A British ambassador’s letter — a record of his conversation with Paul Wolfowitz on Iraq and Afghanistan —

indicates that the British had a “need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN” Security Council Resolutions, possibly suggesting that the British and the United States were coordinating to “trick” Saddam into starting a war.

Raw Story obtained a copy of a March 18, 2002 letter from “then-British ambassador to the United States Sir Christopher Meyer to Tony Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor, David Manning.”

On Iraq I opened [the conversation with Wolfowitz] by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Condi Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option. It would be a tough sell for us domestically, and probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go it alone if it wanted to. But if it wanted to act with partners, there had to be a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam.

The March 18, 2002 letter records Wolfowitz’s impression that, unlike other Bush administration officials who emphasized the WMD issue, it was critical to publicize Saddam’s “barbarism.” Wolfowitz felt, writes Amb. Meyer, that emphasis on Saddam’s barbaric deeds would destroy “any notion of moral equivalence between Iraq and Israel.”

Wolfowitz told Amb. Meyer that it was “absurd” to deny the link between terrorism and Saddam.

While there might be “doubt” about the Atta meeting in Prague, Wolfowitz emphasized there were numerous other incidents of Saddam giving comfort to terrorists.

Wolfowitz also told Amb. Ameyer that he found himself “between” the pro- and anti-“INC lobbies” in the White House, but that he was opposed to a coalition of all anti-Saddam groups. Chalabi “was not the easiest person to work with” but “had a good record of bringing high-grade defectors out of Iraq.”

“The CIA stubbornly refused to recognise this. They unreasonably denigrate the INC because of their fixation with Chalabi.”

The letter [PDF format] “has been truncated to hide markings that might indicate their source,” say Raw Story‘s Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne.

The release comes on the heels of the third anniversary of the Downing Street minutes. The minutes documented a high-level meeting between the Blair and Bush governments, at which the director of British intelligence declared ‘the facts were being fixed around the policy’ before either nation sought approval for war.

The copy, obtained through British channels, provides further indication of the veracity of the documents and offers striking visual evidence that the communications were made at the highest levels of the Blair government. Meyer drafted the letter on British Embassy stationery.


Meyer’s letter is the third image of the documents to be released. The British Telegraph printed copies of a letter from British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and another by Manning last fall.


The original documents, obtained by Sunday Times reporter Michael Smith, have been destroyed.

Raw Story also provides a TEXT VERSION of the letter.

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