More British Memos

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ThinkProgress has the complete roundup of British documents related to the decision to go to war. One brief correction, though, to the New York Times reporting on these memos:

“A memorandum written by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet office in late July 2002 explicitly states that the Bush administration had made ‘no political decisions’ to invade Iraq, but that American military planning for the possibility was advanced.”

That’s not true, or at best misleading. The memos clearly state that the Bush administration had already decided to go to war by July 2002, but it simply had yet to make the decision politically palatable, had yet to find legal justification for war, and had yet to scrounge up the sort of intelligence that could sell the war to the broader public. As one of the memos describes it, by July of 2002 the Bush administration had not yet figured out how to “creat[e] the political conditions for military action.” But the decision for war itself had certainly been made.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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