4,573. 2/15/2003

In an undated interview conducted by journalist Ron Suskind, former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service Sir Richard Dearlove “confirms that [British Secret Agent Michael] Shipster’s precious haul of intelligence [regarding Iraq’s lack of WMD] was passed immediately, by February [2003], to Washington. Everyone ‘at the top’ knew all about it–he and [CIA Director George] Tenet, [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair, [President] Bush, and [Vice President Dick] Cheney. Dearlove, of course, knows how this takes a sledgehammer to the case for war made by both Bush and Blair and digresses to do some tidying up before the hammer falls. There’s something he’s been wanting to clarify. The famous sixteen words from the [2003] State of the Union–‘The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa’–is a misstatement. ‘The UK’s interpretation was that Iraq was making preparations to attempt to buy’ the yellowcake, he says. Bush was suggesting Iraq ‘had reestablished its program’ to create nuclear weapons. ‘We disagree on this issue.’ ” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Ron Suskind, The Way of the World, Page 192

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