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Text of the Downing Street Memo


Text of the Downing Street Memo - a document containing meeting minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on July 23, 2002


Listen to audio of recreation of the meeting.

As originally reported in the The Sunday Times, May 1, 2005


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


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.


(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.)


(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)


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...Michael Smith (the reporter who "released" the Downing Street Memo) now ADMITS he typed and then xeroxed the so called "memo" he distributed.

When asked where the originals are -- he said he burned them.

Texas Air National Guard "memogate" all over again???

Have the administrations in Washington or London denied the authenticity of the memo?

Bush and his yes men and women are masters of manipulation.Like the husband who's committing adultary they try to confuse the american people by using the #1 rule of cheaters if caught in a lie deny,deny,deny.Well that only works for awhile until they're web of lies catch up to them and they start to contradict themselves then there's nothing they can do or say to earn our trust again.Although it's easier to live with a lie than to face the truth it has to be done in order for the one who's been lied to and violated to to begin the process of introspection so they can begin a new and healthy relationship.

You know, this memo, whether or not it's real, is still the truth.
My cousin is in the Army, has been for 8 years. He was home on leave over the July 4th holiday, 2002. When the subject of Iraq came up, he said that they were going to Iraq to take out Saddam. They were already mobilizing and gearing up for it, he said.
So when Bush was talking about how war wasn't an option yet and he wouldn't take America to war, etc., he was lying. I watched him thereafter, lying on TV over and over again until he finally announced the military campaign. It was quite disgusting.
And now we know that the WMD reason for war was not real, and the threat Saddam posed to us was not real. So what were the real reasons for the invasion? We'd all like to know, George!

Answer: revenge for daddy, wanting a dictatorship(acting like he has one), because he can, no respect for the citizens of this country, let alone, any others, ego & power trip

I wonder how much of a role he had in this. Afterall the former director of the CIA is the only president who still recieves intelligence briefings as though he were in the white house.

... possibly Bush never really seemed quite that competent

With 10s of thousands of solders in Saudi from Gulf I, what would be an acceptable exit strategy from unfriendly nations in the Middle East
after 40 years of a policy of our selfish support of dictators. You have to admit that there has been a positive policy change in dealing with Mid East governments (more positive democratic reforms than at anytime in the medium past). I feel that in the long term (50 years) the US will have left the Mid East better than they found it.

There also hasn't been any exit strategy proposed after Gulf I, except change in Iraqi leadership. So what would have been an acceptable exit?

The memo also said that "John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real." Bush had to make it real for everyone involved. (I don't think this is why he built up forces though, to be honest)

So now 10s of thousands of troops are not a real threat of force, we can all agree on that. So there had to be a build-up there was no way around that. So we have 250,000 troops there, now what is the next step?

I will not justify the war, but this view that every step along the way was criminal and born of the devil is absurd and full of this "fear" I heard batted about so often here, where as I see little of this "fear" in real life. If intellectuals are present, then a more balanced view with some perspective and original thought is needed to sort this out.

...that's an easy one, bushit's an oil man, although, he failed at that as well. Plus, cheney's got stocks in halliburton, and sole contracts to re-build Iraq after the taxpayers destroy it!

For this coward of a President who sat out the Vietnam War & his Vice President Cheney whose excuse not to serve was that he was busy making babies shows how much this country cares for those who serve.
These reprehensible yellow bellies had the temerity to send our fine men & women to their deaths on a lie while the President's daughters were out using fake ID's to procure alcohol. Half the country voted for this idiot. What sort of a nation have we become.
I am a retd. military officer & when I see some of those cowardly Gen. on the news spouting the Republican party line it makes my blood curdle.
We as a nation have we sunk so low that the rest of the world now prefers China (a repressive communist govt.) to be the sole super-power rather than the US. What a sad state of affairs.

THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT. Watching these fools on the news is like watching a bad reality show.

Isn't it ironic that TRUE veterans and patriots love peace and not war? Example: Ron Paul served as flight surgeon in the Korean war and is adamant about immediate withdrawl from Iraq. His campaign receiving overwhelming support from soldier and veterans..

