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Downing Street Memo -- Full Text

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posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:22 PM
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Full Text of the Downing Street Memo




SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY
DAVID MANNING
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02
cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell
IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER'S MEETING, 23 JULY
Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.
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.
John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.
C reported on his 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 WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC 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.
CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.
The two broad US options were:
(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).
(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.
The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:
(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.
(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.
(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.
The Defence Secretary said that the US 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 US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.
The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.
For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.
The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.
John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.
The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.
Conclusions:
(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.
(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.
(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.
(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.
He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.
(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.
(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.
(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)
MATTHEW RYCROFT







Downing Street Memo Research Links


Google News "Downing Street Memo" Search
Updated news on the memo and related stories.



ATS Discussion: Bush in hot hot water over the Downing Street memo, its about time!
"Well it looks like there is going to be some explaining to do from the Bush Administration finally about the Downing Street memo and I must say it is about time. Its been all over the internet for weeks and very ittle in the mainstream news and finally they are calling for some answers. Kerry is already catching the devil from the repubican pundits over saying he is going to raise the issue on the memo. Can anyone say impeachment? Sing it out!"



www.downingstreetmemo.com
"The Downing Street "Memo" is actually a document containing meeting minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on July 23, 2002—a full eight months PRIOR to the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003. The Times of London printed the text of this document on Sunday, May 1, 2005, but to date US media coverage has been limited. This site is intended to act as a resource for anyone who wants to understand the facts revealed in this document."



www.TimesOnline.co.uk
The secret Downing Street memo
The original publication on May 1st, 2005 of the leaked memo.



www.WashingtonPost.com
The Downing Street Memo Story Won't Die
"More than a month after its publication, the so-called Downing Street Memo remains among the top 10 most viewed articles on The Times of London site.
It's not hard to see why this remarkable document, published in The Times on May 1 (and reported in this column on May 3), continues to attract reader interest around the world, especially with British Prime Minister Tony Blair visiting Washington Tuesday."



en.wikipedia.org
The "Downing Street memo", sometimes described as the "smoking gun memo", is a document obtained from an undisclosed source that contains the minutes taken during a meeting among United Kingdom government and defense and intelligence figures on 23 July 2002 discussing the build-up to the 2003 Iraq War.



www.csmonitor.com
Why has 'Downing Street memo' story been a 'dud' in US?
There may have been a point at which the US news media would have been all over a story about a British official's report that the Bush administration appeared intent on invading Iraq long before it sought Congress' approval – and that it "fixed" intelligence to fit its intention.
But May 2005 is apparently way past that point.




posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:29 PM
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As expected.

The war on Iraq is illegal and unjustified, except by lies about poor intelligence and dozens of Presidential Executive Orders attempting to absolve the Bush administration of war crimes.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:33 PM
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They Impeached Clinton for obstructing justice over a blue dress. This administration is getting off free as birds for misleading the American public and getting our guys/gals maimed and killed everyday.

The only purpose of the war was to get a foot hold in the Middle East. However, the plans went haywire by a little thing called the "insurgency". Gee, who woulda thought that guerrila warfare would take place when one country occupied another!! Sheesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:44 PM
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www.bradenton.com...

Americans are probably more conversant about Angelina Jolie than about the contents of the so-called Downing Street memo, which was leaked in London seven weeks ago to the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sunday Times. But if the chaos in Iraq continues (80 U.S. troops and 700 Iraqis died last month), the awareness gap may narrow - because the memo states that as Washington was preparing for war, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

This is one of the few pieces of hard evidence that supports critics who contend that Bush hyped a non-existent threat - Saddam's purported weapons of mass destruction - as his justification for waging war.

Liberal Internet blogs, and roughly 90 House Democrats, have sought publicity for the memo, and last Tuesday, for the first time, the Washington press asked Bush about it. He didn't dispute its authenticity. He didn't address the observation that his intelligence was being "fixed." He did deny that he had opted for war in the summer of 2002, saying "there's nothing farther from the truth."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:47 PM
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www.sptimes.com...

The American people have been had


By PHILIP GAILEY
Published June 12, 2005


The war has taken a dangerous turn - not in Iraq but here at home. It has lost the support of a majority of Americans.

According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News Poll, for the first time since the war began a majority of the American public doesn't believe the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime has made the United States more secure. The survey also found that nearly three-quarters of respondents say the casualty rate in Iraq is unacceptable; two-thirds believe the U.S. military is bogged down; 60 percent say the war was not worth fighting.

