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Media Black Out Downing Street Minutes


Media Black Out Downing Street Minutes
By David Swanson, www.afterdowningstreet.org

Aggressive followers and participants in U.S. politics often have strong opinions about the Downing Street Minutes. Most other Americans have not heard of or are not clear about what the Downing Street Minutes are.<

How is this possible? Here we have the official government minutes from a meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials, including a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then-director of Britain's CIA equivalent, MI-6, who had just returned from meetings with high U.S. Government officials in Washington. While the meeting recorded in these minutes occurred on July 23, 2002, months before President Bush submitted his resolution on Iraq to the United States Congress and months before Bush and Blair asked the United Nations to resume its inspections for alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the minutes make clear that Bush had decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by launching a war which, Dearlove reports, would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]." Dearlove continues: "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

In other words, here is an official document confirming the earlier reports of various former Bush Administration officials that Bush had decided to invade Iraq long before he made that public, and that he manipulated evidence to provide a bogus justification for the attack. Here is a smoking gun if there ever can be one. How can people not know about this?

Media critic Norman Solomon offers evidence for the following analysis: "Big media outlets shun the idea that the president might really be a war criminal."
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=...

Maybe they do, but they still have to report the facts, don't they? They are the news media, right?

To check this out, I went to the Nexis database, which does not include every single article and transcript produced by major US media, but which comes pretty close to doing so, and which certainly offers a representative picture.

In order to gauge the sort of reporting I ought to find on this topic, I did a couple of quick searches for major news stories of vital importance to our democracy. I searched, between May 1 and May 30 in English language media, for "Michael Jackson" and for "Star Wars." For each of those searches, however, I found over 1,000 articles, which is too many for Nexis to display.

I was sure I would run into the same problem when I searched for "Downing Street Memo." To make that even more likely, I searched for "Downing Street Memo" OR "Downing Street Minutes" OR "Bush lied." Amazingly, however, I found only 123 articles in May in English-language media. Even odder was the nature of those articles. Unlike most searches I've done in Nexis, this one found a large percentage of articles (about half) that were not articles at all. They were letters to the editor. Of these letters, 39 informed the public about the Downing Street Minutes, the majority of these also complaining about a lack of media coverage. One letter argued against paying any attention to the Minutes. Meanwhile, 23 letters included the phrase "Bush lied," 21 of them arguing that he had lied about Iraq, two suggesting that he had lied about something else. (There's some overlap in these numbers, in that some letters cited both the Downing Street Minutes and Bush lying.)

But letters weren't the only non-article articles found in this search. Three of the articles were just lists of articles. Three more were identical copies of the same transcript from a White House briefing at which the White House Press Secretary was asked about the Downing Street Minutes. Another three were guest columns about the lack of media coverage. Yet another three were columns by newspapers' in-house columnists about the lack of media coverage. Four were the transcripts of chats on washingtonpost.com in which people asked about the Downing Street Minutes and the Post employees quickly dismissed the subject. And one was a press release put out by a member of the www.AfterDowningStreet.org coalition.

Of course, after eliminating all of those, the rest must have been substantive articles reporting on this important document and what it means for the Bush Administration's record of veracity � right? Well, wait a minute. One was a transcript from Fox in which a guest devoted part of a sentence to the Downing Street Minutes. Two were transcripts from CNN devoting a combined total of two sentences to the matter. One was a transcript in which the actor Tim Robbins complained on "Hard Ball" about the lack of media coverage. And another was from The O'Reilly Factor on Fox, in which host Bill O'Reilly read and lied in response to a viewer's letter thus:

"Carol Bagagush (ph), Cleveland, Ohio: 'I would believe Margaret Carlson before I would believe our lying president, as proven recently in the Downing Street memo.'
"Not that you would care, Carol, but the memo is not a primary source, which is why it didn't get much press attention. Anybody can write an opinion memo about anything. If you have proof Mr. Bush has lied about anything, please send it along to me."

The New York Times has also dismissed these minutes as "second-hand," yet they are the undisputed official minutes of a government meeting. No one has hypothesized a scenario in which the information contained in the minutes was false. And Knight Ridder has reported that a top US official characterizes these minutes as accurately describing what went on in the Bush Administration. In fact, these minutes mesh so well with existing evidence, including the testimony of former Bush Administration officials, that others in the media have dismissed them as unworthy of coverage because what they reveal is "old news." It's hard to see, however, how the addition of official minutes to the accumulated evidence is not significant or how something can be old news before most Americans ever hear about it.

But I digress. To return to the counting of non-articles: one of the 123 articles was a column from the Washington Times dismissing the Downing Street Minutes as not providing any interesting evidence. Fifteen were serious columns making good points about the minutes, but one was from a college paper, five were all the same column from the New York Times' Paul Krugman, and seven were all the same syndicated column by Molly Ivins. And columns never carry the weight of articles. What about articles?

