June 2005: Phase II of the Anti-War Movement
Mon, 20 Jun 2005 09:24:53 -0700
Rep. Conyers leads the way
By Medea Benjamin
A turning point, as more Americans question future of Iraq conflict
For the history books, mark down June 2005 as the moment the U.S. movement against the occupation of Iraq got its second wind. In June, the U.S. public became solidly anti-war, Bush’s approval rating took a nosedive, and a significant number of Congresspeople started to call for an exit strategy. This marks a seismic shift from just one month ago, when Congress overwhelmingly passed another $82 billion for war-with only 44 members of the House and not one Senator dissenting.
Published on Monday, June 20, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
by Thom Hartmann
Richard Nixon authorized the Watergate burglary and subsequent cover-up to advance his own political ambitions. Because Nixon's lies were done for the craven purpose of getting and holding political power, his lies - in the minds of the majority of the members of Congress - were elevated to the level of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Bill Clinton had sex in the White House with Monica Lewinsky, but Congress concluded he'd lied about it to maintain political power. Another impeachable crime.
The real scandal of the Downing Street Memos, with the greatest potential to leave the Bush presidency in permanent disgrace, is their implication that lies may have been put forward to help Bush, Republicans, and Blair politically. If Bush lied to gain and keep political power, precedent suggests he and his collaborators in the administration may even be vulnerable to impeachment.
Published on Monday, June 20, 2005 by Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY)
Families of Dead Soldiers Demand Truth from Bush
by Beth Quinn
The one reservation I had last week when I wrote about the Downing Street Memo was this: How will the loved ones of the soldiers who've died in Iraq feel when they read this?
How much more pain will it cause them to know we now have strong evidence that George Bush knew all along there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? That he made the "facts" fit his personal plan for war?
How does your mind accept what surely breaks your heart? And how much harder to know that your child, your spouse, your parent died in a war that a growing number of Americans are questioning?
By Mike Hersh, Jun 20, 2005
Jay Ambrose - writing in the DC Examiner - opines about the Downing Street Minutes, but he ignores the facts, leaving us to correct the distortions, out-of-context quotes, and misrepresentations. Ambrose wants to make this about John Kerry rather than Bush and those responsible for the disaster in Iraq. He contends it was "silly ... for people to interpret the first memo - which contained meeting minutes - the way they did" by which he meant us, the "Bush-bashing bloggers and, later, some way-out congressional Democrats" who know "the leaked minutes proved Bush lied about the existence of weapons of mass destruction and that he had decided on war long before he said he had."
DOWNING STREET MEMOS
Terror link 'unconvincing'
Leaked documents detail Britain's doubts about the United States' arguments for invasion in the Iraq war's run-up, putting both governments in the hot seat
By THOMAS WAGNER
LONDON - When Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser dined with Condoleezza Rice six months after Sept. 11, the then-U.S. national security adviser didn't want to discuss Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. She wanted to talk about "regime change" in Iraq, setting the stage for the U.S.-led invasion more than a year later.
President Bush wanted Blair's support, but British officials worried the White House was rushing to war, according to a series of leaked secret Downing Street memos that have renewed questions and debate about Washington's motives for ousting Saddam Hussein.
By Susan Webb
People's Weekly World Newspaper, www.pww.org
The “Downing Street Memo
By Dave Zweifel
June 20, 2005
As I said in this space two weeks ago, if Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about having sex with an intern, then George Bush needs to be impeached for the deliberate lies he and his cabal told to start a war that has now taken the lives of more than 1,700 young American men and women and countless Iraqi citizens, plus threatens to bankrupt the country.
One of our "Sound Off" callers insisted last week that only "Bush haters" would say such things.
Another took to task the Wisconsin Democratic Party, which passed a resolution calling for the president's impeachment at its convention a week ago, for being "foolish and shortsighted."
The Associated Press
June 16, 2005, Thursday, BC cycle
SECTION: Washington Dateline
LENGTH: 552 words
HEADLINE: Witness to Iraq war forum says lack of debate led to war
BYLINE: By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
Some congressional Democrats are insisting that the White House provide more information about what led to the decision to go to war in Iraq, citing a British document known as the "Downing Street memo" as evidence intelligence was distorted.
