By Congressman John Conyers
Thu Jun 2nd, 2005 at 12:27:04 PDT, DailyKos
I wanted to update you about the Downing Street Minutes letter. Late last week, just before the holiday weekend, I asked for your help in getting 100,000 signatures on a letter to the President asking for answers about the Downing Street Minutes. (For those who have not yet heard about the minutes, they detail a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers, during which Blair and his advisers reveal details about pre-war conversations with their American counterparts. These details cast substantial doubt on the honesty of contemporaneous claims made by the Administration to Congress and to the American people about the Iraq war. For more information go here and here.)
Investigative journalism is dead; long live investigative journalism.
By David J. Sirota, American Prospect, 6/2/05
Upon the news this week that Watergate source �Deep Throat� had come forward, CNN's Judy Woodruff waxed nostalgic about the golden era of muckraking journalism.
"It is so hard, I think, for young people we know who work here at CNN and other news organizations to even imagine what Watergate was like," she said. "To have a White House come undone, an administration come undone, because of some news reporting." Coming from a lead reporter at one of America's largest cable networks, it was truly a sad commentary.
Here's an audio clip of an interview of David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org organizer, on Andymatic.
Link here: http://andymatic.com/2005/06/02/interview-with-david-swanson-from-after-...
If you speak face-to-face or by phone or Email with your family members, neighbors, and friends, we would love to hear what they think of the Downing Street Minutes, especially if you convince someone that a congressional investigation is needed. How did you persuade them? What did they start out thinking? What did they learn from you? What did you learn from them? Please open this article and post Comments at the bottom.
Here are some updates on the U.S. media's interest in evidence of a U.S. president lying and causing tens of thousands of deaths...or lack thereof.
New York Times Answers Media Blackout...or doesn't
MEMO IS OPINION; MINUTES ARE FACTS
HOW TO TELL NY TIMES PUBLIC EDITOR Byron E. (Barney) Calame WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND
By Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S. Senator from 1969-81, Gravel said today: "W. Mark Felt, the assistant director of the FBI during the Watergate scandal, has admitted to being 'Deep Throat.' He was the source of important information for Washington Post investigative reporters Woodward and Bernstein. Felt's revelations and tips kept the investigation alive by pulling back the shroud of secrecy hiding the criminal activities of the Nixon White House.
"Felt should receive the American Medal of Freedom for his courage and patriotism in defense of our democracy. The greatest threat to
He thinks they never will be, but we'll see about that!
Interview with British MP George Galloway
Interview by Thom Hartmann
[Thom Hartmann] George Galloway!
[Thom Hartmann] Thom Hartmann here with you on AM 620 KPOJ in Portland and we're also going to record this and play it on our national program. Thanks so much, Mr. Galloway for being with us today.
[George Galloway] You're most welcome.
[Thom Hartmann] First of all, my apologies if I have your title wrong. I'm calling you mister. Is that how?
"This is a test of the left-wing blogosphere," said FOX News. "In many ways that memo might prove all of the arguments the critics of the war have made. But the bulk of Americans don't agree, or don't seem that alarmed, so it is a power test to see if they can drive it back on the agenda."
This statement was made by a Fox News employee quoted by Fox News. This is a news organization openly admitting that they will not cover a story based on its importance to a large number of people, but might do so if a politcal force pushes it hard enough. And this was said in an article that also argued that the Downing Street Minutes are worthless and tell us nothing new.
Letter Queries Rumsfeld About U.S. Military Attacks Prior to Approval of War on Iraq
Congressman Calls Latest Report: 'The smoking bullet in the smoking gun'
FROM THE BRAD BLOG
In regards to what John Conyers over the weekend reportedly described as "the smoking bullet in the smoking gun", a letter has just been sent to Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, asking questions about the recent reports that the U.S. and U.K. stepped up their air attacks in the Iraqi "No-Fly-Zone" prior to the war in "an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war."
