BY RON HUTCHESON AND RUBY L. BAILEY
FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF
WASHINGTON -- Two years after the Iraq invasion, the United States seems to be losing its stomach for war.
With polls showing support for the Iraq war at a record low, members of Congress are becoming increasingly vocal about their desire for an exit strategy.
On Thursday, 41 House Democrats formed a new "Out of Iraq" caucus.
And a hearing on the so-called Downing Street memo, that suggests the Bush Administration planned for war months before seeking Congressional authority, ended with a request by one witness that Congress open an inquiry into whether Bush should be impeached for purposefully misleading the nation about the need for war.
SOME IN CONGRESS MORE VOCAL IN OPPOSITION; RESOLUTION CALLS FOR WITHDRAWAL NEXT YEAR
By Ron Hutcheson
KNIGHT RIDDER WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - Two years after the Iraq invasion, America seems to be losing its stomach for war.
With recent polls finding support for the Iraq war at a record low, members of Congress are becoming increasingly vocal about their desire for an exit strategy. Yesterday, 41 House Democrats formed a new "Out of Iraq" caucus.
Separately, four lawmakers -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- introduced a resolution calling for withdrawal starting in October 2006. It doesn't specify an end point for complete withdrawal, but it bucks the Bush administration line all the same.
By LAWRENCE M. O'ROURKE
June 16, 2005
WASHINGTON - House Democrats opposed to the Iraq war came together Thursday to draw more public attention to the so-called "Downing Street Memo," the British government document that advised Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush was determined to invade Iraq nearly a year before the war was launched.
On the Senate side of the Capitol, Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cited the memo Thursday in further holding up Bush's nominee for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. Reid and Senate Democrats have demanded a full accounting of whether Bolton exaggerated assessments of several countries' weapons programs.
British Memo Suggests Administration Misled Nation
Amid new questions about President Bush�s drive to topple Saddam Hussein, several House Democrats urged lawmakers on Thursday to conduct an official inquiry to determine whether the president intentionally misled Congress.
At a public forum where the word �impeachment� loomed large, Exhibit A was the so-called Downing Street memo, a prewar document leaked from inside the British government to The Sunday Times of London a month and a half ago. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the event.
BY RUBY L. BAILEY AND ELY PORTILLO
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - (KRT) - A hearing Thursday on a secret British intelligence memo that said President Bush was committed to waging war on Iraq months before he said so publicly ended with a request for Congress to open an inquiry into whether Bush should be impeached for misleading the nation.
"All we're asking is to know the truth," said John Bonifaz, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet,org. "Some of his supporters want to say it's a question of failed intelligence. If that's all it was, so be it."
New York Times
By SCOTT SHANE
WASHINGTON, June 16 - Opponents of the war in Iraq held an unofficial hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday to draw attention to a leaked British government document that they say proves their case that President Bush misled the public about his war plans in 2002 and distorted intelligence to support his policy.
In a jammed room in the basement of the Capitol, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, presided as witnesses asserted that the "Downing Street memo" - minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top security officials - vindicated their view that Mr. Bush made the decision to topple Saddam Hussein long before he has admitted.
By Eric Alterman
June 16, 2005
On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. John Conyers Jr., ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, held his own set of hearings on the "Downing Street Memo" and other evidence pointing to the conclusion that the Bush and Blair administrations cooked the books on pre-war intelligence in Iraq.
Later the same day, at Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House, activists held a rally to call attention to the memo and the fact that Conyers plans to deliver to the White House a letter signed by over 500,000 Americans and more than 90 members of Congress asking the president to respond to questions raised by the memo.
Reporter, Sunday Times of London
Thursday, June 16, 2005; 10:00 AM
Two top-secret British documents that were leaked to the press recently suggest that the Bush administration "fixed" intelligence about Iraq and that actions at the United Nations were designed to give legal cover to British Prime Minister Tony Blair before an invasion to oust Saddam Hussein .
Michael Smith, a reporter for the Sunday Times of London, has led the coverage, starting with his report of the so-called Downing Street Memo on May 1.Smith was online Thursday, June 16, at 10 a.m. ET to discuss the Downing Street Memo and his reporting.
