4. 2002 – Downing Street Memo
The “Downing Street memo”, sometimes described by critics of the Iraq War as the “smoking gun memo”, is the note of a secret 23 July 2002 meeting of senior British Labour government, defence and intelligence figures discussing the build-up to the war, which included direct reference to classified United States policy of the time. The name refers to 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British prime minister. The memo recorded the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) as expressing the view following his recent visit to Washington that ” Bush wanted to remove Saddam Hussein, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.