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In a revealing speech delivered this weekend, the former deputy director of Britain’s secret intelligence service said the Iraq war “was always against” the “better judgment” of the agency.
"The "Downing Street memo" (occasionally DSM, or the "Downing Street Minutes"), sometimes described by critics of the Iraq War as the "smoking gun memo", is the note of a secret 23 July 2002 meeting of senior United Kingdom Labour government, defence and intelligence figures discussing the build-up to the war, which included direct reference to classified United States policy of the time. The name refers to 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British prime minister.
The memo recorded the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) as expressing the view following his recent visit to Washington that "[George W.] Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It also quoted Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Foreign Secretary) Jack Straw as saying that it was clear that Bush had "made up his mind" to take military action but that "the case was thin", and the Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith as warning that justifying the invasion on legal grounds would be difficult."