Rep. John Conyers and other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee conducted a public forum Thursday prompted by documents that have surfaced from inside the British government about prewar planning.
Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: B; Pg. 7
LENGTH: 781 words
HEADLINE: Why so little memo coverage?
Question: Why don't you print more information on the Downing Street memo? This is a huge story. - Richard Emerick
Answer: Good point, although this is one of those continuing stories that's been a bit difficult to follow. However, as a result of your question, one of our wire news editors took another look at the stories available from our wire services and found one that we were able to publish in Thursday's paper. We won't promise that we'll publish a story every day on this issue, but we'll keep an eye out for significant developments.
San Jose Mercury News (California)
June 17, 2005 Friday MO1 EDITION
SECTION: A; Pg. 14
LENGTH: 487 words
HEADLINE: Inquiry sought on prewar memo;
BYLINE: Mercury News Wire Services
Amid new questions about President Bush's drive to topple Saddam Hussein, several House Democrats urged lawmakers 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 six weeks ago. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the event.
Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota)
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: MAIN; Pg. 15A
LENGTH: 562 words
HEADLINE: Downing St. memo inquiry requested;
Democrats demand answers about controversial British war document
BYLINE: Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- 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."
June 17, 2005 Friday CITY-D-EAST EDITION
SECTION: NATIONAL; Pg. A01
LENGTH: 972 words
HEADLINE: Trying to make hay of prewar memos
BYLINE: By Dick Polman; Inquirer Political Analyst
George W. Bush asked voters last year to judge him as a war president, and the strategy worked. Yet today, as casualties mount in Iraq, and as sunny administration statements are contradicted by events on the ground, the public's patience is being taxed as never before.
These developments have emboldened grassroots liberals to focus public attention on the so-called Downing Street memo (and seven others, leaked in London last weekend), all of which raise questions about Bush's case for war. And yesterday, a dozen House Democrats staged a hearing on the British government documents, hoping to persuade more Americans that, in Michigan Rep. John Conyers' words, at least 1,700 U.S. troops "have lost their lives for a lie."
NYU's Jay Rosen schools the press on the 21st century's Worldwide hierarchy in his latest post at Press Think entitled "The Downing Street Memo and the Court of Appeal in News Judgment":
"News judgment used to be king. If the press ruled against you, you just weren't news. But if you weren't news how would anyone know enough about you to contest the ruling? Today, the World Wide Web is the sovereign force, and journalists live and work according to its rules."
Rosen examines how the British press, aided by left-leaning bloggers and the heroic efforts of Congressman John Conyers, were able to finally get America's mainstream media to recognize the importance of the Downing Street minutes which were leaked nearly a month-and-a-half ago (and more keep coming: Ten Briefcases Full!).
The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon)
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: EDITORIAL; Pg. D09
LENGTH: 731 words
HEADLINE: BRITISH MEMO NOTICED WHAT WAS MISSING
BYLINE: DAVID SARASOHN - The Oregonian
After weeks of ignoring the existence of the Downing Street memo -- the July 2002 minutes of a high-level British meeting reporting that the Bush administration had already decided on war and was shaping the intelligence around its goal -- major media outlets have now gotten to the second phase of coverage:
They knew it all the time.
Nothing happening here, move along.
The current round -- including newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, which months ago apologized for the inadequacy and overcredulousness of their coverage of the war's origins -- declares that even though the Bush administration was publicly claiming it hoped to avoid war, everybody at the time knew the United States was going to attack Iraq.
Federal News Service
June 17, 2005 Friday
LENGTH: 2663 words
HEADLINE: PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT - IRAQI WAR MEMOS, INCLUDING A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH FORMER CIA OFFICIALS RAY McGOVERN AND REUEL GERECHT (NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, PBS TV, 6 PM, JUNE 16, 2005)
TERENCE SMITH: Behind that famous door, the residence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, top British officials gathered in July 2002 to discuss a possible war in Iraq. But minutes of that discussion only surfaced on May 1 of this year in the heat of Blair's reelection campaign. First published by the Sunday Times of London, it came to be known as the 'Downing Street Memo.'
