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A Massive Secret Bombing Campaign

excerpts from a report by Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne. June 27, 2005

A U.S. general who commanded the U.S. allied air forces in Iraq has confirmed that the U.S. and Britain conducted a massive secret bombing campaign before the U.S. actually declared war on Iraq. The quote raises troubling questions.

According to the minutes of a high-level 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and senior level members of both Blair's government and the Bush administration, air strikes had already begun by July 23, 2002. The memo quotes U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying “the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.” And in what appears to be an admission of covert activity, chief allied air force commander Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley divulged in a little-noticed quote in the New York Times that US/British aircraft flew 21,736 sorties between June 2002 and March 2003.

“It was no big secret at the time,” GlobalSecurity.org director John Pike told RAW STORY. “It was apparent to us at the time that they were doing it and why they were doing it, and that was part of the reason why we were convinced that a decision to go to war had already been made, because the war had already started. They explicitly altered the rules of engagement,” he added, “because initially the rules of engagement had been that they would shoot back if [someone] shot at them. Then they said that if they were shot at, they would shoot at whatever they wanted to.”

One U.S. Air Force vet told a hearing in Istanbul this weekend, “I saw bombing intensify. All the documents coming out now, the Downing Street memo and others, confirm what I had witnessed in Iraq. The war had already begun while our leaders were telling us that they were going to try all diplomatic options first.”

You have been reading excerpts from "The unofficial war: U.S., Britain led massive secret bombing campaign before Iraq war was declared" by Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne of The Raw Story. You can find the original piece here: tinyurl.com/953x3 Thanks to RawStory.Com for this and much else. We visit their site often and we hope you will too.

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