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Looking at the leaks


Colorado Daily
By PAULA PANT Colorado Daily Staff

Boulder will be one of 300 cities across the U.S. that will host an event today commemorating the third anniversary of a British government meeting on Downing Street, the leaked minutes of which have been dubbed the "Downing Street Memo."

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (RMPJC) is hosting a public press conference at 10 a.m. today in front of the Boulder County Courthouse to draw attention to the memo and encourage Congress pass a Resolution of Inquiry examining whether President Bush committed impeachable offenses in building the case for war with Iraq.

"We haven't said, at this point, that Bush should be impeached for this," said Carolyn Bninski of the RMPJC. "We're just saying that the House should investigate."

The RMPJC is hosting the local event in coordination with AfterDowningStreet.org, a national coalition of veterans', peace and political activist groups.

The Downing Street Memo documented a discussion between high-level British officials meeting at No.10 Downing Street in London on July 23, 2002. The memo, marked "Secret and Strictly Personal - UK Eyes Only," was leaked to the press in May 2005. It states "military action (in Iraq) was now seen as inevitable (by Washington)," and "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

In a joint press conference in June, Bush and Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, denied the memo's allegation, stating that neither nation wanted to go to war but Saddam Hussein's impudence left them with no effective alternative.

Today's event comes on the heels of the recent revelation that Bush's senior political advisor, Karl Rove, disclosed the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame after her husband published an op-ed countering the administrations pre-war claim that Saddam Hussein sought uranium from the African nature of Niger.

With the parallels between the Rove and Downing Street revelations - both relate to leaked classified information and both pertain to alleged faulty intelligence in the build-up to war - organizers expect that public interest in the Plame leak will elevate interest in the Downing Street memo.

"It's all part of the same story," said Jonathan Schwarz, a consultant for AfterDowningStreet.org.

He noted that Wilson was a guest at a recent event they hosted.

"I suspect that we're going to learn more about the procedure of how they put their cover-story for the war together, once the (Plame-related) indictments are returned," Schwarz said.

Contact Paula Pant about this story at 303-443-6272 ext. 133 or editor@coloradodaily.com

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