in the words of British Intelligence:
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.
The Downing Street Memo was written in July of 2002, almost eight months before the invasion. Eight months prior, and the Brits already knew that Bush had made up his mind to invade no matter what.
“To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn
"...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump
But the mountain of evidence showing otherwise? Ignored.
The Iraq War as a conspiracy is no different than "hologram planes".
Didn't you say you were in the military?
BTW, what do you expect Berghdal to say? Something like..."No, I didn't desert. I was looking for a 7/11 without my weapon...in one of the most dangerous spots in Afghanistan..."
Gimme a break, bro. At some point you have to move beyond partisanship...like when it gets this stupid.