Roger Whittaker

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Iraq War lies

Sunday 12th June 2005

The cabinet paper which has been leaked to the Sunday Times is hardly surprising, but it documents very clearly what was always obvious: that Blair committed the UK to war well before he says that he did, and that the justification for the war was built around the decision to go to war.

From the report:

Ministers were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.

The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair's inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal.

From the cabinet paper:

US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community. Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.

What really appals me is that faced with all this, only one minister was sufficiently principled to resign in advance of the war.

Local copies:
cabinet paper, report.