Bush officials mum despite calls for answers on Brit report
The Argus, CA, By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER
It's been more than a month since The Times of London published a secret British government memo from mid-2002 describing the Bush administration's resolve to invade Iraq whether it posed a threat or not.
It's been about a month since 89 House Democrats � including six from the Bay Area � asked the president to explain himself in light of this memo.
And it's been almost three weeks since the White House press secretary said that isn't going to happen.
Ralph Nader discussed the Downing Street Minutes on C-Span's Washington Journal on June 6.
Where can we find Bush and administration officials in order to ask them about the Downing Street Minutes, or even to organize peaceful non-violent protests? Check the schedule below!
Monday, June 6, 2005
BUSH in Fort Lauderdale, FL, 11:45 am: THE PRESIDENT makes remarks at the Opening of the Organization of American States General Assembly, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, OPEN PRESS [White House, 5/27/05]
BUSH in Washington DC, 5:00 pm: THE PRESIDENT makes remarks at the White House Black Music Month Reception, South Lawn, The White House OPEN PRESS [White House, 5/27/05]
By Ted Glick
There is no question that former top FBI guy Mark Felt's decision to provide information to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in the early '70s was one important part of what led to Richard Nixon's eventual resignation from office in August of 1974. But, not surprisingly, the corporate media have left out the decisive factor which led to that result: the sentiments and the actions of the U.S. American people at the grassroots.
From the fall of 1973 to the fall of 1974 I was one of the national coordinators of the National Campaign to Impeach Nixon (NCIN). Over the course of a few short months, this effort grew to include working local contacts in 33 states and over 100 cities and towns. During the three months of February, March and April of 1974, we organized a national lobby-in in Washington, D.C., a national conference in Chicago and a national demonstration of 10,000 people in D.C. on April 27th that received widespread media coverage.
The Columbian (Vancouver, Washington), June 3, 2005 Friday
By GREGG HERRINGTON Columbian staff writer
Maybe it's presumptuous to attempt to describe where America's collective head is on any given day, other than those awful 9/11-type moments of national coming together. But I'm going to try anyway:
We're behaving the same way about Iraq that we act individually when faced with an unpleasant situation and ignore it in hopes it'll go away.
We're like a nervous father who doesn't risk alienating a teenage son by confronting him about his poor choice of friends, late hours and slipping grades. We're the wife who doesn't confront her husband about his increased drinking.
KONDRACKE: OK, well, Fred, it's time for the tip sheet, and we'll see if you can burst this bubble. OK.
Item one, your hero, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is going to visit President Bush next week in Washington.
Duluth News-Tribune (Minnesota), June 5, 2005 Sunday
Ethics issues by EVE BROWNING
In a document known as the Downing Street Memo, released by the London Times in early May, evidence is given the George W. Bush and Tony Blair spoke frankly about cooking the intelligence reports on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, to make them appear to justify a war effort.
Ah, Watergate! Those were the good old days! Last week the identity of "Deep Throat" was revealed at last. Former FBI official W. Mark Felt stepped forward at the age of 91 to admit he provided inside information to the media concerning the misdeeds of the Nixon administration.
By Molly Ivins
San Gabriel Valley Tribune (San Gabriel Valley, CA)
June 6, 2005 Monday, SECTION: OPINION
AS a longtime fan of both George Bushes' eccentric grasp of English, I naturally enjoyed this gem from W.: "See, in my line of work, you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.'
[Bush in Greece, N.Y., May 24, once more explaining his Social Security plan to a town hall meeting of perfectly average citizens, except they had all been pre- screened to allow only those who agree with him into the hall.]
Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2005 Monday, Home Edition
SECTION: CALIFORNIA; Metro; Editorial Pages Desk; Part B; Pg. 10
Re "Making Movie Love," editorial, June 2: Did you really mean to put this fluff on the editorial page? This junk belongs in the tabloids, not on the editorial page of a major newspaper.
How about talking more about the Downing Street memo of July 2002? This document has world-shattering implications.
But maybe that is exactly why the fluff appeared on your editorial page. Another red herring to distract us.
By Democracy Now!
The fallout from the revelation of a secret meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team appears to be growing.
We take a look at the so-called "Downing Street Memo" which reveals how the former director of the British intelligence agency, MI6, told Prime Minister Tony Blair that the U.S. had already made plans to attack Iraq as early as July 2002.
It was marked "Secret and strictly personal - UK eyes only." That was the header of the Downing Street memo that exposed a meeting in July 2002 between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team. The text to the minutes of the secret briefing was published by the Sunday Times of London last month.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Before America went to war with Afghanistan, another war was underway -- against its own people: the war to deceive American into attacking Iraq. This is no longer a theory or conjecture; it is a documented fact.
Those in the Mainstream Media, including the New York Times and Washington Post, who choose to ignore this reality, or couch it in qualifying terms (such as "unproven assertions") are no longer trying to debunk a conspiracy, because the deliberate deception that forced America into war with Iraq is not a conspiracy theory.
