with Bush.
posted by any major dude at 6:12 AM on February 3, 2006


I, for one, welcome our new wasp overlords.

(yeah yeah, i know its an old joke already).
posted by Doorstop at 6:17 AM on February 3, 2006


And a misplaced one.
posted by c13 at 6:18 AM on February 3, 2006


Bugger. i posted in the wrong one.
posted by Doorstop at 6:18 AM on February 3, 2006


Clinton, just to be fair here, signed NAFTA and ordered the bombing of four separate countries.

Let's not forget the 1996 telecommunications act that paved the way for fascists like Rupert Murdoch and Clearchannel to dominate the airwaves with their own version of "truthiness". Clinton spent most of his presidency rolling over for The Republican Congress and Corporations. He dug the grave for Democracy now Bush is in the process of nailing the coffin shut.

What I always find heartwarming is how Republicans spent most of the nineties asserting that Clinton was a criminal of the lowest denominator yet whenever Bush is caught with his dick in the country's ass they nostalgically refer to the old standby "Well, Clinton did it too". Fine, they impeached Clinton for his crime, so they should have no problem with impeaching Bush.
posted by any major dude at 6:24 AM on February 3, 2006


Technically, doorstop, our current overlords are wasps. So don't sweat it.
posted by bhance at 6:24 AM on February 3, 2006


And a misplaced one.

Yeah, there's nothing new about our WASP overlords at all.

couldn't resist.
posted by twistedonion at 6:26 AM on February 3, 2006


aaagh, beaten to it
posted by twistedonion at 6:26 AM on February 3, 2006


Breakings News: George Bush -- Liar, Moron
posted by empath at 6:28 AM on February 3, 2006


FTBSITTHD!!!
posted by you just lost the game at 6:50 AM on February 3, 2006


That was just too beautiful Doorstop.
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM on February 3, 2006


From the Newshog link in the FFP - I'm not suggesting it, I'm stating it unambiguously. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair breached international law and have taken themselves individually into the realm of the criminal.

But I don't see the specific reasons why that would be the case. Anyone?
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:28 AM on February 3, 2006


Will this post fair any better than this one?

Looks like it already has ... itchy trigger finger's a bitch.

posted by mrgrimm at 8:47 AM on February 3, 2006


It's FPP's like this which I enjoy scroll through, gleefully acknowledging the complete lack of ParisParamus and other Bush lackey trolls.

They *know* this cannot be defended with anything other than a "I don't care." Which, usually, they are none too embarrassed to exclaim.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 9:25 AM on February 3, 2006


This news (which is old news, and may get deleted; thanks, Matt *rolls eyes*), is actually nothing of the sort.

Sure, MeFi denizens know that Bush lied through his teeth with regard to the Iraq war.

But the idea that the Brits have documentary evidence to prove that Bush was going to war, regardless of any threat Saddam posed or action he took, AND that Bush was lying repeatedly and at length to both the American people and to the other branches of government, well, that is most definitely not common knowledge.

A good 40%-50% of the country either does not know that, or refuses to believe that.

Our media is very reticent to report on it, "liberal media" that they are (regardless of the fact that this is the story of the century, should they choose to follow up on it).

Unless Democrats somehow take control of congress this Nov., grow a spine, and figure out the game of media management, there is no chance of any accountability on this. The Republican caucus simply does not care that Bush lied completely about a war that's killed thousands, destabilized a region, and costs hundreds of billions.

They. Don't. Care.

It sure is hard to imagine that this country is going anywhere good in the coming years. Hey Republicans, but at least you got your tax cuts and your empty lip service about gods, guns, and gays. I hope it was worth it. You have so much to be proud of in voting for this idiot. Your grandchildren will still be cursing you.
posted by teece at 9:48 AM on February 3, 2006


Hm, you're right mr.curmudgeon, maybe this will work:

ParisParamus, ParisParamus, ParisParamus!

(looks around for a crazy right-wing Michael Keaton in white makeup and a buisness suit)
posted by JHarris at 10:02 AM on February 3, 2006


at least you got your tax cuts

It's not a tax cut if you turn around and spend more money than the tax cut could ever potentially generate!!!

The dollar is set to crash. Productive jobs have tanked in the last 5 years, dramatically even compared to the Clinton years. We are in a recession that nobody wants to admit and there is absolutely no hope of it getting better without getting much worse first.

It's no coincidence that there are so many apparently minor jurisdictional changes lately. The administration is digging in.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:04 AM on February 3, 2006


It's not a tax cut if you turn around and spend more money than the tax cut could ever potentially generate!!!

Entirely true. And I think there's the germ of a campaign strategy there. America faces two options: raise taxes, or die.

Republicans cut taxes on the upper-middle class (a tiny bit), on the upper class (a bit), and the upper2 class and greater (most of it). They've given their tax breaks to the rich.

It's not an accident. At some point, if Democrats don't get control of government, some Republican somewhere is going to grow up and admit that taxes need to be raised.

Guess who Republicans are going to raise them on? Hint, it's not going to be the rich. They'll pay for Bush's billionaire tax cuts on the backs of the middle class and small business, at some point down the road.

Is that what you want, America? Because right now, Joe SixPack is looking to pay the tax cuts back, with interest, that went to folks like Bill Gates. Each American right now owes something like $30,000 in Bush debt. Did you get $30K in tax cuts, Joe Republican? Not unless you were in the top 1% of wage earners. If you were in the top 1/10 of 1%, you got many times that amount.

If Republicans gets their way, everyone, from the janitor to the CEO will pay back a similar share. The biggest portion will be payed by the upper middle class. Nice.

On top of the hundreds of billions of dollars in debt generated by Bush's asinine tax cuts, you also owe half a trillion in debt due to GWB's failed foreign adventures.

Enjoy.
posted by teece at 10:44 AM on February 3, 2006


This will all change for the better when Jeb Bush is president.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2006


Each American right now owes something like $30,000 in Bush debt.

It's even worse if you divide it up among actual primary income streams, not per person. My share of the debt comes to about 150% of my yearly income.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:07 AM on February 3, 2006


[posing as peepee]

Why do you hate America!?

George Bush is the bestest President ever!!!

I'm a lawyer and you're a stupid liberal commie Democrat that loves Osama and appeases terrorists!

[/posing as peepee]

Eck! Time for a shower.
posted by nofundy at 11:55 AM on February 3, 2006


"What will it TAKE to get Oprah INVOLVED in this? Christ!"

Direct and incontrovertible assurance that her gravy train bonanza will continue unchecked regardless of any defiance to The Man. And nothing else.

Give her that assurance, that her personal situation will not change, and she'll sink her teeth into these crooks.

Unless, of course, she agrees with them...
posted by zoogleplex at 2:01 PM on February 3, 2006


posing as peepee

Dude. Don't do this. He's more than capable of speaking for himself if he wants to. This kind of baiting is childish and degrades your position.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:47 PM on February 3, 2006


What CD said.

Question: has the mainstream media in your country been (a) reporting all these scandals and (b) actually using the word "impeachment" seriously?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:02 PM on February 3, 2006


five fresh fish writes "Question: has the mainstream media in your country been (a) reporting all these scandals and (b) actually using the word 'impeachment' seriously?"


Google News says no.
posted by orthogonality at 8:09 PM on February 3, 2006


$440,000,000,000
posted by jaronson at 9:20 PM on February 3, 2006


Next Question: Are the young folk in America aware that (a) there are voting irregularities that are cause for great alarm; (b) that the extreme right is actively engaged in manipulating the media?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:21 AM on February 4, 2006


Still ignored by the media.
posted by caddis at 10:00 AM on February 4, 2006


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