Iraq War Inquiry, Day Five

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Caught the first piece earlier today, lays out similar to what many in our country have been saying for years, especially the recent years, and similar to other countries that are supposed to be leaders on this planet.

Whose foreign policy is it anyway?

Disillusionment with Britain’s actions abroad will only intensify without a democratic reassessment of foreign policy principles

Britain is deeply involved in an escalating war in Afghanistan. The legacy of the Iraq war lives on with the drip-drip of revelations emerging from the Chilcot inquiry. This month the first EU foreign secretary was appointed. A general election is months away. These factors constitute a perfect storm that should result in a public debate about the future direction of foreign policy.

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Without accountability we have apathy and frustration. An active, effective and truly participatory debate on the fundamentals of how we conduct politics beyond our national borders will stimulate a broad discussion ranging from issues of national identity to dealing with the foreign policy challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to the threat of sub-state terrorism….>>>>>

Then we get into day five of the inquiry with an aid to Tony Blair testifying, and probably suspected trying to put the best face on the actions taken then and disavowing some previous testimony. But he did make some more interesting points, now on the record, as to what was going on in the minds of our Highest Representative in the Halls of Power the White House!

Blair Aide: ‘US Focus On Iraq Days After 9/11’

George Bush raised the issue of Iraq with Tony Blair just three days after the 9/11 attacks, Mr Blair’s former foreign policy adviser has said.

He said the former US President told Mr Blair during a phone conversation on September 14, 2001, that there could be a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda…>>>>>

Three days later, Condi brought it up on 9/11, and this would be right around the time all the photo’s of all the hijacker’s hit the news media and even what planes they were on, and none were Iraqi!

Iraq inquiry: Tony Blair asked for war plans to be prepared in June 2002

Tony Blair asked for war plans to be secretly drawn up in June 2002, almost a year before the invasion of Iraq, his former foreign policy adviser Sir David Manning has told the Iraq Inquiry.

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Sir David said the former prime minister asked defence chiefs to prepare a list of options for military support of a US-led invasion after being told President Bush had set up a “cell” dedicated to planning for a war.

Sir David also disclosed that President Bush and Mr Blair first discussed a possible link between Saddam and the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US just three days after 9/11.

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“At this stage we are aware that military planning is going ahead, that this cell had been set up in Florida, and he was anxious to know what sort of options do we have.

“In July 2002 a letter was sent to the Prime Minister from the defence secretary’s office saying there were three options if we found ourselves involved in military action.”…>>>>>

War plans, for an invasion on Iraq? Go figure, and cheney/bush had set up a military cell in the Florida command center to study same back in early 2002. Was this a part of “We’re gonna get him dead or alive!” as to bin Laden or Saddam, only the little cowboy would know, or his handlers!

Chilcot inquiry hears Bush began Iraq war drumbeat three days after 9/11

Blair foreign policy adviser David Manning says US president talked up possible links between Saddam and al-Qaida

George Bush tried to make a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida in a conversation with Tony Blair three days after the 9/11 attacks, according to Blair’s foreign policy adviser of the time.

Sir David Manning told the official inquiry into the war that Bush, speaking to Blair by phone on 14 September 2001, “said that he thought there might be evidence that there was some connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.”The prime minister’s response to this was that the evidence would have to be very compelling indeed to justify taking any action against Iraq,” Manning said.

Blair followed up the conversation with a letter stressing the need to focus on the situation in Afghanistan, where the attacks originated.

But by the time Blair went to visit Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002 the British were “very conscious that Iraq would be on the agenda”, Manning said…>>>>>

Blair adviser: US did not expect to stabilize Iraq

A mask of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is burnt by a demonstrator outside the Iraq Inquiry in London, Monday, Nov. 30, 2009

American troops did not expect to play a role in stabilizing Iraq after overthrowing Saddam Hussein, a key adviser to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Monday.

David Manning, who served as a Blair’s top foreign policy aide before being appointed ambassador to Washington in 2003, told a British inquiry into the Iraq war the American military did not believe peacekeeping was their responsibility.

