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How the Intelligence and Facts Were Fixed


By Congressman John Conyers
Huffington Post

When the Downing Street Minutes began to gain some notoriety in May and June, the President and Prime Minister Blair answered a question about them briefly. Interestingly, both seemed to want to spend the most time talking about the minutes' contention that the President had always intended to go to war (despite the President's public pronouncements to the contrary). That was a smart thing to do, in a political sense, because the President's state of mind is a much more difficult allegation to prove, requiring subjective interpretations of the President's actions.

The contention they seemed inclined to avoid entirely was the minutes' claim that the intelligence and facts were being "fixed" around the policy. Only Blair briefly responded to that allegation by saying: "No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all." Whether that is true or not in the case of the British government remains to be seen. It is certainly false in the case of the actions of the United States government.

How were the intelligence and facts being fixed? We are starting to see the tip of the iceberg. There is, of course, Joe Wilson. A career public servant, he had the audacity to come back from Niger to tell this Administration news they did not want to hear: claims that Saddam Hussain was trying to acquire uranium from Africa were false (and based on obvious forgeries). So they went after him by outing his wife's identity as a covert CIA operative. Thus, the facts and intelligence were being fixed around the policy of going to war --- the method: ignoring information that conflicted with the preferred narrative that Saddam Hussain had WMD and smearing anyone who espoused such heresy in the hopes that the smear would deter other whistleblowers from coming forward.

Now, in today's New York Times comes another allegation of fixing the facts and intelligence around the policy. The lead paragraph:

"The Central Intelligence Agency was told by an informant in the spring of 2001 that Iraq had abandoned a major element of its nuclear weapons program, but the agency did not share the information with other agencies or with senior policy makers, a former C.I.A. officer has charged."

Later:

"The officer, an employee at the agency for more than 20 years, including several years in a clandestine unit assigned to gather intelligence related to illicit weapons, was fired in 2004.

In his lawsuit, he says his dismissal was punishment for his reports questioning the agency's assumptions on a series of weapons-related matters. Among other things, he charged that he had been the target of retaliation for his refusal to go along with the agency's intelligence conclusions."

Sounds familiar doesn't it?

(Cross-posted at ConyersBlog)

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Thank you for the valor you have. It takes lots of courage to do what you are doing. Holding the President accountable for his actions in regards to the war in Iraq. Hopefully our elected officials in congress look at this matters as American Patriots instead of Republicans and Democrats. The Downing Street Minutes are a serious matter.

"Congressman Conyers as a matter of a humble suggestion bring on your team Republican Congressmen that want to see the President held accountable. It seems now they are more willing to oppose the President, we have the matter of the stem cell research, some Republicans favor the research. What have you got to lose?"

We will have you, your supporters, and your loved ones in our prayer

Today, with Bolton's abscess appointment, I am beginning to think we've all had it. We can rant and rave against the tide all we want, but BushCo has us by the cajonnes and there's nothing we can do about it. I pray God still loves this country, that He has His hand on Patrick Fitzgerald's shoulder and silently waits to cast the devils out with a thunderous yell. If so, it won't be soon enough.

If Fitzgerald doesn't come through, and in light of another stolen election, all political avenues will have been foreclosed.

What's next? You tell me.

Yes, there is hope. Everyone in the system is not corrupt. In many cases, it’s just a matter of awakening good people to what’s happening. Bush, himself, is slowly doing this. There are many ways the system can still reign him in. If worse comes to worse, we outnumber them. As the old Chinese curse goes, “May you live in interesting times.

We need to start putting "fires" under the asses of the elected Republicans and start doing recalls state by state. Just like they did in California. Get rid of those rotted apples and get some humans in.

It's clear that we need a thorough barn cleaning.

I must say I too feel if the Special Prosecutor does not make a few charges ..goodness it is frightening to think of the next 3 years.

I do think our voices are not loud enough. Wonder if there is a way for everyday folks like we see here to start stating how they feel on T.V. Televised Town Halls with no talking heads...just Americans speaking out. What do you all think? If you agree it is a good idea, how do we get it done? Drown them out with honesty being heard and tough questions being asked by every day Americans.

If you want to be really frightened, think beyond the next three years. Do you think this bunch will voluntarily give up power in '08?

It is a good idea, but unfortunately, the media won't give us the time of day. They are all under the lock-down of Republican fear. Fear of imprisonment, fear of retaliation, etc. They block out anything that opposses them in any way. We need to start the recall process of each state

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