FROM: Greg Palast
TO: Rep. John Conyers
It's official: The Downing Street memos, a snooty New York Times "News Analysis" informs us, "are not the Dead Sea Scrolls." You are warned, Congressman, to ignore the clear evidence of official mendacity and bald-faced fibbing by our two nations' leaders because the cry for investigation came from the dark and dangerous world of "blogs" and "opponents" of Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush.
On May 5, "blog" site Buzzflash.com carried my story, IMPEACHMENT TIME: "FACTS WERE FIXED," bringing the London Times report of the Downing Street memo to US media which seemed to be suffering at the time from an attack of NADD -- "news attention deficit disorder."The memo, which contains the ill-making admission that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed" to match the Iraq-crazed fantasies of our President, is sufficient basis for a hearing toward impeachment of the Chief Executive. But to that we must add the other evidence and secret memos and documents still hidden from the American public.
By Ruby L. Bailey, Knight Ridder Newspapers
Wed Jun 15, 5:35 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The secret British memo of 2002 that reported that President Bush was determined to go to war against Iraq months earlier than he publicly acknowledged will get its first official hearing on Thursday - sort of.
In the closest version so far to a congressional hearing on the Downing Street memo, Rep. John Conyers (news, bio, voting record), D-Mich., will head a forum examining the document. That will be followed by an Internet-organized rally in front of the White House. Conyers plans to deliver the signatures of 105 congressional Democrats and more than 500,000 citizens on petitions demanding a detailed response from the Bush administration to the memo's allegations.
From Downing Street to Capitol Hill
Two leaked memos are raising further questions about whether the Bush administration "fixed" its intel to justify the Iraq war.
WEB EXCLUSIVE, By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Newsweek, Updated: 6:59 p.m. ET June 15, 2005
June 15 - Two senior British government officials today acknowledged as authentic a series of 2002 pre-Iraq war memos stating that Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program was "effectively frozen" and that there was "no recent evidence" of Iraqi ties to international terrorism�private conclusions that contradicted two key pillars of the Bush administration's public case for the invasion in March 2003.
Who will be speaking at the hearing and rally? Read on...
Soldier for the Truth
By Marc Cooper
Friday 20 February 2004
Exposing Bush's talking-points war.
After two decades in the U.S. Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Karen
Kwiatkowski, now 43, knew her career as a regional analyst was coming to an
end when - in the months leading up to the war in Iraq - she felt she was
being "propagandized" by her own bosses.
With master's degrees from Harvard in government and zoology and two books
on Saharan Africa to her credit, she found herself transferred in the spring
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Wednesday 15 June 2005
Almost five hundred years ago, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church, initiating a sequence of events which forever altered the geometry of global religion, politics and power. Luther's Theses began with the words, "Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg."
Another document is going to be nailed to another door on Thursday, June 16th. This door opens not to a church, but to the White House. This document is freighted with hard truths, stern demands and nearly a million names. This document, once nailed up, likewise carries with it all the possibilities of change.
Institute for Public Accuracy
On Thursday June 16, 2005, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room HC-9 of the U.S. Capitol, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and other members of Congress will hold a hearing on the Downing Street Minutes and related evidence of White House efforts to cook the books on pre-war intelligence.
By Paul Loeb, member of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition
It's bad enough that the Bush administration had so little international support for the Iraqi war that their 'coalition of the willing' meant the U.S., Britain, and the equivalent of a child's imaginary friends.
It's even worse that, as the Downing Street memo confirms, they had so little evidence of real threats that they knew from the start that they were going to have manufacture excuses to go to war. What's more damning still is that they effectively began this war even before the congressional vote.
June 15, 2005
Dante Zappala is a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus (online www.fpif.org) and a member of Gold Star Families for Peace www.gsfp.org, and Military Families Speak Out www.mfso.org. He lives in Philadelphia.
For the first 30 years of my brother Sherwood Baker
Scholars missed the point of the essay I wrote with Ralph Nader about the case for impeachment.
By Kevin Zeese
June 15, 2005 | The fundamental question is whether Congress and the American people were misled into an unnecessary, illegal war that has turned into a quagmire. Are the indications of false statements and misrepresentations sufficient to justify a pursuit of the truth?
The evidence includes a series of exaggerated and false claims by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and officials in their administration over many months as the drumbeat for war grew louder. Statements were made in contradiction to the evidence included in intelligence documents from a wide range of U.S. and international agencies. As weapons inspectors were unable to find weapons of mass destruction, President Bush's rhetoric increased to the point of warning of a potential mushroom cloud over the United States generated by a nuclear attack by Saddam Hussein.
TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:
* The Downing Street Memo Comes To Washington, Conyers Blasts "Deafening Sound of Silence" *
We speak with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) who is convening a public hearing tomorrow in Washington on the so-called Downing Street Memo and other newly released documents that he says show the Bush administration's "efforts to cook the books on pre-war intelligence." We also speak with former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Check his schedule. Stage a peaceful, nonviolent protest.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, is circulating a letter to other Congress Members asking them to sign onto a Resolution of Inquiry.
While Lee's Resolution is unlikely to refer to the possibility of impeachment, it raises the same issues that AfterDowningStreet.org has been raising.
Her letter includes this request:
"Join me in cosponsoring a 'Resolution of Inquiry' to learn -- as the Downing Street memo indicates -- whether steps were being taken by the Bush administration to 'fix' intelligence and facts between the two countries around a decision to go to war."
by David Michael Green
Published on Commondreams.org, 6/14/05
I saw a movie last night that was excellent. It was also awful.
The film was The Downfall, the reputedly historically accurate depiction of the end of the
Third Reich, showing Hitler and his crew holed up in their Berlin bunker, awaiting their
appointment with the Russian Army.
It was excellent in that it portrayed this scene so vividly, and it was awful because of the
scene it so vividly portrayed.
In the film, we see what happened when Germany allowed an emotionally ravenous
Important Speakers Added to Line-Up at Rally
Citizens urged to lobby Congress Members and Senators and to meet at DNC, which is serving as overflow room.
On Thursday June 16, 2005, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room HC-9 of the U.S. Capitol, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and other Congress Members will hold a hearing on the Downing Street Minutes and related evidence of efforts to cook the books on pre-war intelligence.
More on Blair's Big Lie
By David Morrison
'The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors.'
The Prime Minister said this at a high-powered meeting on Iraq on 23 July 2002: he didn't want UN inspectors to enter Iraq again.
Could there be more conclusive proof that the peaceful disarmament of Iraq by inspection, as prescribed in Security Council resolutions, was the last thing on his mind?
* * * *
The Baltimore Sun
June 15, 2005
By David Swanson and Jonathan Schwarz
SINCE ITS publication May 1 by The Sunday Times of London, the so-called Downing Street memo has dominated the media in Britain and on the Internet in the United States. The memo is the official minutes from a secret meeting about Iraq held by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his inner circle July 23, 2002.
The significance of the memo - and additional leaked British documents now surfacing in public view - can hardly be overstated. They conceivably could lead to impeachment proceedings against President Bush.
British officials believed the U.S. favored military force a year before the war, documents show.
By John Daniszewski, LA Times
June 15, 2005
LONDON -- In March 2002, the Bush administration had just begun to publicly raise the possibility of confronting Iraq. But behind the scenes, officials already were deeply engaged in seeking ways to justify an invasion, newly revealed British memos indicate.
Foreshadowing developments in the year before the war started, British officials emphasized the importance of U.N. diplomacy, which they said might force Saddam Hussein into a misstep. They also suggested that confronting the Iraqi leader be cast as an effort to prevent him from using weapons of mass destruction or giving them to terrorists.
Steve Berg, Star Tribune
June 15, 2005 BERG0615
As a former Washington reporter I've got a question that gnaws at me night and day, and, were I still occasionally hanging around the White House press room, I'd be eager to ask it. It's quite a simple question, really, but no one seems to be asking it and no one's quite sure what the answer might be. So, here goes:
Why are we in Iraq?
It kind of hangs in the air, doesn't it? But every time another American kid gets killed or another 20 Iraqis get shredded into bloody pieces, the question returns with a bit more urgency.
Fig leaf for war/Paper indicates U.N. was misled
June 15, 2005
Let's go back to 2002 and think about what the American people hoped for in Iraq. Such a review provides context to the latest British document leaked to the press and leads inevitably to the conclusion that both the British and American people were grossly misled.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were still fresh in American minds. The war in Afghanistan was underway. President Bush started early in the year talking about the need to eliminate Iraq's biological and chemical weapons, and end its efforts to rebuild its nuclear weapons program. The possible need for an invasion was openly discussed, and drew harsh opposition from Europe and the Arab world.