The US has been bombing Iraq since the end of the last Gulf War !! I was deployed in the Persian Gulf in 2000 and I remember very clearly that F-14s loaded with bombs left the ship and returned without their load. They were not playing war games with other countries; we were bombing Iraq !!!

Bush took power in early 2001. So what would you be implying, that this conspiracy runs deeper than Bush??

"Bush took power in early 2001." For his 2nd term. He had already stolen 4 years of Presidency before that. Which turnip truck did YOU fall off of?

whos the moron?!? bush came to power in 2001 and won his second term in 2004.which arrogant moron truck did YOU fall off mate?

Gee whiz it appears pretty obvious to me what has happened, but then I am only one person, it saddens me at how we have been duped for so long, I thought the American people had more scruples than that - to let someone dupe them into believing anything. Just to be reminded, once more of the atrocities - the bombings before 9/11 all I can say is how stupid they must think the average American is, but then I am beginning to believe this mind altering idea that has been put into place a long time ago, to keep the (sheeple) in line. Why was the so called patriot act rammed through so fast after 9-11, they needed something bigger to keep (us) in line. It is a very sick idea that is being ramrodded down our throats, not all thank God. Gathering together in truth, honesty, and the ability to somehow take back out country, either without the others help or somehow get the truth out so the world can think for themselves and know who is the reponsible party to all this chaos, killing unmercifully. Thanks for letting me share and rant my inert feelings.

I am discontinuing service with directv and I am encouraging others to do so. I think the lack of true coverage of what is going on in our Nation and Our World is a crime. It is contributing to the destruction of our Free and Democratic Nation and I will not pay to have this happen any longer. I called and asked c_span to cover the downing street memo hearings and demostration afterward and was treated rudely and hung up on. I STRONGLY OBJECT to fox news and it's canned idiotic mimicking of the present criminal in our White House. I am also encouraging other to drop your service for the good of our nation.

Thomas Milcarek... A patriotic American, A patriotic World Citizen...





by seasaints on Fri Jun 24th, 2005 at 04:22:04 PM EST

I suggest we boycott all the news papers untill they start telling the truth and reporting the real news instead of the canned Bush Propaganda, if we stopped all subscriptions and news stands sales maybe they would start doing their jobs and dig for the facts.
aparently the bush/cheney/Rove mafia have every one in their pockets.

Great idea! I have not watched the "news" in almost 3 months. I get all of mine entirely off the net, which I know will give me multi-faceted views. I can then make my own decisions and discerns. We really need to make an effort to email the media and tell them that we are boycotting their "Keep 'em stupid" efforts" and we are hep to what is going on. They also need to be held criminally accountable if Bush is impeached for aiding and abetting.

Excellent idea, will do as soon as I get home tonite! I too get my news from the net, not fox or cnn...thanks for the idea, and write when you have more!

Terrific idea. This just needs to be done on a mass scale.

I don't have cable or satellite, and almost never watch the
regular news channels.

I do subscribe to a couple of regional
newspapers, but find that the news in them is nearly useless
since they parrot the Administration party line.

Non mass-media in the form of alternative radio (example:
Pacifica) and the 'net should suffice.

Hopefully, this picks up momentum and we can all send
a powerful message by pulling the plug. What a wonderful
way to save our money and sanity at the same time :)

This is not a real document. First it has a UK EYES ONLY caviet. Meaning that it is not releaseable to the US. Since US members participated in the creation of the document it would have a release caviet at the the end of the creation. Secondly, classified information is released on a need to know basis. So the paragraph
"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."
is a hoax. This would not need to be written to anyone with a security clearence. It also does not have a proper classification statement at the top and bottom of the document (even without the caviet). I found these errors in a 30 second reading of the memo. This document is a fairly clever hoax. But it is stil a hoax. Sorry, you all belived it. Now you can all dismiss me as 1)ignorant (Which I can assure you I am not) 2) a liar ( I do lie at times, but this is not one of them) 3) A Bush patsy in which case I would tell you to bite it. I don't even vote.

Or you can accepy my advice. This is a fruad. No intellegence document, even a british one, would be this slopy. So move on.

I would not call you ignorant, a liar, or a Bush patsy - I would call you an arrogant know-it-all.

