The Leak that Changed Minds on the Iraq War
Six weeks ago The Sunday Times published the leaked minutes of a July 2002 Downing Street meeting in which Tony Blair committed Britain to war in Iraq months before parliament was consulted.
They detailed a secret pledge to President George W Bush to help oust Saddam, showed that Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, had warned such action could be illegal and that Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, had thought the case for war was “thin”.
Today [Sunday, June 12, 2005 --sid] we publish further revelations in the news section in the form of a July 2002 Cabinet Office briefing paper.
It makes clear that both Blair and Bush have a lot to apologise for: “When the prime minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change,” it states, adding that “regime change per se is illegal”.
As a prime minister had agreed to do something that was illegal under British interpretation of international law, it was “necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support regime change”, the briefing paper says.
BBA | After Downing Street