How the United States Marked the 3rd Anniversary of the Downing Street Memo
By David Swanson
Hundreds of people were turned away today as capacity crowds packed public forums in U.S. cities to discuss the Downing Street Memo and related evidence that President Bush lied about the reasons for war. Halls were filled to capacity and beyond in LA, Oakland, Seattle, Detroit, Northampton, New York, and elsewhere, for events led by Congress Members, including Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Jim McDermott, John Conyers, and Maurice Hinchey.
For the second time in the two months since we launched the www.AfterDowningStreet.org campaign, I've been overwhelmed by what we've tapped into. The first time was when we put up a website about the Downing Street minutes and a demand for an investigation into grounds for impeachment. I'd never seen a coalition grow so quickly or a website receive so much traffic. Today we saw crowds of people in red and blue states chant "Impeach Bush!" at events with leaders not yet ready to use the I word. The much maligned American Public is way out ahead of us – I'm telling you.
Making The Sacrifice For Our Country, Its Around The Block, Just A Half Mile Down Classen Street, Its Happening In Oklahoma City
Today, Terra, Randy and myself (the Okcitykid) showed up at the Backdoor Coffee Shop for our third anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes get together. And to our surprise, Archive Video and Audio, AVA was there putting together an anti religious right skit. We found that to be interesting and they of course were interested in what we where doing, about that time Lisa showed up. We then watched a clip AVA was producing and they had shown some interest in clips we were playing on a Laptop Terra and Randy brought, during this time Amanda and her friend showed up.
Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina.
A motivated and committed group has gathered at a house party in Raleigh, NC to watch the DVD of the Conyers' hearing and to continue the lively discussion we've already started. We have twice the expected turnout, with participants from all over the Triangle area. We're excited about building on this momentum and adding even more voices to this movement.
Published on Saturday, July 23, 2005 by David Corn
A CIA Vet's Messge for the Save-Rove Spinners:
"A True Patriot Would Shut Up"
by David Corn
I've wasted too many hours of my life going on talking head shoutfests with conservatives who pooh-pooh the Plame/CIA leak matter (now known as the Rove scandal), who claim there was little damage done, who say that Valerie Wilson was only a desk jockey and dismiss her undercover status as "light" or "flimsy," who argue that no crime was broken and no wrongdoing occurred, and who are lightning quick to depict the controversy as nothing but a game of politics. These folks are spinning to save Rove and to protect the White House, and they distort, disinform, and dissemble for the team.
Tony Trupiano spoke after Rep. Conyers:
"The President is a liar. He had hired crafty liars who will stop at nothing to get their way. Their arrogance has created the largest terror ring the world has ever known.
We don't need to be Democrats, we don't need to be Republicans, we need to be MESSENGERS.
We need to spread the word "NOT IN MY HOUSE".
The White House is my house. It is your house. Today is the beginning of the end of the Bush administration." - Tony Trupiano
Mr. James Marcinkowski, former Case Officer, CIA, also spoke today at the rally for the Downing Street Memo anniversary.
He said he trained with Valerie Plame, and worked with her for twenty years. Their identity was kept secret for twenty years:
"This whole incident was about politics and power. We need to be empowered, and the media needs to take their responsibility seriously and each day that goes by without an investigation, without accountability, damages our national security.
"Everything that a CIA agent does is built on trust. They have to have a high level of trust with those they work with - their lives and the lives of countless others depends on it....This administration breeched that trust. This is absolutely unprecendented - the White House, people at the very top level of power here, breeched the trust, and they did it out of revenge, thinking nothing of it.
LIVE FROM RALLY IN DETROIT TODAY ON ANNIVERSARY OF THE DSM:
Lila Lipscomb from "Farenheit 9-11" spoke earlier today as well. She said:
"We've been sound asleep since Vietnam. We need to start connecting the dots.
"I had to learn to connect the dots after losing my son. Part of the strategy of those in power has been to strip us (the citizens - the population) of resources. They made it much harder for the people to have power. The result was more poverty and despair, a lack of hope. That's how they built their new military. (More poor kids volunteer for service in the armed forces for economic reasons - a job, help paying for college later, etc.)
Rep. John Coyers spoke at the rally in Detroit today. John Conyer's said "ALL this ties in together..
ALL of it...TREASONGATE, the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity.....the DOWNING ST. MEMO......
This is NOT a few rogues that are coming forward with information, it is coming out of The WHITE HOUSE."
Just got off the phone with Tim Carpenter, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, who participated in the event in Northampton, Mass., which -- like many others today -- was filled to capacity and had to turn people away.
"Bonifaz was on fire!" Tim says.
The event was filmed for Access TV and recorded for Alternative Radio. It also made the front page of the Northampton Gazette.
This website will display this article for $2:
Activists aim to keep focus on pre-war meeting
I was unable to blog directly from the Labor Temple but kept my eyes and ears open & rushed home via the first bus possible, to upload my photos & get on-line! (I'll also be posting at http://www.democracycellproject.net, http://www.backbonecampaign.org & http://www.silencedmajority.blogs.com)
I had always intended to read the Downing Street Memo in full but hadn't completed the task, so the skit - sponsored by the Backbone Campaign - was stunning in its overt plotting behind the backs of the British & American people. The readers wore the costumes and nametags of Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon and other British dignitaries/neocons & Tony Blair was played by a puppet that looked like something between a poodle and a lamb.
