While the revelations that have come about from the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails so far have been relatively mundane, a recently leaked memo contains some pretty damning evidence. But it isn’t Clinton that looks bad, it is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President George W. Bush.
The memo is from a batch of 30,000 secret emails stored on a private server belonging to Hillary Clinton, which Republicans, and the courts, forced her to reveal. It was received by Clinton on her private server when she was Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013.
The memo shows that then-President Bush reached a clandestine deal with Blair to invade Iraq, almost a year before the actual invasion took place.
So far most of the evidence showing that the public was lied to about the Iraq War has fallen on the American side, but these documents demonstrate that the scope of the fabrication was greater than previously thought, and occurred much sooner.
In spite of Blair’s public assertion, leading up to the war, that he was trying to find a diplomatic solution to the problem, peaceful options were not discussed in the memo. The documents show that Blair colluded with the Department of Defense in manufacturing and selling the “evidence” that convinced the American public and its representatives that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was involved in 9/11, and was planning on striking again in the U.S.
The memo from Secretary of State Colin Powell, written to President Bush on March 28, 2002, was sent just a week before Bush’s infamous summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas. That meeting garnered widespread attention, especially because it is believed that this is where the war plans were hatched, and because he was the first world leader to be invited to the ranch, where he stayed for two nights. While there he even sat in on Bush’s daily CIA briefing, which was unprecedented, and attended a private meeting with Bush in which their advisers were not present.
Colin Powell wrote that “He [Blair] will present to you the strategic, tactical and public affairs lines that he believes will strengthen global support for our common cause.” He goes on to say that Blair has the ability to “make a credible public case on current Iraqi threats to international peace.”
In the memo Powell tells Bush that Blair “will be with us” on military action, and he assures the President, “The UK will follow our lead.” Powell also writes, “Blair’s challenge now is to judge the timing and evolution of America’s Iraq policy and to bring his party and the British people on board.”
In response to the leaked memo, a Blair spokesperson stated that “This story is nothing new. The memo is consistent with what Mr. Blair was saying publicly at the time and with Mr. Blair’s evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry.”
In reality though, Blair had told voters, “We’re not proposing military action at this point in time,” and that “This is a matter for considering all the options.”
The Iraq war has led to over 100,000 casualties since the invasion and a gaping power vacuum that we are now seeing being filled by ISIS, who inarguably are worse than the Hussein regime.
Leading up to and throughout the war, Blair essentially went along with everything Bush asked him to do, including supporting the myth that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. While the world has long known that Blair was complicit with Bush’s actions, we now know that the plans were put in place much sooner than previously believed.
Funny enough, it is the Republicans’ insistence on releasing Hillary Clinton’s emails that has led to this discovery.