New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Politics
30 November 2009

Iraq inquiry: Blair’s 2002 promise exposed

David Manning gives Chilcot evidence

By James Macintyre

For those interested in the question of when the UK signed up to George W Bush’s plan to invade Iraq, this morning (actually this afternoon, as it turns out) is a moment we’ve all been waiting for.

David Manning, Tony Blair’s former foreign policy adviser and ambassador to the United States, will give evidence to the Chilcot inquiry today. The inquiry is swiftly proving a fascinating watch, revealing within days of hearing evidence that “regime change” was indeed being discussed in Washington in the wake of the unconnected atrocities of 11 September 2001, and that Blair was told ten days before the 2003 invasion that Saddam did not have the ability to launch WMDs.

Some Westminster hacks are asking why it won’t report for another year or so. “We can pack up and go home,” said one.

However, there are still crucial questions to be asked. And surely it is inconceivable that Manning will not be grilled on his famous March 2002 memo, in which he told Blair after dining with Condoleezza Rice:

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

We spent a long time at dinner on Iraq. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a parliament and a public opinion that was very different than [sic] anything in the States.

 

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter

Content from our partners
An innovative approach to regional equity
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change