Former C.I.A. Analyst Ray McGovern and Attorney John Bonifaz Will Headline Progressive Democrats� Panel Discussion In Washington, D.C. on Friday, June 3
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) � Tim Carpenter, National Director of Progressive Democrats of America, announced today that former C.I.A. Analyst Ray McGovern and author and attorney John Bonifaz will headline the organization�s Teach-In this Friday, June 3.
McGovern and Bonifaz will detail the misdeeds by the U.S. President and a possible movement by members of Congress to move to a Resolution of Inquiry as a result of what has been revealed in the Downing Street Minutes. Details of topics, speakers and the event location follow.
Media Black Out Downing Street Minutes
By David Swanson, www.afterdowningstreet.org
Aggressive followers and participants in U.S. politics often have strong opinions about the Downing Street Minutes. Most other Americans have not heard of or are not clear about what the Downing Street Minutes are.<
How is this possible? Here we have the official government minutes from a meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials, including a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then-director of Britain's CIA equivalent, MI-6, who had just returned from meetings with high U.S. Government officials in Washington. While the meeting recorded in these minutes occurred on July 23, 2002, months before President Bush submitted his resolution on Iraq to the United States Congress and months before Bush and Blair asked the United Nations to resume its inspections for alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the minutes make clear that Bush had decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by launching a war which, Dearlove reports, would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]." Dearlove continues: "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Teaching the Downing Street Minutes
The report of a British cabinet meeting held on July 23, 2002 and leaked to the Times of London raises grave questions about how and why the U.S. and Britain warred on Iraq. It deserves thoughtful discussion by every American citizen and answers from President Bush.
The reading below includes excerpts from the British memorandum, quotes from President Bush and other top U.S. officials during the period between July 23, 2002 and the opening of the Iraq war on March 20, 2003, and excerpts from a letter about the memorandum sent to the president by 89 members of Congress. Questions for discussion follow.
By Norman Solomon
If you think President Bush should be impeached, it's time to get serious.
We're facing huge obstacles -- and they have nothing to do with legal standards for impeachment. This is all about media and politics.
Five months into 2005, the movement to impeach Bush is very small.
And three enormous factors weigh against it: 1) Republicans control Congress. 2) Most congressional Democrats are routinely gutless. 3) Big media outlets shun the idea that the president might really be a war criminal.
For now, we can�t end the GOP�s majority. But we could proceed to light a fire under congressional Democrats. And during the next several weeks, it�s possible to have major impacts on news media by launching a massive educational and �agitational� campaign -- spotlighting the newly leaked Downing Street Memo and explaining why its significance must be pursued as a grave constitutional issue.
Our brothers and sisters in Italy are demanding answers there as well. Here's a letter recently sent by an activist to the secretary of the Italian political party Rifondazione Comunista:
Segretario Rifondazione Comunista
Londra, 29 maggio 2005
Egregio Sig. Bertinotti,
Le scrivo perch� � uno dei politici italiani che stimo di pi�. Vivo a Londra da qualche anno, e sto seguendo con attenzione gli sviluppi del "Downing Street Memo" in Inghilterra e in America. Ritengo che anche in Italia la questione debba essere affrontata, possibilmente con un'interrogazione parlamentare.
Editorial: Memorial Day/Praise bravery, seek forgiveness
By the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
May 30, 2005 ED0530
Nothing young Americans can do in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the defense of their nation. It requires great selflessness and sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life itself. On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all those who gave us that ultimate gift. Because they are so fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.
In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.
A new London Times article cites evidence that in 2002, not only was a bogus case being concocted to help launch a war on Iraq, but a war had already been launched. The US and Britain dramatically increased their bombing of that country.
Smoking Bullet in the Smoking Gun?
by Congressman John Conyers
Sun May 29th, 2005 at 11:08:35 PDT
Update [2005-5-29 14:8:35 by Armando]: From the diaries by Armando. We generally shy away from promoting the diaries, wonderful and welcome as they are, from our elected officials. I am breaking our general rule here because I think it is a particularly important diary. This diary from the esteemed Congressman is based upon the following story:
The Big Brass Alliance was formed in May 2005 as a collective of progressive bloggers who support After Downing Street, a coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups formed to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.
