More on the Downing Street Memos: a confetti of leaks! And Republicans go anti-war???!

It seems that there are a lot of sources now leaking memos out of the British government, which help reveal a more complete picture of the mentality of the hawks early on... ThinkProgress.org has the full text of five different British government papers. Of course, on June 12, the Times of London released another Cabinet Office paper, "Conditions for Military Action," which talked about the need to fabricate a legal pretext to invade the country.

So here are your new and tasty leaked docs: The British Iraq Options Paper, the Manning Paper, the Meyer Paper, the Ricketts Paper, the Straw Paper and the British Legal Background Paper.

I haven't dug around to determine the veracity of these memos... However they all contain information that discredits the Bush administration's drive for war. As thinkprogress cites:

British Knew Iraqi WMD Were Not a Threat: “There is no greater threat now that [Saddam] will use WMD than there has been in recent years, so continuing containment is an option.” [Iraq: Options Paper]

Evidence Did Not Show Much Advance In Iraq’s Weapons Programs: “Even the best survey of Iraq’s WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years on [the] nuclear, missile or CW/BW fronts: the programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as far as we know, been stepped up.” [Ricketts Paper, 3/22/02]

Evidence Was Thin on Iraq/Al Qaeda Ties: “US is scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al [Qaida] is so far frankly unconvincing.” [Ricketts Paper, 3/22/02]

“No Credible Evidence” On Iraq/Al Qaeda Link: “There has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with UBL and Al Qaida.” [Straw Paper, 3/25/02]

Wolfowitz Knew Supposed Iraq/Al Qaeda Link Was Weak: Wolfowitz said that “there might be doubt about the alleged meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker on 9/11, and Iraqi intelligence (did we, he asked, know anything more about this meeting?).” [Meyer Paper, 3/18/02]

As Justin Raimondo bitterly noted, the Meyer paper says that Wolfowitz wanted to dwell on Saddam's atrocities. As Meyer put it, "Wolfowitz thought that this would go a long way to destroying any notion of moral equivalence between Iraq and Israel." This struck me as an interesting element of the structure of the American-Israeli moral hegemony complex. It sort of suggests that the war itself was designed to alter the moral geography between Israel and Iraq, to prove that Israel is on some sort of higher plane of geopolitics, and in turn, is more morally suited to dominate the region. Of course, this tracks with the worldview seen in such classic hits as the Clean Break document.

In the WaPo, EJ Dionne offered:

"The notion that the president led the country into war through indirection or dishonesty is not the most damaging criticism of the administration. The worst possibility is that the president and his advisers believed their own propaganda."

In another column Raimondo cites the unexpected antiwar swing of a "Freedom Fries" Republican Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina. He has no love for the neo-cons these days:

"'When I look at the number of men and women who have been killed – it's almost 1,700 now, in addition to close to 12,000 have been severely wounded – and I just feel that the reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that's all been proven that it was never there"

Interviewer George Stephanopoulos asked him who is to blame: Rumsfeld? The president? Jones answered:

"I think it's primarily the neoconservatives who were advisers in key positions in both the Department of Defense and I think that they gave bad advice."

He "felt deceived when he was told that so-called 'neoconservatives' in the Pentagon had wanted to invade Iraq long before Sept. 11," and he recalls how he got "'very, very upset' when he learned there were no weapons of mass destruction 'and that information was manipulated to justify the invasion.'"

Sweet. So someone Red Gets it. How many more on the way?

Dude from the London Times offers a basic explanation of the Syrian-foreign fighter route into Iraq. There is staggering corruption. Porter Goss' recent comment about knowing where Bin Laden is provoked some waves in Pakistan and Afganistan. So maybe Goss doesn't want to go in and get OBL in Pakistan because it might cause an Islamist coup. Juan Cole has some interesting thoughts about what they feel in Pakistan now.

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