Snippets from The British Briefing Papers

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

As a counterpart to the Downing Street Memo, further briefing papers from Britain demonstrate, as this article trumpets, that the U.S. lacked a postwar Iraq plan, and that Blair’s advisors predicted instability in the region.

They also cast light on some of the strength (or lack thereof) of the pre-war intelligence regarding Iraq.  Some key quotes culled by Think Progress are below, but I recommend following the links (to the PDFs of the actual documents) for full details:

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]

There it is: the first draft of history.