War memo angers Democrats: British file shows data manipulated

War memo angers Democrats British file shows data manipulated, they say; aides defend Bush
Dallas Morning News
BYLINE: DAVID JACKSON, Washington Bureau
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
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.

Conyers right to ask for British memo exam

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
BODY:
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.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

BODY:
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."

Like ... "we don't want" the Watergate tapes

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
DATELINE: WASHINGTON

BODY:
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.

Hearst Newspapers

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
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
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.

Are You Asking Us Because You're Afraid to Tell Us?

Salon.com
June 18, 2005 Saturday
SECTION: Feature
LENGTH: 883 words
HEADLINE: Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes?
BYLINE: By David Paul Kuhn

HIGHLIGHT:
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.

BODY:
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."

Democratic Accountability Is Hateful and Obscene

The Washington Post
June 19, 2005 Sunday
Final Edition
SECTION: Editorial; B06
LENGTH: 1069 words
HEADLINE: Memos, 'Wing Nuts' and 'Hit Lists'
BYLINE: Michael Getler
BODY:
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.

Sac Bee Opening Eyes, But Still Groggy

Sacramento Bee
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.
BODY:
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.

Sacramento Bee

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
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
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 Covers its Failure to Cover DSM

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

BODY:

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

Nothing Here AND We Knew All These Things Before: Two Excuses for the Price of One

Newsday (New York)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
CITY EDITION
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. A07
LENGTH: 692 words
HEADLINE: Memo big, but not big enough
BYLINE: Ellis Henican
BODY:
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.

Just Squint, See? Nothing New Here! Hey, Keep Squinting!

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

BODY:
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.

Verily, Black Is White

Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
FINAL EDITION
SECTION: OUTLOOK; Pg. H1
LENGTH: 881 words
HEADLINE: A 'SMOKING GUN' OR NOT?
BYLINE: By EARL TILFORD/Special to the Daily Press
BODY:
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."

Deceptions over WMD cry out for another Deep Throat

Contra Costa Times (California)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
SECTION: OPINION; Pg. F4
BYLINE: By Tammerlin Drummond

BODY:
I COULDN'T help but wonder during the Deep Throat Watergate nostalgia fest where today's Woodward and Bernsteins are. And why aren't they investigating the current administration?

Watergate began as a crime story. President Nixon ordered the burglary of Democratic Party campaign headquarters, then got caught trying to cover it up.

President Bush didn't break any U.S. laws when he falsely claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction to build public support for invading Iraq. Morally, however -- and this is an administration that has always claimed the moral high ground -- the deception is nothing short of criminal.

Robert Redford Gets Comment Printed

Contra Costa Times (California)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. F4
LENGTH: 1138 words
HEADLINE: Leo gets bonked on the head;
PEOPLE

BODY:

...

ANOTHER EXCUSE TO RAIL ON BUSH: Robert Redford, who played Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in "All the President's Men," said he used to speculate on who Deep Throat was and had figured "it probably had to do with the FBI."

Redford said the revelation that former Deputy FBI Director Mark Felt was the secret source who helped the Post report on Watergate has him "waiting to see if anybody is going to connect where we were then and where we are now."

Kurtz Gets Paid By CNN & Washington "We Broke a Story in the 1970s" Post to Critique the Media, and We're not Supposed to Laugh?

CNN:

Just ahead, your viewer e-mail about the Bush administration and the press on that controversial Downing Street Memo.

KURTZ: Lots of heated viewer e-mail from our discussion last week about whether the media had gone soft on the Bush administration. And about a subject that six weeks later is finally getting some traction in the press this week -- the limited coverage of a British memo of a meeting involving Prime Minister Tony Blair back in the summer of 2002, which said the U.S. had "fixed" the intelligence on Iraq to justify going to war.

Nancy in Hudson, New Hampshire writes: "Please, please, please, the media need to start playing hardball with this administration. The Downing Street memo needs to be revisited and explained for us. The media are our only hope in exposing the way this administration and Congress are corrupting the Constitution." [One of how many letters like it???]

