proof positive that howard is a liar

  1. 228 Posts.
    Allies 'planned' Iraq war despite denials

    The United States, Australia and Britain started to plan the invasion of Iraq months before the conflict, according to a report Wednesday quoting a leaked Pentagon document.

    Senior British and US commanders met at a war-planning session in June 2002 and orders to prepare actual military operations were given on October 7, 2002, more than a month before a UN resolution giving a final warning to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the London Evening Standard reported.

    Full battle plans were issued on October 31, 2002, eight days before UN Resolution 1441 called for the resumption of arms inspections in Iraq and warned Saddam of "serious consequences" if he were still seeking weapons of mass destruction, the paper said.

    The document quoted in the report is a Pentagon chronology used by US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in an August 2003 presentation on the "strategic lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom".

    The chronology lists a "UK and Australia planning conference" on June 28, 2002.

    Three weeks later, on July 16, the Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected the notion that Britain was gearing up for an invasion.

    When asked by a lawmaker whether Britain was "preparing for possible military action in Iraq", Mr Blair responded, according to the paper: "No, there are no decisions which have been taken about military action".

    The newspaper report was written by defense and security journalist Andrew Gilligan, the former BBC radio reporter whose claim that Mr Blair had "sexed up" his pre-war dossier with a claim about Iraqi weapons capability led to his ouster and a showdown between the British Government and public broadcaster.

    Britain's defense ministry refused to confirm or deny the report, Mr Gilligan wrote.

    "The latest disclosures sit uneasily with Mr Blair's denials that the Government was following a course toward war," he said.

    Mr Rumsfeld's document, the article charges, "frequently contradicts" public statements by officials in Britain in the run-up to the war.

    Mr Blair has been dogged by persistent doubts over the war, and Tuesday admitted that his decision to join the US-led invasion had made the public lose trust in the Government.

    He also told the annual conference of his ruling Labour Party that the claim that Saddam possessed stockpiles of banned weapons had "turned out to be wrong".

    According to the Evening Standard article, a British defense official was quoted in July 2002 - two weeks after Britain's first war-planning huddle with the United States - as saying: "We don't have current plans for an invasion or attack on Iraq in any form".

    Even after Washington began actively preparing its offensive in August 2002, British Home Secretary David Blunkett derided war talk as "hype", Mr Gilligan wrote.

    Mr Gilligan's controversial report for the BBC back in May 2003 used a Government weapons expert, David Kelly, as a confidential source who was later outed in public.

    Mr Kelly committed suicide in July of that year, triggering a major public inquiry into the causes of his death.

    Its conclusions, written by judge Brian Hutton, absolved Mr Blair of wrongdoing but made a scathing attack on the BBC, which in turn led to the resignations of Mr Gilligan as well as the BBC's chief executive Greg Dyke and chairman Gavyn Davies.

    -- AFP
arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch. arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch.