In the wake of the Chilcot Enquiry and decision to reduce Bush-Blair conversations on The Iraq War to "gists" and redactions, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair are planning an open discussion at Carnegie Hall.
The meeting will observe tight security. The audience will be required to remove their shoes plus searched for armaments such as tomatoes and rotten eggs.
Questions will only be raised by pre-selected members of the press, submitted one week in advance, no follow-up dialogue.
The press will include David Brooks and Michael Kinsley of The New York Times, David Gregory of NBC News, and Bill O'Reilly from FOX news.
Representatives of more aggressive press such as antiwardotcom, counterpunch, and The Guardian have been thanked for their applications.
The duo would be eager to answer all questions, including an open line to audience tweets. However time constraints--a one hour presentation only--will not allow it.
Samples of their forthcoming "gists" or talking points:
*That a foreign minister from Iraq had denied any existence of WMD or uranium cake and Saddam's intent to build a nuclear weapon in October of 2002 was considered "not credible" due to the principle: "Liars proliferate when under threat."
*But documents pointing to the uranium, or the "smoking gun" from Rome, although considered "baseless" and "forgeries" by the Rome CIA chief, were found more convincing.
*After all it was only logical that if Saddam were plotting an attack there must be documents to this effect.
*A policy has to be formed, in case it's needed. And it was needed. Did some facts fit that policy? Saddam was a monster. Anybody could see that.
*But as to "the facts were being fixed around the policy" according to the famous Downing Street Memo, the answer is absolutely not.
*Following anticipation of an audience pause to this last point, Mr. Bush's spokesperson elaborated: "Look, by that time, you know, later on in 2002, a policy was in place, and it was too late for intelligence to influence us."
*As to the 500 tons of yellowcake uranium purchased by Saddam from Niger, investigated by Joseph Wilson who declared the story bogus, that too clashed with the policy. The obvious reality was a war needed to start sooner rather than later.
*Was Mr. Blair somehow complicit and weak in his analysis with his now famous promise to Mr. Bush--"You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I'm with you"?
*Not a chance. Bonhomie and camaraderie did not deflect the vigor of the enquiry by these leaders into how to sell the world on the invasion.
To conclude their presentation Messrs. Bush and Blair will perform a special version of a "My Country 'Tis of Thee," accompanied by Richard Cheney on clarinet:
Our countries 'tis of thee
Sweet lands of liberty
Of thee we sing
Lands to choose what to hide
A time we need classified
Questions will be put aside
Let freedom ring!