British Intelligence Warned Blair of War
Prime Minister Was Told of White House's Resolve to Use Military Against Hussein
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 13, 2005
Eight months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that U.S. intelligence was "being fixed around" that goal, according to notes of a 2002 meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.
"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, the British intelligence service, who had just returned from consultations in Washington, along with other senior British officials. Dearlove continued, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and (weapons of mass destruction). But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
The notes were first disclosed on May 1 by the Sunday Times of London, triggering criticism of Blair on the eve of the May 5 British parliamentary elections that he had decided to support an invasion of Iraq well before informing the public of his views.
And the Institutional Press doesn't even have the decency to be ashamed of itself.