Adding to the ever-growing array of evidence that the US and British governments knew full well that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction when they invaded in 2003, a new book reveals that the South African government had given the two nations repeated data on how Iraq had no such weapons.
A nation with a formal nuclear weapons program of its own, South Africa was given unique access by the Iraqi government, and kept the US, Britain, and UN all updated on the mission and their progress. President Mbeki repeatedly met with Tony Blair about this, including a three hour meeting on February 1, 2003.
Three hours of talk and evidence had no effect, and the South African leader concluded Blair’s mind was made up. He even had his predecessor, Nelson Mandela, call President Bush to try to convince him, but struggled to even get Bush to take his call.
Both Bush and Blair have repeatedly insisted the invasion was the result of incorrect intelligence, but have denied anything could’ve been done differently. This new evidence out of South Africa once again shows that both officials were desperately trying to avoid considering any intelligence that would’ve gotten in the way of their war plans.