A plea from Military Families Against the War in Britain to friends in America:
My name is Judy Linehan. I am a member of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) in the US, and mother of an Iraq War veteran. While studying in London I am working with our twin group here in the UK, Military Families Against the War (MFAW).
Just as the Downing St Memo is serving as a lightening rod for the Peace community in our country, it has ignited an important campaign in England led by MFAW. I write to tell you about the action MFAW has undertaken to bring accountability to the British government, and to request your assistance in adding international momentum to this historic endeavor.
Democrats.com is offering a reward of $1,000 to anyone, professional journalist or citizen activist who gets President Bush to answer a particular question. Click Headline above.
The question is:
"In July 2002, did you or your administration 'fix' the intelligence and facts about non-existent Iraqi WMDs and ties to terrorism -- which were disputed by US intelligence officials -- to sell your decision to invade Iraq to Congress, the American people, and the world - as quoted in the Downing Street Minutes?"
Granted, if we had democratic media in this country, there would be no need to offer money to get someone to ask this question. But have you heard it asked? Democrats.com is even offering a smaller reward if you ask it and Bush does not answer.
Congressman John Conyers is the leader we're hoping we can turn to for a Resolution of Inquiry. Read below what he's saying about the Downing Street Minutes. At the bottom of the article follow the link to sign the letter to the President.
May 27, 2005
**CLICK HERE** TO SIGN THIS Letter to President Bush Concerning the Downing Street Memo. TO SIGN THE LETTER CLICK THESE WORDS. POSTING COMMENTS BELOW IS WELCOME BUT DOES NOT GET YOUR SIGNATURE ON THE LETTER.
A Matter of Minutes -- DOWNING STREET DOSSIER
Fri May 27th, 2005 at 06:55:44 PDT
To: Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
From: John C. Bonifaz
Date: May 22, 2005
RE: The President's Impeachable Offenses
The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under 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."
In light of the emergence of the Downing Street Memo, Members of Congress should introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach George W. Bush, President of the United States.
The Downing Street Memo
On May 1, 2005, The Sunday Times of London published the Downing Street Memo. The document, marked "Secret and strictly personal - UK eyes only," consists of the official minutes of a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then-director of Britain's CIA equivalent, MI-6, to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials. Dearlove, having just returned from meetings with high U.S. Government officials in Washington, reported to Blair and members of his Cabinet on the Bush administration's plans to start a preemptive war against Iraq.
A coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups announced a campaign today to urge that the U.S. Congress 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 British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.
Coalition of citizen groups seek formal inquiry into whether Bush acted illegally in push for Iraq war
By Larisa Alexandrovna | RAW STORY
A coalition of citizen activist groups running the gamut of social and political issues will ask Congress to file a Resolution of Inquiry, the first necessary legal step to determine whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in misleading the country about his decision to go to war in Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.
The formal Resolution of Inquiry request, written by Boston Constitutional attorney John C. Bonifaz, cites the Downing Street Memo and issues surrounding the planning and execution of the Iraq war. A resolution of inquiry would force relevant House committees to vote on the record as to whether to support an investigation.
Wait, A MINUTE !! More Evidence From Downing Street
Mon May 23rd, 2005 at 20:05:41 PDT on Daily Kos
Another MINUTE from Downing Street
They knew it was an illegal war of aggression. Who forced Goldsmith to change his opinion? What happened when Goldsmith was worked over by Gonzales and Ashcroft? One woman refused to take part in the crime. Her name is Elizabeth Wilmshurst.
READ MOREThe passage in Wilmshurst's resignation letter was so damning to the Blair government, that one passage was "scrubbed" out of it. The damning revelation is contained in the resignation letter of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, a legal adviser at the Foreign Office, in which she said the war would be a "crime of aggression". She quit the day after Lord Goldsmith's ruling was made public, three days before the war began in March 2003. The following has that passage put back in, in italics.
Text of the Downing Street Memo - a document containing meeting minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on July 23, 2002
As originally reported in the The Sunday Times, May 1, 2005
SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02