Deep Throat of Downing Street
By Jefferson Morley
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 14, 2005; 10:18 AM
Deep Throat now has an English accent.
Reporter Michael Smith of The Sunday Times of London scored an international scoop this weekend with a story about a sensational Iraq war document provided by an anonymous high-level official source who, like W. Mark Felt of Watergate fame, seems to have taken up a mission of helping an investigative reporter probe allegations of misconduct and cover-up.
The document, a British government briefing paper from July 21, 2002, informed Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet ministers eight months before the invasion of Iraq that Blair had already committed Britain to supporting an American-led attack and that " they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal ."
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Interview With Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball Secretary Condoleezza Rice Washington, DC June 13, 2005
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, there's a lot of concern in this country, as you know, about the strength and the violence of the insurgency.
We just got these two memos in the last couple of weeks that � they're called the "Downing Street Memos" � one of them is a memo from now British Ambassador to the United States David Manning, in his capacity as advisor to British Prime Minister Blair, where he said that in March of 2002 he met with you and among the big questions that were still out there, in your mind, was having to do with what we're going to be like � what's it going to be like in Iraq the morning after. Do you recall those meetings?
The Downing Street Memos don't just prove that the Bush administration lied the war into existence. They prove that nobody planned for the aftermath.
By Matthew Yglesias, the American Prospect
Web Exclusive: 06.14.05
In the annals of stupid news events, the "controversy" sparked by Howard Dean's claim that the GOP is "pretty much a white, Christian party" ranks pretty high.
Not only did Dean fail to say anything objectionable, but also that remark isn't something anyone could seriously deny. Nor does it even count as a criticism of Republicans. It's an anodyne description of well-known facts about the American electorate.
Gold Star and Military Families Call for Truth Regarding Downing St. Memo, Members to Visit Congress
To: National and Assignment desks, Daybook Editor
Leaked memo hints at deceit
By Anthony Farmer
KINGSTON -- The Bush administration needs to answer lingering questions that it secretly decided to invade Iraq before seeking congressional authority and later distorted the justifications for going to war, U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, said Monday.
Hinchey, D-Hurley, is one of 90 congressmen who have signed a letter written by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., calling on President Bush to answer questions raised by the so-called "Downing Street Memo." The memo, leaked to the British press, purportedly offers proof the United States and Great Britain secretly agreed to invade Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before seeking a U.N. resolution to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel
June 14, 2005
Corrine Brown and Tom Feeney pretty much represent the yin and yang of the hottest debate in Washington that is spilling into mainstream America.
Brown, the Democrat who represents Jacksonville and Orlando, is among the growing number of Congressfolk who want President Bush to address recently disclosed British documents that suggest the White House manipulated facts to justify a war in Iraq that it was not adequately prepared to handle.
On the other hand is Feeney, the Oviedo Republican who says that Democrats are using an inconclusive memo as simply another way to throw barbs at Bush.
June 14, 2005
By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
Not just because many of my relatives got wiped out in the Holocaust, or because my wife is Bavarian, but, like so many others around the world, I am ineluctably drawn to the Hitler period in Germany.
How could this have happened - 6 million Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others herded into camps and slaughtered? More than 50 million killed on all sides in World War II? It's too much for the mind to comprehend.
And yet, I know that given the right set of circumstances, shameful episodes could, and in many instances did, happen in our own country (to African slaves, to Native Americans, to Japanese-Americans, et al). Fold in the current rise of anti-rational thought and militarist leadership in Bush America, symbolized best perhaps by the fact that torture is now officially sanctioned U.S. policy, and America would seem ripe for even worse excursions into the shadow world.
WORLD VIEWS: New 'Downing Street Memo' says Bush, Blair agreed on 'regime change' in 2002; Iraq seen to 'slide into civil war'; and more.
- Edward M. Gomez, special to SF Gate, San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Is it a second Downing Street Memo -- or something even more damning for both the Bush administration and the government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair?