Well, 13 were articles from the British press. One was a wire service article about the British elections. One was an article about Bush lying, but not about the Downing Street Minutes. Two were articles suggesting that Bush did not lie. One was a broadcast transcript in which someone said that Bush lied. One was a broadcast transcript in which someone said that Bush did not lie. One was a column about Clinton lying. And one was an article about how liberal college professors are.

That brings us to the actual news articles on the topic. There were five that covered a letter that 90 members of Congress sent to the President demanding answers to questions about the Downing Street Minutes, and two of these were the same one repeated. One was an article about a hearing organized by Congressman John Conyers on the poor media coverage of this issue.

Only two articles found in this search, one from Salon, and one from the Chicago Tribune, were what anyone would call substantive articles focused on the Downing Street Minutes. I know there have been others that didn't show up in the Nexis search. The Washington Post provided prominent coverage within an article that began on page 18. A handful of other papers have published articles. On May 30, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorialized on the issue. And the New York Review of Books has published a serious look at the Minutes. Even so, imagine that there are 20 articles instead of two, or even that there are 200, how can that compete with Michael Jackson or Star Wars?

Yet, I agree with Solomon that there is hope. Progressive Democrats of America has set up a page that allows people to easily Email their local media outlets a press release:
http://capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/alert/?alertid=7656046&type=ME

Democrats.com is offering a reward of $1,000 to anyone, professional journalist or citizen activist, who gets President Bush to answer this question: "In July 2002, did you or your administration 'fix' the intelligence and facts about non-existent Iraqi WMDs and ties to terrorism -- which were disputed by US intelligence officials -- to sell your decision to invade Iraq to Congress, the American people, and the world - as quoted in the Downing Street Minutes?"
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=8

The Independent and Internet Media have done an outstanding job of covering this story already. Blogs and websites are overflowing with great research and investigations. RawStory.com announced the launch of the www.AfterDowningStreet.org coalition. Randi Rhodes on Air America immediately covered the coalition's campaign to demand a resolution of inquiry in the House of Representatives into possible grounds for impeachment of Bush. Other radio shows that have covered this campaign in the past few days or plan to do so this week include: the Thom Hartmann Show, KPFK Pacifica, Subject to Discussion, the Jon Elliot Show, Outrage Media, the Bernie Ward Show, the Lizz Brown Show, and others.

Never have I seen a campaign take off so quickly or heard from so many progressive media outlets. Slowly but surely we are becoming the media, without � I hope -- becoming like the media that we call "mainstream."

David Swanson is an organizer of the www.AfterDowningStreet.org coalition.

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http://www.davidsirota.com/2005/05/dc-elites-lies-about-sex-more.html

D.C. Elites: Lies About Sex More Important Than Lies About War

Atrios posts a 1998 story about the Washington, D.C. Establishment's outrage at Bill Clinton for his lying about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. What is truly nauseating is not the corrupt and cliquey insiderism - it is the outrage over lying about sex, and the subsequent silence we've all experienced from the media/political Establishment when it has come to the current administration's lying about war.

Here are some choice comments from the 1998 article:

"There has to be a functional trust by reporters of the person they're covering. Clinton lies knowing that you know he's lying. It's brutal and it subjugates the person who's being lied to. I resent deeply being constantly lied to."

ACTIVISM

Downing Street Minutes -- TAKING IT TO COURT
By Apian
Minutes are the real-time record of a meeting, whose veracity is checked by all members attending, and are given to all members attending, and must be kept by all attending. Minutes are the true and accurate testimony of what transpired. If a conspiracy to commit a crime happened during a meeting, and those minutes were made public, and the criminals were government ministers, and the crime was an illegal war -- there SHOULD BE HELL TO PAY.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/31/65224/7692

MEET THE PEOPLE WHO WILL STOP THIS WAR
By Apian
It has been widely reported that release of war documents from Downing Street finished Tony Blair in the last election. While that is true enough, the tide turned in the May 5th election when 10 bereaved families of British soldiers killed in Iraq confronted Tony Blair face to face, charging him with war crimes. They have brought this case to the International Criminal Court, where it will be heard.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/17/10240/2951

EVIDENCE

THE GAMES AFOOT WATSON -- DOWNING STREET
By Apian
Ron Hutcheson of the WH Press Association said, "
Somebody in the White House press corps brought it up and got a non-responsive answer. You can keep asking and keep getting non-responsive answers but we need to find a kind of a leverage point to break something out on that. I mean I do think it's a story worth following up, it's just a difficult one in practical terms to follow up on.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/30/45559/4398

OF MINISTERS & MINUTES -- DOWNING STREET EVIDENCE
By Apian
What are the legal implications of the public release of confidential minutes of an intel briefing July 23, 2002 for the Blair and Bush administratiions? Blair is being charged with war crimes before the International Criminal Court, 89 Congressman have sent a letter to Bush demanding explanation into evidence contained in Downing Street minutes, Congressman Conyers is leading an investigation team to London, Congressman Conyers has is seeking 100,000 signatures to a letter demanding inquiry, and a US coalition is seeking an inquiry into impeachable offences.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/28/155835/740

TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE INTEL
By Apian
Prime Minister's Officer's Statement; May 17, 2005
Asked if there was any leak inquiry into the "extraordinary" number of secret documents leaked to Sunday newspapers during the election campaign that were later found to be genuine, such as the minute of the Crawford Texas meeting and the Attorney General's advice the PMOS said that we took very seriously the leaking of any document and this kind of document in particular. He had not heard any explanation as to why there were so many leaks, but he had no doubt that there would be the proper inquiries made.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/22/64638/0230

BBC TRANSCRIPTS -- MORE EVIDENCE ILLEGAL WAR IRAQ
This is a TRANSCRIPT of a documentary that includes declassivied memos, and excerpts that are direct quotations of highly classified documents including the Downing Street Minutes. This documentary played in the living rooms of 3.4 million British homes on the 20th of March, 2005, bringing to the public's attention for the first time the damning evidence of conspiracy to commit a war of agression. It contains the most condemning evidence for both the Bush and Blair administrations. It was released by the oldest and most highly respected broadcasting company in the world. WHY HAS IT NOT BEEN SEEN BY ANYONE IN THE UNITED STATES?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/panorama/transcripts/iraqtonyandthetruth.txt

BREAKING THROUGH THE US MEDIA BLACKOUT

LETTERS TO WOODWARD: BREAKING THROUGH THE US MEDIA BLACKOUT

Axis of Logic, MA - May 14, 2005; By Grace Reid.
The US media and public are using the word "memo" instead of "minutes" because for almost a year now we have been reading memos from the likes of John Yoo, Bybee, Haynes and Gonzales. The language in memos of Yoo and Bybee are very nearly the same as the language in the Goldsmith March 23, 2003 opinion, as far as liablility before the International Criminal Court, and trying to get around the Geneva Conventions.

http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_17638.shtml

DOWNING STREET MINUTES -- WASHINGTON POST REFUSES TO COVER STORY
By Apian
It's a great day to be alive. Readers are demanding that the Washington Post cover the story of the Downing Street evidence, and the paper is refusing. Not because the evidence is unauthenticated ior unnewsworthy. But because it is that explosive and damning. A story too big to cover?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/10/181737/119

dKOS TAKES ON THE WASHINGTON POST AND WINS !!
BREAKING THROUGH US MEDIA BLACKOUT -- ILLEGAL WAR IRAQ
By Apian
Michael Getler of the Washington Post stirred up a hornets nest when, on May 10, he refused to answer complaints from a handful of readers that the paper was not covering the story of the Downing Street evidence of Bush/Blair war crimes. Media Matters, FAIR and dKos jumped at Mr. Getler and the Washington Post, flooding his office with 1,000 emails over a three day period. On the third day, the email attack subsided to a trickle, when Walter Pincus finally covered the story.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/15/233855/442

MINUTES NOT MEMO -- EDITOR GETS IT -- NO MORE BUSHSPEAK !
By Grace Reid
The new Public Editor of the New York Times has made a major strike towards truth in reporting. He is the first journalist, since the story broke in the US to address the importance of the Downing Street minutes. On the twist of a word, this story almost got lost. Not just to the public, but to editors and journalists, as well.
http://uruknet.info/?p=m11980

Please call or email the nightly news programs you watch, at:
>>
>> ABC World News Tonight
>> Phone: 212-456-4040
>> PeterJennings@abcnews.com
>>
>> CBS Evening News
>> Phone: 212-975-3691
>> evening@cbsnews.com
>>
>> NBC Nightly News
>> Phone: 212-664-4971
>> nightly@nbc.com
>>
>> PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
>> Phone: 703-739-5000
>> newshour@pbs.org

FROM GOOGLE:

Impeachment Fever and Media Politics
Guerrilla News Network - 3 hours ago
... The May 26 launch of www.AfterDowningStreet.org comes from a coalition of solid progressive groups opting to take on this issue with a step-by-step approach ...

Citizen Groups Ask Congress To File Formal "Resolution Of Inquiry" ...
World Forum - May 30, 2005
... On May 26th, the group AfterDowningStreet.org launched a campaign to Congress to investigate whether President Bush committed impeachable offenses relating to ...

Peace, Veteran Groups Form

Call A Media Manager Coward, A Journalist a Slut

by Rob Kall

www.OpEdNews.com

The lead article today is David Swanson's report on the failure of the media to cover the Downing street memo that proved Bush lied (Media Black Out Downing Street Minutes)

. I believe the reason the media cowards are failing to cover it is because the Bush administration has successfully instilled enough fear into the corporate heads of the media, through the Dan Rather and Newsweek episodes.

It's not surprising that the media management lose their spines at a glance from the Mussolinis in the White house (ever notice how dogshit left out to the elements can turn white? That's the "white" I think of for the White house now.) But the anchors and reporters working for these spineless media magnates should be fighting back. it's their failure to live up to their responsibilities as journalists that is killing our nation.

It's time we start telling these shallow, overpaid media sluts (male and female) that they are scum, that they are miserable failures who have no integrity.

This has to be done at all levels. You can send letters to the editor, but it may be even more effective to write to specific editors and specific pseudo journalists and reporters, telling them what a lousy, unethical, spineless job they are doing.

Point out international media and journalists who ARE doing their jobs and let these losers know that you've stopped buying their publications, stopped watching them and that unless you see them doing a responsible job, you will soon begin writing to their sponsors, complaining about the terrible job they are doing.

Challenge them to live up to their calling's historic standards. Tell them it's not too late to have the courage to make a difference. Tell them that you know that "Rathergate" and the Newsweek attack were planned efforts by the Bush administration to cow the media into silence. Encourage them to reject the intimidation tactics.

While you are at it, complain to the FCC and copy your complaints to the publishers and producers. Don't expect the Bush Controlled FCC to do anything. But it might still put some fear into these spineless managers, and remember, it is fear that is motivating them.

Democracy needs a healthy media as much as lungs need air to breath. The Bush administration's repeated attacks on media and journalists who report news and stories that are adverse to the Bush administration's interests are aimed at silencing dissent and criticism. They are succeeding. This is one of the most dangerous aspects of Bush's threats to democracy. Since Bush demanded an apology from Newsweek, further evidence has shown that Newsweek was correct in reporting the story of Koran toilet flushing. Did the mainstream media whores who attacked Newsweek like puppet proxies for the RNC apologize or withdraw their remarks? No!. Newsweek is one of the few mainstream voices that still reports both sides of the news. I'm extending my subscription for an extra two years to show my support. We need to do what we can to reward the media that have the courage to keep doing their journalistic job, and we have to get the rest fired.

Rob Kall rob@opednews.com is editor of Opednews.com.

HI David,
I just did a news.google search and in the search engine typed: Bush blair leaked memo . I got a little better results than you did...
381 returns, and most of them articles, so far, but many from Liberal websites. However, i did get:

Santa Fe New Mexican,
Christian Science Monitor
Boston Globe
Lost Angeles Times
Salt Lake Tribune
Denver Post
and the Sun-Sentinel in the first three pages.

So it's SORTA being covered, but one of the things that really bothers me is that it took so LONG to get coverage. In our letters to the media we need to stress that this story is far larger than Watergate.

Thank you David for working on this!

Here's my letter to the network media:

To the news staff of the ___ News,

The lack of coverage by the major networks of the Downing Street Memo has been appalling. I'm not sure if it's because you are all afraid of the administration, or your corporate owners are sitting on the news, but either way, because the media is not COVERING the NEWS, our soldiers are dying. Your complicity with the lies of the current administration of Neoconservatives make you equally guilty of this travesty. I write to remind you of your responsibility as "journalists" though that title you wear very loosely now.

I long for the days of journalistic integrity when Woodward and Bernstein remembered their duty to be the fourth estate, as a check and balance to curb the tyranny of governmental power, during the Watergate era. Or the days when an unjust war was primarily ended due to the courageous coverage of the Vietnam War by journalists such as the now scape-goated Dan Rather. Where are "journalists" now? Covering stupid, non-stories like Michael Jackson, the "Run-Away Bride" and other infotainment that does not constitute news! Or they are busy making apologies for covering a story that was true (Bush's service recored), even if the documents that Rather relied on were probably forged by Karl Rove to release information that they could later discredit. (This btw, is what Karl Rove does, he is a master at Machiavellian techniques, and ABC owes Dan Rather an apology).

The truth is, because of stuff like this, people don't WATCH the NEWS anymore. Because the news has failed in its duty to inform the electorate so they can make informed decisions about issues that effect their lives, from health care, to the environment, to the war, the ratings for news has fallen dramatically. We now get less real news in 24 hours than we used to get in 15 minutes. This is the fault of the consolidated media itself, being owned, essentially by 5 major corporations, who all agree to cover the same non-news stories. Those of us who care about our country now get our news from alternative sources, from liberal radio (which there is very little of) to foreign newspapers like the Guardian or the Sunday London Times, to on-line blogs that frequently cover news stories better than the media does. If you all would do your jobs, your ratings would go up.

Like many Americans and the rest of the world, especially the Iraqis, I knew the administration was deceiving us, but during the build up to war, I only had my instinct to rely on, and then after we started the war, books by people such as Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neil, who were pilloried for speaking truth to power, revealed that Bush had planned this war immediately after 9/11, months before Congressional approval or the UN Resolution. In fact, the Ex British Ambassador to the U.S., Sir Christopher Meyer, revealed over a year ago to the Guardian that Bush and Blair were planning the invasion of Iraq 9 days after 9/11, and he will be coming out with a book soon which will reveal that. I have written about this at my own blog.

Now we have proof of this conspiracy. The latest issue which you have apparently willfully ignored is the Sunday London Times release of the Downing Street Memo, which shows that Bush and Blair conspired to contrive evidence to justify the war in Iraq. But there was no WMD, there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, and Iraq was not an imminent threat. Colin Powell lied to the UN, Bush lied to Congress and the American people and to the world in his state of the Union address, and Blair lied to his people. Contriving evidence to justify a war is an international war crime, punishable by trial at the Hague. It is also a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, and is thus an impeachable offense. We are now guilty of the killing of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, 90% of which were women and children (this is now approaching genocide at OUR hands - and now we will see many more deaths as we are now attacking Baghdad), war-profiteering, torture, abuse, rape and murder of defenseless and often innocent Iraqi and Afghanistani prisoners, and the illegal occupation of a sovereign nation. We as a nation have participated in a great evil which we may never be able to atone for. As the media, it is your responsibility to investigate this. I implore you to do your job. Help us to trust you again. The Downing Street Memo is the "smoking gun" of proof that the world was lied to, and the "smoking bullet" is the fact that:

"The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.

"The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive. "
- Sunday London Times

We were at war before most of us even realized it and before our Congress approved military action in Iraq.

Because of this, I am joining with a growing coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups who have announced a campaign today to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers of Michigan , the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush.

Bonifaz's memo, made available today at www.AfterDowningStreet.org , begins: "The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution."

In February and March 2003, John Bonifaz served as lead counsel for a coalition of United States soldiers, parents of U.S. soldiers, and Members of Congress (led by Representatives John Conyers, Jr. and Dennis Kucinich) in a federal lawsuit challenging President George W. Bush's authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Bonifaz is the author of Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush (NationBooks-NY, 2004, foreword by Rep. John Conyers, Jr.), which chronicles that case and its meaning for the United States Constitution.

The organizations forming the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition include: Global Exchange, Gold Star Families for Peace, Democrats.com, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of America, and Democracy Rising. These organizations, beginning today, will be urging their members to contact their Representatives to urge support of a Resolution of Inquiry.

Americans need to be aware of this so that there is never again a Memorial Day where we pay tribute to soldiers who have died because our government, just as in Vietnam, has lied them into war. 1600+ soldiers have now died, and that's only the official count of those that died on the battlefield, not those who later died off the battlefield from wounds sustained IN battle - they don't "count". Thousands of our troops have been injured, many of them losing arms and legs. Many of them will be psychologically shattered when they return, if not all of them. They are going to need special care when they return. But the Republican Congress keeps cutting their benefits! Where is that in the news?

The story of the Downing Street Memo should get CONSTANT coverage until our government is forced to investigate this. This is a much bigger story than Michael Jackson ever dreamed of being. This is actually bigger than Watergate. This story should be covered at the top of every news story every day. And should be above the fold on the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. Not buried in the Op-Ed section or on A18.

This war was unjust, unprovoked, and unnecessary. The Iraqi people did NOTHING to us. We are engaged in a war of aggression against an unarmed nation, because of lies by the criminals in the Bush administration. According to the International Criminal Court, such actions constitute war crimes. Just this weekend, Vice President Dick Cheney on the Larry King Show denied that ANYTHING happened at Guantonimo...that the claims of abuse were just made up by some disgruntled prisoners who were released. This in direct contradiction to the admission that the FBI and Pentagon has made! Apparently, Cheney agrees with Goebbels, tell a lie often enough, and eventually it will be the truth. It's frightening that our Vice President would indulge in such Orwellian and Fascist tactics, and disgusting that Larry let him slide on that.

President Bush has dishonored our troops by never having attended a funeral for a fallen soldier, for not allowing the American people see the coffins of the dead, for not allowing families to meet their dead family members at Dover AFB. The administration is very unpatriotic by cutting hazard pay and benefits, by not giving our troops enough protective armor- so that they have to salvage for it garbage dumps in Iraq - to protect their lives, by shorting them on bullets, by cutting down on medical benefits and eliminating VA benefits and the number of hospitals when the ones that are taking care of the wounded are over-taxed. Bush is NOT a Patriot. He does NOT support the troops or their families who are making considerable sacrifice (many families have lost their homes!) and neither does his party. A Patriot would take care of his soldiers and their families, but Bush and the NeoCon wing of the Congress is doing everything to undermine our soldiers and their families. Check out operationtruth.com to see how our troops are being undermined by the very administration they are taking orders from. This is to say nothing of the amount of money that they are indebting us into for a crime, that is essentially just a way to help war-profiteering companies like Haliburton steal from Iraq and from the people of the US. Close to $9 billion taxpayers dollars have gone "missing" in Iraq... and our soldiers don't have enough armor for their humvees. Where is the story of the missing billions in the media??? There is so much more I could say, but I will close for now.

Do your job, __. The lives of our soldiers, of the Iraqi people and our own lives and well-being depend on it. Covering this correctly and completely might help us to regain our status in the world again, and will help us bring our troops home and help to end the bloodshed.

For more information, see www.AfterDowningStreet.org , or contact:

Democrats.com, President Bob Fertik, 718-424-7772, and Washington Director David Swanson, 202-329-7847 (contact Swanson to set up an interview with Bonifaz.)

Joy Williams

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

I accidently posted this in the wrong place :(... Still learning the ropes!

Here's my letter to the network media:

To the news staff of the ___ News,

The lack of coverage by the major networks of the Downing Street Memo has been appalling. I'm not sure if it's because you are all afraid of the administration, or your corporate owners are sitting on the news, but either way, because the media is not COVERING the NEWS, our soldiers are dying. Your complicity with the lies of the current administration of Neoconservatives make you equally guilty of this travesty. I write to remind you of your responsibility as "journalists" though that title you wear very loosely now.

I long for the days of journalistic integrity when Woodward and Bernstein remembered their duty to be the fourth estate, as a check and balance to curb the tyranny of governmental power, during the Watergate era. Or the days when an unjust war was primarily ended due to the courageous coverage of the Vietnam War by journalists such as the now scape-goated Dan Rather. Where are "journalists" now? Covering stupid, non-stories like Michael Jackson, the "Run-Away Bride" and other infotainment that does not constitute news! Or they are busy making apologies for covering a story that was true (Bush's service recored), even if the documents that Rather relied on were probably forged by Karl Rove to release information that they could later discredit. (This btw, is what Karl Rove does, he is a master at Machiavellian techniques, and ABC owes Dan Rather an apology).

The truth is, because of stuff like this, people don't WATCH the NEWS anymore. Because the news has failed in its duty to inform the electorate so they can make informed decisions about issues that effect their lives, from health care, to the environment, to the war, the ratings for news has fallen dramatically. We now get less real news in 24 hours than we used to get in 15 minutes. This is the fault of the consolidated media itself, being owned, essentially by 5 major corporations, who all agree to cover the same non-news stories. Those of us who care about our country now get our news from alternative sources, from liberal radio (which there is very little of) to foreign newspapers like the Guardian or the Sunday London Times, to on-line blogs that frequently cover news stories better than the media does. If you all would do your jobs, your ratings would go up.

Like many Americans and the rest of the world, especially the Iraqis, I knew the administration was deceiving us, but during the build up to war, I only had my instinct to rely on, and then after we started the war, books by people such as Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neil, who were pilloried for speaking truth to power, revealed that Bush had planned this war immediately after 9/11, months before Congressional approval or the UN Resolution. In fact, the Ex British Ambassador to the U.S., Sir Christopher Meyer, revealed over a year ago to the Guardian that Bush and Blair were planning the invasion of Iraq 9 days after 9/11, and he will be coming out with a book soon which will reveal that. I have written about this at my own blog.

Now we have proof of this conspiracy. The latest issue which you have apparently willfully ignored is the Sunday London Times release of the Downing Street Memo, which shows that Bush and Blair conspired to contrive evidence to justify the war in Iraq. But there was no WMD, there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, and Iraq was not an imminent threat. Colin Powell lied to the UN, Bush lied to Congress and the American people and to the world in his state of the Union address, and Blair lied to his people. Contriving evidence to justify a war is an international war crime, punishable by trial at the Hague. It is also a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, and is thus an impeachable offense. We are now guilty of the killing of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, 90% of which were women and children (this is now approaching genocide at OUR hands - and now we will see many more deaths as we are now attacking Baghdad), war-profiteering, torture, abuse, rape and murder of defenseless and often innocent Iraqi and Afghanistani prisoners, and the illegal occupation of a sovereign nation. We as a nation have participated in a great evil which we may never be able to atone for. As the media, it is your responsibility to investigate this. I implore you to do your job. Help us to trust you again. The Downing Street Memo is the "smoking gun" of proof that the world was lied to, and the "smoking bullet" is the fact that:

"The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.

"The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive. "
- Sunday London Times

We were at war before most of us even realized it and before our Congress approved military action in Iraq.

Because of this, I am joining with a growing coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups who have announced a campaign today to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers of Michigan , the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush.

Bonifaz's memo, made available today at www.AfterDowningStreet.org , begins: "The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution."

In February and March 2003, John Bonifaz served as lead counsel for a coalition of United States soldiers, parents of U.S. soldiers, and Members of Congress (led by Representatives John Conyers, Jr. and Dennis Kucinich) in a federal lawsuit challenging President George W. Bush's authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Bonifaz is the author of Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush (NationBooks-NY, 2004, foreword by Rep. John Conyers, Jr.), which chronicles that case and its meaning for the United States Constitution.

The organizations forming the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition include: Global Exchange, Gold Star Families for Peace, Democrats.com, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of America, and Democracy Rising. These organizations, beginning today, will be urging their members to contact their Representatives to urge support of a Resolution of Inquiry.

Americans need to be aware of this so that there is never again a Memorial Day where we pay tribute to soldiers who have died because our government, just as in Vietnam, has lied them into war. 1600+ soldiers have now died, and that's only the official count of those that died on the battlefield, not those who later died off the battlefield from wounds sustained IN battle - they don't "count". Thousands of our troops have been injured, many of them losing arms and legs. Many of them will be psychologically shattered when they return, if not all of them. They are going to need special care when they return. But the Republican Congress keeps cutting their benefits! Where is that in the news?

The story of the Downing Street Memo should get CONSTANT coverage until our government is forced to investigate this. This is a much bigger story than Michael Jackson ever dreamed of being. This is actually bigger than Watergate. This story should be covered at the top of every news story every day. And should be above the fold on the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. Not buried in the Op-Ed section or on A18.

This war was unjust, unprovoked, and unnecessary. The Iraqi people did NOTHING to us. We are engaged in a war of aggression against an unarmed nation, because of lies by the criminals in the Bush administration. According to the International Criminal Court, such actions constitute war crimes. Just this weekend, Vice President Dick Cheney on the Larry King Show denied that ANYTHING happened at Guantonimo...that the claims of abuse were just made up by some disgruntled prisoners who were released. This in direct contradiction to the admission that the FBI and Pentagon has made! Apparently, Cheney agrees with Goebbels, tell a lie often enough, and eventually it will be the truth. It's frightening that our Vice President would indulge in such Orwellian and Fascist tactics, and disgusting that Larry let him slide on that.

President Bush has dishonored our troops by never having attended a funeral for a fallen soldier, for not allowing the American people see the coffins of the dead, for not allowing families to meet their dead family members at Dover AFB. The administration is very unpatriotic by cutting hazard pay and benefits, by not giving our troops enough protective armor- so that they have to salvage for it garbage dumps in Iraq - to protect their lives, by shorting them on bullets, by cutting down on medical benefits and eliminating VA benefits and the number of hospitals when the ones that are taking care of the wounded are over-taxed. Bush is NOT a Patriot. He does NOT support the troops or their families who are making considerable sacrifice (many families have lost their homes!) and neither does his party. A Patriot would take care of his soldiers and their families, but Bush and the NeoCon wing of the Congress is doing everything to undermine our soldiers and their families. Check out operationtruth.com to see how our troops are being undermined by the very administration they are taking orders from. This is to say nothing of the amount of money that they are indebting us into for a crime, that is essentially just a way to help war-profiteering companies like Haliburton steal from Iraq and from the people of the US. Close to $9 billion taxpayers dollars have gone "missing" in Iraq... and our soldiers don't have enough armor for their humvees. Where is the story of the missing billions in the media??? There is so much more I could say, but I will close for now.

Do your job, __. The lives of our soldiers, of the Iraqi people and our own lives and well-being depend on it. Covering this correctly and completely might help us to regain our status in the world again, and will help us bring our troops home and help to end the bloodshed.

For more information, see www.AfterDowningStreet.org , or contact:

Democrats.com, President Bob Fertik, 718-424-7772, and Washington Director David Swanson, 202-329-7847 (contact Swanson to set up an interview with Bonifaz.)

Joy Williams

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

Good afternoon everyone,

It is my great hope that this little list shall prove to be helpful.

