The Corner

Skimming Through Tenet Book

So far (and I’m just getting started), it doesn’t seem quite as harsh toward the administration as portrayed by the media. I never followed the Downing Street memo thing very closely, but I wasn’t aware of this (page 310):

In the spring of 2005 some documents dating back to July 2002 were leaked to the British press. The documents, which came to be known as “the Downing Street Memos,” reported on a “perceptible shift” in the attitude in Washington, saying that military action was now seen as “inevitable.” One memo records “C,” the designation the Brits use for the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, as saying that “intelligence and facts were being fixed around policy.”

Sir Richard later told me that he had been misquoted. He reviewed the draft memo, objecting to the word “fixed” in particular, and corrected it to reflect the truth of the matter. He said that upon returning to London in July of 2002, he expressed the view, based upon his conversations, that the war in Iraq was going to happen. He believed that the momentum driving it was not really about WMD but rather about bigger issues, such as changing the politics of the Middle East.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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