New York Times: Blair admits authenticity of the Downing Street Memo
Iraq-UK, Politics, 6/30/2005
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has finaly admitted the authenticity of the so-called "Downing Street Memos" in an interview with the Associated Press which also viewed the memo, the New York Times reported yesterday.
Blair said the ''Downing Street memos'' paint a distorted picture, and he insisted that the Iraq war was not predetermined by the United States. ''People say the decision was already taken. The decision was not already taken,'' he said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, the New York Times reported.
The report said "Blair added he was 'a bit astonished' at the intensive U.S. media coverage... According to the minutes of the meeting, Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of Britain's intelligence service, said the White House viewed military action against Saddam Hussein as inevitable following the Sept. 11 attacks."
The report added: President Bush ''wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD,'' read the memo, seen by the AP. ''But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.''
While Blair said the content of the memo was being distorted, the memo, which is seen by many as a clear cut evidence that the US administration intentionally deceived the US public about the reason for needing to go to war, had instigated a letter signed by some 89 congressmen to the Bush administration to respond to the facts the memos speak off. Also, Congressman John Conyers held a hearing most recently on this issue. The Downing Street Memo, a top secret memo, was first revealed by the UK's Sunday Times last month.
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