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Third Anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes
By Steve Cobble
The 3rd-year-anniversay town halls, house parties, and dramatic readings of the Downing Street Minutes on Saturday were a smashing success. From coast to coast, we had enthusiastic, overflow crowds, passionate and intelligent speakers, and committed Congresspeople. The sense that the Downing Street Minutes have struck a nerve was palpable. This story is far from over.
The public gets it. The people of this country know that a secret set of minutes from the highest levels of Bush's strongest ally in the war on Iraq is stating the truth.
Now if only the media would treat that truth with respect. They keep ignoring the story, pretending that it's an old story that they already covered, which is another lie.
I happened to speak on the same panel as Daniel Ellsberg, and I kept wondering whether either the Washington Post or the New York Times would today print the Pentagon Papers, as they did back in their glory days.
I doubt it. After all, the Pentagon Papers were "old news", using the current MSM excuse for not covering the DSM. The essence of the Pentagon Papers had been covered in other places, at other times, by intrepid reporters; and anyone who wanted to know the truth about the Vietnam War could have dug it out.
But that was a high point for speaking truth to power for the press. We are now stuck in a low point, a ditch, a veritable Grand Canyon of pathetic press obsequiousness. Even secret, unknown, leaked minutes from our allies are considered non-stories.
But three years ago, there were no front-page headlines showing that Bush & Cheney were deceiving the public. There were no big TV news exposes, comparing the Administration's drive to war with its public statements about war as a last resort.
Most important, the mothers of 18-year-olds were not made fully aware that their sons and daughters were not being sent off to war to defend America from al Qaeda, but to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.
The Downing Street Minutes make this clear. The original memo is short, only 3 pages long--go to www.afterdowningstreet.org and take a moment to read it. In addition, there are several other memos worth reading, many of them leaked by the same honest Downing Street whistleblower. Read through them.
After all, the history of this war is still to be written. And the next pre-emptive war is still to be prevented.