4,464. 1/31/2003

On January 31, 2003, President Bush “had a two hour meeting in the Oval Office with British prime minister Tony Blair and six of Bush’s and Blair’s top aides. …In a five-page memo stamped ‘extremely sensitive’ dated January 31, 2003, that summarized the discussion at the meeting…[Blair’s Chief Foreign Policy Advisor, David] Manning wrote that Bush and Blair expressed their doubts that any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons would ever be found in Iraq, and that there was tension between Bush and Blair over finding some justification for the war that would be acceptable to other nations. Bush was so worried about the failure of the UN inspectors to find hard evidence against Hussein that, unbelievably, he talked about three possible ways, Manning wrote, to ‘provoke a confrontation’ with Hussein, one of which, Bush said, was to fly ‘U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, [falsely] painted in U.N. colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach’ of UN resolutions and that would justify war.”

 – Vincent Bugliosi, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Page 149

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