“The American military thought that they were fighting a war and when the war was over they were expecting to go home,” he said.

Manning said British troops in Basra talked to local people, but that American troops were not willing to do the same.

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Jeremy Greenstock, the former British ambassador to the United Nations, told the inquiry on Friday that the U.S. was “hell bent” on war with Iraq from the very beginning and undermined efforts by Britain to win international authorization for the invasion. Manning’s predecessor as ambassador to the United States, Christopher Meyer, also testified that the U.S. was looking for connections between Iraq and Sept. 11 within hours of the attacks.

Manning echoed Meyer’s claim, saying that then-President George W. Bush talked about possible links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, right after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but that Blair had counseled caution…>>>>>

Well the above is now widely known especially by the tens of tousands of Iraqi dead and their survivors and the millions of refugee’s who fled in country or to neighboring countries, not to mention the rest of the World. And here the brains, civilian and military, thought when the War was over Home would be where the soldiers ended up, tell that to those who’ve done multiple tours since, especially the dead and maimed and their families!

Blair ‘sought UN solution’ for Iraq

Tony Blair was committed throughout the Iraq crisis to achieving an international solution through the United Nations, his key foreign policy adviser has said.

Giving evidence to the official inquiry into the war, Sir David Manning denied Mr Blair and George Bush had secretly agreed on military action during talks at the President’s Texas ranch 11 months before the invasion in March 2003….>>>>>

Iraq inquiry – live, Day Five Minute-by-minute coverage of what could be the most interesting hearing yet

Manning is also interesting because he is the author of at least two leaked memos which are likely to be discussed this afternoon. The first was written in March 2002 and the full text is available on the Downing Street memo website. Manning wrote it after a dinner with Condoleezza Rice, George Bush’s national security adviser at the time, and it shows that Blair was declaring his support for regime even before he met Bush at Crawford in April. This is the key quote:

   

I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge either in your insistence that, if we pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result.

Manning also wrote a memo, described as the “Manning memo” on Wikipedia, describing the outcome of a meeting that took place between Blair and Bush in the White House on 31 January 2003. The memo shows that Bush was, by then, determined to invade regardless of what happened at the UN and that the two leaders discussed the idea of getting Iraq to shoot down an American spy plane painted in UN colours to create a pretext for war. Philippe Sands, the British law professor who revealed the existence of the memo, said it raised “some fundamental questions of legality, both in terms of domestic law and international law“…>>>>>

Who ya gonna believe, we’ll see as this progresses now won’t we (?)

Goldsmith was not bullied into declaring Iraq invasion legal, says Blair

Former prime minister denies claims that then-attorney general had been pressured to change stance over legality of conflict

Iraq inquiry team pulls its punches

David Manning, Blair’s foreign policy adviser in the run-up to war, was given the safest of rides at the Chilcot inquiry

It is easy to second-guess the Iraq inquiry and, as one watches it unfold live on the internet, to think of all the questions its distinguished members fail to ask. It is also easy to be upset by their manifest unwillingness to use a more forensic style. But today’s session of the Chilcot inquiry with Sir David Manning, Tony Blair’s foreign policy adviser in the run-up to the war, was truly disappointing.

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Yet he was given the safest and most deferential of rides. Two issues cried out for deeper scrutiny. One was the so-called UN route to tightening the pressure on Saddam Hussein and the consequences of the UN route’s failure. Manning laid out the case – which Blair will no doubt repeat when he faces the inquiry next year – that throughout 2002 and early 2003, the PM pressed hard for Bush to take the international coalition approach through the United Nations, while also emphasizing that if it failed, the UK would be at Bush’s side in going for war.

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There always was another definition of UN failure, and it was at least as likely as defiance by Saddam. Yet the inquiry members never asked about it. This was the possibility that the UN, for whatever reason, would refuse to authorize war in accordance with Bush’s preferred timetable for action.

And this, of course, is what happened. Bush was the man who defied the UN….>>>>>

What will turn up as the days progress? We’ll see!

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  1. How can a nation move forward if it has no real sense of its past?

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