Thank you,

Karellan

Network/Cable Television,

ABC News
77 W. 66 St., New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-456-7777
General e-mail: netaudr@abc.com

Nightline: nightline@abcnews.com
20/20: 2020@abc.com

CBS News
524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-975-4321
Fax: 212-975-1893

Email forms for all CBS news programs

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather: evening@cbsnews.com
The Early Show: earlyshow@cbs.com
60 Minutes II: 60II@cbsnews.com
48 Hours: 48hours@cbsnews.com
Face The Nation: ftn@cbsnews.com

CNN
One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1906
Email forms for all CNN news programs

1211 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 301-3000
Fax: (212) 301-4229
comments@foxnews.com
List of Email addresses for all Fox News Channel programs

Special Report with Brit Hume: Special@foxnews.com
FOX Report with Shepard Smith: Foxreport@foxnews.com
The O'Reilly Factor: Oreilly@foxnews.com
Hannity & Colmes: Hannity@foxnews.com, Colmes@foxnews.com
On the Record with Greta: Ontherecord@foxnews.com

NBC
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
Phone: 212-664-4444
Fax: 212-664-4426

List of Email addresses for all NBC news programs

NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw: nightly@nbc.com
NBC News' Today: today@nbc.com
Dateline NBC: dateline@nbc.com

One MSNBC Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Phone: (201) 583-5000
Fax: (201) 583-5453

2200 Fletcher Ave.
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Phone: (201) 585-2622
Fax: (201) 583-5453

List of Email addresses for all CNBC news programs

CNBC
world@msnbc.com
List of Email addresses for all MSNBC news programs

Hardball with Chris Matthews: hardball@msnbc.com
MSNBC Reports with Joe Scarborough: msnbcreports@msnbc.com

info@cnbc.com

MSNBC

PBS
1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-739-5000
Fax: 703-739-8458

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: newshour@pbs.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Radio Programs

National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001-3753
Phone: 202-513-2000
Fax: 202-513-3329
E-mail: Jeffrey Dvorkin, Ombudsman ombudsman@npr.org

All Things Considered: atc@npr.org
Morning Edition: morning@npr.org
Talk Of The Nation: totn@npr.org

List of Email addresses for all NPR news programs

The Rush Limbaugh Show
1270 Avenue of the Americas, NY 10020
Phone: 800-282-2882
Fax: 212-563-9166
E-mail: rush@eibnet.com

Sean Hannity Show
E-mail: Phil Boyce, Program Director phil.boyce@abc.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Newspapers

202 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: 800-528-4637 or 213-237-5000
Fax: 213-237-4712

Letters to the Editor: letters@latimes.com
Readers' Representative: readers.rep@latimes.com

LATimes Contact Information by Department

229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-556-1234
Fax: 212-556-3690
D.C. Bureau phone: 202-862-0300

Letters to the Editor (for publication): letters@nytimes.com
Write to the news editors: nytnews@nytimes.com

NYTimes Contact Information by Department
How to Contact NYTimes Reporters and Editors

7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108
Phone: 800-872-0001 or 703-854-3400
Fax: 703-854-2165

Letters to the Editor: editor@usatoday.com

Give Feedback to USA Today

200 Liberty St., New York, NY 10281
Phone: 212-416-2000
Fax: 212-416-2658

Letters to the Editor: wsj.ltrs@wsj.com
Comment on News Articles: wsjcontact@dowjones.com

1150 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20071
Phone: 202-334-6000
Fax: 202-334-5269

Letters to the Editor: letters@washpost.com
Ombudsman: ombudsman@washpost.com

Contact Washington Post Writers and Editors

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Magazines
251 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-445-4000
Fax: 212-445-5068

Letters to the Editor: letters@newsweek.com

Time & Life Bldg., Rockefeller Center, New York, NY 10020
Phone: 212-522-1212
Fax: 212-522-0323

Letters to the Editor letters@time.com

1050 Thomas Jefferson St., Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-955-2000
Fax: 202-955-2049

Letters to the Editor letters@usnews.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

News Services / Wires

50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020
Phone: 212-621-1500
Fax: 212-621-7523

General Questions and Comments: info@ap.org

Partial Contact Information for the Associated Press by Department and Bureau

Reuters
Three Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Telephone: 646-223-4000
Reuters Editorial Feedback

United Press International
1510 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: 202.898.8000
FAX: 202.898.8057
Comment and Tips: tips@upi.com

John J.Coghlan

The media blacked out downing street minutes, and the public has blacked out the media. Newspapers are closing across the country. Why? News papers don't provide the news any more, and people are not buying them. People go to television for entertainment, and go to the Internet for news. If Television News, and Newspapers want to stay in business they are going to have to start giving quality news coverage again, or their competitor, the Internet, is going to take what is left of their audience.
What we should be concerned about is, the people who have taken over the Media, have their eyes on the Internet. They are moving in with campaigns to rid the Internet of scam artists, Internet predators, filth, and pornography. Protect the children, is a cover for instituting Internet control. These people could give a rats ass for the children. We need to stand firm in not allowing any control of the Internet.

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