The leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, July 21, 2002: "Iraq: Conditions for Military Action"
- The "Ministers were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal."
- Prime Minister Tony Blair had "already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W. Bush three months earlier."
- "The briefing paper, [prepared in advance] for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was 'necessary to create the conditions' which would make it legal," which was "required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action."
The paper, dubbed the "'Smoking Cannon' paper" by BuzzFlash, comes only weeks after The secret Downing Street memo, July 23, 2002 -- also known as the "'Smoking Gun' memo" -- which the Times revealed May 1, 2005.
- 1 The Briefing Papers
- 2 Blowback
- 3 SourceWatch Resources
- 4 External links
The Briefing Papers
According to the Times, as the paper "produced by the Cabinet Office on July 21, 2002, is incomplete because the last page is missing," it has produced only a transcript of the document instead of providing a copy.
The Times' Michael Smith reported June 12, 2005, that 
- "The suggestions that the allies use the UN to justify war contradicts claims by Blair and Bush, repeated during their Washington summit last week, that they turned to the UN in order to avoid having to go to war."
- The "briefing paper is certain to add to the pressure, particularly on the American president, because of the damaging revelation that Bush and Blair agreed on regime change in April 2002 and then looked for a way to justify it."
Cause for Impeachment?
"What if President Bush lied to Congress and the American people, used those lies to gain congressional approval for military action against Iraq and launched a war that killed 1,700 Americans and tens of thousands of others?
"That might have been a hypothetical question a month ago," according to Dave Richardson in the June 13, 2005, Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY), but "it might not be hypothetical anymore.
- After Downing Street
- Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002
- Bush administration lies that led to war
- Bush administration rationales for war in Iraq
- Bush administration scandals
- Bush lies and deceptions
- Downing Street documents
- invasion of Iraq
- Oil and War in Iraq
- Pentagon Papers
- The case for impeachment of President George W. Bush
- weapons of mass destruction investigation
- "Iraq, Intelligence and WMD," PERRspectives: Iraq Document Library.
- "Path of War Timeline": January 26, 1998-May/July 2003, (with supporting links) compiled by The Raw Story, June 12/13, 2005.
- Faiz Shakir, "Timeline of a Failed Policy," Think Progress, June 12, 2005.
Full British Briefing Papers: Think Progress website
- "IRAQ: OPTIONS PAPER" (10-page pdf), 8 March "))" ; Mirror The Raw Story website.
- Sir David Manning to Prime Minister (2-page pdf), March 14, 2002; Mirror The Raw Story website.
- Ambassador Christopher Meyer to Sir David Manning: "IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN: CONVERSATION WITH WOLFOWITZ" (2-page pdf), March 18, 2002; Mirror The Raw Story website.
- P.F. Ricketts to Secretary of State: "IRAQ: FOR THE PRIME MINISTER" (2-page pdf), March 22, 2002; Mirror The Raw Story website.
- Straw Paper: "CRAWFORD/IRAQ" (4-page pdf), March 25, 2002; Mirror The Raw Story website.
- British Legal Background Paper (8-page pdf), undated.
Briefing Papers: Times (UK)
- "Cabinet Office paper: Conditions for military action," Times (UK), June 12, 2005. Mirror available at Common Dreams.
Analysis of the Papers
- Detailed Analysis: "Leaked Cabinet Office papers, September 2004: Evidence of false statements made by Tony Blair to Parliament and the media," University of Cambridge's Student Run Computing Facility (SRCF) website.
- Comprehensive Analysis at Cryptome.org. Includes links to articles and news coverage.
- Juan Cole, "Bush and Blair Committed to War in April, 2002. Leaked Cabinet Briefing Shows British Knew War was Illegal," Informed Consent, June 12, 2005.
- "We Can Win (With or without the NYT)...," Freiheit und Wissen, June 13, 2005.
- "Six More British Documents Leaked. Rice Implicated in the lie now," Radio News America, June 13, 2005.
- George Jones, "Blair papers over split on Iraq," Telegraph (UK), September 27, 2002.
- Michael Smith, "Secret papers show Blair was warned of Iraq chaos," Telegraph (UK), September 18, 2004.