On May 1, Britain's Sunday Times broke the story of the now-infamous Downing Street Memo; that document, the minutes of a meeting of Blair's top advisers, showed that the prime minister had known, some eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, that a war not authorized by the United Nations would be illegal for British troops to take part in. Now The Times has scooped its rivals again with the news -- and the text of -- a leaked, extremely secret British Cabinet Office briefing paper dated July 23, 2002.
By the Capital Times
June 13, 2005
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., did not buy the spin that said the U.S. needed to invade and occupy Iraq. And he is not buying the spin that says all is now well in that Middle Eastern country.
"The mantra for Fox News is that we only hear the bad news (about Iraq). I was over there (in February), and we don't hear enough bad news," the senator told a listening session in Clinton this week.
The war, says Feingold, has turned into an "amazing mess."
The senator, who voted against authorizing the Bush administration to launch the military adventure that has cost almost 1,700 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives, is blunt about the need to establish a timetable for getting U.S. troops out of the quagmire.
startribune.com Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Published June 12, 2005
The U.S. media, as a whole, have been in slow motion reacting to the Downing Street memo, a highly classified report the London Times published May 1.
Word of the memo did not appear in the Star Tribune until May 13 -- and that was way ahead of most American media.
Is there something wrong with the story? Is the memo fabricated? Are readers uninterested? The answers are no, no and no.
The back story reveals a lot about how news travels traditional routes and cyberspace at different velocities, about how the Internet is being used to influence media and about how those on the left and right have learned to puff up their feathers or grow small -- to foment coverage or strangle it.
Written by Kevin Zeese and Ralph Nader
Monday, 13 June 2005
Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution: "The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
It is becoming more evident that an impeachment inquiry is needed to determine whether the United States was plunged into war with Iraq based on manipulated intelligence and false information. Thus far the President and Vice President have artfully dodged the central question: "Did the administration mislead us into war by manipulating and misstating intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction, Iraq's involvement with Al Qaeda terrorism and the danger Iraq posed to the United States and its neighbors?"
Published on Monday, June 13, 2005 by the Toronto Sun
by Eric Margolis
In July 2002, the head of MI-6, Britain's secret intelligence service, briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cabinet on U.S. plans to attack Iraq.
Sir Richard Dearlove ("M" to James Bond fans) reported that U.S. President George Bush had decided to invade oil-rich Iraq in March 2003, in a war "to be justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy."
Translation: The U.S. and British governments would concoct charges against Iraq to justify war.
by Cynthia Bogard, Common Dreams
What can reading USA Today tell us about the Downing Street Memo (DSM) story? Zip. Zilch. Nothing. At least that was the case for the first 38 days after the memo was published in London's Sunday Times.
USA Today published not a word about it until June 8, 2005. This week though, the leaked 2002 memo that indicates the Bush Administration had already decided to go to war on Iraq months before it brought the subject before the United Nations finally made it into the nation's national newspapers, including USA Today (page 8; and reprinted at http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0608-01.htm). And it's likely to get another spike in coverage this Thursday when my hero John (that's you, Representative Conyers, not you Senator Kerry) opens a Congressional hearing and presents a letter to the president signed by 500,000 voters demanding answers about the DSM.
Catch him on the road. Ask him what the media won't. Stage a peaceful nonviolent protest.
Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, a new Gallup Poll finds, the most downbeat view of the war since it began in 2003. [USA Today, 6/13/05]
Monday, June 13, 2005
THUNE in New York, NY at 12:00 PM: Heartland Values PAC hosts Honorary Chairman Senator John Thune in his first fundraising visit to NYC, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Park Avenue at Grand Central Station. [SD Sources]
By Monica Mehta, AlterNet
Posted on June 13, 2005, Printed on June 13, 2005
A number of citizen groups and Democratic politicians are launching an initiative to investigate information contained in newly unearthed British memos on the war in Iraq, and to demand answers from President Bush.
On Thursday at 5:00 p.m. ET in Lafayette Square Park, in front of the White House, a large rally will support Congressman Conyers who plans to deliver to the White House a letter addressed to President Bush and signed by over 500,000 Americans and at least 94 Congress Members. The letter asks the President to respond to questions raised by the Downing Street Minutes.