Would you like to buy the Golden Gate Bridge, waltz with the " Tooth Fairy" tonight or "ride shotgun with Santa on a sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer?
Obviously you have done quite a bit of damage to yourself with whatever it is you are intoxicated with? Perhaps Yourself, and the Delusional Ideas,of Democracy the Rove and the rest of his pastie faced "Paranoid Schizophrenic Republican Cronies" would have you believe.There is no therapy for lies other than the Truth. So as long as the Fear and Paranoia of Rove Republican elected Politician's prevail and are your truth poor folks like you are going to believe the checks in the mail,men really didn't go the moon,and no one has died as a result from this "Fairy Tale Excuse to
Get some help! I realize a lot of people have been "dumbed down " through the media and it's "spin system.
"Get some help Dude!"

After Rathergate, we are justified in asking to see the original document. Where is a photgraph or scan of the original document to verify its authorship? Unless the orginal is provided, the alleged document should merely be referred to as a hoax!

Didn't Bush and Blair acknowledge that the memo is real?

Not even this lying administration denies this

In a 30 second reading of your post I found no less than 7 mispellings and other grammatical errors. I believe that your posting is the no intelligence document. How long have you been waiting to use your "move on" line?

The British government hasn't disavowed the document or questioned its authenticity. Your conspiracy theory just doesn't work.

And I bet your feet and hands are webbed too!!

I didn't see an effective refutation of this poster's observation. Just in case there is any question concerning the authenticity of the document, see CNN (not quite the alt. press).

The document has been verified by senior British officials.


You would be so much more believable if you didn't make so many spelling mistakes...

No consideration for someone who might be dislexic & still very clever & well informed? Shame on you for discriminating!

You are a republican lackey, the one's they press into action when e they realise people are getting too close to the truth, remember Nixon & his gang. Who were you trying to fool. You are not only down right idiotic but pathologically stupid. So go bite your own A--.

Anyone who would defend the blatant criminal actions of the Bush regime is either naive, grossly ignorant, or simply dishonest, and likely all of the above. This is the most corrupt group of folks ever to steal an election. They have absolutlely no respect for the rule of law. They make the Nixon gang look like model citizens. If anyone has any doubt as to whether this country has a class system. It does not take a rocket scientist to see who the ruling class is when our congress and our press view what Clinton did as an impeachable offense, and ignore multiple impeachable offenses by this moron we call our leader and his cronies. There have been many shameful periods in America's history over the last 200+ years, and I can assure you as a student of history, these 8 years will rank way up in the top ten...

those who ignore history are condemed to repeat it...

This author exhibits such faulty spelling, that the accuracy of his reading must be brought into question. Going past that, he must be aware that neither Bush nor Blair has denied the authenticity of the Downing Street Memo.

With your vast array of knowledge on the protocol of sensitive document writing you mispelled an assload of words. I think you'll really only be taken seriously as a source of knowledge after you learn to spell the words: accept, fraud, intelligence and sloppy.

Secondly, it is well known that the released documents are not the actual documents. That is why all the technical jargon you mention is not shown. The body of the memo is the important part Columbo! They are meant to be exact replicas of the memos but duplicated to assist in maintaining the providers anonymity. Next case Sherlock?

You are truely an ass in denial-would like to meet you so I could take your money and car and tell you that it was all in defense of peace and democracy. Then when you dissent-I will tell you that you hate america, after that I will deny taking your shit.

PS-Public education is free and everyone gets to attend.

The ends, in my eyes, do not justify the means. Maybe you think the war in Iraq is justified, but how can you believe the American people deserve to be lied to and manipulated? At a time when Americans were fearful, concerned, and very upset, didn't we deserve the truth from our elected representatives? If the war was legal and justified, why didn't this administration clearly state the TRUE facts for going to war?

George Bush used our fears, our patriotism, our ignorance of world and national politics and a "down home" way of connecting with the American People to sell his agenda (one he had well before even becoming President). He has also shown a complete and utter lack of respect and knowlege of the principles our Founding Fathers layed out in the Constitution.

Anyone who questioned him was labelled as being Unpatriotic....and this is a "born again"?


That would be a good reason. Wars have been fought for alot less.

I agree 1000%

hmm. To some extent, I'd say "ok" except for one minor detail... that was not the reason G. W. Bush -gave- for going to war. Score him -10 points for lying.

