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Memo to editors: Cover memos

By C.B. Hanif
Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer
Sunday, June 26, 2005

No topic has funneled more recent outrage to this desk than what have become known as the Downing Street memos. Critics charge that the leaked British intelligence documents are further evidence that the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was a done deal at least eight months earlier, rather than a last resort, and that the administration scammed a timid Congress while assuring a fearful American public that an invasion decision had not been made.

"And, if this be true," e-mailed Jimmy L. Shirley Jr., "it shows that the war is based on a lie (sound familiar?) and that our boys and girls are dying and being maimed based on this. Two of my sons are over there in the Army. I hope they get out and away alive and in one piece."

Mr. Shirley's hope should be shared by journalists at American news organizations whose credibility once again is on the line. The focus this time is the highly classified documents first published May 1 by TheSunday Times of London. They include the top-secret minutes of Prime Minister Tony Blair's War Cabinet meeting in July 2002 at his 10 Downing Street residence. Among other things, the documents quote the head of the foreign intelligence service, having just met in Washington with American counterparts, reporting that the Bush administration's "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

The initial silent treatment of the memos by news organizations on this side of the Atlantic contrasts starkly with such pre-invasion cheerleading as stories about the fabled weapons of mass destruction. A year ago, The New York Times said that it "looks as if we, along with the administration, were taken in."

Again this time, the media have seemed to be in cahoots with the administration by appearing to help stem debate on what the White House has dismissed as old news fully explored during past U.S. and British election campaigns. Illustrative of the media's performance is that the first reference in this paper to the memos was in a May 13 Molly Ivins opinion column. Newspapers, which should have run stories and let readers make up their minds, have instead become part of the story. Readers who a month ago took this paper to task for underplaying the memos now are questioning the lack of answers to the questions they raised.

"So what underlies this disinterest?" asks Cathy Olsson. "Is it possible the administration is lulled by your apathy?" Referring to the Watergate scandal, she said: "Thirty years ago, a few true patriots braved the power of a morally debased administration to expose the extent of its corruption. Will we ever see their like again?"

"I would like to encourage you to give the Downing Street Minutes and related documents the extensive coverage that they clearly merit," wrote Mel Waxman of Delray Beach. "There is no more important question in a democracy than whether the people and their representatives have been misled about the justification for a war." He cited a constitutional attorney at saying that the memos are "new and compelling evidence" that the president was actively engaged in efforts to deceive Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq, which if true constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution. "Please ask yourselves," Mr. Waxman said, "whether each item you are reporting on is important enough to take up space that should be devoted to this question."

"Frustrated in Florida" Merrilyn Karrels e-mailed, "If you care anything about the direction of this country, you will make some more noise about the Downing Street Memo. President Bush may have committed the 'ultimate' high crime against our government. This is not old news and the American public deserves to know the truth as to why and when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and a few other leaders started planning this war. You are the voice of the people," she said, "not politics."

James Ryan e-mailed, "Why are you ignoring what is one of the most important news stories in the history of the United States? A president and his administration willfully and purposely deceived the country they represent into a war. Americans are dead, and continue to die. What can be more newsworthy? Your lack of coverage on the Downing Street memos will boomerang on you when (not if) the viewing/listening public wonders where your journalistic integrity was on this issue."

Even if the memos are saying only what everyone already knows, the administration needs to answer for them more than it has. In failing to seek those answers, news organizations also have a lot for which to answer.

"The president he's got his war; folks don't know just what it's for," sang Les McCann at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival. That classic tune, Compared to What, seems a metaphor for the administration's shifting justifications — WMDs, fighting terrorism, ousting Saddam Hussein, installing democracy — for another war, and for the timid media's culpability in placing men, women and children in harm's way.



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I'm just going to break the news to you, and sometimes breaking news can be hard to accept, but your government has been planning on invading Iraq at least as far back as 1997 "We urge you to... enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world,""That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power." (For full text of the letter, see project for the New American Century states the need for an attack on American soil similar to Pearl Harbour that would enable U.S forces to attack Iraq and help the U.S fulfill it's ultimate geopolitical strategy.

