News Release

Iraq “White House Memo”


On Monday the New York Times reported on the “White House Memo” — secret minutes, taken by a high British official, of a White House meeting between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in January 2003.

Highlights of the memo were first published this year in January in the book Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules, which was written by a British lawyer and international law professor, Philippe Sands.

Sands, currently on a brief visit to the U.S., spoke at the New America Foundation this afternoon; information on the event is available at the webpage and video will be available.

The Times reported: “The January 2003 memo is the latest in a series of secret memos produced by top aides to Mr. Blair that summarize private discussions between the president and the prime minister. Another group of British memos, including the so-called Downing Street memo written in July 2002, showed that the United States was determined to invade Iraq, and that the ‘intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy’ by the Bush administration to fit its desire to go to war.”

The Times added: “The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.”
More Information

A founder of, Fertik said today: “In January 2003, millions of us were protesting around the world. We all knew Bush wanted war — that’s why we were protesting! But Bush insisted publicly that he did not want war.

“The ‘White House Memo’ proves that Bush was lying — saying one thing in public while saying the opposite in private. In private, he told Tony Blair that war was inevitable, and that it didn’t matter if WMDs were found or if the U.N. adopted a resolution actually authorizing the invasion. … Bush wanted war, no matter what.”
More Information

Schwarz has been a contributor to and has followed the various leaked memos closely. He said today: “The most shocking aspect of the ‘White House Memo’ is that George Bush advocated the U.S. and U.K. manufacture a pretext for war by flying a U.S. spy plane over Iraq in false U.N. colors — in hopes Iraq would fire upon it.

“This demonstrates Bush knew the U.S. case for war was extremely unconvincing. Rather than forego war, however, he and Blair were willing to deceive both their own people and the entire world.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167