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DSM Letter Update: 86,000 and Counting
By Congressman John Conyers
Thu Jun 2nd, 2005 at 12:27:04 PDT, DailyKos
I wanted to update you about the Downing Street Minutes letter. Late last week, just before the holiday weekend, I asked for your help in getting 100,000 signatures on a letter to the President asking for answers about the Downing Street Minutes. (For those who have not yet heard about the minutes, they detail a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers, during which Blair and his advisers reveal details about pre-war conversations with their American counterparts. These details cast substantial doubt on the honesty of contemporaneous claims made by the Administration to Congress and to the American people about the Iraq war. For more information go here and here.)
The response has been outstanding. To date, I have relied on hardworking volunteers to maintain my website and, frankly, the response has overwhelmed them. Over the holiday weekend, there was so much activity on the letter that my website froze, and we are still in the process of compiling the data. I thank you for your continued patience.
I do have some preliminary results, however. As of Wednesday, in five days, we had at least 86,000 signatures on the letter. This would not have happened without your help and hard work. This is so important that I have concluded that it is time to do more. My new goal is a quarter of a million signatures and I once again must ask for your help.
If you haven't already ask your friends to sign on at www.johnconyers.com (Use that link instead of the interior link - because of another web glitch, it is rotated while data is compiled), post this on any websites you visit, and if you have your own blog, please post this link conspicuously.
For my part, I am recirculating the letter to the President from Congress to my Congressional colleagues on Monday to give them another opportunity to sign on. Many who missed the opportunity to sign on the first time around have contacted me about doing so.
I have already sent one additional letter to the President adding several names and requesting that they be considered as original signatories. I have attached an updated list below of members who have signed on thus far.
This is by far the most important issue we are faced with. The most serious matter for the Congress and the President is the decision to go to war. It is the sole constitutional responsibility of Congress to decide whether to declare war. The President has a constitutional responsibility to be straightforward and candid with the Congress in providing it with the information it needs to evaluate the case for war. If that decision is skewed or corrupted by false or misleading information, it raises the most serious Constitutional questions and substantial issues about abuse of power.
The tragic reality is that over 1600 of our men and women in uniform are dead in a war that was entered into under false premises. Tens of thousands have been severely injured. Many more innocent Iraqis have been killed or injured as well.
If, as the Downing Street Minutes appear to clearly indicate, the falsehoods that led us into war were deliberate manipulations of the public and Congress, we deserve to know and we deserve answers. More importantly, we need to hold this President accountable for a very grave abuse of power.
LIST OF CONGRESSIONAL COSIGNERS
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Harold Ford, Jr.
Sheila Jackson Lee
Jessie Jackson Jr.
William Lacy Clay
Donna M. Christensen
Gwen S. Moore
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Chris Van Hollen
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Albert R. Wynn