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Rep. Conyers on Bush Stonewalling on The Downing Street Memo


News from the offices of Congressman John Conyers, Jr.:

Representative John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, issued the following statement in response to the joint Bush- Blair press conference and President Bush's and evasive answers to inquiries about the Downing Street Minutes:

"We have moved from silence to stonewalling on the issue of the Downing Street Minutes. The President's contention that he had not made up his mind to go to war on or before the summer of 2002 is now contradicted by the Downing Street Minutes, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, former National Security Adviser Richard Clarke, former Ambassador Joe Wilson and a number of former Blair Administration official.

When asked about the minutes, Bush delivered a canned response that the memo was written before the US and Britain went to the United Nations, but the memo itself appears to indicate that effort was just for show.

The President didn't even respond to the central question of the memo, and the question asked, whether this Administration cooked the books to make the case for war, an allegation that has been substantiated by former officials and investigative reporting . High Ranking officials in both the Bush and Blair Administrations have said that military action was predetermined. Are all of these government officials and reports deceiving us or is the President?"



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At the June 6 White House news conference with Tony Blair at his side, Bush said:

"Somebody said we had made up our mind to use military force. There's nothing farther from the truth. Both of us didn't want to use our military. It was our last option."

This response is ambiguous, perhaps intentionally so. What was stated is entirely consistent with: One of us (Bush) had decided to use military force, but the other (Blair) disagreed. Finally, Blair said he would support military intervention if a final appeal to the UN was unsuccessful. Thus, military force was our (Bush & Blair's) last option. So you see, I (Bush) did not lie to the American people.

Would someone please ask the President to clarify his remarks.

First off, Mr. Conyers impressed me during the Clinton hearings. His is a voice of sensible reason. Secondly, the more I listen to him the more sense he makes - rare for current day politicians. He tells it like it is. More power to the people! More power to Mr. Conyers!


Bush is busted with the Downing Street minutes. I wouldn't expect him to come out and admit what is obvious. His best hope now is that this blows over and is forgotten. The mainstream U.S. news organizations hope this too.

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