It's January 2003, Bill Murray is on a plane hunting down a new top secret contact.
The first stop sort of on that trip was Kuala Lumpur because he was giving a speech at the Organization of Islamic Conference in Malaysia.
Bill is a senior officer in the CIA, and in 2003, he's the station chief in Paris, one of the top men in Europe, and he's on an urgent mission.
He has to find this high level source. And so he arrives in Kuala Lumpur and I just missed him. No luck. By the time you take a flight from Washington to Japan to have to transit through Singapore and then up to Malaysia and et cetera, I got there before he left, but I was never able to get into the hotel that he was in. Then he left shortly after I arrived.
I think the next morning or something, he left the source was off, this time to Jordan. And by the time I arrived in Jordan in the middle of the night, people met me at the airport and said, he's gone on to Cairo. So Bill gets another flight to Cairo and arrived there again in the middle of the night and tried to figure out how I was going to get in contact with this guy. And he's in his hotel working out how he's going to make contact with this source when he finds out that he isn't in Cairo at all, in fact, he's gone to Sharm el-Sheikh, the holiday resort on the Red Sea, that I couldn't go to Sharm el-Sheikh because it's too small and it's just too many people would have recognized me and said, what the hell's he doing here?
Bill, it's been too long roaming around the Middle East to be inconspicuous in any way. Bill is quite a conspicuous person. He's a spy. Yes, but he's not exactly in the James Bond mode. He's a big man with graying hair and unkind people might say he's just a little bit overweight anyway. He certainly sticks out in a crowd. So I stayed in Cairo because he was supposed to come back to Cairo. But then at the conference, one of the other Arab leaders gave him a ride, a plane ride directly back to Baghdad.
So he never came back to Cairo. So I missed him. I tried very hard at one point, I went all the way around the world in six days and twenty two hours chasing him. That was February of 2003. February 2003, as Bill was desperately chasing his source around the Middle East, the US President, George W. Bush and the U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair were calling each other night after night. It is time for us to deal with Saddam Hussein.
It's time for us to secure the peace, discussing what they should do about the president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and delivering us safety from what I genuinely believe to be the security threat of the early 21st century. And now is not the time to waver. Now is the time to see it through.
The drumbeat of war was sounding louder there. Warned of minds of suicide bombers.
Men may die, says their commanding officer, as people protested right across the world, from London to New York to Sydney, without doubt one of the largest gatherings of protest rallies I've seen. You also can cast your vote against this war. But, Bill, like those protesters out on the street, still thought there might be a way of stopping the war. Bill suspected that his source had a powerful piece of intelligence, and if it was true, it could undermine the reasoning behind the war that Bush and Blair were planning to fight.
I thought it was pretty important, you know, there might be war or war decisions made on the basis of the intelligence that came out of this. So I thought it was pretty important to pursue this in every way that I could. Bill was on a mission to find the truth, to work out what was really going on inside Iraq. We cite John 23, I guess it is, and you should know the truth of the truth shall set you free.
That's our motto. That's what we live for. That's what we're supposed to be doing. I'm David Dimbleby, and from something else, this is the fault line, Bush, Blair and Iraq.