If we learned anything from Vietnam, it is that it's difficult to wage and win a protracted war without public support. Lyndon B. Johnson learned that the hard way; so will George W. Bush. Johnson used a North Vietnamese attack on U.S. vessels in the Tonkin Gulf to ask Congress for a blank check he used to dramatically escalate the war in Vietnam. Bush used the post-9/11 fear of terrorism and slanted intelligence to claim Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that threatened our security.

In both cases, the American people were had.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

This is one of the few pieces of hard evidence that supports critics who contend that Bush hyped a non-existent threat - Saddam's purported weapons of mass destruction - as his justification for waging war.



I would have thought the complete absence of said WMDs was a yet "harder" piece of evidence.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:16 PM
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This is huge news across the internet that is being defended by Bush defenders as no big deal. I often hear it's not being discussed in the media because the claims are ridiculous and no one cares anymore. It's often dismissed as some "tinhat" conspiracy theory exagerated by the left.

I already believe this to be true of Bush, that he planned to go to war with Iraq all along, knowing that the United States was not in immediate danger. When asked a few days ago, both Bush and Blair denied what the memo implied (not that I expected them to say "HOT DAMN! You caught us!"). I expect if there is any truth to what the DSM is implying then there's got to be more evidence lying around somewhere, and it should be further investigated. I can't speak for any families who have lost a family member over this war, but I'd imagine that they would like some answers as well.

If I remember correctly right before this Iraq mess started, the United States was still in post-911 psychological shock. Many people were scared (and are still scared) of another terrorist attack. Bush tied Saddam to 911 (which has now been discovered as false data) and he told us that Saddam had collected wmds (another fallacy).

Sounds a bit fishy, always did before...even more so now. I'd like to hear what our British friends at ATS have to say about it. I can't say I'm without bias when reading this document, I don't have fond feelings for our current administration so it could very well be clouding my reasoning skills.


[edit on 6/12/2005 by Lecky]



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:25 PM
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Lecky

Republican here to say it appears it's not your bias clouding anything. I've been waiting for this to break wide open since the day the memo was released. The absence of news coverage and the absence of opposition to calling for hearings causes a deafening silence.

Apparently you need oral sex involved in order to get investigated - I'm just not sure - but killing people (and starting wars) on the basis of trumped-up intell seems to be okie-dokie and "no big deal".

[edit on 6-12-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:33 PM
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(Somewhat connected)

Have there been any US terror alerts since the election?



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:44 PM
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Is the media is going about it extra carefully, trying to be sensitive to our troops abroad?

Or is the silence caused by being controlled in some way?

Either way the press has some responsibility to report the news good and bad, if not then how can people hold their administration accountable? Those in charge could get away with anything, and I mean this for any administration not necessarily the one in office now.



[edit on 6/12/2005 by Lecky]



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:59 PM
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I have no idea, Lecky. My fervent hope is that whomever is looking into this is trying to avoid a Dan Rather type mistake. And that's fine...if that's the case. If there are some armies of investigative reporters out there right now establishing contacts and vetting out the wazoo - more power to them. But I'm skeptical. I'm skeptical that is what is causing the silence. I'm also concerned about the utter lack of the Democrat's voice so far....not sure what to make of that.

The one thing I have abhorred about certain folks both in politics as well as here at ATS is the "blind commitment" to their side/theory/affiliation. A commitment that can only be described as dogmatic, and which abandons common sense and truth.

I have tried to stay committed to finding the truth - or as much of it as can be dug up at any one time. I watched the U.S. government go to the U.N. with their little vials, and their sattelite pictures and their snapshots of dead Kurds and tell the American people that there were big WMDs about to do the same to everybody on earth and we needed to stop it before it happened.

I then watched - about six months later - that same government say that the utter lack of WMDs was no issue as the real reason our sons and daughters are dying in a foreign country was to liberate an oppressed people. While I firmly believe Saddam not being in power any more is an irrefutable positive in the world picture - that's not the bill of goods sold to the American people for entering into that war. Doesn't matter how good it is - it's not why they supported it.

I then watched as a Commander and Chief proceeded to run his armed forces too lean and too fast to secure the land they were passing through resulting in a situation where once secured huge explosives depots - which had been secured and regularly inspected by IAEA folks (which I hold in disdain as well) - became unsecured, unguarded and now our sons and daughters and Iraqi citizens are being blown to smithereenies by IED's made by these very explosives.

