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Terror link 'unconvincing'

DOWNING STREET MEMOS
Terror link 'unconvincing'
Leaked documents detail Britain's doubts about the United States' arguments for invasion in the Iraq war's run-up, putting both governments in the hot seat
By THOMAS WAGNER
Associated Press

LONDON - When Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser dined with Condoleezza Rice six months after Sept. 11, the then-U.S. national security adviser didn't want to discuss Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. She wanted to talk about "regime change" in Iraq, setting the stage for the U.S.-led invasion more than a year later.

President Bush wanted Blair's support, but British officials worried the White House was rushing to war, according to a series of leaked secret Downing Street memos that have renewed questions and debate about Washington's motives for ousting Saddam Hussein.

Dave Zweifel: We've seen enough to impeach Bush

Capital Times
By Dave Zweifel
June 20, 2005

As I said in this space two weeks ago, if Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about having sex with an intern, then George Bush needs to be impeached for the deliberate lies he and his cabal told to start a war that has now taken the lives of more than 1,700 young American men and women and countless Iraqi citizens, plus threatens to bankrupt the country.

One of our "Sound Off" callers insisted last week that only "Bush haters" would say such things.

Another took to task the Wisconsin Democratic Party, which passed a resolution calling for the president's impeachment at its convention a week ago, for being "foolish and shortsighted."

Witness to Iraq war forum says lack of debate led to war

The Associated Press
June 16, 2005, Thursday, BC cycle
SECTION: Washington Dateline
LENGTH: 552 words
HEADLINE: Witness to Iraq war forum says lack of debate led to war
BYLINE: By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
Some congressional Democrats are insisting that the White House provide more information about what led to the decision to go to war in Iraq, citing a British document known as the "Downing Street memo" as evidence intelligence was distorted.

Rep. John Conyers and other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee conducted a public forum Thursday prompted by documents that have surfaced from inside the British government about prewar planning.

Spokesman Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)
June 17, 2005 Friday
Idaho Edition
SECTION: B; Pg. 7
LENGTH: 781 words
HEADLINE: Why so little memo coverage?
BODY:
Question: Why don't you print more information on the Downing Street memo? This is a huge story. - Richard Emerick

Answer: Good point, although this is one of those continuing stories that's been a bit difficult to follow. However, as a result of your question, one of our wire news editors took another look at the stories available from our wire services and found one that we were able to publish in Thursday's paper. We won't promise that we'll publish a story every day on this issue, but we'll keep an eye out for significant developments.

QUESTIONS SWIRL AROUND DOCUMENT

San Jose Mercury News (California)
June 17, 2005 Friday MO1 EDITION
SECTION: A; Pg. 14
LENGTH: 487 words
HEADLINE: Inquiry sought on prewar memo;
BYLINE: Mercury News Wire Services
DATELINE: WASHINGTON

BODY:
Amid new questions about President Bush's drive to topple Saddam Hussein, several House Democrats urged lawmakers Thursday to conduct an official inquiry to determine whether the president intentionally misled Congress.

At a public forum where the word ''impeachment'' loomed large, Exhibit A was the so-called Downing Street memo, a prewar document leaked from inside the British government to the Sunday Times of London six weeks ago. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the event.

Downing St. memo inquiry requested

Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota)
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: MAIN; Pg. 15A
LENGTH: 562 words
HEADLINE: Downing St. memo inquiry requested;
Democrats demand answers about controversial British war document
BYLINE: Washington Bureau
BODY:
WASHINGTON -- A hearing Thursday on a secret British intelligence memo that said President Bush was committed to waging war on Iraq months before he said so publicly ended with a request for Congress to open an inquiry into whether Bush should be impeached for misleading the nation.

"All we're asking is to know the truth," said John Bonifaz, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org. "Some of his supporters want to say it's a question of failed intelligence. If that's all it was, so be it."

