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ACTION ALERT: June 29, 2005
After George W. Bush's June 28 speech about Iraq, MSNBC's Hardball presented viewers with a decidedly skewed "town meeting" featuring a panel dominated by Iraq war boosters.
The two-hour coverage, hosted by Chris Matthews, was anchored by a panel discussion that featured MSNBC reporter Norah O'Donnell, Islam scholar Reza Aslan, and four conservative Bush supporters: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, Bobbie Patray of the Eagle Forum of Tennessee and Jerry Sutton, pastor of the Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where the event was held.
LONDON (AP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants the world to know that the Iraq war was not predetermined by the United States.
Blair tells The Associated Press that the "Downing Street Memo," which was leaked to the media, paints a distorted picture.
The memo suggested that the White House viewed the war with Iraq as inevitable, and that the Bush administration was looking for ways to justify that war, through the use of intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.
Blair says "the decision was not already taken." And he says he's "a bit astonished" at the intense coverage the memo has gotten in the U-S.
Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Cynthia Bogard
Jefferson Morley, a staff writer at washingtonpost.com, suggested recently that the Downing Street Memo (DSM) story continues to spread because it represents two stories, "an emerging alternative history of how the United States came to attack Iraq and a story of how the New Media has usurped some of the Old Media's power to set the agenda."
The "New Media" --the blogosphere and alternative news and views websites such as rawstory.com, buzzflash.com, commondreams.org and, especially pertinent to this story, afterdowningstreet.org--certainly deserve a lot of credit. On-line complaints about Old Media's neglect of the story have had a major impact. So has the "letters to the editors" campaign started by the original downingstreetmemo.com site that has deluged newspapers around the nation with reader demands for DSM coverage. Old Media--television and the major daily newspapers, The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and perhaps the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune--finally have begun to get the message that the DSM story is not going to go away because New Media is not going to let it.
* Amy Goodman on CNN's News Night with Aaron Brown 6/28/05 *
Please thank CNN for having Amy Goodman on the program News Night with Aaron
Brown last night after the Pres. Bush speech.
Click here for the form to submit the comment:
Here is a link to the video:
Listen to the mp3 here:
* Read transcript posted below
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NEW FEATURE: Democracy Now!'s daily news summaries are now available in
Read Wednesday, June 29, 2005:
By David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org
In the coming free 30 minutes of uninterrupted airtime that ABC News and the Disney Corporation will no doubt give to a spokesperson for the majority of Americans who believe that the war on Iraq was a mistake, I expect we'll see some of the following points made about the speech that Bush just gave.
First, it was curious to see Bush adopt usage of the French language, in particular his repeated usage of the word "oui." At one point, he said "Oui, accept these burdens." Some viewers supposed he meant "We accept these burdens," but no one has been able to identify a single burden that Bush has accepted, leading to the consensus that the French word must have been the one on the teleprompters.
If the Downing Street Documents didn't make the important points that they do (Bush had decided on war, had decided to lie about WMD and 9/11, had actually started the war early) then citizens would not have forced them down the media's throat, yet what the media says the documents are about never quite gets it right:
SCHNEIDER: There is evidence in today's ABC News-"Washington Post" poll. For the first time, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, told that poll that the Bush administration, in their view, intentionally misled the public in making the case for war. Now, that could be the impact of the Downing Street Memo, which was the recently released British government document suggesting that the Bush administration manipulated the facts in order to make the case for war.
Akron Beacon Journal
June 29, 2005
The media coverage of Watergate has been extensive since Mark Felt identified himself as Deep Throat. Granted, it's an intriguing story and definitely should not be forgotten, but is it worth all the ink when we have a looming scandal of perhaps equal significance in a memo that almost cost British Prime Minister Tony Blair his bid for re-election? The so-called ''Downing Street memo,'' the top-secret minutes from a Blair Cabinet meeting concerning a previous meeting in Washington, D.C., between top British and American security officials, was leaked to the London Times and subsequently published May 1. Among the more disturbing statements in it was this: ''Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.''
By News Hounds
For those who think Democrats can't do well on FOX News, check out how Congressman Charles Rangel, on Hannity & Colmes no less, managed to drive home his point that Bush planned to attack Iraq before 9/11. Democrats should study how he was able to turn around Hannity's "questions" and use them for his own talking points. He was never intimidated by Hannity and he never got angry.
