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Fox' Big Story on Downing Street Memo

Reported by Chrish - June 8, 2005

The joint news conference held by Britain's Tony Blair and GW Bush today 6/7/05 overlapped a few minutes into The Big Story with John Gibson. Herewith the transcript of the Downing Street Memo question and answer and Wendell Goler's summary.

BUSH: Steve.

STEVE: On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street memoes from July 2002 says intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military action. Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?

BLAIR: Well I can respond to that very easily. No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all. And let me remind you that that memorandum was written before we then went to the United Nations. No-one knows more intimately the discussions that we were conducting as two countries at the time than me. And the fact is we decided to go to the UN and went through that process which resulted in the November 2002 UN resolution to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so, and that was the reason we had to take military action. All the way through that period of time, we were trying to look for a way of managing to resolve this without conflict. As it happened, we weren't able to do that because as I think was very clear there was no way that Saddam Hussein was ever going to change the way that he worked or the way that he acted.

BUSH: Well, I, you know, I read into the characterizations of the memo particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I'm not sure who 'they' dropped it out is... (laughter, Blair grins, Bush shrugs) I'm not suggesting that you all dropped it out there...(more laughter). And somebody said well we had decided to go, to use military force, to deal with Saddam, there's nothing farther from the truth. My conversations with the prime minister was how could we do this peacefully. What could we do, there's this meeting y'know evidently that took place in uh, London, happened before we even went to the United Nations, or I went to the United Nations, and so it's uh, look, both of us didn't want to use our f..military. Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option. The consequences of committing the military are, are, (shakes head) very difficult. The hardest things I do as the president is try to comfort families who've lost a loved one. In combat. It's the last option! That the president must have, and it's the last option I know
my friend had as well. And so we worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully to ca...put a united front up to Saddam Hussein and say the world speaks and he ignored the world. Remember 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And uh, the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.

Now Goler's report:

"And finally the president and prime minister Blair both tackling the so-called Downing Memo which came to light in the last month. A July 2002 memo in which British officials said the US appeared to had already made up its mind about going to war in Iraq, the president and prime minister both saying they had not made up their minds about going to war in Iraq and that was why the president put the issue to the UN Security Council, that he looked until the very last moment for a peaceful resolution of the conflict."

Comment: No reasonable explanation given, just denial and patriotic-sounding babble. We all know, from Richard Clarke, that the Bush administration was fixing to go into Iraq even before 9/11. Hopefully Americans will start to see this mountain of evidence for what it is, evidence, and take action against the perpetrators.

Bush insinuates that the memo was "dropped" to disrupt Tony Blair's campaign and on that merit alone should be dismissed. He also says that Hussein ignored the world...does he not remember 10 MILLION people taking to the streets to demand more time for inspections?


Note: The man asking the question was Steve Holland of Reuters. 6/9/05

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