On July 23rd, beginning at 9 p.m. ET, Jim Marcinkowski, and then at 10 p.m. ET Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Tony Trupiano, will be on the Brad Show to discuss the day's events in Los Angeles and Detroit.
I just got off the phone with Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign in Seattle. They, like the organizers today in New York, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Northampton, had to turn people away because the space was filled beyond capacity.
Congressman Jim McDermott, I'm told, gave a tremendous speech, as did spokespeople from Military Families Speak Out, and as I'm sure Bill did himself.
They also performed a humurous reenactment of the Downing Street Meeting.
Then they organized groups to write letters to the media, to Congress, and to the Governor of Washington State.
When I told Bill about the events eleswhere today, he said "It's the beginning of the end for the Bush Administration."
Bob Reuschlein, Madison, Wisconsin
About 200 - 250 people showed up to march around the capitol square in Madison, Wisconsin, and we only got "rained on" a little bit, so the clouds kept us in the mild seventies. We were to start at 10am but it took another fifteen minutes to put together the LIES posters supported on bamboo poles, about eight of them connected together, white letters on black sheets. We filled up an entire city block as we moved the one block to the capitol square, which was filled with farmers market buyers. Many of them cheered us on, grinned or gave us the thumbs up, as WORT radio interviewed some of us and some of them. We stopped at each of the four corners of the square and I explained to the crowd that it was the 3rd Anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes, which proved that our government had lied us into war.
The event in Northampton is overflowing! Someone from the building just came in and asked if we could move to a different room because there's an overflow of people in the hallway; a "wonderful problem", mused Tim Carpenter from the Progressive Democrats of America, who are cosponsering this event. He would later speak after the showing of an 8 minute film, "Hijacking Catastrophe", produced by the Media Education Foundation. This film ties together events before 9/11 to point out the Bush administration's intention to invade Iraq, such as the letter from the Project for the New American Century sent to then President Clinton. This letter advocated taking action military action in Iraq, and of those neoconservative who signed it, Bush hand picked many of them to be in his cabinet.
Patriots for Al Gore calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to issue a Resolution of Inquiry regarding information contained in the Downing Street memo. We also call upon our representatives to put partisanship aside and to do what is right for the American people.
Auburn Ill. (PRWEB) July 8, 2005 -- The Downing Street Memo which was published in The London Times on May 1, 2005, gives us an insight into how the propaganda and policy was settled on in what we believe was a deliberate attempt by the U.S and British governments to mislead America and Britain into the war in Iraq.
It's a lovely breezy afternoon in Virginia and we're enjoying blackberry pie (and blackberry cobbler and dumplings and ice cream).
We're having a small DSM Day house party in the backyard. We've been reading the DS minutes and Conyer's timeline, watching the DVD from Take Back the Media and using the neighborhood wifi to watch the C-SPAN coverage of the Hearing on Security Implications of Revealing Covert Agent's Identity that took place yesterday morning. (http://www.c-span.org/)
We had about 40 people to watch 'Rove's War', and the 'Downing street Basement Tapes'. Afterwards, we broke into informal groups to discuss the vileness of Bush administration lies. Then about half of us went to join a rally run by Amnesty International and 3 November. They had live art and some very good speakers. Professor Alan Gilbert (who was Conde Rice's PHD supervisor) spoke about the Bush Administration and current US torture and imperialism, and how it follows the examples set by Nazi Germany and the British Empire. He didn't quite seem to know why Conde turned out like she did. Anyway
Stop the War Coalition Press Release - London, England
Yesterday a man was walking from his home to Stockwell tube. Police in plain clothes followed him and just before he entered the underground station they shouted at him. Scared, he ran into the station with the police following him. They caught him, held him down and shot him in the head five times. He had nothing to do with the London bombing campaign. He was unlucky enough to be wearing the wrong clothes and his skin was the wrong colour. Subsequently it has been revealed that the police have been operating a secret shoot-to-kill policy. Armed officers have been undergoing training with the Israeli defence forces. This is the result. Police now regret this 'tragic mistake'. The real tragic mistake has been the illegal, immoral and barbaric invasion of Iraq. The killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Londoners are now really paying the price of this war, both in the suicide bombings and in this public killing. We send our heartfelt condolences to this man's family.
Greetings from Louisvile, 7/23, 4:00pm
On this blistering hot day, the Louisville Peace Action Community (LPAC) held its DSM event at a busy intersection in a working class neighborhood in Louisville's southend.
We had about 40 people with signs & petitions and we had great visibility--thousands of cars saw us and many, many pedestrians talked to us. In our group we had an 82-year-old nun & several babies.
We also had a visit from "George Bush" on a megaphone telling people NOT to read the Memo, because he didn't want them to know the truth. He sounded as stupid as ever.