RawStory.com has published a timeline that should prove very helpful in understanding the significance of events from two or three years back as they become known to the public now.
State Dems: Impeach Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld too
The Capital Times
By David Callender, June 13, 2005
Wisconsin Democrats are calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Loyalists at this weekend's state party convention in Oshkosh passed a resolution calling for Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against the three officials for their role in the war in Iraq.
The resolution contends that the administration "lied or misled" the United Nations, Congress, and the American public about the justification for the war. It cites the so-called "Downing Street memo" from British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, as well as reports from U.N. weapons inspectors as evidence of widespread deception.
Unlike some publications in the Big Apple, the Village Voice has been treating the revelations of the Downing Street Minutes with the level of dignity and importance usually only afforded to Michael Jackson or Paris Hilton.
April 29: "Blair and Dubya: War and Words"
April 30: "Bush, Blair Decided in '02 to Invade Iraq and Worry About
Justification Later, Say Brit Papers"
Below are past statements on the WMD issue from After Downing Street coalition member Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
In addition to the major rally and hearings planned for DC on Thursday, citizens are organizing local rallies around the country on Thursday.
By David Swanson, Afterdowningstreet.org
Last night I spoke about the Downing Street Minutes on Chris Moore's show at KDKA in Pittsburgh. He has covered the issue since May 1st.
Chris, a Vietnam veteran - unlike the microphone warmongers, has also been consistent in pointing out that we were deceived -- and he did so long before anyone dared say it in the corporate media.
Now management wants him to pay the cost. On Saturday evening he informed his audience that his Saturday evening show will be replaced by a music/talk format to appeal to a younger audience. This in spite of the fact that he is number one in his time slot of those in the 25+ age range.
Patrick Doherty, TomPaine.com
June 13, 2005
Between the New York Times' reticence to report on the Downing Streem Memo and today's article by David Sanger, one has to wonder if the NYT is going beyond self-censorship and "fixing the facts" around its previous reporting.
David Sanger's article, Prewar British Memo Says War Decision Wasn't Made, published today, makes the claim that the newly released Cabinet office memo of July 21, 2002, profiled today on TomPaine.com by Ray McGovern (see, Downing Street II) clears the White House of allegations substantiated by the minutes of the subsequent cabinet meeting on July 23, 2002, in which both the chief of British intelligence and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw assert that Bush had already decided to remove Saddam Hussein by military force.
Ray McGovern, TomPaine.com
June 13, 2005
Ray McGovern is a co-founder of the Truth Telling Coalition and of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He had a 27-year career as a CIA analyst, and now works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.
Yesterday, London's Sunday Times published the text of another SECRET UK EYES ONLY breifing document prepared for senior British officials. This one was dated July 21, 2002, two days before British intelligence chief Richard Dearlove gave Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security advisers a briefing based on discussions with American counterparts in Washington. The minutes recording the discussion at the July 23, 2002 meeting, published by the Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Times on May 1, 2005, included Dearlove's matter-of-fact report that President George W. Bush had decided to bring about "regime change" in Iraq by military action; that the attack would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD" (weapons of mass destruction); and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Later today RawStory.com will be posting an article that they have been researching for several days. Six new secret British documents have been leaked and made widely available on the internet, including via the links below. These were retyped from the originals to protect the source, but RawStory.com has verified the authenticity and will be reporting on that research, on the significance of the documents, and on the timeline of the events illuminated by this information, known to the British media but new on this side of the pond.
By Beth Quinn
Times Herald-Record, NY
We've reached the point where it's easy to spot us liberals.
We're the ones whose heads are popping off, leaving bloody little neck stumps behind. We're pumping out the word, "But � but � but �" over and over in sheer frustration at the absurdity of it all.
What else is there to say when some fool in Washington says the equivalent of, "No, you're wrong. Humans don't breathe oxygen. No truth in that!"
And then � just to compound the absurdity � the press reports that humans don't breathe oxygen. And then Americans are suddenly waving flags about the fact that we can now breathe underwater.