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British Journalist Michael Smith, 'Downing Street Memo'

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British Journalist Michael Smith, 'Downing Street Memo'

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British Journalist Michael Smith, 'Downing Street Memo'

British Journalist Michael Smith, 'Downing Street Memo'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4731528/4731529" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

British journalist Michael Smith writes about defense issues for the Sunday Times of London. He's the journalist to whom the so-called Downing Street memo was leaked.

Read the Full Memo

The memo is dated July 23, 2002, and was sent by Matthew Rycroft, then a British foreign policy adviser, to David Manning, Britain's ambassador to the U.S.

The memo — the minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting of Britain's War Cabinet — reveals that President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair began the war on the Iraq before Bush received congressional approval and before a U.N. vote.

Smith also was leaked a memo from March 2002 to Blair from Foreign Secretary Jack Straw stating there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had any weapons of mass destruction.