Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Downing Street Memo Campaign

This could be it.

This could be what we've been waiting for.

The Downing Street Memo may be bigger than the Pentagon Papers.

The Pentagon Papers and the Downing Street Memo both revealed that the government lied about it's plans for the wars, covered up the escalation and disregarded international laws but the 'Memo' contains one line which the Papers didn't:

"But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" (link).

That line should be grounds for impeachment.

Even if the US Press doesn't think so.

Yesterday, Ward Harkavy wrote an article for the Village Voice entitled "Downing Street Memo: Coverup Then, Coverup Now" in which he writes "Don't blame the government this time for the press's coverup."

"More has been written in the U.S. about whether the memo should have been written about than about the contents and implications of the friggin' memo itself."

The new public editor for the New York Times, Byron Calame, was forced into action before the old public editor had left the building: "The flood of reader e-mail criticizing The Times's coverage of the so-called Downing Street Memo has moved me to post about the issue" ( link).

Mr. Calame asked Phil Taubman, Washington bureau chief for The New York Times about the lacking coverage and was told in an e-mail:

"Given what has been reported about war planning in Washington, the revelations about the Downing Street meeting did not seem like a bolt from the blue..."

"As I read the minutes, they described the impressions of the head of MI6, who had recently returned from Washington, where he had met with George Tenet. It is mighty suggestive that Lord Dearlove, the chief of MI6, came home with the impression, or interpretation, that 'the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.' However, that's several steps removed from evidence that such was the case. The minutes did not say that Mr. Tenet had told that to Lord Dearlove or that Lord Dearlove had seen specific examples of that. The minutes, in my estimation, were not a smoking gun that proved that Bush, Tenet and others were distorting intelligence to support the case for war."

He's right. The memo isn't a smoking gun. The line in question is second hand information. But the memo might lead to a smoking gun. That's the significance of it.

We need to find out why the chief of MI6 believed that the Bush Administration was fixing intelligence to rush to war.

What can we do?

Keep it up. We need to keep pressing for answers.

Congressman John Conyers, along with 88 of his colleagues, wrote a letter to President Bush demanding answers. Yet, so far, the "search for the truth has been stonewalled."

Now he's asking for our help.

Conyers writes, "I believe the American people deserve answers about this matter and should demand directly that the President tell the truth about the memo. To that end, I am asking you to sign on to a letter to the President requesting he answer the questions posed to him by 89 Members of Congress. I will personally insure that this letter is delivered to the White House."

Go to Conyers' Blog to read the letter and to sign the petition. Conyers is hoping to gather 100,000 signatures. Let's make that happen.

Downing Street Memo and After Downing Street are two Websites started by bloggers and peace activists which are doing their best to get the news out.

I have joined the Big Brass Alliance which has aligned with After Downing Street. If you have a blog please go to the above link and sign on for the cause. If we stick together we can make this happen.

Fixing intelligence is an impeachable offense. This isn't the "same old-same old." This is an outrage, and it's about time we got organized and did something about it.


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