In fact, the evidence is so abundant and damning, it is those who deny the reality that the Bush Administration intentionally deceived America into a ruinous war based on calculated lies who are part of an untenable conspiracy theory. Yes, the Mainstream Media is right up there with the Raelists (if you recall them, they were a cult the media covered for days because the press believed their unfounded claims that they had cloned a human) when it comes to believability. Their job appears to be to create a conspiracy of credibility around Bush going to war, where none can exist to a person of common sense or integrity.
06.05.2005 Rep. John Conyers, Huffington Post
We have reached a point where all but the most delusional enthusiasts of the Iraq war have now acknowledged that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion and likely for over a decade preceding the war. Fox News and the President were slow to acknowledge this fact, but now have.
Unfortunately, it seems this rare consensus has lulled many into failing to ask the follow-up question: why were the President and other high-ranking administration officials so definitive in their statements that Iraq possessed WMD? This question is not of a merely historical significance: we deserve to know whether these statements were the result of a "massive intelligence failure" as some have contended or a deliberate deception of the Congress and the American people.
All day on Tuesday, June 7, learn more about Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism, the new CodePink book from the country's most fearless and creative women peace activists, who will be participating in a Moving Ideas online discussion.
Chair of Republican Party Put at a Loss by Downing Street Minutes
By David Swanson, www.afterdowningstreet.org
On June 5, 2005, Ken Mehlman, Chairman of the Republican Party, was asked about the Downing Street Minutes on "NBC News' Meet the Press."To my knowledge, this was the first serious treatment of the matter on any U.S. network news show. It still remains for a news program to report on the matter on its own behalf, as opposed to asking a Republican guest to comment on it.
The transcript is here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8062380 and below with commentary:
Iraq has been the tragic Lie of Historic Proportions of Washington, DC since before the first Gulf war.
For years, Saddam was one of our government�s propped up and militarily supported puppets. Many people have seen the famous footage of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam. I suppose the two are smiling so big for the cameras because they are kindred spirits. After all of the hand-shaking and weapon brokering, when did Saddam become such a bad guy to Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and Co.? (Insert your favorite reason here).
By Norman Solomon
You wouldn�t know it from the media focus on Deep Throat last week, but the lies that Richard Nixon told about the Watergate break-in were part of his standard duplicity for the Vietnam War.
It wasn�t just that the Nixon administration engaged in secret illegal actions against a wide range of peace advocates -- including antiwar candidate George McGovern, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972. Deception was always central to Nixon�s war policy. Thirty-three years after Watergate, echoes of his fervent lies for war can be heard from George W. Bush.
By Dave Zweifel, The Capital Times, June 3, 2005
You may not have heard about the so-called "Downing Street memo" because the U.S. media haven't done much coverage of it.
The wire services with which The Capital Times contracts - the Washington Post/Los Angeles Times, Scripps Howard and the Associated Press - have moved few stories about the memo, which surfaced in the Sunday Times of London back on May 1. Consequently, we haven't had much about it either.
While the U.S. media have finally gotten around to lamenting the faked intelligence that the Bush people foisted on an unsuspecting public to grease the skids to go to war - something we wrote about nearly two years ago - the Downing Street memo is now flying under the radar screen.
In what could be an interesting entre for the Downing Street memo in the Bolton hearings, the nominee is reported to have demanded the illegal firing of Jose Bustani to prevent Iraq chemical inspections that might undermine grounds for US invasion:
John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.
A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani "had to go," particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.
6/4/2005, The Signal
Diana Sevanian Signal Staff Writer
If I had lost a loved one fighting in Iraq or currently had a soldier over there, I would be enraged over the Downing Street Memo. Even without that link, I am fuming about this formerly �extremely sensitive� and now public memorandum.
In case you�re unaware, the Downing Street Memo is the recently leaked minutes from a 2002 British government meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team. It pertains to their intelligence analysts� concerns over President Bush�s determination to topple Saddam Hussein � despite �wobbly evidence� that Iraq posed a serious threat to its neighbors or to the United States.
Be polite, concise, informative, and passionate. Be like the author of the following letter -- even if she did just copy and paste our press release ;-)
Copyright 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc. and New England Newspaper Group Inc.
The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
June 1, 2005 Wednesday
LENGTH: 412 words
HEADLINE: Learn the case for impeachment
To the Editor of THE EAGLE:-
A coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups has announced a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.
By Arianna Huffington
Follow the Memo: Can Redford and Hoffman Play the Entire Blogosphere in the Downing Street Memo Movie?
In his otherwise terrific insider�s take on the Deep Throat story, former Washington Post editor and columnist Bob Levey says that the "next Watergate" won�t happen without "Big Journalism." I couldn�t disagree more. It will happen in spite of Big Journo... and because of the "little journalism" of the blogosphere.
