What is "The Downing Street Memo?"


Minutes from a meeting on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion of Iraq. Here's an excerpt:
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.
Although I don't find this too hard to believe and I'm not suprised the media isn't giving it more coverage, it's still strange to read such direct proof of the adminstration planning their lies to justify war. Particularily damning is this chart: http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/whycare.html which outlines quotes the Bush administration made in direct conflice with the information in the memo. For instance:
“I don't like war. [...] That's why I first went to the United Nations to begin with, on September the 12th, 2002, to address this issue as forthrightly as I knew how. That's why, months later, we went to the Security Council to get another resolution, called 1441...

I've not made up our mind about military action. [sic] Hopefully, this can be done peacefully...”

- George W. Bush,
Mar. 6, 2003,
White House Press Conference