- Sam Gardiner (Col., USAF-Ret.), "Truth from These Podia. Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II," October 8, 2003 (pdf posted by U.S. News): "Colonel Gardiner feels that the organization was in fact put together at the time of the memo, and that the 'marketing' of the war began in September when Congress returned from summer recess. Since his study came out, Colonel Gardiner has received confirmation from a number of sources including sources inside the Bush Administration that almost all of his initial conclusions were correct." The LeftCoaster, June 11, 2005.
- Russ Baker, "Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer," GNN.tv, October 28, 2004.
Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002
- "The secret Downing Street memo," Sunday Times (UK), May 1, 2005.
- Jeremy Scahill, "The Other Bomb Drops," The Nation, June 1, 2005.
- Jeremy Scahill, Rush Transcript: "A Smoking Bullet in a Smoking Gun," Democracy Now!, June 6, 2005.
- Jefferson Morley, "The Downing Street Memo Story Won't Die," Washington Times, June 7, 2005.
- Joshua Micah Marshall, "Understanding our National Denial about Iraq," TPM Cafe, June 7, 2005.
- Dan Froomkin, "The Memo Comes In From the Cold," Washington Post, June 8, 2005.
- Mark Memmott, "'Downing Street Memo' Gets Fresh Attention," USA Today, June 8, 2005, posted at Common Dreams.
- Tony Allen-Mills, "Washington confronts 'memogate'," Times (UK) Online, June 9, 2005.
- Mark Danner, "Tomgram: Mark Danner on the British Smoking-Gun Memo," The New York Review of Books, June 9, 2005 issue.
- Eric Boehlert, "Bush lied about war? Nope, no news there! Why did it take more than a month for the U.S. press to report on the serious revelations in the Downing Street memo?" Salon, June 9, 2005. Registration required.
- Mark Danner, "The Secret Way to War," The New York Review of Books, June 9, 2005.
- Philippe Naughton, "Downing Street minutes that lasted for months," Times (UK) Online, June 9, 2005.
- "Memogate Hearings Scheduled for June 16," posted on Common Dreams, June 10, 2005.
- Editorial: "Bush and 'the memo'," San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 2005: "President Bush apparently thinks he can dismiss the damning 'Downing Street memo' with a few glib words."
- David Corn, "The Downing Street Memo Reconsidered," The Nation, June 11, 2005.
- "Readers' Representative: Downing Street memo's route to paper," Star Tribune (Minneapolis), June 11, 2005.
- Manning Pynn, "A missing story?" Orlando Sentinel, June 12, 2005.
- Philip Gailey, "The American people have been had," St. Petersburg Times, June 12, 2005.
- Ward Harkavy, "Downing Street Afterschlock: CNN Makes Good on 'Storytelling' Vow. Headline News channels regime-change facts into fiction," Village Voice, June 12, 2005.
- Dick Polman, "Memo offers Bush's critics hard evidence on prewar intelligence," Knight Ridder, June 12, 2005.
- Greg Mitchell, "More Life on 'Downing Street' with Leak of New Documents on Iraq," Editor & Publisher, June 11, 2005.
- Michael Smith, "Ministers were told of need for Gulf war 'excuse'," Sunday Times (UK), June 12, 2005. Mirror available at Common Dreams.
- Walter Pincus, "Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Postwar Iraq Plan. Advisers to Blair Predicted Instability," Washington Post, June 12, 2005.
- "White House Defends Iraq Postwar Planning," AP, June 12, 2005.
- "Yet Another Leak - The Downing Street Briefing," NewsHog Blogspot, June 12, 2005.
- Richard Cranium, "The Bullet Casing from the Smoking Downing Street Gun?" The All Spin Zone, June 12, 2005.
- Apian, "Downing Street Documents -- Ten Briefcases Full," Daily Kos, June 12, 2005.
- Scott Johnson, JJ Balzer, and Steve Young, "Take a memo!" American Politics Journal, June 12, 2005.
- Digby, "The Elephant," Hullabaloo, June 12, 2005.
- Kevin Drum, "More Downing Street Memos," Washington Monthly, June 12, 2005.
- Eric Margolis, "Web of cold-blooded lies," Toronto Sun, June 12, 2005.
- Frank Rich, Op-Ed: "Don't Follow the Money," New York Times, June 12, 2005.
- "U.K. Memo Said to Question Postwar Plan," AP, June 12, 2005; also posted on Yahoo!.
- Kevin Drum, "Kinsley on the Downing Street Memo," Washington Monthly, June 12, 2005.
