More British Memos

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ThinkProgress has the complete roundup of British documents related to the decision to go to war. One brief correction, though, to the New York Times reporting on these memos:

“A memorandum written by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet office in late July 2002 explicitly states that the Bush administration had made ‘no political decisions’ to invade Iraq, but that American military planning for the possibility was advanced.”

That’s not true, or at best misleading. The memos clearly state that the Bush administration had already decided to go to war by July 2002, but it simply had yet to make the decision politically palatable, had yet to find legal justification for war, and had yet to scrounge up the sort of intelligence that could sell the war to the broader public. As one of the memos describes it, by July of 2002 the Bush administration had not yet figured out how to “creat[e] the political conditions for military action.” But the decision for war itself had certainly been made.

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