Iraq and al-Qaeda

IRAQ AND AL-QAEDA….I thought I might do another little summary this evening of high-level British opinion as revealed by the Downing Street Memos. Tonight’s subject is Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda:

  • Options Paper: “In the judgement of the JIC there is no recent evidence of Iraq complicity with international terrorism.”

  • Ricketts Memo: “US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Aaida [sic] is so far frankly unconvincing.”

  • Straw Memo: “If 11 September had not happened, it is doubtful that the US would now be considering military action against Iraq. In addition, there has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with UBL and Al Qaida.”

  • Downing Street Memo: “C reported on his recent talks in Washington….Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

“No recent evidence.” “Frankly unconvincing.” “No credible evidence.” “Facts were being fixed.”

The Brits pretty clearly knew that the Iraq-al-Qaeda connection was a crock. As with the existence of global warming, though, they apparently didn’t have much luck in getting their American counterparts to admit it.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation