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Memogate Hearings Scheduled for June 16


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HEARINGS ON DOWNING STREET MINUTES MOVED TO U.S. CAPITOL AND MOVED TO 2:30

Important Speakers Added to Line-Up at Rally

Citizens urged to lobby Congress Members and Senators, and to meet at DNC, which is serving as overflow room

On Thursday June 16, 2005, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room HC-9 of the U.S. Capitol, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and other Congress Members will hold a hearing on the Downing Street Minutes and related evidence of efforts to cook the books on pre-war intelligence.

The hearings had been planned for the Democratic National Committee offices because the Republicans controlling the House Judiciary Committee had refused to permit the ranking Democratic Member to use a large room on the Hill. http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/UndertheDome/index.html

However, the Democrats did have access to a small room in the Capitol, and Congressman Conyers has decided to move the hearings there. This does not indicate any change in position from the Republicans.

Members of the media will be welcome (press credentials required), but citizens in town for the 5 p.m. rally at the White House will have difficulty getting into the 2:30 hearings.

The DNC will serve as an overflow room, so people can still go there: the Wasserman Room at 430 S Capitol St. SE.

AfterDowningStreet.org encourages people, instead, to spend the afternoon lobbying their Congress Member and two senators, and paying special visits to the offices of Congressmen John Conyers and Maurice Hinchey, Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, and Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy to thank them for their leadership. Recommended talking points can be found in a one-page document at the top of www.afterdowningstreet.org.

Later on the same day at 5:00 p.m. ET in Lafayette Square Park, in front of the White House, a large rally will support Congressman Conyers who plans to deliver to the White House a letter addressed to President Bush and signed by over 500,000 Americans and at least 94 Congress Members. The letter asks the President to respond to questions raised by the Downing Street Minutes.

Among those speaking at the hearings will be:
Joe Wilson, Former Ambassador and Africa Expert; Ray McGovern, 27-year CIA analyst who prepared regular Presidential briefings during the Reagan administration; Cindy Sheehan, mother of fallen American soldier; John Bonifaz, renowned constitutional lawyer and co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org.

Also featuring written testimony from Karen Kwiatkowski, retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon; and Ann Wright, who resigned from US State Department in protest of the war.

OPEN PDF OF BIOS OF SPEAKERS AT HEARINGS

Among those speaking at the rally will be:
Congressman John Conyers (schedule permitting); Congresswoman Barbara Lee (schedule permitting); Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (schedule permitting); Congressman Maurice Hinchey (schedule permitting); Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace; Reg Keys, Member of Military Families Against the War, challenger to Tony Blair in last election (flying in from UK); John Bonifaz, Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org; Tom Hayden, Co-Founder of Progressive Democrats of America; Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder Code Pink/Global Exchange; Stephen Cleghorn, Member of Military Families Speak Out; Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President and CEO of HipHop Caucus; Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst; William Rivers Pitt, Reporter for Progressive Democrats of America; Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice; Kevin Zeese, Director of Democracy Rising; Terry O'Neill, Vice President of the National Organization for Women; Mike Ferner, Member of Veterans for Peace.

OPEN PDF OF BIOS OF SPEAKERS AT RALLY

PRINT OUT FLYERS two-to-page, about hearings and rally

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TALKING POINTS FOR LOBBYING CONGRESS

AfterDowningStreet.org is a rapidly growing coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005, a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.

How to Come Down from New York:
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David -

Here's a thought - maybe we could all take part in a campaign to get C-Span to cover this important hearing. I've already sent a note and have suggested this to the good people over at www.downingstreetmemo.com. They've got people sending out three emails each day to targeted news and media outlets - and I suggested they add C-Span as a 4th target each day. If we could get C-Span to cover the hearing it would add more weight to our efforts - and all that Congressman Conyers has accomplished to date. Peace.

I will be at the rally on June 16th and am waiting for the details. I don't like the name "Memogate". I think that we should not associate this with Watergate. It seems to marginalize this important issue. I would try to call attention to the lies by Bush about WMDs - use "Downing Street Minutes" Hearing- just leave out the "gate"- Memo tells us very little.

Please, seriously consider 'Dem91660's suggestion.
With the Death and Injury caused by our government's repulsive illegal military invasion in the MIddle East,
simplistic gimmick terms such as 'gate' can no longer be applied.
This MI-6 disclosure has given us the "Downing Street Minutes"!

If you want to volunteer to organize a rally on Thursday, please send to david@davidswanson.org your city, state, name, and contact info that we can post on the website.

We recommend rallies in front of media outlets.

EUGENE, OREGON:

George Beres
gberes@darkwing.uoregon.edu
(541) 344-0282

TO THE NEWS MEDIA: Two significant Oregon public figures will speak in
support of impeachment of President Bush at a public forum this Friday, June
17, at the University of Oregon. They are former Dist. 40 Congressman Jim
Weaver and University scientist, Professor Frank Stahl. What follows here:
A news release about the Friday event.
Text of the talk Weaver will give.
Extracts from the talk Stahl will give.
Both are available to reporters in the days before the program, and
afterward:
Weaver: 541-988-3524
Stahl: Fstahl@molbio.uoregon.edu
----------
George Beres
gberes@darkwing.uoregon.edu
(541) 344-0282
TWO OREGON PUBLIC FIGURES CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT
Two of Oregon's most significant public figures over the years go on the
record for impeachment of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney when they
speak at a public meeting Friday (June 17) at the Chiles Center at the
University of Oregon.
Jim Weaver, U.S. Congressman from Oregon District 40 for 12 years
(1975-1987), will make a speech at 4 p.m. in lecture room 127 of Chiles,
located across Kincaid Street from the University Bookstore. He will call
for immediate start of legislative committee hearings that would lead to
impeachment of President George Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.
"It's not easy for individual legislators to take such momentous steps,"
said Weaver. "I know from my 12 years in the Congress, and can appreciate
the various pressures on my successor, Peter DeFazio. That's why it is
essential his constituents speak out to give him a clear signal that the
impeachment effort is way overdue."
Speaking in support of Weaver's call for action will be the University's
most distinguished science professor, Frank Stahl. For the past year, Stahl
has been distributing on campus flyers that describe the Iraq war as illegal
and unconstitutional.
The event is sponsored by Pacifica Forum, which meets every Friday on
campus to discuss issues related to world peace. Forum chairman is Orval
Etter, like Stahl, a university professor emeritus.
The Forum has identified several actions by the executive branch of the
nation that might justify impeachment, such as the failure to account for
some trillions in budgeted funds.
"But," said Etter, "all other reasons pale beside the decision of the
administration to persist in an illegal war that continues to bleed our
children in the military, and also create a massive, increasing deficit."
The talk will be followed by a discussion to involve the audience.
#
CONTACT: George Beres, 541-344-0282

TEXT OF WEAVER ADDRESS TO BE GIVEN FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2005
(For release, Wednesday, June 15)
ON THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
By Jim Weaver, former U.S. Congressman from Oregon

Impeachment of a president is one of the most serious steps our
representative democracy can take. Another is going to war. Both should be
approached with utmost care, and on clearly stated grounds.
It is true the Republican-dominated 105th Congress, in impeaching
President William Clinton, lowered the bar on impeachment into the basement.
We should not stoop so low today as did the rightwing religious Republicans.
Only two presidents have been impeached, and their impeachment was on
essentially political grounds. We should not base a call for impeachment of
President Bush on political grounds.
President Bush made a distinct promise in the 2000 election to unite the
American people. After assuming the presidency-- with less than a majority
of the vote-- he proceeded to disunite us. The Bush Administration moved so
far to the right it doomed the center, and provoked the extreme polarization
that dominates our politics today.
That promise to unite us was only the first of the extravagant lies of
President Bush, but his arrogance in defying the majority will is not an
impeachable offense. Such political manipulations should be remedied by
elections.
That he and his cohorts villify and trash anyone who dares speak against
them and their policies is a blot on our democracy. But it is not an
impeachable offense. That he responds to charges that Guantanamo is like a
gulag by calling them absurd, attacking the press as he did with Newsweek,
sullying the First Amendment, and intimidating the news media is not
impeachable.
His tax cuts for the wealthy, threatening to convert our middle class
society into a banana republic where a few families and corporations
dominate a benighted lower class, are not impeachable.
Threatening the judiciary and packing the courts with right wing fanatics,
dangerous and destructive as this may be, is not impeachable. There were no
cries for impeachment of President Franklin Rooseveltwhen he attempted to
pack the Supreme Court for the simple reason the majority Democrats in
Congress stopped him. The tragedy today is that the majority Republicans in
Congress go in lockstep with Bush. We can only hope these Republicans will
be defeated in the 2006 elections.
Our Social Security system is under attack by President Bush. Is this
impeachable? No. Is this the politics of class and greed? Yes. It may
finally arouse our citizenry to vote to throw out the perpetrators.
Borrowing to pay for his tax cuts and his war in Iraq-- leaving us with a
grievous national debt-- is a profound and severe economic and fiscal error.
His allowing desecration of our environment and his denial of global
warming-- ignorant and arrogant as these policies are-- are not impeachable.
If ignorance were a disqualification for high office, half the U.S. Senate
would be disbarred from membership.
WHAT IS IMPEACHABLE?
The Constitution states the grounds are treason, bribery and other high
crimes and misdemeanors. James Madison, a principle author of the
Constitution, in defining high crimes said perfidy-- violation of the public
trust-- was impeachable. The evidence, both in clearly demonstrated fact
and in such documents as the Downing Street Memo, is compelling. It shows
Bush lied and lied again about reasons that drove us into the war in Iraq.
That is a violation of the public trust involving the most important
action a nation can take: war. It rises to the very highest level of
impeachable grounds. Compounding this indictment is the use of national
security agencies to distort evidence for reasons for war.
Going to war on false pretenses is an impeachable offense.
Therefore, I urge the Pacifica Forum and all citizens of Oregon to make an
urgent call for the impeachment of President Bush. Vice-President Richard
Cheney should be added to that call. He participated in the same lies, the
same violation of the public trust.
I suggest you make this call in a letter to Congressman Peter DeFazio,
asking him to introduce articles of impeachment in the House of
Representatives. If we can invigorate the American public with this
indictment, it can become the paramount issue in the midterm elections of
2006. It would make that election a referendum on the Bush Administration
and its acolytes in Congress.
#

EXTRACTS FROM A TALK IN SUPPORT OF IMPEACHMENT, ALSO ON FRIDAY, JUNE 17
By Frank Stahl, University of Oregon emeritus professor, and American
Cancer Society Professor in the Institute of Molecular Biology.

I support Jim Weaver's call for impeachment of President Bush and
Vice-President Cheney. Action is urgent. A failure to impeach Bush would
endorse his abuse of power. This would exacerbate ongoing losses of the
Constitutionally mandated Separation of Powers and of respect for the Rule
of Law. The imperial ambitions of the Bush Administration must be stopped.
They do not represent the values of our Republic.
-o-
President Dwight Eisenhower warned us against the growing collusion of
industrial America and the Pentagon. He referred to it as the
"Military-Industrial Complex." My post-retirement research has led me,
reluctantly, to accept the view that a more accurate label for the collusion
would be "Military-Industrial-University Complex." Sadly, I now recognize
that my university, the University of Oregon, is acting as a member of that
Complex. The UO's actions that dismay me include lobbying Congress for an
increase in Pentagon funding for "tomorrow's warfighters," and conducting
research that promises to create soldiers unencumberred by normal human
emotions.
When the University Senate is back in session next school year, it must
decide whether the University should continue to endorse an expanding
military budget.
However, the House of Representatives is in session NOW. We must act NOW
by insisting on introduction of a Bill of Impeachment against George W.
Bush.
#
FOR DETAILS AND CONTACT INFORMATION: George Beres - 541-344-0282

Roxanne--

I'm glad you are going to be there when the petition is delivered. You will be representing millions that are sickened by the present administration. Hope that gives you some strength.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Every day other families are forced to face the same tragedy yours has. I admire you for your courage in speaking out. May Congress act quickly to bring the soldiers home and at the same time hold Bush and all the others accountable for their abuse of the public trust.

Your son served his country honorably. I honor him and you for your sacrifice. It is the President who let us down.

Hugs from Minnesota.

Yes, the term "Memogate" is a spin-off of another low point in our history. I'd not make a connection in peoples' minds to Watergate.

Bush's War is far more serious in my view and since it's the DSM that's finally capturing the public's attention, the hearing should be known as such.

THURSDAY IN SAN FRANCISCO.
Anyone aware of anything being organised for Thursday by any of the local groups ? Can't find anything yet.
Patrick Monk.RN. SF. Ca.
PS. Walter Pincus' article from Wash Post in todays SF Chronicle.

Maybe we should all try and contact Mr Clarke and O'Neil to ask them to speak.

Anyone know how to contact them ?

David,
First I would like to personally thank you for your wonderful efforts in this campaign to bring accountability to the Bush administration. You have reinspired me as I am sure you have reinspired many others with your efforts and the efforts of those others who have made this happen.
I am requesting if at all possible that the hearing be streamed live on the internet because I live in LaPaz Mexico and my access is only through the internet for a source of news. I'm sure that many other people are in the same situation all over the world and it is so very important that we all have the oportunity to watch these hearings live.
Thank you.
Joe Braunstein

Re CSPAN
I suggest you all take a moment to email CSPAN - events@c-span.org - with the following request

Will you please consider covering the following important event:
Thursday June 16, 2005, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room HC-9 of the U.S. Capitol, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and other Congress Members will hold a hearing on the Downing Street Minutes

REALLY MIXED FEELINGS!

Have always felt the "....GATE" moniker was so over-used it was a joke -- especially to those who weren't around for the first one.

But in this age of media soundbites, there has to be something short and memorable that will be picked up. Creative ideas are really needed!

Something that portrays the seriousness of the issue that faces us
-- the giant sucking sound of America going down the toilet!
Civil War II.
Something with the gravity of "shock and awe" -- like "Aw Sh--!"

I agree that we should continue on with" the downing street minutes" this basically is a product, as sick as that is. I think the American public is grabbing on to this term to change it now may be counter-productive. Keep up the great work.

No, 'memogate' is fine, think of the result of 'watergate'..

Good idea. I think the media will be reluctant to report on this hearing since they largely ignore Conyers other hearing on election problems. It will be characterized as partisan by the Republicans who will otherwise ignore it. I'm sending notice to the Boston Globe and reminding them that this is important news to a lot of people who will be watching their reporting (or non-reporting) of this event as they ignored the DSM until it was questioned at the Blair press conference.

Boris Yeltzin standing ,fists wide, atop a tank before the Russian "White House", the streets of the Kremlin clogged with patriots; the bloodless coup of F. Marcos paving the way for Corizone Aquino in the Phillipines; the congested streets in Argentina as their dictator was forced to fly away in the night.... where is the American call to arms by the true patriots of this country to put a stop to the malfeasance, moral turpitude and infamy of this cabal of Fife, S.Libby, Rumsfeld, Rice, Cheney, et al. ?? "Ye shall be judged by how well you treat the least among you"... this is the Democratic definition of "Christian". We must celebrate it daily, and speak it with one voice. And thereby give the lie to the Taliban Right "culture of life" which has sewn the seeds of death to all living things on this Earth.

Does anyone know of demonstrations or rallies to be held in other cities? I'm in Los Angeles and would like to attend (or help coordinate) one here.

Randall

While the witnesses listed are all fine speakers, where are the most powerful corroborators of the memo's contents? Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke would deliver the coup de grace and make sure that the media finally "gets it." Over the next two weeks, Rep. Conyers's staff should be working overtime to get them to appear as witnesses.

Thank Goodness the American people are starting to wake up about the lies the Bush Administrationhas been feeding the American people. Also, what I hope will surface is that the Bush Administration caused 9/11 to happen by the pressure Bush imposed to build the Afghanistan oil pipeline. I live in the DC area and I have been watching this circus of lies and deceit for a long time from afar but didn't have the clout nor the influence to turn heads. I want to be at the rally on the 16th in support of the petition when it is delivered. I want to be one of your spokes person with Cindy to explain about how certain families are suffering so because of the lies. I want the Bush Administration to know that it will be only a matter of time before all of the deception will surface. We need a stronger America to flush these crooks from Washington.

Roxanne Kaylor, mother of Lt. Jeff Kaylor, KIA, 07 April, 2003 in Iraq. The casualty families are suffering knowing that our treasures could still be alive today if the Bush Administration didn't stir and cook the soup.

Is anyone going from the Boston area?

Anything around Knoxville??

There is wonderful effort! But please.. read below.. from the DailyKos.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/14/173723/085

CONYERS, DSM ON CAPITOL STEPS!! W/ POLL!!
by brandon30721
Tue Jun 14th, 2005 at 14:37:23 PDT

Rep. Conyers, if you read this I ask you to please not do this in the DNC because it puts a stamp on it that shouldnt be there.

Diaries :: brandon30721's diary :: :: Trackback ::

YOU SHOULD HOLD YOUR HEARING ON THE STEPS OF OUR CAPITOL. Because this concerns everyone and should be put in the public for everyone to see. Not to mention the press pass this would give you!

SO I beg you congressman, reconsider!

Holding it at the DNC just puts a look on the hearings as just a Democratic gathering, when the CAPITOL STEPS would be a hearing for EVERYONE!!!

Please Congressman, Give'em Hell in a place where everyone can watch!!!

Lets Recommend this, So that Hopefully Rep. Conyers or one of his Aides can see OUR suggestions for Alternative Venues!!
Poll
Should Conyers hold the DSM Hearing on the Capitol Steps?!

It's unfortunate this will be on CSpan3. Most people probably have CSpan or CSpan2.

I agree. Watergate was the name of an important part of the case that lead to the resignation of Richard Nixon. I think it would be more important to remember an important part in the resignation or impeachment of George W. Bush.

There is no reason the important part of this case shouldn't be "Downing Street" or even the whole thing "Downing Street Minutes."

In Nixon's time, they didn't need Watergate to sound like some similar past event to grasp the importance of it, and neither do we need to refer to a past event for people to grasp the importance of this.

Beside's "Downing Street Memo", already has a bit of name recognition building, so let's not muck it up with rediculous sounding and trivialising slogans like "Memogate."

Also to point out, Memogate is already taken - seamingly by several other cases involving memos. Just google memogate to see what I mean (mostly it's about that 60-minutes nonsense, where like in the Downing Street Minutes scandal, they also didn't contest the validity of the actual report).

http://www.google.com/search?q=memogate

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