October 19, 2015
Tony Blair: 'Deal In Blood' Memo Was Reportedly Written One Year Before Iraq War

Tony Blair and George Bush's "deal in blood" was reportedly written in 2002, which was one year prior to the beginning of the Iraq war. Although its authenticity has not been verified, the leaked memo was reportedly one of the numerous documents found on Hillary Clinton's private server.

The memo, which is dated March 28, 2002, was written by former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and addressed to former President George W Bush.

Although portions were redacted, the document references a planned meeting between Bush and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair. As reported by the Daily Mail, the memo also references foreign relations, terrorism, and a possible war in Iraq.

According to the document, Blair pledged his support to the United States in their relations with Afghanistan and Iraq -- a full year before the war in Iraq.

"Blair and the UK are in Afghanistan with us for the long haul... On Iraq, Blair will be with us should military operations be necessary. He is convinced on two points: the threat is real; and success against Saddam will yield more regional success."

The memo also addresses former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair's waning approval rating. According to the leaked document, Blair faced strong opposition "for being too pro-US." He was further criticized for his "arrogant" attitude and his failure to address "issues of concern to voters."

As reported by BBC News, Blair did not confirm the memo's authenticity. However, an unnamed spokesperson said the document appeared to be consistent with the former Prime Minister's feelings at the time.

The leaked document is significant, as Blair was previously accused of making a "covert deal" with Bush in relation to the Iraq war.

In 2009, UK officials launched an inquiry into the nation's involvement in the Iraq war. Amid the inquiry, Blair was accused of making a "covert" deal with George W Bush during an April 2002 meeting.

BBC News reports Tony Blair was accused of agreeing to support the United States a full year before the war in Iraq began. He was specifically criticized for becoming involved prematurely and attempting to cloak his early involvement.

Throughout the Chilcot Inquiry, Blair has defended his actions and denied accusations that his decision was "covert." In his own words, he simply wanted to help the United States remove a viable threat. In his opinion, "the world is a safer place as a result" of the devastating war.

The war in Iraq and eventual death of Saddam Hussein were largely based on reports about weapons of mass destruction. Although such weapons were never found, Tony Blair said the outcome would not have affected his decision -- as Hussein had the capability of "develop[ing] weapons of mass destruction."

Although it began in 2009, the Iraq inquiry was plagued with numerous delays. As a result, Sir John Chilcot still has not published the results.

As reported by the Telegraph, officials have considered legal action to force publication of the inquiry results. However, it is unclear whether legal action is possible, as the inquiry was not conducted under the protections of the Inquiries Act.

Former Defense Secretary Liam Fox said he is concerned that the report, in its present state, could be "open to challenge in court." Fox blames "sloppy management by the government of the day" for compiling a report that will not stand up to a legal challenge.

It is unclear whether Sir John Chilcot or anyone else has the means to complete the report in a manner that will stand up to a legal challenge. However, several officials have offered their assistance.

Tony Blair's decision to offer support to the United States prior to the start of the Iraq war remains a key point in the Chilcot Inquiry. It is unclear whether the leaked document is authentic, or whether it will make an impact on the Chilcot's final report.

[Image via Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]