Sean Hannity opened the discussion with this "fair and balanced" question: President Bush promised that the United States would stay the course in bringing freedom to the people of Iraq but some Democrats are advocating for the troops to come home now before the job is done... It's very predictable from the Democratic party. I have heard the president called a liar repeatedly by the leaders of your party... Howard Dean says Republicans are evil, brain-dead corrupt... so we should, I guess, anticipate that your Democratic friends didn't like the speech tonight? (Comment: I think we can anticipate that Sean Hannity didn't like the speech tonight, either, because he said very little about it.)
By: Monica Lewis, BlackAmericaWeb.com
"We will stay in the fight until the fight is won."
Those were the words of President George W. Bush, determined not to let his critics or the rising number of U.S. military dead deter his plans to continue the conflict in Iraq.
Despite the apropos setting of the Fort Bragg military base, Bush’s words, spoken during a primetime address Tuesday evening, did little to change the minds of people like Ron Walters, the noted University of Maryland political scientist. Walters told BlackAmericaWeb.com that Bush did nothing more than give a speech, failing to send a clear message as to how and when the conflict will be resolved.
Corp. Media's Failure to Cover Downing St Memos
Wednesday, 29 June 2005, 2:53 pm
Article: Between The Lines
Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release June 27, 2005
Progressive Activists and Legislators Challenge Corporate Media's Failure to Cover Downing Street Memo
- Interview with Danny Schechter, journalist and filmmaker, conducted by Scott Harris
Listen in RealAudio:
(Needs RealOne player or RealPlayer)
Reuters, in a story on an ABC News/Washington Post poll, reports: "For the first time, a majority of Americans said the administration 'intentionally misled' the public in going to war."
The following are available for interviews:
NANCY LESSIN, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.mfso.org
Lessin is co-founder of Military Families Speak Out. For a list of
their members from around the country available for interviews, see the
group's web page.
By Jefferson Morley
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; 10:00 AM
Once again, the Sunday Times scooped the U.S. press on a big Iraq war story. "U.S. in Talks with Iraq Rebels," the London newspaper reported this weekend.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld quickly confirmed the story and downplayed it, suggesting it should not be surprising that U.S. officials were secretly negotiating with battlefield enemies. Rumsfeld and U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. George W. Casey Jr. made an important distinction: The U.S. was talking to Sunnis violently opposed to the occupation, not foreign fighters linked to Abu Musab Zarqawi.
Occupation Watch News Bulletin June 27, 2005
The World Tribunal on Iraq concluded its final session, held in Istanbul, Turkey, today. A self-appointed citizen activist effort, it was designed, not to provide a full hearing on the question of possible U.S. and U.K. war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to Iraq, but rather, like a grand jury, to present the case for the prosecution and to call for a real investigation and trial.
Testimony was heard from a wide variety of former U.N. officials, journalists, academics, lawyers, and Iraqi eyewitnesses, and the final press conference was attended by roughly 200 media sources from around the world. A LEXIS-NEXIS search showed not a single major U.S. newspaper that has picked up the story, although the Associated Press, AFP, and Reuters filed reports. More coverage is available from truthout.org.
By Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese
June 27, 2005
President Bush will be addressing the nation about Iraq on Tuesday night. This is the first time he will be speaking to the country on the U.S. occupation of Iraq since the Downing Street Memos have been released. As ten senators pointed out in a letter on Friday, June 24 "at a time the White House was promising Congress and the American people that war would be their last resort, that they believed military action against Iraq was 'inevitable.'"
Thus, the President was telling the public he was seeking a peaceful resolution when in fact he was planning an invasion. He told Americans there were unmanned Iraqi aircraft that could drop bombs over our cities. His own intelligence agencies told him this was inaccurate. He tied Saddam to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden - there was no evidence of that. Indeed, the two - one secular, one fundamentalist - were mortal foes. He talked about Saddam being able to launch a strike on the United States in 45 minutes - there was no evidence Iraq was capable of such an attack. He talked about the potential of a mushroom cloud over the United States - a nuclear attack by Saddam - when there was no evidence that a weakened, surrounded and embargoed Saddam had any nuclear capability. When he was going to the U.N. it was not to seek peace but to try and make an illegal invasion legal by tricking Saddam into a misstep. For month after month, it now seems evident, President Bush and his minions misled the nation, repeating the fabrications and manipulations about weapons of mass destruction, over and over and over in a drum beat to war.
