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Democrats.com Offers $1,000 Reward to Any Reporter Who Will Ask Follow-Up Question to Bush


Democrats.com Offers $1,000 Reward to Any Reporter Who Will Ask Follow-Up Question to Bush

At a White House press conference on June 7, 2005, Steve Holland of Reuters asked President Bush and Prime Minister Blair the $1,000 question: (1)

"On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street Memo from July, 2002, says 'Intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military actions.' Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?"

The responses that first Blair and then Bush gave were widely reported by the White House press corps. But a new "White House Memo," reported in the British media on Feb. 2, 2006 (2), has now exposed both responses as lies.

Blair brushed aside, and Bush did not speak at all to, the first part of the question: that the "intelligence and facts" had been "fixed." (3)

Instead, Bush and Blair tried to rebut the second part of the question: that there was a "policy of removing Saddam through military actions" at the time of the Downing Street Memo on July 23, 2002 - 8 months before Bush and Blair actually invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003.

To rebut the existence of a plan for war in July 2002, Blair insisted their plan was to avoid war by resolving their concerns about Iraq peacefully through the United Nations Security Council. (4)

"[L]et me remind you that that memorandum was written before we then went to the United Nations. Now, no one knows more intimately the discussions that we were conducting as two countries at the time than me. And the fact is, we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November, 2002, United Nations resolution to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law." (5)

Bush also chose the second part of the question - whether there was a "policy of removing Saddam through military actions" - and ignored the first part about the "intelligence and facts" being "fixed":

"And somebody said, Well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth. My conversations with the prime minister was how could we do this peacefully, what could we do. And this meeting, evidently it took place in London, happened before we even went to the United Nations — or I went to the United Nations. And so it's — look, both of us didn't want to use our military. Nobody wants to commit military into combat. That's the last option. (6)

"WHITE HOUSE MEMO" CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS FROM JUNE 2005

The new "White House Memo" records a meeting between Bush and Blair at the White House on January 31, 2003, in which Bush told Blair:

"The US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would 'twist arms' and 'even threaten'. But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.'' (7)

This "White House Memo" proves Bush had decided to go to war long before March 18, 2003 - a direct contradiction of Bush's 2005 denial that "we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth."

Moreover, the "White House Memo" shows Bush and Blair were focused on manufacturing a justification for war, not on avoiding it. Bush was so desperate for war that he even tried to provoke Saddam to attack a fraudulent "U.N." plane.

"The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."

NEW $1,000 REWARD OFFERED

Based on Bush's previous lie, Democrats.com is now offering $1,000 to any reporter who will directly ask Bush this question:

"How can you claim you were trying to avoid war through the UN, when you told Prime Minister Blair on Jan. 31, 2003, that if you failed to get a resolution from the UN authorizing war, 'military action would follow anyway' - including a scheme to paint a U.S. spy plane in U.N. colors to provoke an Iraqi attack on the U.N. itself?

The following reporters were among those lied to by Bush and Blair last June.  These are the ones who were good enough to cover the story, so be nice to them, but we hope they have a personal interest in asking a follow-up question to debunk the lies they were previously told directly by Bush and Blair:

Elizabeth Bumiller, New York Times
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60C16F8385C0C7B8CDDAF0894DD404482
bumiller@nytimes.com 

Dan Froomkin, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2005/06/08/BL2005060801519.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns
froomkin@washingtonpost.com

Jeff Greenfield, CNN
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/150
jeff.greenfield@cnn.com

Julie Mason, Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/95
julie.mason@chron.com

Mark Memmott, USA TODAY
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/97

Dana Milbank, Washington Post
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/101
milbankd@washpost.com

Jefferson Morley, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/07/AR2005060700474.html
jeff.morley@washingtonpost.com

Jonathan Riskind, Columbus Dispatch
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/102
jriskind@dispatch.com 

Farah Stockman, Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2005/06/08/bush_blair_deny_memo_assertion_of_fixed_intelligence?mode=PF
stockman@globe.com

Richard Wolffe, Newsweek
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/150
Richard.Wolffe@newsweek.com

Editorial, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
http://www.jsonline.com/news/editorials/jun05/332505.asp
http://www.jsonline.com/news/editorials/submit.asp

TV reports:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2005/cyb20050608.asp#1

Notes:

(1) Holland said he never heard of the reward and did not claim it when it was offered to him.