Detroit Free Press
June 17, 2005 Friday 1 EDITION
LENGTH: 442 words
HEADLINE: WAR, RIGHTS AND SECURITY: Answers needed on Downing Street memo
The White House is surely hoping that U.S. Rep. John Conyers will just go away. But he shouldn't, not while Americans are dying in Iraq.
The country deserves better answers than President George W. Bush has provided to date about his justification for the Iraq war, and Conyers is at least trying to get them.
As a member of the minority party from a state Bush didn't carry, he's not likely to succeed on his own. But the Detroit Democrat can raise public awareness of the so-called "Downing Street memo" to a point where more of the president's fellow Republicans, some of whom already are trying to distance themselves from the war, can join the chorus calling for answers. Perhaps former Secretary of State Colin Powell will add his voice, too, since he was the one who took the president's case for war to the United Nations, making quite a show of evidence that turned out to be false about Saddam Hussein as an imminent threat.
War memo angers Democrats British file shows data manipulated, they say; aides defend Bush
Dallas Morning News
BYLINE: DAVID JACKSON, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Armed with newly disclosed British documents, a group of congressional Democrats conducted an "unofficial hearing" Thursday accusing the Bush administration of "fixing" intelligence to justify the Iraq war.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who called the hearing, said the so-called Downing Street memos "establish a prima facie case of going to war under false pretenses."
White House officials noted that all the Democrats who attended the hearing opposed the war and that the administration had good reason to believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and posed a significant threat.
Copley News Service
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: EDITS; EDITORIAL WEEKLY FEATURE
LENGTH: 206 words
HEADLINE: Daily Editorials Conyers right to ask for British memo exam
BYLINE: The Detroit News Copley News Service
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., should be credited for his efforts to get to the bottom of the so-called Downing Street memo. The country deserves an honest assessment of the July 2002 British memo, which recounts a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top aides.
Critics of the administration have been pounding the media for weeks to investigate the memo, which they claim constitutes the "smoking gun" that proves the Bush administration "fixed" intelligence to build a case for invading Iraq. Others who have examined the memo say it offers no specific information on how intelligence was manipulated and could have been prepared from ongoing news accounts of the build-up for the invasion.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 17, 2005 Friday Home Edition
SECTION: News; Pg. 3A;
LENGTH: 658 words
HEADLINE: War critics target Bush;
Democrats want probe of memo
BYLINE: BOB DEANS
Washington --- House Democrats demanded Thursday that Congress hold formal hearings into accusations in a leaked British government memo that the Bush administration intentionally manipulated intelligence to justify war against Iraq.
Rep. John Conyers of Michigan told two dozen fellow Democrats that the so-called Downing Street memo raised the possibility that fallen U.S. soldiers in Iraq "have lost their lives for a lie."
Associated Press Online
These materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The Associated Press
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: WASHINGTON DATELINE
LENGTH: 693 words
HEADLINE: Democrats Urge Inquiry on Bush, Iraq
BYLINE: PETE YOST; Associated Press Writer
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.
Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)
June 17, 2005 Friday 4X EDITION
SECTION: A; Pg. 1
LENGTH: 838 words
HEADLINE: Democrats try to build case to impeach president;
Critics hold hearing on Iraq war;
Bush inquiry urged
BYLINE: By Stewart M. Powell; Hearst Newspapers
Democratic critics on Thursday tried to build a case for the impeachment of President Bush for allegedly taking the nation to war in Iraq on false pretenses.
U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and a veteran of impeachment proceedings against President Nixon in 1974, launched an unofficial, Democrats-only inquiry into allegations that Bush contrived U.S. intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify a long-planned U.S.-British invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
June 18, 2005 Saturday
LENGTH: 883 words
HEADLINE: Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes?
BYLINE: By David Paul Kuhn
At a crowded basement forum on the Downing Street memo, Democrats demanded an inquiry into what Bush knew about Iraq war planning and when he knew it, but stopped short of calling for impeachment.
Forced to the basement of the U.S. Capitol and prevented from holding an official hearing, Michigan Rep. John Conyers defied Republicans and held a forum Thursday calling for a congressional inquiry into the infamous British document known as the "Downing Street memo."
