You are herecontent / Downing memos deeper than White House lets on

Downing memos deeper than White House lets on


Detroit Free Press

GRANTED, FINDING a way to end the bloodshed in Iraq is at present more pressing than re-examining the rationale that was developed to start the war there more than two years ago. But the so-called Downing Street memos are still too significant to be dismissed as simply old news -- as the White House would like -- or left to historians.

They speak to the credibility of the administration of President Bush, which is telling the American people that significant progress is being made in Iraq and the murderous insurgency there is in its final throes. Meantime, U.S. military leaders say rebel attacks have remained constant at 50-60 a day, and last month was the deadliest for Iraqi civilians since the March 2003 U.S. invasion.

The Downing Street memos shine some light on the internal thinking of the most secretive U.S. administration in modern times. They were prepared by top British officials as Prime Minister Tony Blair pondered his critical decision to join Bush in the war against Iraq.

Based on meetings with administration officials, they support the premise that, despite public claims to the contrary, the Bush administration saw war against Iraq as a first, not last, option after the 9/11 attacks and manipulated bad intelligence to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

"The truth," a top British official said in a March 22, 2002, memo to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, "is that what has changed is not the pace of Saddam Hussein's WMD programs, but our tolerance of them post-11 September ... the programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as far as we know, been stepped up." Three days later, in a memo to Blair, Straw said that "there has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with UBL (Osama bin Laden) and Al Qaida."

The United States, of course, found no deadly weapons in Iraq after toppling Hussein from power; and al-Qaida had no presence in the country until the insurgency erupted.

The eight memos also show British concern, bordering on alarm, for the lack of American plans for postwar Iraq at a time when the Bush administration was selling the belief that Iraqis would welcome their liberation and quickly embrace democracy. It has not, obviously, been such a smooth transition.

Most important for today, the evidence reflects an administration that makes a major decision and then finds or fits the evidence to back it up and sell it.

That's not thoughtful policy. It's marketing.

Tags

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq,I knew of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). I knew of the PNAC letter to
Bill Clinton sugesting an invasion of Iraq. All one has to do is to read these proposals and compare them to the reasons given for the first strike on Iraq. This was all well before 9/11. Just like any other mystery you gather clues and apply them to the facts that you have.The biggest problem is to make sure the general public gets more that the fantasy world of Rush Limbaugh.When FAIR (fair@fair.org) and Moveon ask for us to be courteous to media editors when writing I get angry. Why shouldn't these purveyors of misinformation get anything that looks like civility? I am to the point of getting up and going to my widow and yelling I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.Between Bush and his Punch and Judy Cabal they have committed wholsale murder. Every When I travel to other countries people do not ask why my president did that, they ask why I did it. They have this naive notion that we have a say in our government.Now that we have the smoking gun we have a complete case against this criminal and we should be in the streets screaming for his hide. It's a cinch wre not going to get appropriate media coverage by writing to each other on the net.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Speaking Events

2016

 

March 24, Boone, NC.

 

March 25, Asheville, NC
Battery Park Apartments, 1 Battle Square, rooftop room, noon - 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

 

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 14, Bellingham, WA, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 15, Seattle, WA
Town Hall Seattle
1119 Eighth Ave (8th and Seneca) 
Seattle, WA 98101
7:30pm
Sign up on FB.

 

April 16 Portland, OR

 

April 24, Oneonta, NY at Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.
5:30 discussion with students.
7:00 talk and Q&A with everyone.
Sign up on FB.

 

May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.



May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event

 


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

 

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

 

Other Events Here.

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.