By Ray McGovern
June 28, 2005
Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. Now retired, he is a 27-year veteran of the analysis division of the CIA, and more recently co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Forget the documentary evidence (the Downing Street minutes) that the war on Iraq was fraudulent from the outset. Forget that the United States and Britain started pulverizing Iraq with stepped-up bombing months before the president or prime minister breathed a word to Congress or Parliament. Forget that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his merry men—his co-opted military brass—have no clue regarding what U.S. forces are up against in Iraq. Get ready to hear President George W. Bush tell us this evening that we "have to stay the course."
Majority of Americans believe Bush administration misled public on Iraq: poll Tue Jun 28, 2:14 AM ET
Most Americans now believe that President George W. Bush's administration "intentionally misled" the public in going to war in Iraq, according to a poll.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll came on the eve of a key speech in which Bush will seek public support for the war, which 53 percent of Americans who were surveyed said was not worth fighting.
A record 57 percent say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," according to the poll.
Oregon Daily Emerald
By Emerald editorial board
June 28, 2005
Earlier this month, a piece of documentation relating to the war in Iraq was uncovered: The Downing Street memo; it is the most convincing proof yet that military action in Iraq was based on faulty, possibly nonexistent intelligence. Worst of all, the memo makes it perfectly clear that the lack of concrete information pertaining to Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was no secret to President Bush.
The memo details British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s report on a political talk involving President Bush. The most poignant line of the memo, dated eight months prior to the United States’ invasion of Iraq, reads:
Edward M. Gomez, special to SF Gate, www.sfgate.com
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
As President Bush gets ready to deliver another carefully stage-managed televised speech to the nation from an army base in North Carolina tonight, commentators and news analysts in the British press are cutting through the White House's rhetoric to ask, in language that often sounds much stronger than that of their counterparts in the United States, some hard questions about the Republicans' Iraq-war policy and the future of the post-Saddam crisis.
"U.S. public opinion on the Iraq war dips with every dead soldier and plummets at the first sniff of defeat," commentator Gary Younge writes in The Guardian. Citing a recent Gallup poll of Americans, Younge notes that "[m]ore than half [of those surveyed] believe the war has not made them safer, and 40 percent believe it has striking similarities to the experience in Vietnam." (A separate CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted June 16-19 shows that 59 percent of adult Americans nationwide are now opposed to the war. (PollingReport.com))
That's the buried lead in this Washington Post article, and that figure comes from a survey taken BEFORE people's activism forced the Post to put this issue on its front page today.
Americans skeptical about claims on insurgents
Most support staying in Iraq, though, poll finds
By Richard Morin and Dan Balz
The Washington Post
Updated: 10:29 p.m. ET June 27, 2005
As President Bush prepares to address the nation about Iraq tonight, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that most Americans do not believe the administration's claims that impressive gains are being made against the insurgency, but a clear majority is willing to keep U.S. forces there for an extended time to stabilize the country.
From Memos, Insights Into Ally's Doubts On Iraq War
British Advisers Foresaw Variety of Risks, Problems
By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; A01
LONDON -- In the spring of 2002, two weeks before British Prime Minister Tony Blair journeyed to Crawford, Tex., to meet with President Bush at his ranch about the escalating confrontation with Iraq, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sounded a prescient warning.
"The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few," Straw wrote in a March 25 memo to Blair stamped "Secret and Personal." "The risks are high, both for you and for the Government."
Niagara Falls Reporter
By Bill Gallagher
DETROIT -- Cynicism is the soul of George W. Bush's presidency and Karl Rove, the man he calls his "brain," speaks out loud the thoughts lurking in the president's ruthless but muddled mind. Rove is the most vile, despicable, duplicitous, power-addicted, war-mongering, lying neo-fascist in the administration, save Dick Cheney and the man who lets them run the government for him.
Rove's cynicism is a perfect reflection of Bush's jaded mind and willingness to say and do anything to grab and preserve power. If that means sending young men and women to die in an illegal, unnecessary war against the wrong enemy, Rove figures, so what?