The Washington Post
June 19, 2005 Sunday
SECTION: Editorial; B06
LENGTH: 1069 words
HEADLINE: Memos, 'Wing Nuts' and 'Hit Lists'
BYLINE: Michael Getler
The bulk of the mail last week, by far, was focused once again on the "Downing Street Memo." This is the memo produced by a national security aide to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, based on notes taken in a meeting with Blair and his top advisers on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion of Iraq. It is marked "Secret and strictly personal -- UK eyes only" but was leaked to the Sunday Times of London and published May 1.
June 19, 2005, Sunday METRO FINAL EDITION
SECTION: EDITORIALS; Pg. E6; EDITORIALS
LENGTH: 621 words
HEADLINE: MI-6 memo: More doubt on war decision Whatever the truth about Bush s Iraq intentions, we must get more serious about scrutinizing matters of national security.
Some Democrats in Congress and opponents of the war in Iraq are calling on the White House to respond to a leaked British intelligence report - the so-called Downing Street memorandum - that says President Bush and his top national security aides decided as far back as the summer of 2002 to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by force. More to the point, the memo, written by the chief of MI-6, the British counterpart of the Central Intelligence Agency, told senior officials that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" by U.S. officials.
June 19, 2005, Sunday METRO FINAL EDITION
SECTION: MAIN NEWS; Pg. A1
LENGTH: 990 words
HEADLINE: Bush confronts doubts on Iraq As demands for an exit strategy grow, he plans a PR counteroffensive.
BYLINE: Rob Hotakainen Bee Washington Bureau
Faced with a rising death toll in Iraq and eroding public support for the war, President Bush is planning a summer offensive aimed at highlighting progress against the Iraqi insurgency and warding off demands to set an exit strategy.
Bush has summoned Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to Washington on Friday to tout the Mideast country's political gains, and on June 28 he will mark the one-year anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq with a major speech on the region.
Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
Final Edition; All Editions
SECTION: NATIONAL; Pg. A2
LENGTH: 866 words
HEADLINE: U.S. media tardy in reporting Downing Street memos
BYLINE: TED DIADIUN, Plain Dealer
The news snowball that is the Downing Street Memo is gathering heft and speed and is beginning to hurtle down the hill toward the White House.
At this point it is unclear whether it will land with a thunderous blow, smashing the Bush administration to pieces, or break apart and melt. That will depend on what happens when the memo (more accurately “memos
Newsday (New York)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. A07
LENGTH: 692 words
HEADLINE: Memo big, but not big enough
BYLINE: Ellis Henican
Is the Downing Street memo an interesting historical document? You bet it is.
Does it give a peek into America's most loyal allies, as they shook their heads in skepticism at the Bush administration's tortured arguments for war? That much it does.
But here's a little memo of my own, addressed to my frustrated anti-war friends: Take a deep breath, comrades. These quotes advance the case for Bush duplicity, but alone do not prove it.
The News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington)
June 19, 2005, Sunday
SECTION: SOUTH SOUND; Pg. A02
LENGTH: 645 words
HEADLINE: Downing Street memos don't tell us anything new
BYLINE: David Zeeck, The News Tribune
Perhaps you've heard of the Downing Street memo.
The Times of London first published it in May, shortly before Prime Minister Tony Blair's re-election. The memo consists of minutes from a July 2002 meeting between Blair and his national security team, eight months before the war began in Iraq.
At the meeting, British officials who had just returned from Washington reported the Bush administration believed war was inevitable and that Bush would use intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and sketchy ties to al-Qaida to justify an invasion. ". . . Intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," said the minutes.
Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
SECTION: OUTLOOK; Pg. H1
LENGTH: 881 words
HEADLINE: A 'SMOKING GUN' OR NOT?
BYLINE: By EARL TILFORD/Special to the Daily Press
This memo means nothing, and history shows us why
For the American radical left, the July 23, 2002, "Iraq: Prime Minister's Meeting" memorandum, dubbed the Downing Street memo, was the "smoking gun" that convicted President George W. Bush of manipulating intelligence to support his decision to go to war with Iraq eight months before Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers began a campaign to have the House Judiciary Committee investigate the memo. The bigger news has been the naming of "Deep Throat."