Chicago Tribune

June 19, 2005 Sunday
Chicago Final Edition
SECTION: NEWS ; ZONE C; Pg. 6
LENGTH: 1014 words
HEADLINE: Even in heartland, war support flags
BYLINE: By Tim Jones and Mark Silva, Tribune national correspondents. Tribune national correspondent Dahleen Glanton contributed to this report from Atlanta.
DATELINE: ST. LOUIS

BODY:
There is no questioning public support for the troops in this river city, where yellow, curly ribbons pasted on the backs of motor vehicles are more common than street banners declaring allegiance to the beloved hometown Cardinals.

But 27 months into the Iraq war, public frustration and impatience have increased as the military death toll rises and an end to the conflict appears nowhere in sight. While the Vietnam-era peace movement never gained much footing in culturally conservative St. Louis, attitudes toward the Iraq war are shifting in subtle and sometimes contradictory ways.

Bradenton Herald

The Bradenton Herald

June 19, 2005 Sunday EST EDITION

SECTION: LOCAL; BRIEF; Pg. 12

LENGTH: 891 words

HEADLINE: 'Fixed' for war?;
Downing Street Memo cries out for answers

BODY:
Why is the American public so apathetic about the Downing Street Memo?

A nation that just a few years ago was obsessed with fudging over sexual trysts by one president seems unconcerned about evidence of lying by another to justify a war that has cost the lives of more than 1,700 American service members, killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

Knight Ridder

Classified papers indicate an early decision for war

BYLINE: WARREN P. STROBEL; Knight Ridder Newspapers

DATELINE: WASHINGTON

BODY:
Highly classified documents leaked in Britain appear to provide new evidence that President Bush and his national security team decided to invade Iraq much earlier than they have acknowledged and marched to war without dwelling on the potential perils.

The half-dozen memos and option papers, written by top aides to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, buttress previous on-the-record accounts that portray Bush and his advisers as predisposed to oust Saddam Hussein when they took office - and determined to do it at all costs after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The Advertiser

June 20, 2005 Monday

SECTION: FOREIGN; Pg. 29

LENGTH: 326 words

HEADLINE: Bush grudge claim in memo

BYLINE: By THOMAS WAGNER in London

BODY:
A SERIES of leaked secret Downing Street memos have renewed questions and debate about Washington's motives for ousting Saddam Hussein from Iraq.

U.S. President George W. Bush was lobbying for British Prime Minister Tony Blair's support, but British officials worried the White House was rushing into war, according to one memo.

Another shows when the chief foreign policy adviser dined with Condoleezza Rice six months after September 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 a year later.

Time Magazine

Bush's War Worries

BYLINE: Massimo Calabresi, With reporting by Sally B. Donnelly; J.F.O. McAllister

BODY:
Of all the people to turn on George Bush's war in Iraq, Representative Walter Jones was among the least likely. A conservative Republican whose North Carolina district includes the massive Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, Jones led the charge to convert French fries into "freedom fries" in Capitol Hill cafeterias after France refused to support the war. But last week Jones co-sponsored legislation calling on Bush to declare victory and start bringing the troops home by October 2006. Jones, who has written more than 1,300 letters to families of killed service members, says, "What else is there left for America to do? I think the American people are going to see this resolution as worthy."

Dear Dana

Dear Dana:

I have watched with stunned horror as you have spiraled into an
appalling attack on anyone and everyone "liberal" even though you, until
now, have seemed to be fair in your writing and television appearances.
I cannot find any rational reason for your disparaging comments ranging
from the level of a 5 year old name calling, example "wing nut" to some
Novak type slash and burn hysteria using terms like "anti-Semite".

Let me say that having both spoken with the actual reporter in Britain
who broke the DSM stories and having gotten a second source of
confirmation, it seems to me that anyone with even a slight interest in

Place This Radio Ad on Your Local Stations!

