A damning White House memo has revealed details of the so-called “deal in blood” forged by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush over the Iraq war.
The document, titled “Secret... Memorandum for the President”, was sent by then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell to President Bush on March 28, 2002, a week before Bush’s summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas, Britain’s Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
The sensational memo revealed that Blair had agreed to support the war a year before the invasion even started, while publicly the British prime minister was working to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Article first published on Iranian Press TV, Sunday 18 October, 2015.CDB Editor update 4 April 2021: Apologies for broken picture links here; the images are from another site, which is beyond our control
Tony Blair (left) and George W. Bush at the infamous March 2002 summit at Bush's ranch house in Crawford, Texas, where the two men spoke about invading Iraq. (AFP photo)
The document also disclosed that Blair agreed to act as a spin doctor for Bush and convince a skeptical public that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which actually did not exist.
In response, Bush would flatter Blair and give the impression that London was not Washington’s poodle but an equal partner in the “special relationship.”
Powell told Bush that Blair “will be with us” on the Iraq war, and assured the president that “"the UK will follow our lead in the Middle East."
Another sensational memo revealed how Bush used “spies” in the British Labour Party to help him to influence public opinion in the United Kingdom in favor of the Iraq war.
Both documents were obtained and published by The Mail on Sunday. They are part of a number of classified emails stored on the private server of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which courts have forced her to reveal.
Blair has always denied the claim that he and Bush signed a deal “in blood” at Crawford to launch a war against Iraq that began on March 20, 2003, that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
The Powell memo, however, showed how Blair and Bush secretly prepared the Iraq war plot behind closed doors at Crawford.
Powell told Bush: “He will present to you the strategic, tactical and public affairs lines that he believes will strengthen global support for our common cause.”
The top US diplomatic official added that the UK premier has the presentational skills to “make a credible public case on current Iraqi threats to international peace.”
Powell wrote that Blair will “stick with us on the big issues” but he needs to show the British public that “Britain and America are truly equal partners in the special relationship.”
In March 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding WMDs; but no such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq.
More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.
The US war in Iraq cost American taxpayers $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, according to a study called Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.