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THE MANNING MEMO
Back in March 2003, Bush said that if Saddam Hussein did not give up his weapons of mass destruction, Iraq would face war. But earlier, in a January 31 closed-door meeting, Bush told his British buddy Tony Blair that the attack would take place even if no WMDs were found. Indeed, George and Tony candidly conceded that the discovery of such weapons was unlikely.
This deliberate deception is revealed in a confidential five-page memo written by David Manning, Blair's top foreign-policy advisor, who was at the meeting.
Manning records that both Bush and Blair were uptight that the WMDs were not going to be found, so George W offered another fabrication to give them an excuse to attack. He suggested that the U.S. would paint one of our own surveillance planes in the colors of the United Nations and fly it over Iraq, hoping that Saddam would be provoked into shooting it down. Then the U.S. and Brits could invade, claiming that they were retaliating for Saddam's attack on the UN.
Ultimately, Bush and Blair stuck with the WMD lie, apparently assuming that the war would be quick, a new Iraqi democracy would spring up, and no one would remember all that WMD stuff.
Meanwhile, more than 2,300 Americans have died, Iraq is a bloody mess, and George W says his war of lies will continue at least until 2009.