Now, we have this. Where is everybody? Is ATS the only ones paying attention? I have no allegiance to any group that trumps calling bad - bad. This was, and is, bad.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
I have no idea, Lecky. My fervent hope is that whomever is looking into this is trying to avoid a Dan Rather type mistake. And that's fine...if that's the case. If there are some armies of investigative reporters out there right now establishing contacts and vetting out the wazoo - more power to them. But I'm skeptical. I'm skeptical that is what is causing the silence. I'm also concerned about the utter lack of the Democrat's voice so far....not sure what to make of that.


I've only heard Conyer's, Kerry and Kennedy mention it but it hasn't made any impact. I have a feeling something is going down behind the scenes...one would think right? It's as if all the democrats in D.C. have fallen asleep...very frustrating!


The one thing I have abhorred about certain folks both in politics as well as here at ATS is the "blind commitment" to their side/theory/affiliation. A commitment that can only be described as dogmatic, and which abandons common sense and truth.


You are right, it's a hard trap to fall in though. I'm sure my opinions are biased in many ways that I'm not even aware of.


I then watched - about six months later - that same government say that the utter lack of WMDs was no issue as the real reason our sons and daughters are dying in a foreign country was to liberate an oppressed people. While I firmly believe Saddam not being in power any more is an irrefutable positive in the world picture - that's not the bill of goods sold to the American people for entering into that war. Doesn't matter how good it is - it's not why they supported it.


You are absolutely correct here, I think even most Iraqi's would agree with you about Saddam.


Now, we have this. Where is everybody? Is ATS the only ones paying attention? I have no allegiance to any group that trumps calling bad - bad. This was, and is, bad.


I have only seen it discussed on the internet, but people are talking and getting more and more frustrated. Actually, my local newspaper (which very obviously supported Bush last election) ran a brief mention on the 28th page.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 07:11 AM
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The Downing Street Memo receives passing notice in NY Times article:
www.nytimes.com...


"... a previously leaked document, now known as the Downing Street Memo, appeared to suggest that a decision to go to war may have been made that summer. In Washington last week, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair denied that they made any decision in 2002, and suggested that the memorandum was being misinterpreted."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Playing it "safe" is an understatement.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 12:35 PM
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The night of the President's state of the Union address when he stated Iraq had weapons that could reach us in 45 minutes I knew was an out and out lie. I wish the American people would stay read.

At the time Iraq had no missile delivery system capable of reaching over 600-700 miles.

I knew the guy was lying then. I know he lies now.



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 03:10 AM
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Originally posted by madmanacrosswater
They Impeached Clinton for obstructing justice over a blue dress.


I just have to point out that Clinton carried out his full term and was never impeached, nor was he convicted of anything. In addition, Nixon was not impeached either. I wish people would learn what the process is.



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 03:14 AM
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By the way, it is our duty as Americans to not let the Downing Street documents slip away into obscurity! Write your representatives and demand an investigation. The only downside is that nothing will happen while Bush is in office. But at least we can make a statement that we will not just let things like this go anymore.



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 03:47 PM
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Mrs. Greenspan, an investigative reporter from NBC Nightly News, is on this story and she's not going to let it die.


[edit on 6/14/2005 by Lecky]



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 05:35 PM
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Gold Star and Military Families Call for Truth Regarding Downing Street Memo

If anyone in this country has a reason for outrage over the DSM (and the mounting evidence that supports it)...these Americans who have lost their family members in Iraq do.

[edit on 6/14/2005 by Lecky]



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 01:25 PM
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Republican here.

I have many questions I would like answered, not only about this memo, but also as someone brought up earlier,

Have there been any terror alerts since the elections?
Answer: NO

I have supported the Freedom of the millions of Iraqi's from the start. That is why I still don't believe any of these awesome troops are dying in vein.

This does however put a big ? MARK on everything.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 02:34 PM
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Moderate here.

At first I supported the war 100%. I suppose it was the 'fear' card that Bush played on society that got me in war mode. And, while I realize Saddam was a bad man & the Iraqis do deserve there freedom, I don't believe any of the propaganda that this administration has used in order for the Iraqis to have their freedom.

Personally, I think the whole deal was based around the 'Oil for Food Program' and the government did not want to make that known. I've done alot of research on this subject and I have to say that although I think Bush and his administration have lied to start this war, I think they did it because of all of the underhanded things going on with other countries and Iraq. I don't believe for two seconds it was for the oil or because Saddam tried to kill Daddy Bush.

But that's all just opinion.



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