Read what this says; the implications and the eventual route the US took create an incriminating picture:

"The military were continuing to ask lots of questions...For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one..."

Now, obviously, if Saddam used WMD on day one, that could seriously undermine the US strategy. This would be something that the US would have to carefully consider. The US would have to consult with their Intelligence to determine whether or not there was a credible threat of Iraqi battlefield WMD capabilities, correct? Read:

"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."

So, yes, the US & UK agreed that they would NOT attack Iraq if they were convinced the military strategy could possibly be undermined. So in the end, what was their final decision?

The US & UK attacked Iraq. CONCLUSION: US Intelligence must have determined that there was no credible WMD threat from Saddam which meant the US military plan could be a "winning strategy".

Match that conclusion with the fact that the official US publicly stated policy and reason for going to War with Iraq was based on WMD, and it makes sense that US Intel's conclusion that there were NO WMD in IRAQ could not be publicly disclosed. So what do they do: "...the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy...", in-other-words, they lied about WMD.

Case closed.

Why did George Bush have to make a case against Saddam that he possessed WMD or commited terror attacks to justify military action? It was Saddam who was responsible for disclosing the whereabouts of WMD but instead he hindered inspectors for almost 12 years. I do not remember one country or organization insisting 100% that Saddam did not have WMD before war, not even France.

The fact is Saddam never intended to let UN inspectors do their jobs because Saddam believed Iran was the real threat and UN inspectors offended him. Saddam also believed there was no way the USA would attack Iraq without French support as French businessmen were flooding into his country before war. Saddam even believed the French would eventually end sanctions.

Even Hans Blix, in 2003 said he believed (but did not know for sure 100%) that Iraq had destroyed most of its weapons of mass destruction years before, but kept up the appearance that he had them to deter a military attack for Iran.

George Bush did not even have to make a case that Saddam was a terrorist because that case had been made for the 12 years following Iraq1. Since Iraq1 Saddam financed suicide bombers, killed 1500 teenage Kurd girls at a time, let his sons rape and torture at will including Olympic athletes, just to name a few of Saddam

So you are concluding the USA will never attack any country that posses WMD? Really I remember many of the troops with gear to protect them from WMD in Iraq as I remember them preparibg for it. And haven

replying to ignorance is ignorance

From the Minutes: "The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime."

A look at the (US) bombing campaign from when Bush first took office until he invaded Iraq shows a significant increase beginning in May of 2002. January 2001 until May 2002 (18 months) there were three months with six or more reports and three months had zero reports. From May 2002 until March 2003 (11 months) there were ten months with six or more reports and not one month had zero reports.

The few related article links from the UK and US which are included in this timeline make it clear that Bush decided upon war with Iraq a long time before the weekend preceeding the public invasion, as Bush and the White House have claimed.

A "don't miss" article from this list is the New York Times 7/19/03 Report: U.S. Attacked Iraqi Defenses Starting in 2002. (A General Moseley is quoted often and he goes a long way towards making the case against Bush and the Administration. Not only were the intelligence and facts being fixed around the evidence... worse yet, the war on Iraq had already begun by the time of the Downing Street Meeting.)


2001 - 38 days of reported US bombing under bush


January - 3 days of US bombing

January 24th

January 28th

January 29th

February - 4 days of US bombing

February 11th

February 12th

February 16th

February 22nd

March - 0 days of US bombing

April - 6 days of US bombing

April 6th

April 11th

April 16th

April 17th

April 28th

April 30th

May - 2 days of US bombing

May 18th

May 23rd

June - 6 days of US bombing

June 5th

June 6th

June 14th

June 19th

June 25th

June 26th

July - 2 days of US bombing

July 7th

July 17th

August - 6 days of US bombing

August 7th

August 10th

August 14th

August 17th

August 27th

August 31st

September - 5 days of US bombing

September 4th

September 10th

September 20th

September 21st

September 27th

October - 3 days of US bombing

October 2nd

October 3rd

October 15th

November - 2 days of US bombing

November 11th

November 27th

December - 0 days of US bombing


2002 - 66 days of reported US bombing, 44 since DSM


January - 4 days of US bombing

January 20th

January 21st

January 22nd

January 24th

February - 2 days of US bombing

February 6th

February 28th

March - 0 days of US bombing

April - 2 days of US bombing

April 16th

April 20th

May - 6 days of US bombing

May 1st

May 20th

May 23rd

May 25th

May 28th

May 31st

June - 4 days of US bombing

June 14th

June 20th

June 26th

June 28th

July - 6 days of US bombing

July 4th

July 13th

July 14th

July 19th

July 23rd (Downing Street Minutes - Meeting)

July 28th

August - 8 days of US bombing

(Downing Street Minutes - "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: ...")

