Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

20 04 2011

From the [UK] Independent:

The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.

The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as “highly inaccurate”. BP denied that it had any “strategic interest” in Iraq, while Tony Blair described “the oil conspiracy theory” as “the most absurd”.

But documents from October and November the previous year paint a very different picture. . . . 

. . . . Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change. . . . 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-memos-expose-link-between-oil-firms-and-invasion-of-iraq-2269610.html 





Ray McGovern addresses the Downig St. Memo

12 08 2009

……the advantage of the Downing Street minutes is that it’s a documentary piece of evidence of the kind that intelligence analysts or investigative reporters or people really lust after in terms of proving a case, and this does prove a case. You have to think back to 2002. Blair was in Crawford, Texas. He committed himself to do whatever Bush decided with respect to war. And then he got a little bit worried. You know, Bush was on the phone with him every other week or so, and Blair was hearing these braggadocio type things about what we’re going to do to Saddam and why, and he wanted to check that out. And what better way to check it out than send his intelligence chief to meet with his opposite number, George Tenet, who at that time was head of the CIA and meeting with Bush six mornings a week with the president’s daily brief? What better way than to send Sir Richard Dearlove over the Atlantic to meet with Tenet? Now, Tenet was reluctant to meet with him for obvious reasons, but Blair prevailed upon Bush to make Tenet meet with Dearlove. And once you get Tenet going—he’s that big, garrulous fellow who likes to brag about all the secrets he knew—well, he really gave Dearlove an earful. And three days after Dearlove was with Tenet that entire Saturday—and I know folks who were there with him them all—they had a one-and-a-half hour tête-à-tête behind closed doors, and that was what Dearlove was reporting on when he was seeing Blair and his principal national security advisers—there were 14 there altogether—three days later on July 23, 2002. So we’re talking still eight months before the war, okay? Big message—this was Dearlove’s report: the president has decided that war is inevitable to remove Saddam Hussein for regime change; the war will be justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass disruption….. (more)

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m56864&hd=&size=1&l=e

[ the link also has a video — F.C. ]