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Proof is in the memo: Soldiers died for a lie


By Beth Quinn
Times Herald-Record, NY

We've reached the point where it's easy to spot us liberals.

We're the ones whose heads are popping off, leaving bloody little neck stumps behind. We're pumping out the word, "But � but � but �" over and over in sheer frustration at the absurdity of it all.
What else is there to say when some fool in Washington says the equivalent of, "No, you're wrong. Humans don't breathe oxygen. No truth in that!"
And then � just to compound the absurdity � the press reports that humans don't breathe oxygen. And then Americans are suddenly waving flags about the fact that we can now breathe underwater.
Yet the opposite happens when someone says something anti-Bush, such as, "We now have proof that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." Whoops and lo and behold! � the press fails to report this kind of un-American news at all.
That's what happened six weeks ago when The Times of London obtained and printed a top-secret memo written by a guy named Matthew Rycroft, Britain's secretary of foreign affairs.
What has become known as the Downing Street Memo is a report on a meeting between Rycroft and the White House in July 2002 � a good seven months before Bush invaded Iraq. The memo says Bush had already decided to attack. It also says Bush knew there were no WMDs in Iraq, but that "the facts were being fixed around the policy."
This, my fellow Americans, is the hottest news out there in the big, old rest of the world. The story, which has been reported prominently in The Times of London since May 1, has gotten more hits on the Internet than any other in the newspaper's history.
All the world � except America � is buzzing about the fact that George Bush created the WMD threat to justify his war in Iraq.
But here in America, where news is increasingly controlled by the White House, this story has barely made the back pages. Still not a word about it on CNN. And it's only in the past couple of weeks that the Washington Post has started writing about it.
Fortunately for us, Record reporter Dave Richardson has been paying attention (see accompanying story).
What we're talking about here is proof that Bush engineered the war in Iraq � based on a lie.
What we're talking about here is 1,700 dead Americans � based on a lie.
What we're talking about here is Lou Allen of Milford, Pa.; Brian Pavlich of Port Jervis; Eugene Williams of Highland; Irving Medina of Middletown; Doron Chan of Highland; Catalin Dima of White Lake; Brian Parrello of West Milford, N.J.; Kenneth VonRonn of Bloomingburg; Joseph Tremblay of New Windsor.
All dead � based on a lie.
What I can't understand � what's making my head pop off � is that so many Americans are indifferent to this kind of news. Is it because Americans expect presidents to lie, so it's not news when they do (unless it involves sex)?
Is it because this is simply confirmation of what we sort of knew all along anyway and � so what � we got Saddam (even though Osama is still at large)?
Is it because no one really cares what happens to our troops � even those of you with those stupid, yellow "Support Our Troops" magnets on your cars? Tell me, what have you done to support our troops other than put a stupid, yellow magnet on your car?
If you really want to support our troops, I have a suggestion: Demand a confession from George Bush.
Last week, 89 members of Congress signed a petition authored by Democratic Rep. John Conyers doing just that. They want answers. You should, too.
Before all our heads pop off, let's add our names to Conyers' petition. Let's start acting like Americans again. Let's force Bush to act like one, too.
And then, if it turns out he lied, as the Downing Street Memo most surely suggests, let's impeach him.
That's what we do to presidents who lie, remember?

For the petition click on the link Click to print out letter to President Bush
If you want to find out more, do a Google news search with the keywords "Downing Street Memo."

Beth Quinn's column appears on Monday. Talk to her at 346-3147 or at bquinn@th-record.com.

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