By Dave Zweifel, The Capital Times, June 3, 2005
You may not have heard about the so-called "Downing Street memo" because the U.S. media haven't done much coverage of it.
The wire services with which The Capital Times contracts - the Washington Post/Los Angeles Times, Scripps Howard and the Associated Press - have moved few stories about the memo, which surfaced in the Sunday Times of London back on May 1. Consequently, we haven't had much about it either.
While the U.S. media have finally gotten around to lamenting the faked intelligence that the Bush people foisted on an unsuspecting public to grease the skids to go to war - something we wrote about nearly two years ago - the Downing Street memo is now flying under the radar screen.
Some contend that's because the American press is too chicken-livered to really take on the president, especially in view of the fact that some are claiming the memo is the smoking gun that ought to lead to George Bush's impeachment.
The memo, which was printed in full in the Sunday Times, was written by British national security aide Matthew Bycroft based on notes that he took during a July 2002 meeting - eight months before Bush started the war. The meeting included Prime Minister Tony Blair, a group of his advisers and Richard Dearlove, the head of Britain's intelligence service who had only a few days before met with Bush administration officials.
The memo quoted Dearlove saying that the Bush people wanted to remove Saddam militarily and that the intelligence and facts were being "fixed" to justify that.
"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin, Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea and Iran," the memo said.
If nothing else, the memo lends credence to those who have contended all along that the Bush administration was never serious about trying to avert this war, that its mind was made up, and all that had to be done was convince the American people that it was justified. That's when they cooked up the phony stories about Saddam's nuclear and biological weapons capabilities.
Democrats in Congress have been trying to get the Republican majority to call for congressional hearings on the memo. They have so far been stonewalled with the White House contending that "it is just flat out wrong."
It is clear that an investigation ought to be conducted to determine just how accurate this memo is.
Frankly, if Bill Clinton needed to be impeached for lying about sex with an intern, George Bush ought to be tossed out of office for purposely lying to the American people.
Dave Zweifel is editor of The Capital Times. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Published: 1:54 PM 6/3/05
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