Hinchey, Eight Members Of Congress To Hold Nationwide Town Hall Meetings On Downing Street Memos & Ongoing Deception In Iraq
Meetings To Coincide With Third Anniversary Of Downing Street Meeting
Washington, DC -- In commemoration of the third anniversary of the now infamous Downing Street Meeting, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and eight of his colleagues in the House will host town hall meetings across the country to discuss the manipulation of pre-war intelligence, the unclassified Downing Street memos, and the current state of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Hinchey will participate in an event entitled, "Torture and Lies: Who Is Accountable? From Abu Ghraib to the Downing Street Minutes" that will be held on Saturday, July 23 from 2:00-4:00pm at the New York Society for Ethical Culture located at 2 W. 64th Street in New York City. The event is free and open to the public, although seating is limited.
"Three years after the Downing Street meeting, the American public still has not gotten a straight answer from President Bush about when he decided to take this country to war in Iraq and why he misled the nation into believing there were weapons of mass destruction there," Hinchey said. "These forums across the country will present an opportunity for my colleagues and I to present the facts to the American people about what we do know to be the truth -- that President Bush was committed to going to war with Iraq from virtually the first day of his presidency and his administration was willing to lie and manipulate the truth to achieve that goal."
Over the past two months, 131 Members of Congress have written President Bush and some 575,000 people have signed a petition demanding answers from the White House on a variety of questions surrounding pre-war and post-war Iraq. All of these inquiries have gone unanswered. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are informed, organized, and waiting for a response to these letters. Because they continue to be met with silence, Members of Congress will now be taking this issue directly to the American people in the hopes that the Administration will finally be held accountable.
With the Bush Administration remaining silent on the many pressing questions surrounding the Downing Street memos, Hinchey intends to introduce a resolution of inquiry in the House later this week or early next week that would force the Bush Administration to make public all of the information it has regarding the meetings referenced in the Downing Street memos.
The Nation magazine and Democrats.com are sponsoring the event Hinchey is attending on July 23. The congressman is one of three panelists at the two-hour event, which will also feature Liz Holtzman, a former Congresswoman from New York who served on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Nixon, as well as Randi Rhodes who hosts The Randi Rhodes Show, the hugely popular afternoon show on Air America Radio. Hinchey and the other panelists will take questions from the audience following their presentations.
"With events spread out across the nation to raise awareness of the Downing Street memos and the illegal war in Iraq as well as the torture and abuse of prisoners, we are seeking to finally get the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress to be up front and honest with the American people and the world about their motives and actions surrounding the war," Hinchey said.
Hinchey has held two community forums this month in his congressional district to discuss the Downing Street memos with his constituents. He will be holding a third community forum on the topic in Ithaca, New York on Saturday, July 30.
The other members of Congress who will be hosting Downing Street forums in their respective states are: Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Congressman Tom Udall (D-NM), Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), and Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY).
Office of Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY22)