August 5th

August 14th

August 17th

August 20th

August 23rd

August 25th

August 27th

August 30th

September - 7 days of US bombing

September 5th

September 9th

(September 12th - Bush speech to U.N.)

September 15th

September 23rd

September 25th

September 29th

October - 7 days of US bombing

October 3rd

October 9th

October 10th

(October 11th - House and Senate approve Iraq War Resolution)

October 15th

(October 16th - Bush signs Iraq War Resolution)

October 22nd

October 23rd

October 30th

November - 8 days of US bombing

November 6th

(November 8th - UN Security Council Resolution 1441)

November 15th

November 18th

November 20th

November 21st

November 22nd

November 23rd

November 28th

December - 13 days of US bombing

December 1st

December 2nd

December 4th

U.K. News 12/4 Report: Britain and US step up bombing in Iraq - Ministry of Defence reveals 300% rise in ordnance dropped over southern no-fly zone

December 10th

December 14th

December 15th

December 16th

December 18th

December 20th

U.K. News 12/20 Report: The Secret War: Iraq War already under way - Quote from article: "The American and British attack on Iraq has already begun. While the Blair government continues to claim in Parliament that "no
final decision has been taken", Royal Air Force and US fighter bombers have secretly changed tactics and escalated their "patrols" over Iraq to an all-out assault on both military and civilian targets."

Washington Post 12/22 Report: Casualties of an 'Undeclared War': Civilians Killed and Injured as U.S. Airstrikes Escalate in Southern Iraq - Quotes from article: "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in August ordered his commanders to widen the target list to include more communications centers, command buildings and fiber-optic links." & "Through the first four months of the year, U.S. and British forces struck Iraqi sites in the northern and southern no-fly zones just six times, while in the past four months they have launched about four dozen air raids." & "Iraqi officials complain that U.S. and British aircraft violated their airspace for patrols 1,141 times between Nov. 9th and Dec. 6th"

December 26th

December 29th

December 30th

December 31st


2003 - 35 days of reported US bombing, 79 since DSM


January - 13 days of US bombing

January 1st

January 2nd

January 3rd

January 4th

January 7th

January 8th

January 10th

January 13th

January 17th

January 19th

January 25th

January 26th

January 28th - Bush State of the Union. Some of the many untrue quotes: "The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people." & "U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence." (The 16 were old, empty with Chemical traces found) & "Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview." &"A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means -- sparing, in every way we can, the innocent"

January 31st

February - 14 days of US bombing

February 5th - Colin Powell speech to UN

February 10th

February 11th

February 12th

February 14th

February 15th

February 16th

February 18th

February 22nd

February 23rd

U.K. News 2/23 Report: US and Britain Pound Iraqi Defenses in Massive Escalation of Airstrikes - Quote from article: "Until last summer, coalition aircraft patrolling the "no-fly" zones over Iraq hit back only at missile or artillery batteries that opened fire on them, or loosed AGM-88 anti-radiation missiles at radar units "locking on" to them. But with an invasion looming, the number and type of targets attacked have increased sharply."

February 25th

February 26th

February 27th

February 28th

March - 8 days of US bombing

March 3rd

U.K. News 3/3 Report: 'Undeclared War' Enters New Phase: Allies Bomb Key Iraqi Targets - Quote from article: "Targets hit in recent days include the Ababil-100, a Soviet-designed surface-to-air missile system adapted to hit targets on the ground, and the Astros 2 ground rocket launcher with a range of up to 56 miles. These would be used to defend Iraq in the event of an invasion or to attack allied troops stationed in Kuwait."

