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London Bombings and the Downing Street Minutes
In talking about the Downing Street Minutes these days, you may be asked for an opinion about the attacks in London on July 7, 2005. Here are some suggested points to make:
The bombings are completely regrettable and inexcusable. The comments of Fox News commentator Brian Kilmeade that these bombings work to the advantage of the West by focusing us on terrorism as an important issue are disgraceful. It is to no one's advantage for this cycle of violence to spiral further out of control.
But the bombings do remind us that the Bush administration took the focus off Al Qaeda before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and then as quickly as possible took the focus off Al Qaeda again in order to put it on Saddam Hussein, who had no ties to Al Quaeda and played no role in the 9-11 attacks.
There is a danger that Blair and Bush will try to misuse the recent tragedy as they have done that of four years ago. The audacity of this, and the media's willingness to allow it, is stunning. The War on Iraq, which was based on lies, has created a prime training ground for terrorists.
Terrorist incidents have risen during Bush's "War on Terror." The U.S. government's National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) announced this week that the number of worldwide terrorist attacks that occurred in 2004 was 3,192. This number is almost five times higher than the figure of 651 "significant" attacks that NCTC released on April 27 of this year, after the administration received widespread criticism for attempting to hide a major increase in terrorist incidents by dropping the data from the State Department's 2004 report on global terrorism. The NCTC figures do not include attacks on U.S. troops fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. If they did, the number of attacks would be about 14,600 higher.
The London attacks put the lie to Bush's claim that "we must take the fight to the enemy over there so we don't have to fight them at home." The War on Iraq, and the killing of innocents and torturing of prisoners, is inspiring a new generation of terrorists, and clearly they can attack Westerners at home.
The war has also diverted resources from the pursuit of terrorists at home, and diverted much of the US National Guard and most of the US military. The White House has left ports and borders unprotected while spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq. Just a few weeks ago the GOP in Congress gutted funding for transit security.
The more we learn about the deceptions that Bush used to drive us into war (and that is the value of the Downing Street Minutes), the more it becomes clear that this war has nothing to do with making Americans or Brits or the world safer.
The Downing Street Minutes and related documents (all available at http://www.afterdowningstreet.org ) provide new and compelling evidence that President Bush, by the summer of 2002:
1. secretly decided to go to war;
2. decided to deceive and mislead the Congress and the American people with false claims about both weapons of mass destruction and ties between Saddam Hussein and 9-11;
3. secretly diverted $700 million from the War in Afghanistan and started bombing Iraq to provoke a war;
4. agreed to go to the UN only to "legalize" an illegal invasion - and then walked out of the U.N. when inspections worked.
Items 2 and 3 are both impeachable offenses. The Bush Administration's conspiracy to deceive Congress culminated in a fraudulent letter to Congress on March 18, 2003, claiming continued U.N. inspections would endanger the national security of the United States. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/611
This fraud violated the federal anti-conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, which makes it a felony "to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose..."; and The False Statements Accountability Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. § 1001, which makes it a felony to issue knowingly and willfully false statements to the United States Congress.
President Bush did not declare war until March 2003. Congress did not authorize military action until October 11, 2002. But Bush began an air war six weeks before that authorization and increased "spikes of activity" five months before. This means that additional communications to Congress from the President, claiming that he had not yet begun the war, may be felonious, and that Bush violated the Constitutional requirement that Congress authorize any war.
These criminal actions constitute High Crimes under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution: "The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
Two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Blair was presented with an intelligence report saying that an invasion of Iraq would increase the likelihood of an attack on the UK.