Monday, July 18, 2005

TRUTH REVEALED: My Take on the Wolfowitz Downing Street Letter

A copy of the acutal letter has been given to Raw Story revealing a conversation that took place between the former British ambassador to the United States, Sir Christopher Meyer, and one of the architects of the Iraq war. PNAC member -- Paul Wolfowitz.

The most revealing truth about this document, to me, is the overall consistency in this letter. It can be summed up in one passage. Sir Christopher Meyer writes:
We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option.
Remember, this letter was written in Mar. 18, 2002 -- a FULL YEAR before the Iraq War began. Throughout this letter, two high-ranking officials discussed "Regime Change" without the mention of any other options. The only question that was up for debate was "how would this be done?"

The other most revealing aspect of this letter to me is Paul Wolfowitz's insistence on NOT discrediting the INC -- despite warnings from Meyer. Is this evidence that the Bush regime was cherry-picking intelligence? No. But it sure as hell looks like it. At the very least, Wolfowitz is "in denial" about some basic assumptions about when and when not to believe intelligence. Here are 3 passages which pertain to this issue:
..."The CIA stubbornly refused to recognise this. They unreasonably denigrate the INC because of their fixation with Chalabi."...

...When I mentioned that the INC was penetraded by Iraqi intelligence, Wolfowitz commented that this was probably the case with all the opposition groups: it was something we would have to live with...

...Wolfowitz brushed over my reference to the absence of Sunni in the INC: there was a big difference between Iraq and Iranian Shia. The former just wanted to be rid of Saddam..
Raw Story uses a very juicy catchphrase "wrongfoot" to pump this story. It is a curious phrase which should make one wonder (cynically) what was meant by it, however methinks the use and context in the letter is too vague to be used as THE focus for the whole letter. Here is the catchphrase in context:
I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SORs and the critical importance of the MEPP (Middle-East Peace Agreement) as an integral part of the anti-Saddam strategy.
Does this mean that they were scheming to deceive Hussein so that he would do something that might cause justification for an attack? Perhaps. But, maybe Meyer simply thought that just having the inspectors there would "wrongfoot" Hussein. Again, I think the more important thing (and the strongest assumption we can make) about this passage (and others in this letter) is that it seems obvious that the decision for "regime change" was a done deal a year before the illegal invasion would begin.
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