Philadelphia Inquirer

June 17, 2005 Friday CITY-D-EAST EDITION
SECTION: NATIONAL; Pg. A01
LENGTH: 972 words
HEADLINE: Trying to make hay of prewar memos
BYLINE: By Dick Polman; Inquirer Political Analyst
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
George W. Bush asked voters last year to judge him as a war president, and the strategy worked. Yet today, as casualties mount in Iraq, and as sunny administration statements are contradicted by events on the ground, the public's patience is being taxed as never before.

These developments have emboldened grassroots liberals to focus public attention on the so-called Downing Street memo (and seven others, leaked in London last weekend), all of which raise questions about Bush's case for war. And yesterday, a dozen House Democrats staged a hearing on the British government documents, hoping to persuade more Americans that, in Michigan Rep. John Conyers' words, at least 1,700 U.S. troops "have lost their lives for a lie."

Making The Press Rethink DSM

NYU's Jay Rosen schools the press on the 21st century's Worldwide hierarchy in his latest post at Press Think entitled "The Downing Street Memo and the Court of Appeal in News Judgment":

"News judgment used to be king. If the press ruled against you, you just weren't news. But if you weren't news how would anyone know enough about you to contest the ruling? Today, the World Wide Web is the sovereign force, and journalists live and work according to its rules."

Rosen examines how the British press, aided by left-leaning bloggers and the heroic efforts of Congressman John Conyers, were able to finally get America's mainstream media to recognize the importance of the Downing Street minutes which were leaked nearly a month-and-a-half ago (and more keep coming: Ten Briefcases Full!).

BRITISH MEMO NOTICED WHAT WAS MISSING

The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon)
June 17, 2005 Friday
SUNRISE EDITION
SECTION: EDITORIAL; Pg. D09
LENGTH: 731 words
HEADLINE: BRITISH MEMO NOTICED WHAT WAS MISSING
BYLINE: DAVID SARASOHN - The Oregonian
BODY:
After weeks of ignoring the existence of the Downing Street memo -- the July 2002 minutes of a high-level British meeting reporting that the Bush administration had already decided on war and was shaping the intelligence around its goal -- major media outlets have now gotten to the second phase of coverage:

They knew it all the time.

Nothing happening here, move along.

The current round -- including newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, which months ago apologized for the inadequacy and overcredulousness of their coverage of the war's origins -- declares that even though the Bush administration was publicly claiming it hoped to avoid war, everybody at the time knew the United States was going to attack Iraq.

Ray McGovern on News Hour With Jim Lehrer

Federal News Service
June 17, 2005 Friday
LENGTH: 2663 words
HEADLINE: PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT - IRAQI WAR MEMOS, INCLUDING A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH FORMER CIA OFFICIALS RAY McGOVERN AND REUEL GERECHT (NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, PBS TV, 6 PM, JUNE 16, 2005)
BODY:
TERENCE SMITH: Behind that famous door, the residence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, top British officials gathered in July 2002 to discuss a possible war in Iraq. But minutes of that discussion only surfaced on May 1 of this year in the heat of Blair's reelection campaign. First published by the Sunday Times of London, it came to be known as the 'Downing Street Memo.'

Answers needed on Downing Street memo

Detroit Free Press
June 17, 2005 Friday 1 EDITION
LENGTH: 442 words
HEADLINE: WAR, RIGHTS AND SECURITY: Answers needed on Downing Street memo

BODY:
The White House is surely hoping that U.S. Rep. John Conyers will just go away. But he shouldn't, not while Americans are dying in Iraq.

The country deserves better answers than President George W. Bush has provided to date about his justification for the Iraq war, and Conyers is at least trying to get them.

As a member of the minority party from a state Bush didn't carry, he's not likely to succeed on his own. But the Detroit Democrat can raise public awareness of the so-called "Downing Street memo" to a point where more of the president's fellow Republicans, some of whom already are trying to distance themselves from the war, can join the chorus calling for answers. Perhaps former Secretary of State Colin Powell will add his voice, too, since he was the one who took the president's case for war to the United Nations, making quite a show of evidence that turned out to be false about Saddam Hussein as an imminent threat.

