Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lawless World: Prof Philippe Sands on the White House memo

From an interview on Democracy Now

British international law professor Philippe Sands, author of “Lawless World,” reveals President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair secretly agreed in January 2003 to invade Iraq in mid-March 2003 regardless of the outcome of diplomatic efforts.

The White House memo was a document that I’ve added into the latest edition in the U.K., and it describes a meeting well known to have been held between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair on the 31st of January, 2003, just five days before Colin Powell gave his famous presentation to the Security Council. What's so striking about the material, which has not been challenged as not being authentic, is that it confirms the absence of evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Why would the British prime minister and the American president be talking about the possibility of provoking a material breach if they had clear and compelling evidence? But more importantly, it also confirms, as some have thought and some have said, that the road to a second resolution was a sham. The decision had already been taken that already, by the end of January, a start date for the war was penciled in and the decision was set in stone and that both Bush and Blair had agreed.

Philippe Sands, the author of “Lawless World” is a professor of international law at University College London.