Take the biggest under-reported story of the moment (at least in America): what the Downing Street Memo reveals about the Bush administration and how it led us into the Iraq war.
"Eyes of Babylon," a play by AfterDowningStreet.org member and Iraq War Veteran Lance Corporal Jeff Key closes in LA on Sunday, June 19.
On March 31st, 2004, Lance Corporal Jeff Key, United States Marine went on CNN's Paula Zahn Now to say to five million people what he at one time would not have said to one other person.
The Eyes of Babylon is story of Key's personal struggles trying to reconcile being part of a war that he knows to be illegal and immoral and a profound commitment to the reasons he became a marine. Told by Key with excerpts from his personal journals from Iraq. We follow him from the morning of September 11th, 2001, through his tour in Iraq, and on to his return to America to begin a life of political activism and philanthropy. Key decides that the time to stop lying about his sexuality has come and goes on to use the ban on gays in the military to exit the Marine Corps and thereby avoid ever again being asked to take innocent life for corporate gains. More the story of a psychological and emotional journey culminating in spiritual epiphany than a documentation of the war, this piece is a profoundly personal look inside the conscience of a man faced with near impossible decisions.
By Geov Parrish, Seattle Weekly
I have a three-word response to the media frenzy that followed revelation of the long-secret identity of Deep Throat: Downing Street Memo.
Here's what John Dean, a key Watergate figure, wrote about Dubya's case for the Iraq war in a June 2003 column for www.findlaw.com: "To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. . . . Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be a 'high crime' under the Constitution's impeachment clause."
Here's an article from the St. Petersburgh Times that was generated by a local demonstration at a TV station. Does that give any of you ideas?
Note that the reporter called me David Dawson, probably as a result of the quality of cell phone service in the hotel in DC where the Take Back America Conference chooses to convene. But, he quoted me accurately and he and his editors MENTIONED THE ISSUE AND DID SO HONESTLY. Please thank them!
The "Downing Street Memo" indicates an agreement on invading Iraq in July 2002.
By KEVIN GRAHAM
By weldon berger at DailyKos
Fri Jun 3rd, 2005 at 22:05:23 CST
Many, many people seem to be under the impression that the White House has not commented upon the Downing Street Memo.
That's wrong: They have. My White House writer, Eric Brewer, posed a question about it to Scott McClellan at the May 23 White House briefing, and McClellan very carefully avoided disputing that Straw and Dearlove said what the minutes describe them as saying or that what they said was true.
Here's Eric's question and McClellan's response:
Eric Brewer: Scott, last week you said that claims in the leaked Downing Street memo that intelligence was being fixed to support the Iraq War as early as July 2002 are "flat-out wrong." According to the memo, which was dated July 23, 2002, and whose authenticity has not been disputed by the British Government, both Foreign Minister Jack Straw and British Intelligence Chief Sir Richard Dearlove said that the President had already made up his mind to invade Iraq. Dearlove added that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Do you think these two very senior officials of our closest ally were "flat-out wrong"� And if so, how could they have been so misinformed after their conversations with George Tenet and Condoleezza Rice?
By Billmon, June 03, 2005
There was a time when the exposure of Deep Throat's identity would have grabbed my attention in a big way: At last!
The answer to all those boozy guessing games at all those journalistic watering holes of my younger days. Al Haig? John Dean? Martha Mitchell . . . no wait, wasn't she dead by then?
But it doesn't really matter any more. Anonymous whistleblowers have become little more than curious anachronisms, as likely to turn out to be bumbling fools or cynical disinformation artists (paging Michael Isikoff) as dedicated civil servants wiling to risk their careers to save the Republic.
The Democratic National Committee has noticed this issue.
Here's the DNC's posting. You can add comments there letting people know about our campaign.
And here's how you can contact the DNC to thank them, encourage them, and urge them to add the concrete proposal of asking Congress to introduce a resolution of inquiry.
Published on Friday, June 3, 2005 by the Bangor Daily News (Maine)
By Robert Shetterly
Let's consider an item from the news of about two weeks ago: A British citizen leaked a memo to London's Sunday Times.
The memo was of the written account of a meeting that a man named Richard Dearlove had with the Bush administration in July 2002. Dearlove was the head of the England's MI-6, the equivalent of the CIA. On July 23, 2002, Dearlove briefed Tony Blair about the meeting. He said that Bush was determined to attack Iraq. He said that Bush knew that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no links to foreign terrorists, that there was no imminent danger to the U.S. from Iraq. But, since Bush was determined to go to war, "Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy." "Fixed" means faked, manufactured, conjured, hyped - the product of whole cloth fabrication.
Cartoon by Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
From Make Them Accountable: Famed Iran/Contra investigative reporter Bob Parry has offered his nonprofit, the Consortium for Independent Journalism, as the basis for building a new media empire dedicated to the truth. Which of you will join us in making that happen?