"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided."Then the Times offers a number of quotes from the months that followed DSM I -- quotes in which Bush and his surrogates pretend not to have made up their minds about invading Iraq:
Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002
At the time Rycroft's memo was written, the Blair Government was strongly inclined to play the role of co-invader, as it later choose to do. So Rycroft's memo cannot be dismissed (nor has any Bush spokesperson tried to dismiss it) as the words of a foreign operative who was reporting to an anti-American government or leader.
"... America needs to know I'll be making up my mind (about Iraq) based upon the latest intelligence and how best to protect our own country, plus our friends and allies."
President Bush, Aug. 16, 2002
"I am confident that [President Bush] will, as he has said he would, consult widely with the Congress and with our friends and allies before deciding upon a course of action."
Vice President Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002
"The president continues to seek a peaceful resolution. War is a last resort."
White House Press Sec. Scott McClellan, Nov. 12, 2002
"I've not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully."
President Bush, March 6, 2003
"Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly ..."
President Bush, March 19, 2003