March 6th

March 7th

March 8th

March 9th

March 10th

March 11th

March 14th

Next bombing: Day 1 of US/British Invasion of Iraq

New York Times 7/19 Report: U.S. Attacked Iraqi Defenses Starting in 2002 - Quote from article: "The strikes, which were conducted from mid-2002 into the first few months of 2003, were justified publicly at the time as a reaction to Iraqi violations of a no-flight zone that the United States and Britain established in southern Iraq. But Lt. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the chief allied war commander, said the attacks also laid the foundations for the military campaign against the Baghdad government." & "One reason it was possible for the allies to begin the ground campaign to topple Mr. Hussein without preceding it with an extensive array of airstrikes was that 606 bombs had been dropped on 391 carefully selected targets under the plan, General Moseley said." & "Air war commanders were required to obtain the approval of Defense Secretary Donald L. Rumsfeld if any planned airstrike was thought likely to result in deaths of more than 30 civilians. More than 50 such strikes were proposed, and all of them were approved." & "From June 2002 until the beginning of the Iraq war, the allies flew 21,736 sorties over southern Iraq and attacked 349 targets, including the (fiber-optic repeater) cable stations." & "As full-scale war approached, the air war commanders had five goals. They wanted to neutralize the ability of the Iraqi government to command its forces; to establish control of the airspace over Iraq; to provide air support for Special Operations forces, as well as for the Army and Marine forces that would advance toward Baghdad; and to neutralize Iraq's force of surface-to-surface missiles and suspected caches of biological and chemical weapons."

Source: U.S. Bombing Watch. Visit their site, they have links to reports for every day of bombing mentioned here. Many of these reports show things the like number of sorties, number of targets, change in type of targets as the war approached, reports from Iraq about the number of civillians killed, etc.

Why did George Bush have to make a case against Saddam that he possessed WMD or commited terror attacks to justify military action?

I think the one main reason for him might have been the fact that the polls in the summer of 2002 indicated that the US public overwhelmingly thought he should go through Congress and that he needed International support (UN) before invading. The guy didn't go to the bathroom without having Rove run a poll or focus group first.

It was Saddam who was responsible for disclosing the whereabouts of WMD but instead he hindered inspectors for almost 12 years. I do not remember one country or organization insisting 100% that Saddam did not have WMD before war, not even France.

Actually, I think France did by the end... maybe Russia and China, too. The vast majority of the world's countries thought to give the inspectors the time they were requesting to do the job (2 months).

I wouldn't discount the role the US and UK played in forming the other nation's view. Remember how we stalled for months when asked to provide any evidence of all of the WMD we said we "knew" was in Iraq and how when we finally did provide the inspectors with places to look everything was discredited? Remember?

How many countries were in the "coalition of the willing", something like 52 (and most of those were only on paper)? That left 140 in the coalition of the unwilling.

The fact is Saddam never intended to let UN inspectors do their jobs because Saddam believed Iran was the real threat and UN inspectors offended him.

The true fact is that we were demanding that Saddam produce and/or admit to having weapons that he did not have. Nothing short of his pulling WMD out of thin air was going to satisfy us and if he was somehow able to do it, we would've attacked him for that.

Another fact is that the inspectors were doing their job and did their job a loooooong time ago.

Saddam even believed the French would eventually end sanctions.

Crazy as it sounds but... maybe he believed the French (or any other country) would've ended sanctions because HE HAD NO WMD!

Even Hans Blix, in 2003 said he believed (but did not know for sure 100%) that Iraq had destroyed most of its weapons of mass destruction years before, but kept up the appearance that he had them to deter a military attack for Iran.

Didn't he also say that he felt they'd be degraded if they were still in existance? As did many others... before the war.

George Bush did not even have to make a case that Saddam was a terrorist because that case had been made for the 12 years following Iraq1. Since Iraq1 Saddam financed suicide bombers, killed 1500 teenage Kurd girls at a time, let his sons rape and torture at will including Olympic athletes, just to name a few of Saddam

Another consideration of the administrative crimes perpetrated on the people...This author writes well, not a lawyer, so dont take offense by his statement that the war if not a crime to make mistakes,use of public funds to cover up is a crime.

Pressure Needs to continue.
Thank You ALL.

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