US ‘drumbeats’ about Iraq invasion were heard months before 9/11

Discussion in 'Iraq' started by longriver, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. longriver
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    longriver BANNED

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    British and US officials held secret discussions about ousting Saddam Hussein two years before invading Iraq and months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, the official inquiry into the war heard yesterday.

    Senior civil servants said that the “drumbeats” from Washington had begun soon after the election of George W. Bush amid concern that sanctions against Saddam’s regime were ineffectual and losing international support. Overthrowing the Iraqi leadership was considered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001 but had been ruled out because it had “no basis in law”, the inquiry heard. At the same time, the Attorney-General was raising questions about the legality of Britain continuing to enforce “no-fly zones” over Iraq.

    Relatives of some of the 179 British servicemen and women killed in Iraq gathered outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster before the start of the inquiry’s first public hearing yesterday.

    Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry chairman, said that it was not a court or trial and would not be determining guilt or innocence. The inquiry team said yesterday that witnesses could be offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony.

    Relatives of some of those who died have already told private sessions that they believe that Tony Blair, Prime Minister at the time of the invasion, should be charged with war crimes.

    Sir Peter Ricketts, then chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, told the inquiry that he was aware in 2001 of discussions in Washington about overthrowing the Iraqi leadership. “We did hear voices around Washington of arming opposition groups but it did not feel like an operation,” he said.

    Sir Peter, appointed director-general political in the Foreign Office in September 2001, said: “All the advice I saw go to ministers in 2001 . . . it was clear that it was not something we thought was advisable.”
    In early 2001 there was a “clear impression” that Saddam intended to acquire weapons of mass destruction, having used them in the past, added Sir Peter, now head of the Diplomatic Service. Britain was continuing to press for the United Nations to introduce “smart sanctions” as the best way of thwarting Saddam’s ambitions, he said.

    However, the September 11 attacks on America led to heightened concern there that terrorists could obtain weapoms of mass destruction. “Not to say that we had any evidence that Iraq was a direct link,” said Sir Peter. “Indeed, we did not have any such evidence.

    The inquiry will continue to hear from senior government officials, diplomats and military officers before Christmas. Current and former members of the Government, and their political advisers, are to be questioned in the new year. The report is not expected before the end of 2010.

    source:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6929604.ece
    [Disclose] US ‘drumbeats’ about Iraq invasion were heard months before 9/11 - Global Times Forum--Discuss China,Discuss the world--The Most Open and Objective Forum in China t17231
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Yup.

    Bubba Clinton was pimping for a hot war with Iraq, clear back in '98.
     

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