The Downing Street Memo

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I was asked to go along to a meeting with a friend…and he asked me whether there were still people interested in what had happened with the Iraq War…He gave me one document, I looked at it, and I said it was very interesting. He said there were a number of others and I said ‘Can I have a look at the others?’

Michael Smith, 6/21/05 on Open Source

Chris’s Billboard

What Tony Blair’s Cabinet in London knew in July three years ago—eight months before the assault on Saddam Hussein began—was that a war on Iraq might not be legal; it might not be necessary to protect the US, the UK, or the Middle East neighborhood; it might not produce a better regime for Iraq, much less a democracy; it might not be good for Tony Blair and his Labor Party in England. Overriding all else, however, was the word from Washington, received as unalterable fact, that military action was inevitable. The case was thin, the Foreign Secretary said. But the deed would be done. There you have the main lines of the inside story that Michael Smith broke in the London Sunday Times this Spring: about a pre-packaged war waiting for time and a trigger to get it started. A story that British voters and American media thought wasn’t much of a story at all. So: was it? Wasn’t it? And who decides anyway?

Michael Smith

defense correspondent, The Sunday Times,

broke the story on the Downing Street memo

[on the phone in Henley-on-Thames, England]

Bob Fesmire

Spokesman, Downing Street Memo

[by phone in Silicon Valley]

Jay Rosen

media pundit, NYU School of Journalism,

blogger: PressThink

[via studio in NYC]

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