4,456. 1/31/2003

The leaked memo written by U.K. Chief Foreign Policy Advisor David Manning on January 31, 2003 discussed that day's meeting between President Bush and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair. "Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised three possible ways of provoking a confrontation. …'The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours,' the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. 'If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.' It also described the president as saying, 'The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D…' A brief clause in the memo refers to a third possibility, mentioned by Mr. Bush, a proposal to assassinate Saddam Hussein."

 – “Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says,” The New York Times, March 27, 2006, Don Van Natta Jr., 1/31/2003

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