This is a summary of the minutes of the meeting, drawn up from the document by Congressman John Conyers, and signed by 88 other congress members who demand answers about the pre-war deal between Great Britain and the United States as well as unassailable corroboration that pre-war intelligence was intentionally manipulated.
- British officials offered an assessment of the case for war as â€œthin.â€?The British Foreign Secretary at the time also stated that â€œSaddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.â€?/P>
- The Foreign Secretary indicated a plan was being hatched with Bush Administration officials to create justifications to go to war, where no legal basis currently existed. The United States and Great Britain â€œshould 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.â€?/P>
- British officials indicated that Bush administration officials had already decided to go to war in the summer of 2002 despite contemporaneous, and apparently false, statements by Bush Administration officials that the President had not yet made such statement. One official stated that â€œ[m]ilitary action was now seen as inevitableâ€?and the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw indicated that â€œBush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided.â€?Yet, in August of 2002, within a month of this meeting, the President claimed he was still willing to â€œlook at all optionsâ€?and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld flatly stated that â€œ[t]he president has made no such determination that we should go to war with Iraq.â€?(NYT, 8/22/02).
- A high ranking British official acknowledged the deliberate manipulation of intelligence, indicating that, while the President â€œwanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD,â€?â€œthe intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.â€?/P>