This unfortunately is not news to many people outside of the U.S who actually go to the bother of seeking out the truth themselves...your corporate media is a permanent whitewashing brain zapper. In future dear America get a fucking alarm clock or else you will face the same embarrassing scenario of history repeating for the third time...think vietnam, go and impeach and imprison your mafiosa style government. You also need a better poltical system than your current two party sham. Kisses xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

John Yoo, of the Torture Memo fame, wrote a paper on the President's Mandate To Use Pre-Emptive Strike Force in 1996. He wrote another paper on the same theme in 2001. I will be happy to provide these papers for anyone who is interested. I have to agree with the poster above. The plan was in the works as far back as 1996.

A lot of the smaller media fish typically take their cues from either the larger media fish. If it's not covered there, it's not considered news, and for the most part won't get covered unless it is of local interest.

With all the interest and inertia from grassroots involvement, this may be changing. It seems to me though that to have the impact that we would like we need to get the major establishment media to get serious about this. I am not too optimistic on this. On CommonDreams I found this bit of research done by Project Censored exposing the interlocking directorates of US corporations within the media. When you read this it will be very clear why these stories are not given the attention they demand. Seems that defense contractors, Haliburton, and big oil conglomerates have a keen interest in the current media environment. While many of us have known these incestuous relationships have existed for a long time, this is apparently the most current information available and is an eye opener.

Thanks Peter Phillips and Project Censored!!

Here is an excerpt:

A research team at Sonoma State University has recently finished conducting a network analysis of the boards of directors of the ten big media organizations in the US. The team determined that only 118 people comprise the membership on the boards of director of the ten big media giants. This is a small enough group to fit in a moderate size university classroom. These 118 individuals in turn sit on the corporate boards of 288 national and international corporations. In fact, eight out of ten big media giants share common memberships on boards of directors with each other. NBC and the Washington Post both have board members who sit on Coca Cola and J. P. Morgan, while the Tribune Company, The New York Times and Gannett all have members who share a seat on Pepsi. It is kind of like one big happy family of interlocks and shared interests. The following are but a few of the corporate board interlocks for the big ten media giants in the US:

* New York Times: Caryle Group, Eli Lilly, Ford, Johnson and Johnson, Hallmark, Lehman Brothers, Staples, Pepsi

* Washington Post: Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Dun & Bradstreet, Gillette, G.E. Investments, J.P. Morgan, Moody's

* Knight-Ridder: Adobe Systems, Echelon, H&R Block, Kimberly-Clark, Starwood Hotels

* The Tribune (Chicago & LA Times): 3M, Allstate, Caterpillar, Conoco Phillips, Kraft, McDonalds, Pepsi, Quaker Oats, Shering Plough, Wells Fargo

* News Corp (Fox): British Airways, Rothschild Investments

* GE (NBC): Anheuser-Busch, Avon, Bechtel, Chevron/Texaco, Coca-Cola, Dell, GM, Home Depot, Kellogg, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, Motorola, Procter & Gamble

* Disney (ABC): Boeing, Northwest Airlines, Clorox, Estee Lauder, FedEx, Gillette, Halliburton, Kmart, McKesson, Staples, Yahoo

* Viacom (CBS): American Express, Consolidated Edison, Oracle, Lafarge North America

* Gannett: AP, Lockheed-Martin, Continental Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, Target, Pepsi

* AOL-Time Warner (CNN): Citigroup, Estee Lauder, Colgate-Palmolive, Hilton


Link to full article:

St. Germain 06.25.05

The tide of evidence against the perpetrators of 9/11 is gathering momentum, and no amount of threats against those that hold compelling stories will keep them from coming into the public domain. It is no thanks to your media and this is why in the near future they will have to change. They have a duty to report and investigate the truth, and not be involved in censorship of matters of vital interest and importance. Censorship and outright cover ups are not what is expected in a free society. The dam of lies and denial of the truth is breaking up, and soon the pressure from people to have matters addressed will cause a massive explosion of facts surrounding the truth. Already more evidence is coming to light, and the protection placed around those who were guilty of the acts of atrocity is now paper thin.