(2) The memo was obtained by Philippe Sands and reported by the Guardian and Channel 4 (UK). See: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/whitehousememo

(3) While all pre-war claims by Bush and Blair about Iraqi WMD's and Al Qaeda ties have been proven false, Bush and Blair have refused to accept responsibility for promoting falsehoods, many of which (such as the Niger uranium hoax) were known to be false at the time by senior U.S. officials.

The Senate Intelligence Committee was supposed to investigate White House manipulation of intelligence more than a year ago, but Republicans led by chairman Pat Roberts have repeatedly blocked this investigation.

(4) Bush and Blair insisted they were trying to avoid war with Iraq for 8 months - right up to the day before the invasion began: http://thinkprogress.org/index.php?p=1042

(5) Blair then insisted that Saddam Hussein refused to comply with U.N. requirements - both destruction of WMD's and surprise inspections to verify such destruction - when of course Saddam Hussein complied fully with both requirements.

"He didn't do so. And that was the reason why we had to take military action. But, all the way through that period of time, we were trying to look for a way of managing to resolve this without conflict."

This lie - Saddam's alleged non-compliance with U.N. Resolution 1441 - was told by Bush and Blair when the invasion began, and has been repeated regularly by both men ever since. But this lie has never been challenged by reporters on either side of the Atlantic. Robert Parry of ConsortiumNews.com is the only reporter who has even addresses this shocking pattern of Bush's lies about Saddam's "defiance" of U.N. 1441.

(6) Just like Blair, Bush continued his answer by falsely claiming that Saddam failed to comply with U.N. Resolution 1441:

The consequences of committing the military are very difficult. You know, one of the hardest things I do as the president is to try to comfort families who've lost a loved one in combat. It's the last option that the president must have, and it's the last option I know my friend had as well. And so we worked hard to see if we could figure how to do this peacefully, to put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, so the world speaks. And he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power."

 

(7) Bush's arm-twisting and threats were not idle remarks. That same day, the NSA circulated an internal memo planning the bugging of UN Security Council members phones and email.

It makes clear that Bush and Blair were at that time very much aware that Resolution 1441 did not authorize war. Bush promised Blair he would do everything he could to get a second resolution that did authorize war.

(8) As new memos like this one surface it is worth remembering that Blair and members of his administration have claimed the Downing Street Memo gives a picture very different from the one we would have if we saw the full range of memos.  This is from CNN on Nov. 6, 2005:

WOLF BLITZER: Your government was told, almost a year before the war, that this intelligence was being concocted.

UK DEFENCE MINISTER JOHN REID: No, they weren't, with great respect. You can produce one out of a thousand of memos that were flying about, which represented one person's view about one particular issue.

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With the evidence that has been so blatantly obvious anyone with the half the brainpower of a Terri Shiavo I've come to this conclusion, if you still support this administration you are one or all of the following:1) misinformed, which can be helped, 2) stupid, which can't be, or 3) a fascist, which makes one the mortal enemy of all that is American.

I've also come to this conclusion, it's time to get off our asses and hit the streets and cause as much peaceful civil disobedience in such numbers that even the controlled corporate media can't ignore the fact that this country is being run by the worst that humanity has to offer. Sending emails, writing letters to editors, government representatives and blogs won't change a thing. We must come together as the real people of America and tell them where they can put their "free speech zones" and talk back our streets!

Yes, many will be arrested, some will be injured and a few will be killed. (Remembering Kent State) But if we do not follow the example of those great peace crusaders such as Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, we'll all be digging our own grave.

The only problem with democracy is that the stupid get to vote, and there seems to be more Dumb and Dumber types nowadays. To march in the streets with bullet-proof vests and gas masks in enormous numbers might catch the blinkered eyes of the corporate media, but I doubt it. The peace marches not long ago featured 100s of millions Europeans marching, and even a million or so New Yorkers and half a million Quebeckers. But the harnessed and muffled media didn't show any of that. Do you think they've garnered a spine by now? Ha! Not only does a tremendous amount of stupidity and brainwashery run amok in North America, but there is galloping cowardice. So when the killing happens, it will be only the bright, astute and courageous who die. Maybe that will be merciful, for who with a heart, soul and a conscience would want to remain in a world where psychos reign supreme, supported by the moronic masses?

