AFP / May, 17 2005

By Greg Szymanski

An explosive memo sent to Britain’s prime minister and others by a former
foreign policy aide clearly shows President Bush “doctored” intelligence
reports prior to the Iraqi invasion in order to justify war based on weapons of
mass destruction.

The potentially damaging memo was leaked to the London press this week,
revealing an internal memo sent on July 23, 2002, by Matthew Rycroft, a former
defense policy aide. Rycroft addressed his concerns about America’s
deceptive “rush to war” to Britain’s heads of state, including the prime
minister, defense secretary, foreign secretary and attorney general.

Since the United States invaded Iraq based on an imminent threat of weapons
of mass destruction, the Bush administration has stood firm on its decision to
topple Saddam Hussein, claiming it should not now be blamed for faulty
intelligence reports. To date no WMDs have ever been uncovered in Iraq, and
serious questions have been raised about America’s “rush to judgment” in
attacking Iraq.

The memo, which has been verified as “Secret and Personal—For UK Eyes
Only,” clearly shows the Bush administration lied to the American people
about its basis for going to war in Iraq. To date over 1,600 American troops
have been killed in the fighting, and approximately 100,000 innocent Iraqi
civilians have also perished.

The London press claims to have verified the authenticity of the memo before
publication, also blaming its own government for following America to war
even though it had solid evidence no WMDs existed in Iraq.

Rycroft, who was privy to highly classified U.S. intelligence reports, reveals
that, just prior to the U.S. invasion, a deceptive strategy was used on the part of
the Bush administration to topple Saddam. Rycroft wrote:

“As reported in 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

“But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The
[National Security Council] 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.”

Regarding the memo, the Bush administration refused comment, saying it
was unaware of the specific allegations. Critics claim this memo clearly
refutes the justification for war, resulting in a clear violation of international law.

The memo goes on to warn all recipients that it should remain “secret” to all
others in light of the highly sensitive content.

“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,”
writes Rycroft to the prime minister.

He further added that, “The defense secretary said that the U.S. 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 U.S. minds for military
action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the U.
S. congressional elections.”

Critics of the Bush administration war strategy claim this shows Bush clearly
“lied to the American people and should be held accountable.”