By Mike Whitney
June 27, 2005
“You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory.
Going on the attack
By Allan Saxe
Special to the Star-Telegram
Criticism of President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq based on that country's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction continues without abatement.
The Downing Street memo recently surfaced in Britain. It implied that Bush wanted the war no matter what and that he used the WMD issue as a pretext.
Having been criticized for a lack of post-war planning, Bush ironically is being chastised for a surfeit of pre-war planning.
Nations have always used various reasons -- usually dramatic, oversimplified and visual -- as pretexts for war. This simple, sound-bite approach often obfuscates real and more complicated motivations.
49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War, 44% Say Hussein
June 23, 2005--Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that President Bush is more responsible for starting the War with Iraq than Saddam Hussein. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 44% take the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the responsibility.
In late 2002, months before the fighting began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the War. Just one-in-four thought the President was doing the provoking at that time.
The biggest change in perceptions has come among Democrats.
By C.B. Hanif
Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer
Sunday, June 26, 2005
No topic has funneled more recent outrage to this desk than what have become known as the Downing Street memos. Critics charge that the leaked British intelligence documents are further evidence that the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was a done deal at least eight months earlier, rather than a last resort, and that the administration scammed a timid Congress while assuring a fearful American public that an invasion decision had not been made.
"And, if this be true," e-mailed Jimmy L. Shirley Jr., "it shows that the war is based on a lie (sound familiar?) and that our boys and girls are dying and being maimed based on this. Two of my sons are over there in the Army. I hope they get out and away alive and in one piece."
Published on Saturday, June 18, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Ken Sanders
Under Article II, Section 4 of the 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." Any reasonable interpretation of the Constitution's impeachment clause, and the historical application thereof, leads to the inescapable conclusion that articles of impeachment should be brought against President Bush for his commission of high crimes against the United States.
War opponents seek U.S. inquiry into U.K. memos Documents show war started before Congress approved
TIM HARPER, WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON—Cindy Sheehan never supported George W. Bush's war in Iraq, and always thought the case for the invasion was built on a pyramid of lies.
Her son Casey shared her views, she says, even as he deployed for Iraq from Fort Hood, Tex. His perception didn't change even as the army specialist mounted a rescue mission in Sadr City 14 months ago, then took a bullet in the midst of chaotic battle, ending a life that didn't last 25 years.
He had been in Iraq only two weeks.
There are many lessons to be learned from the increasingly famous Downing Street memo and the related documents now emerging in its wake. First of all is the most obvious: a categorical report by Sir Richard Dearlove, the chief of British intelligence, that President Bush was determined to go to war against Iraq in mid-2002 (and probably much earlier), that there was insufficient intelligence data to justify military action, and that the Bush administration intended to "fix the facts around the policy" so as to justify military action.
Dearlove had been invited to Washington to participate in high-level planning sessions in the wake of 9/11. He held talks with George Tenet, director of the CIA, and other high-ranking administration officials. The memo was his no-nonsense summary of those sessions, prepared for subsequent scrutiny by the government of Bush's war partner, Prime Minister Tony Blair. "Military action was now seen as inevitable," wrote Dearlove. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD."
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
June 24, 2005
ISSUE: British memos raise questions about the Bush administration's prewar planning and motives.
As the public buzz grows louder over leaked British memoranda on the planning that led to the war in Iraq, one thing must be clearly emphasized: there is no "smoking gun" among the memos. But there is plenty to warrant suspicion, and to prompt Americans and their representatives in Congress to demand answers from the Bush administration.
Why, for instance, did Condoleezza Rice, then U.S. national security adviser, show no interest in discussing Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida when she met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser a mere six months after 9-11? The adviser says all Rice wanted to talk about was "regime change" in Iraq.
I want to take a moment and inform you of who is going to be "On With Leon" this Saturday the 25th of June from 2:00 -4:00 PM ET.
2:00 - 4:00 PM ET Did President George W. Bush intentionally mislead Congress in his quest to topple Saddam Hussein?
This is the question that was at the heart of a hearing conducted by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) on Thursday, June 16. Should this be investigated? If the President, members of his cabinet and administration lied to Congress and the American people, what should the consequences be? Do the words high crimes and misdemeanors mean anything to you?