I think this country is in wrong direction and America deserves better and we can do better, If we elected a Democratic Senate Candidates or Governors and I think it is time to bring back Social Democrats to the House and the Senate come Nov. Elections. Because it is the only thing we had to work hard to defeat a very sneaky and crooked GOP members! I think using a Judicial Fibibuster is the American way of Consititutes that they used in 1776! It is part of American Constitution! I think Bush has repeatedly ignore everything from Terri Schivao, Iraq and bring home troops back in the U.S. and endangered our rights and privacy and women's rights too! So I am gonna to stand up what the Social Democats are saying and will defend for them and I hope that Bush and Blair shall be impeach Now! Period.!

Let's make it $10,000.00 and if he is impeached $50,000.00 additional or censured $25,000.00 additional. To get rid of the madman this country WILL anty up I have no doubt! We have EVERTHING to lose! We have little time now. They are plotting like crazy. Way ahead of all of us. They are laughing at our attempts! Must move fast as spread this like crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It would be worth $1,000,000.00 to get the two memos on the front page of all papers. "Priceless"

Knowing full well that FISA was passed specifically to limit spying by the executive, and knowing full well that the Senate passed the Anti-Torture Amendment specifically to prevent torture by the executive, Bush continues to break both laws and blatantly tells us that because he is Commander in Chief, he is above the law. He defies the rule of law openly.

The Downing Street Memos merely confirm what all of us have seen all along the way, that intelligence was being fixed because Bush had already made up his mind to go to war, and he would stop at nothing, not U.S. Law or International Law.

Impeachment is the only way to reclaim our Democracy.

At this time those of us that saw GW for what he really is in 2000, need to speak out. This man is pure evil, and has never had an honest agenda
of any kind. If he is not stopped, this "Lame Duck" president will make certain that our economy, environment, and our county's spirit are left in shambles. He has trampled over the Constitution to make his own policies. He has ruined relations with our foriegn allies. And for what?
He makes Nixon look like a choir boy! Bush has the responsibility for promoting falsehoods beyond belef, and what is incredulous is that there are people who still buy into his fables. Let us hope we can see him censured. Again..........SPEAK OUT (before Big Brother gets you)

Excuse me, but how can President Bush use "we went to the U.N." as proof that he had peaceful intentions when he so vigorously fought the idea of even going to the U.N. for months prior to hs invasion of Iraq???

I am convinced that a very evil force is dictating to this President and he is the puppet. With much searching to educate myself on this Neocon Administration, I have discovered that anyone who opposes said administration will, in one way or the other, pay.
The ultimate goal of these Neocons is to rule and control the world. This is becomming very clear to me, and those who do not agree with the ideals, goals, actions, and lies of this administration will sooner or later be phased out. It is the goal of these neocons to eventually dwindle this world down to 5 billion people; all of whom are true to them. Why else do they do nothing to curb global warming? Indeed! This is part of their plan.
Search out Project for the New American Century scrolling down until you come to their real purpose. The New World Order is another one to search out. In these blogs you will read about Freemasonry, Knights Templars, The Brotherhood, and the Illuminati - which in Latin means, Illuminated Ones.
George H. W. and W. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, etc., all have one goal in mind - controlling earth, space, and the ocean. (PNAC)
Do we all sit idly by, telling ourselves, "oh well, that's just politics" or do we do whatever it takes to get our country back from the cluctches of evil? I say the later and as soon as possible before it truly is too late. We may no longer be in the majority, but we can still find our voices.

You must be way off... no journalist would ever except payment from a partisan source.

The Bush's have a dynasty and that includes their New World Order agenda. They are assuring these ideas by dissing and smearing any dissent from those that believe that it is wrong. All their co-horts are now either under indictment or suspicion for many evils associated with far right wing extremists.

I am convinced that the biggest tyrant facing us right now is George W. Bush. He is doing a pretty good job of destroying the once wonderful United States of America! With friends like him who needs enemies? Get him out of office, let's take our country back before it is too late!

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