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Great Article and Photos from Detroit

Here's a great report from the Detroit Event by Joel Wendland of

"We Need to Know the Truth": Downing Street Anniversary
Sparks Demand for Investigation

"Our nation's sons and daughters are dying and killing in Iraq out of loyalty to their country but in the name of lies from the Bush throne," charged Al Fishman, head of the Detroit Area Peace and Justice Network, in his statement as part of a panel convened yesterday in Detroit by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) to highlight the 3rd anniversary of the Downing Street Memo.

The Downing Street Memo is the name of a document leaked to
the British press last May and contains the minutes of a
meeting of high-level British intelligence and cabinet
officials held July 23, 2002. The memo records a discussion
of meetings between British representatives and Bush
administration officials on the subject of Iraq and a
potential war.

The minutes show that some present at the Downing Street
meeting believed that the Bush administration had already
made up its mind to go to war and to "fix" intelligence
about Iraq to support its cause. Further, British officials
knew that the administration's rationale for war, Iraq's
possession of WMD, its links to Al-Qaeda, and the imminence
of its threat, were not supported by existing intelligence.

Other documents written by cabinet advisers in the British
government dating back to March 2002 also were leaked. These
documents further confirm what the British government
believed about the Bush administration's case for war.
They also show the formulation of a concerted effort to
develop a public relations drive to manipulate public
opinion to support the war and to convince the US Congress
to authorize it.

Read the memos at

Several hundred events were organized by local activists and
members of Congress, including Jim McDermott (D-WA), Barbara
Lee (D-CA), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Maurice Hinchey in New
York. Reps. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Xavier Becerra (D-NY),
and Barney Frank (D-MA), around the country. The meeting
called by Conyers was held at the Wayne State University Law
School in Detroit, Michigan.

In his prepared statement to an overflow crowd of several
hundred people, Rep. Conyers denounced a "pattern of
deception in the lead-up to the Iraq war." He said that the
Downing Street Memo and related documents have revealed that
"the administration decided to invade Iraq, and had begun
making plans to do so, long before seeking authority from
both Congress and the United Nations."

Conyers linked these revelations with what he referred to as
"Rovegate," the scandal surrounding Bush adviser Karl Rove
and Cheney adviser Lewis Libby for leaking classified
information to members of the media in retaliation against a
critic of the war on Iraq.

"Rovegate," Conyers stated, "shows us that the White House
would rather compromise the security of the United States
and the safety of an undercover agent to discredit someone
who successfully questioned its justifications for war."

These events are neither isolated nor are they the
inventions of the Democratic Party, Conyers added. "They are
the increasingly troubling chapters of a single larger
narrative - a story of manipulation and deception, of
preoccupation with war and disregard for the American

Conyers called on Bush to stop ignoring the popular demand
for an investigation of his plans before the war and to
force Rove to explain his role in the CIA leak case.
"Democracy dies in the dark," Conyers concluded. "It's
time to throw open the shades and let in the light."

Local radio personality Tony Trupiano followed Conyers
remarks with a moment of silence for the service men and
women killed in Iraq.

Trupiano then called on the people to demand the truth from
the administration about its war policy and use of
intelligence. Trupiano added a denunciation of the war,
especially the cost to the local communities. Describing the
misleadership into an unnecessary war as "heinous," Trupiano
concluded that "we can no longer wait while evil and decay
infiltrate our community."

Lila Lipscomb, the mother of a career Army sergeant killed
in Iraq and featured in the popular anti-war documentary,
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore, added her call for an end
to the war.

After thanking Conyers for honoring her son with his courage
in taking up this fight, Lipscomb criticized the
administration for deceiving the public and for claiming to
know what is best for us. She asked the attentive audience,
"Aren't you tired of being treated like you're stupid
and don't know anything?"

Lipscomb also weighed in on the failure of the
administration to reconstruct war-torn Iraq. She said that
in her many communications with soldiers currently in Iraq,
the main construction seems to be on US military bases. "Is
that an exit strategy?" she wondered.

Urging the people to demand the truth about the war,
Lipscomb added that it is our responsibility to bring the
troops home safely. "I refuse for another child to die over
lies and ignorance."

Lipscomb's remarks were followed by those of Al Fishman,
who heads the Detroit Area Peace and Justice Network, which
is a local affiliate of , the largest national peace

Since September 11th, the peace movement rejected war as a
solution and called for immediate action against terrorism,
a reevaluation of US Middle East policy, and the rejection
of attacks on Arab Americans and civil liberties in the
guise of a "war on terror," Fishman said.

Fishman called on the people to urge their member of
Congress to co-sponsor a Resolution of Inquiry introduced to
the House last week by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), to convince
Michigan's senators to sign a letter authored by Sen. John
Kerry and 9 other senators urging the full investigation of
the use of intelligence by administration policymakers, and
support for a national antiwar march in Washington, DC on
September 24th called by United for Peace and Justice

"We need the truth," Fishman concluded, "to save the lives
of hundreds of American service men and women, as well as
thousands of Iraqi lives. We need the truth to preserve our
Constitution and Bill of Rights. We need the truth to stop
the destruction of our communities. We need the truth to
save the very soul of our nation."

Other speakers included: Ken Marcinkowski, a former CIA
agent, discussed the national security implications of the
Rove leak and administration's higher concern its
political agenda than for national security. Bankole
Thomspon, a reporter for the Michigan Citizen, decried the
failure of the media to investigate the intelligence in the
lead-up to the Iraq war and challenged the Democratic Party
to be a party of opposition. Dr. Robert Sedler, a
Constitutional law professor at Wayne State University,
discussed the historical meaning of "high crimes and
misdemeanors" in the impeachment clause in the US

--Joel Wendland can be reached at



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