War memo angers Democrats: British file shows data manipulated

War memo angers Democrats British file shows data manipulated, they say; aides defend Bush
Dallas Morning News
BYLINE: DAVID JACKSON, Washington Bureau
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
WASHINGTON - Armed with newly disclosed British documents, a group of congressional Democrats conducted an "unofficial hearing" Thursday accusing the Bush administration of "fixing" intelligence to justify the Iraq war.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who called the hearing, said the so-called Downing Street memos "establish a prima facie case of going to war under false pretenses."

White House officials noted that all the Democrats who attended the hearing opposed the war and that the administration had good reason to believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and posed a significant threat.

Conyers right to ask for British memo exam

Copley News Service
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: EDITS; EDITORIAL WEEKLY FEATURE
LENGTH: 206 words
HEADLINE: Daily Editorials Conyers right to ask for British memo exam
BYLINE: The Detroit News Copley News Service
BODY:
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., should be credited for his efforts to get to the bottom of the so-called Downing Street memo. The country deserves an honest assessment of the July 2002 British memo, which recounts a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top aides.

Critics of the administration have been pounding the media for weeks to investigate the memo, which they claim constitutes the "smoking gun" that proves the Bush administration "fixed" intelligence to build a case for invading Iraq. Others who have examined the memo say it offers no specific information on how intelligence was manipulated and could have been prepared from ongoing news accounts of the build-up for the invasion.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 17, 2005 Friday Home Edition
SECTION: News; Pg. 3A;
LENGTH: 658 words
HEADLINE: War critics target Bush;
Democrats want probe of memo
BYLINE: BOB DEANS

BODY:
Washington --- House Democrats demanded Thursday that Congress hold formal hearings into accusations in a leaked British government memo that the Bush administration intentionally manipulated intelligence to justify war against Iraq.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan told two dozen fellow Democrats that the so-called Downing Street memo raised the possibility that fallen U.S. soldiers in Iraq "have lost their lives for a lie."

Like ... "we don't want" the Watergate tapes

Associated Press Online
These materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The Associated Press
June 17, 2005 Friday
SECTION: WASHINGTON DATELINE
LENGTH: 693 words
HEADLINE: Democrats Urge Inquiry on Bush, Iraq
BYLINE: PETE YOST; Associated Press Writer
DATELINE: WASHINGTON

BODY:
Amid new questions about President Bush's drive to topple Saddam Hussein, several House Democrats urged lawmakers on Thursday to conduct an official inquiry to determine whether the president intentionally misled Congress.

At a public forum where the word "impeachment" loomed large, Exhibit A was the so-called Downing Street memo, a prewar document leaked from inside the British government to The Sunday Times of London a month and a half ago. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the event.

Hearst Newspapers

Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)
June 17, 2005 Friday 4X EDITION
SECTION: A; Pg. 1
LENGTH: 838 words
HEADLINE: Democrats try to build case to impeach president;
Critics hold hearing on Iraq war;
Bush inquiry urged
BYLINE: By Stewart M. Powell; Hearst Newspapers
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
Democratic critics on Thursday tried to build a case for the impeachment of President Bush for allegedly taking the nation to war in Iraq on false pretenses.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and a veteran of impeachment proceedings against President Nixon in 1974, launched an unofficial, Democrats-only inquiry into allegations that Bush contrived U.S. intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify a long-planned U.S.-British invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Are You Asking Us Because You're Afraid to Tell Us?

Salon.com
June 18, 2005 Saturday
SECTION: Feature
LENGTH: 883 words
HEADLINE: Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes?
BYLINE: By David Paul Kuhn

HIGHLIGHT:
At a crowded basement forum on the Downing Street memo, Democrats demanded an inquiry into what Bush knew about Iraq war planning and when he knew it, but stopped short of calling for impeachment.

BODY:
Forced to the basement of the U.S. Capitol and prevented from holding an official hearing, Michigan Rep. John Conyers defied Republicans and held a forum Thursday calling for a congressional inquiry into the infamous British document known as the "Downing Street memo."

