Policy-based evidence

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, writing in The New York Review of Books on Tony Blair’s letter to George W. Bush on July 28, 2002, which contained the declaration: “I will be with you, whatever.”

It has taken some people a long time to grasp this. The story falls into place when those words are read in conjunction with the Downing Street Memo written in the greatest secrecy five days before Blair’s promise of fealty, in which Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, reported on his recent talks in Washington. “Bush wanted to remove Saddam,” the memo said, “through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”