A confidential record of a meeting between President Bush and Tony Blair before the invasion of Iraq, outlining their intention to go to war without a second United Nations resolution, will be an explosive issue for the official inquiry into the UK's role in toppling Saddam Hussein.
The memo, written on 31 January 2003, almost two months before the invasion and seen by the Observer, confirms that as the two men became increasingly aware UN inspectors would fail to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) they had to contemplate alternative scenarios that might trigger a second resolution legitimising military action.
Bush told Blair the US had drawn up a provocative plan "to fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in UN colours over Iraq with fighter cover". Bush said that if Saddam fired at the planes this would put the Iraqi leader in breach of UN resolutions.
Reported in the Observer
A ludicrous plan anyway.....there were no-fly zones with US military aircraft operating anyway, the Iraqis would not be stupid enough to shoot down a UN plane (never heard of a U-2 operating on a UN mission - US probably wouldn't permit it) and a U-2 typically flies well above the reach of most anti-aircraft missiles.
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