Democratic Accountability Is Hateful and Obscene

The Washington Post
June 19, 2005 Sunday
Final Edition
SECTION: Editorial; B06
LENGTH: 1069 words
HEADLINE: Memos, 'Wing Nuts' and 'Hit Lists'
BYLINE: Michael Getler
BODY:
The bulk of the mail last week, by far, was focused once again on the "Downing Street Memo." This is the memo produced by a national security aide to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, based on notes taken in a meeting with Blair and his top advisers on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion of Iraq. It is marked "Secret and strictly personal -- UK eyes only" but was leaked to the Sunday Times of London and published May 1.

Sac Bee Opening Eyes, But Still Groggy

Sacramento Bee
June 19, 2005, Sunday METRO FINAL EDITION
SECTION: EDITORIALS; Pg. E6; EDITORIALS
LENGTH: 621 words
HEADLINE: MI-6 memo: More doubt on war decision Whatever the truth about Bush s Iraq intentions, we must get more serious about scrutinizing matters of national security.
BODY:
Some Democrats in Congress and opponents of the war in Iraq are calling on the White House to respond to a leaked British intelligence report - the so-called Downing Street memorandum - that says President Bush and his top national security aides decided as far back as the summer of 2002 to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by force. More to the point, the memo, written by the chief of MI-6, the British counterpart of the Central Intelligence Agency, told senior officials that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" by U.S. officials.

Sacramento Bee

June 19, 2005, Sunday METRO FINAL EDITION
SECTION: MAIN NEWS; Pg. A1
LENGTH: 990 words
HEADLINE: Bush confronts doubts on Iraq As demands for an exit strategy grow, he plans a PR counteroffensive.
BYLINE: Rob Hotakainen Bee Washington Bureau
DATELINE: WASHINGTON
BODY:
Faced with a rising death toll in Iraq and eroding public support for the war, President Bush is planning a summer offensive aimed at highlighting progress against the Iraqi insurgency and warding off demands to set an exit strategy.

Bush has summoned Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to Washington on Friday to tout the Mideast country's political gains, and on June 28 he will mark the one-year anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq with a major speech on the region.

Plain Dealer Covers its Failure to Cover DSM

Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

June 19, 2005 Sunday
Final Edition; All Editions

SECTION: NATIONAL; Pg. A2

LENGTH: 866 words

HEADLINE: U.S. media tardy in reporting Downing Street memos

BYLINE: TED DIADIUN, Plain Dealer

BODY:

The news snowball that is the Downing Street Memo is gathering heft and speed and is beginning to hurtle down the hill toward the White House.

At this point it is unclear whether it will land with a thunderous blow, smashing the Bush administration to pieces, or break apart and melt. That will depend on what happens when the memo (more accurately “memos

Nothing Here AND We Knew All These Things Before: Two Excuses for the Price of One

Newsday (New York)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
CITY EDITION
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. A07
LENGTH: 692 words
HEADLINE: Memo big, but not big enough
BYLINE: Ellis Henican
BODY:
Is the Downing Street memo an interesting historical document? You bet it is.

Does it give a peek into America's most loyal allies, as they shook their heads in skepticism at the Bush administration's tortured arguments for war? That much it does.

But here's a little memo of my own, addressed to my frustrated anti-war friends: Take a deep breath, comrades. These quotes advance the case for Bush duplicity, but alone do not prove it.

Verily, Black Is White

Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
FINAL EDITION
SECTION: OUTLOOK; Pg. H1
LENGTH: 881 words
HEADLINE: A 'SMOKING GUN' OR NOT?
BYLINE: By EARL TILFORD/Special to the Daily Press
BODY:
This memo means nothing, and history shows us why

For the American radical left, the July 23, 2002, "Iraq: Prime Minister's Meeting" memorandum, dubbed the Downing Street memo, was the "smoking gun" that convicted President George W. Bush of manipulating intelligence to support his decision to go to war with Iraq eight months before Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers began a campaign to have the House Judiciary Committee investigate the memo. The bigger news has been the naming of "Deep Throat."