There is no longer any escape for those guilty ones, who had hoped to bury the truth with the remains of the Twin Towers . Through their arrogance and belief in their own infallibility they are about to fall flat on their faces. One of the most audacious and evil attacks on the people cannot be buried by the official version of the truth. Many souls are pondering their part in the cover up, and their conscience is at odds with their actions. The truth is like new shoots pushing their way up through the slime and dirt, and breaking forth into the light. Once this break through occurs, there is no stopping its quickening growth.

When a government has shown itself to have no regard for the sanctity of life, and its treasonous acts are against their own people it is time for a showdown. We help those brave souls that stand forth at no small risk to themselves, as you have pleaded with us for the truth to be allowed to come out. There are thousands of people who were touched by the murder of their loved ones, and they rightfully demand to have answers to their questions. The pain, sorrow and anguish will not go away until those guilty ones are brought to account for their actions. All through your history those in power have used people like pawns on a chessboard, and have not looked beyond their own greed and selfishness. Power and money are two hypnotic ingredients in the quest for control over other people.

People under oath for security reasons are now questioning their allegiance, and once the main culprits responsible for 9/11 are apprehended they will feel free to give their evidence. So much depends on events that are now in progress, and a delicate operation is in hand to provide the means to once and for all remove your last cabal. This action is planned to ensure that a halt is brought to warlike preparations that already exist to extend the activities in the Middle East . This one action will bring the release of the people from the express train of death and oblivion, and it will be halted in its tracks. The Light of peace will shine all over the world, and for the first time in recorded history there will be total peace.

You cannot have peace where there is chaos and confusion, and this is why our actions are designed to bring changes in a specific way so as to avoid it. It has been a long time since you first reached that point of conscious awareness that you had the power to bring about changes yourself. You have realized that you are not simply subject to the authority of those in power, that there is a higher one to which you have your allegiance and no one can take that away from you. Those in power have normally obtained their position through your grace and should honor it by fully representing you. If they do not honor and serve you, it is perfectly correct for you to have them removed. Government is for the people, and not to provide exalted positions for those in power so that they may use it against you.

We know what is required to bring in the changes that will see a fair and just distribution of your wealth. We know that many draconian laws need to be removed to restore your freedom and sovereignty. All is in preparation and ready to be instigated, and our strength and forces of good are primed and eager to bring you the changes that are necessary. It might be unthinkable that anyone would stand in the way of changes for the better, but those who are very materialistic and self centered are reluctant to give up their exalted positions. In a fair and just society there is no room for the aggrandizement of the few who hold wealth way beyond their needs at the expense of others. The distinctions that are made between people that are based upon their wealth will disappear, and equality and respect will be the order of the day.

I am St. Germain and I want you to understand that your needs are fully understood. The loose ends of Karma are being played out, and it will not be long now before it will be the right time to bring this period to a close. The change over to one of freedom from your past will happen very quickly, and you will see the benefits quite rapidly, and these will embrace the whole world. There will be a wonderful coming together of all people, in a new found trust and friendship, and you will truly become One. As always a great Love and Light is with you, and you may draw upon it for your needs.

Thank you St. Germain

Mike Quinsey

My thoughts exactly!

I finally figured out what the ‘W’ stands for in our presidents middle name. I think the line that I added to the buzz phrase going around fits pretty well. It might even be good to add to the bumper stickers that would come out in the future. Everyone let me know what you think.

Did you get the memo
We’ve been Bush “Whacked“ by George

Now for something else I was thinking about. Now we have the 122 members of the House of Representatives that signed on to the “Resolution of Inquiry

Interesting perspective. Thanks for the link.

it seems like the media is afraid of the white house

I think that the media treats the Bush White House with kid gloves because they won't be invited to Bush's playtime to ask fluff questions if they don't. Have you noticed that every major news outlet is going soft on the Right these days? Even NPR is tainted, and that is a grand shame.

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