We had an overwhelmingly positive response and were glad to find a good new intersection for future actions. After two hours in the blazing heat, we hit a local watering hole for a round of congratulations and good laughs. The truth will prevail.
From PDA blogger Michael Short in Detroit:
Last speaker....John Conyers summed up quickly and then asked for people's questions.
Then he introduced Robert Sedler.
He is speaking about the constitutional process of impeachment.
He said that the power to impeach had been twisted by the Republicans when they worked to impeach Bill Clinton.
The basis was that the framers of the nation rejected at judicial process. Impeachment means questioning.
The process is to have the President, Vice President, and other federal officers questioned by the House of representatives. The Senate tries the case if evidence warrants it. If the offending
From PDA blogger Michael Short in Detroit:
From the local press...The editor of the Michigan Citizen Newspaper (Bankel Thompson)addressed the meeting next.
I love this quote, "The price of having honest men keep quiet is having dishonest men rule over them!"
He spoke out against the way our news organizations have been co opted (willingly or not) by the administration. This includes both domestic and foreign organizations(like the BBC).
He also says that he doesn't think the Democratic party did enough to avoid or oppose the war in Iraq. He thinks they (we) still aren't doing enough.
From PDA ( http://pdamerica.org ) blogger Michael Short in Michigan:
Our Next speaker is... John Conyers introduced a former CIA case officer (Jim Marcinkowski) who told us how concerned he is by the people who have -- or at least are attempting to get -- a lock on the media. Who try hard to make dissent unpatriotic.
He explained that having undercover CIA agents is necessary because they help to protect us. They are the ones who get us the info we need to make plans and spoil the efforts of those who'd hurt us. We can't get this info any other way -- they won't just give it too us!
Exposing an agent not only costs us the "asset" it puts people's lives at risk.
In the outer suburbs of Washington, DC in Virginia's piedmont region, a group of at least two dozen very concerned citizens will meet this evening in a private home to listen to the re-enactment of the July 23, 2002 meeting, view a DVD containing highlights of the events of June 16 (Conyers
hearing, delivery of signatures to the White House, and rally in Lafayette Square Park), and discuss how we can keep this issue in front of our Congress persons and our neighbors.
Rep. Frank Wolf was invited to attend but he declined and was also unable to provide a position statement on the issues raised by the Downing Street Memo. We will create a delegation to go to his office to meet with him, as he suggested as an alternative to his attending our event.
Earlier today I drove over and spoke to a DFA gathering in Montgomery County, Md. They had a good crowd of activists gathered to picnic but eager to act. Mostly they asked me questions along the lines of "Why in the hell can't a Democrat in a solidly Democratic district introduce articles of impeachment?" It's a good question. Maybe a Democrat somewhere will answer it today. Until it's answered, it's our job to make the case to Democrats that they can only lose by failing to oppose the Republicans. TURN UP THE HEAT! Photo 1 Photo 2
Lieutenant Tharp, with over 9 years in the military, and a dozen awards, gave a relatively brief speech. "There are a hundred and forty thousand men and women in Iraq, and I want to thank you for being here for them." He said that he didn't even resign when he got sent into the disaster that this administration has made in Iraq, and [thought] 'Who the hell screwed me?.'"
Tharp said that he resigned and joined Iraq Veterans Against the War after he got home. "From what I saw in Iraq, I was one of the most fortunate people in Iraq. I got to see the compassion of the Iraqi people...I got to work with two dozen diverse Iraqis. When I got home, I was asked by the national security agency to dehumanize them...and that is what I would not do."
Twelve peacemakers from NE Ohio gathered at the Community Center of Newton Falls (zipcode 44444) to hear a dramatic reading of the Downing Street memo and engage in a lively discussion of local peace events and social justice issues. The entrance to the Community Center is prominently marked by a memorial to four young men from this small town who lost their lives in the War in Vietnam. We felt their spirit among us crying out to a new generation: the politicians lied and we died! Honor the dead - reveal the truth and stop the war!
July 23, 2005 Downing Street Memo Party Tonight
The combined Birmingham chapters of Democracy For America and Progressive Democrats of America will host a gathering in recognition of the 3rd Anniversary of the now infamous #10 Downing Street meeting. More than 300 similar gatherings are planned throughout the country, thanks to AfterDowningStreet.org and Representative John Conyers of Michigan.
"This will be an evening of discussion of the issues surrounding the Bush Administration's actions and intentions for going to war in Iraq, as well as 'Rovegate' plus the John Roberts Supreme Court nomination," the press release says. "We will have information for developing letter-writing campaigns to our elected leaders on all levels, plus input from all on how we can make a difference in Birmingham and the state of Alabama. (We are already getting close to just one year to significant elections!)"
This was an incredibly successful town hall, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. I want to thank Robert Klein for blogging with me today, theater tech Stephan Shelley for his help allowing us to set up a wifi network here, David Swanson and Jon Schwartz from afterdowningstreet.org, and Miguel Bustos from Congresswoman Lee's office for including us in this crtical gathering.
We were supposed to be out of here by 12:30 p.m. but the town hall kept going. A line of about two dozen people were in line waiting to ask a question at the audience mic. The event kept going to 1 p.m. but I had to exit.