Deceptions over WMD cry out for another Deep Throat

Contra Costa Times (California)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
SECTION: OPINION; Pg. F4
BYLINE: By Tammerlin Drummond

BODY:
I COULDN'T help but wonder during the Deep Throat Watergate nostalgia fest where today's Woodward and Bernsteins are. And why aren't they investigating the current administration?

Watergate began as a crime story. President Nixon ordered the burglary of Democratic Party campaign headquarters, then got caught trying to cover it up.

President Bush didn't break any U.S. laws when he falsely claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction to build public support for invading Iraq. Morally, however -- and this is an administration that has always claimed the moral high ground -- the deception is nothing short of criminal.

Robert Redford Gets Comment Printed

Contra Costa Times (California)
June 19, 2005 Sunday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. F4
LENGTH: 1138 words
HEADLINE: Leo gets bonked on the head;
PEOPLE

BODY:

...

ANOTHER EXCUSE TO RAIL ON BUSH: Robert Redford, who played Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in "All the President's Men," said he used to speculate on who Deep Throat was and had figured "it probably had to do with the FBI."

Redford said the revelation that former Deputy FBI Director Mark Felt was the secret source who helped the Post report on Watergate has him "waiting to see if anybody is going to connect where we were then and where we are now."

Kurtz Gets Paid By CNN & Washington "We Broke a Story in the 1970s" Post to Critique the Media, and We're not Supposed to Laugh?

CNN:

Just ahead, your viewer e-mail about the Bush administration and the press on that controversial Downing Street Memo.

KURTZ: Lots of heated viewer e-mail from our discussion last week about whether the media had gone soft on the Bush administration. And about a subject that six weeks later is finally getting some traction in the press this week -- the limited coverage of a British memo of a meeting involving Prime Minister Tony Blair back in the summer of 2002, which said the U.S. had "fixed" the intelligence on Iraq to justify going to war.

Nancy in Hudson, New Hampshire writes: "Please, please, please, the media need to start playing hardball with this administration. The Downing Street memo needs to be revisited and explained for us. The media are our only hope in exposing the way this administration and Congress are corrupting the Constitution." [One of how many letters like it???]

Chicago Tribune

June 19, 2005 Sunday
Chicago Final Edition
SECTION: NEWS ; ZONE C; Pg. 6
LENGTH: 1014 words
HEADLINE: Even in heartland, war support flags
BYLINE: By Tim Jones and Mark Silva, Tribune national correspondents. Tribune national correspondent Dahleen Glanton contributed to this report from Atlanta.
DATELINE: ST. LOUIS

BODY:
There is no questioning public support for the troops in this river city, where yellow, curly ribbons pasted on the backs of motor vehicles are more common than street banners declaring allegiance to the beloved hometown Cardinals.

But 27 months into the Iraq war, public frustration and impatience have increased as the military death toll rises and an end to the conflict appears nowhere in sight. While the Vietnam-era peace movement never gained much footing in culturally conservative St. Louis, attitudes toward the Iraq war are shifting in subtle and sometimes contradictory ways.

Bradenton Herald

The Bradenton Herald

June 19, 2005 Sunday EST EDITION

SECTION: LOCAL; BRIEF; Pg. 12

LENGTH: 891 words

HEADLINE: 'Fixed' for war?;
Downing Street Memo cries out for answers

BODY:
Why is the American public so apathetic about the Downing Street Memo?

A nation that just a few years ago was obsessed with fudging over sexual trysts by one president seems unconcerned about evidence of lying by another to justify a war that has cost the lives of more than 1,700 American service members, killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

Knight Ridder

Classified papers indicate an early decision for war

BYLINE: WARREN P. STROBEL; Knight Ridder Newspapers

DATELINE: WASHINGTON

BODY:
Highly classified documents leaked in Britain appear to provide new evidence that President Bush and his national security team decided to invade Iraq much earlier than they have acknowledged and marched to war without dwelling on the potential perils.

The half-dozen memos and option papers, written by top aides to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, buttress previous on-the-record accounts that portray Bush and his advisers as predisposed to oust Saddam Hussein when they took office - and determined to do it at all costs after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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