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Monday, October 02, 2006

Bush 'kept Blair in the dark over Iraq' | the Daily Mail

An explosive new book claims that Tony Blair pleaded in vain with George Bush to share vital combat intelligence about the Iraq war.

The author, Watergate journalist Bob Woodward, paints a devastating portrait of Bush as an incompetent pawn of his chief advisers and the Pentagon's war planners.

He says that, with Bush locked in a desperate battle to win re-election in 2004, they were more interested in hiding the truth about the failures to thwart the September 11 attacks and find weapons of mass destruction than running a competent military operation.

The book, State Of Denial, which is released tomorrow, reveals that the Prime Minister repeatedly complained to Bush after discovering Britain was being denied access to key information on the grounds that it was a 'foreign' nation.

The attempt to bluff the Prime Minister involved a highly class-ified database called the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) which the Pentagon used to store and communicate years of potentially embarrassing intelligence, as well as technical information about combat operations in Iraq. "Read More" click link below


Woodward says that top Pentagon officials took the decision to deny Britain access to it, apparently with the backing of America's Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

"The classified information had a caveat - NOFORN - meaning no foreigners were allowed access, a restriction that included even the British troops fighting alongside Americans in Iraq,' Woodward adds.

In July 2004, Bush assured Blair he had signed a directive saying the NOFORN rule would no longer apply to the British on military operations.

But the book says the Pentagon ignored it, hatching a scheme to hoax the British into believing they were being kept fully informed.
Bush 'kept Blair in the dark over Iraq' | the Daily Mail


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