- Dave Richardson, "Could memo sink Bush?" Times Herald-Record Online, June 13, 2005.
- David E. Sanger, "Prewar British Memo Says War Decision Wasn't Made," New York Times, June 13, 2005.
- Nico Pitney, "New York Times Tries To Kill Downing Street Story," Think Progress, June 13, 2005.
- Rude One, "Of Downing Street and Cigars," The Rude Pundit, June 13, 2005. Caution: May contain offensive language.
- Beth Quinn, "Proof is in the memo: Soldiers died for a lie," Times Herald-Record, June 13, 2005.
- "Secret and Personal: On Downing Street," The Heretik, June 13, 2005.
- "The Smoking Canon," National Debunker, June 13, 2005.
- Faiz Shakir, "Cheney Cited Iraq Intelligence That Was Known To Be False" and "Wolfowitz’s Hunger For Taking Out Saddam Clouded The Facts," Think Progress, June 13, 2005.
- "British Briefing Papers Revealed," Center for American Progress, June 13, 2005.
- Cynthia Bogard, "USA Today and the Downing Street Memo," Common Dreams, June 13, 2005.
- Bobby Eberle, "'Downing Street' Memo Has Left Wingers Drooling," GOPUSA, June 13, 2005.
- Eric Boehlert, "We 'dropped the ball' on Downing memo," AP, June 14, 2005. Posted at Salon; requires subscription.
- "Gold Star and Military Families Call for Truth Regarding Downing St. Memo, Members to Visit Congress," U.S. Newswire, June 14, 2005.
- Jefferson Morley, "Deep Throat of Downing Street," Washington Post, June 14, 2005: "Just as students of the Watergate scandal pondered for years the identity of the high-level source who guided Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, students of the Iraq war will wonder about the person (or persons) behind The Sunday Times's reports."
- Action Alert: "Downing Street Memo Activists 'Wing Nuts,' 'Paranoid'," FAIR, June 14, 2005.
- Bernard Weiner, "Building a New 'Movement': The Downing Street Memos," The Crisis Papers, June 14, 2005.
- Editorial: "Fig leaf for war/Paper indicates U.N. was misled," Star Tribune, June 15, 2005: "Let's go back to 2002 and think about what the American people hoped for in Iraq. Such a review provides context to the latest British document leaked to the press and leads inevitably to the conclusion that both the British and American people were grossly misled."
- David Johnson and Jonathan Schwarz, "Damning evidence can't be ignored," Baltimore Sun, June 15, 2005.
- "The media's Downing Street rebound?" Salon, June 15, 2005. Requires registration.
- Howard Kurtz, "Backlash on the Left," Washington Post, June 15, 2005: "Nation Editor Katrina van den Heuvel told me that the failure to adequately cover the Downing Street memo 'epitomizes the timidity, the cowardice of a media that has been manipulated, intimidated, bullied by an administration that has taken it to a high level.' Frank Rich says the episode lays bare the problems of the 'lapdog news media'."
- Eric Boehlert, "AP dropped the ball on the Downing memo. Newspaper editors looking for wire copy on the British prewar document came up empty. But it wasn't just the Associated Press who neglected the story," AP, June 15, 2005.
- John Daniszewski, "New Memos Detail Early Plans for Invading Iraq. British officials believed the U.S. favored military force a year before the war, documents show," Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2005.
- Steve Berg, "Why are we in Iraq? It begs for an answer," Star Tribune, June 15, 2005.
- Michael Smith, Transcript: "The Downing Street Memo," Washington Post, June 16, 2005. "Smith was online Thursday, June 16, at 10 a.m. ET to discuss the Downing Street Memo and his reporting."
- David Corn, "The Latest Downing Street Memos," Capital Games/The Nation, June 16, 2005.
- Randy Hall, "Bush Critic Contradicts 'Downing Street Memo' Charge," CNSNews.com, June 17, 2005.
- Pete Yost, "Memo controversy lingering for Bush," AP, June 17, 2005.
- Pete Yost, "Senior Democrat suggests inquiry whether Bush intentionally misled Americans into war," AP, June 17, 2005.
- Lawrence M. O'Rourke, "Downing Street Memo a Growing Problem for Bush," Capitol Hill Blue, June 17, 2005.
- Tod Lindberg, "A Fix on Downing Street," The Weekly Standard, June 20, 2005 (issue).