By Robert Millman

Individuals or groups should E-mail a radio station, asking to put this issue ad on the radio. The E-mail should be CCed to newspapers in the same area. The E-mail should include:

1. A clear request to pay for air time
2. Text of the ad script
3. The mp3 audio file to review and put on the air
4. An offer to revise the ad if the content is considered unsuitable to the station for any reason.

If the radio station refuses, it might become a news story.

Ad fees can run anywhere from $10 a spot to $600 a spot. It all depends on the radio station. But anyone can place an issue ad on the radio.

Iraq Timeline Updated

The "Decision to Invade Iraq" timeline on the Center for Cooperative
Research's website http://www.cooperativeresearch.org has been updated.
Several entries and categories have been added or updated that relate to
issues raised by the Downing Street Memo controversy. Categories that
relate to DSM:

* Key events related to DSM
* Decision to invade Iraq
* Politicization of intelligence
* Diversion of resources to Iraq
* Legal justification
* Planning for postwar Iraq
* Public statements about the decision to invade

We now have a chronology of events on the forced removal of Jose Bustani

DOWNING STREET DELUSIONS....

The Washington Monthly

The wingnuts are getting desperate. Captain's Quarters, in a nostalgic attempt to recreate the glories of Rathergate, suggests that the Downing Street Memos aren't real. Why? Because Michael Smith, the reporter who got hold of them, had them retyped to protect his source and then returned the originals. Jonah Goldberg feverishly calls CQ's revelations a "must read."

Now, unlike the Killian memos that were at the center of Rathergate, there are quite a few principals in this case who either wrote or received these memos and therefore have absolute knowledge of whether or not they're genuine. The first memo, for example, was written by Matthew Rycroft and distributed at the time to David Manning, Geoff Hoon, Jack Straw, Peter Goldsmith, Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, Richard Dearlove, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, and Alastair Campbell. So far, not a single one of these people has claimed they're fake.

Associated Press: Better Late Than Never

Memos Show British Concern Over Iraq Plans By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer
Sat Jun 18, 5:55 PM ET

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.

My Day Witnessing History

By Cynthia Bogard

I think I witnessed history last Thursday, June 16, 2005.

It didn't start off on a very promising note. I was denied entrance to the media-packed, basement room next door to where they stack dirty Capitol cafeteria trays. But as I was standing in the hall wondering what to do, Congressman Conyers passed by and we nodded to each other right before he stepped across the threshold of the closet-sized room, jaw set, determined to change the course of our forlorn nation. He was followed by some of the other 122 Congressional signers of the letter asking President Bush for an explanation of the contents of the Downing Street Memo.

To the Washington Post Re Dana Milbank

To the Editor:

Re: Memos, 'Wing Nuts' and 'Hit Lists' by Michael Getler, June 19

On behalf of more than 300,000 supporters of Democrats.com, I write to
express my outrage over Dana Milbank's libelous charge that our "followers
have long been harassing this and other reporters and their families with
hateful, obscene and sometimes anti-Semitic speech."

Democrats.com strictly prohibits personal attacks and takes immediate
action against anyone who violates this rule.

Mr. Milbank never documented any personal attacks from Democrats.com
supporters, so I am appalled that you published the allegation as though

Tomgram: Mark Danner on Smoking Signposts to Nowhere

Imagine that the Pentagon Papers or the Watergate scandal had broken out all over the press -- no, not in the New York Times or the Washington Post, but in newspapers in Australia or Canada. And that, facing their own terrible record of reportage, of years of being cowed by the Nixon administration, major American papers had decided that this was not a story worthy of being covered. Imagine that, initially, they dismissed the revelatory documents and information that came out of the heart of administration policy-making; then almost willfully misread them, insisting that evidence of Pentagon planning for escalation in Vietnam or of Nixon administration planning to destroy its opponents was at best ambiguous or even nonexistent; finally, when they found that the documents wouldn't go away, they acknowledged them more formally with a tired ho-hum, a knowing nod on editorial pages or in news stories. Actually, they claimed, these documents didn't add up to much because they had run stories just like this back then themselves. Yawn.

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