Saturday, June 24, 2006

Downing Street Memo Journo to Testify

From my Raw Story article (written with John Byrne), Senate Democratic committee to hold oversight hearing on Iraq pre-war intelligence:

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) will be holding a special oversight hearing on pre-war intelligence relating to Iraq Monday, RAW STORY has learned.


Senator Dorgan's spokesman told RAW STORY that the hearing shouldn't be characterized as a response to the delayed Senate Intelligence Committee Phase II investigation into pre-war Iraq intelligence.

"For starters there has never been a hearing on the use of pre-war intelligence, but essentially the purpose is there were clearly some problems with intelligence leading up to the Iraq war," said spokesman Barry Piatt. "There's been a lot of discussion about the quality of the pre-war intelligence but there's been almost no discussion about how the intelligence that we had was actually used."


British journalist Michael Smith, who broke the Downing Street memos story in the spring of 2005, which revealed that Blair and his ministers plotted to justify Bush's planned invasion eight months before the official start of the war, will appear as a witness via videoconference at the hearing.

"I decided to give evidence because they asked me to do so, it was clear they were genuinely interested in what I had to say, and it was part of genuine attempt to get to grips with the implications of the leaked memos," Smith told RAW STORY. "It would not be appropriate to discuss beforehand what I will be saying to the committee but it will of course go over issues that I have already written about extensively."

Two former officials slated to testify were recently featured in the PBS Frontline documentary "The Dark Side" which reported on the battle between Vice President Cheney and the CIA to control secret intelligence activities.

Read the rest at Raw Story.

(I have two biggish articles set to drop in the next few days, which also unfortunately means my follow-up Coulter plagiarism article has been pushed back. But the Coulter piece, when completed, will be quite extensively researched and it will address more than just plagiarism, so I think it will be worth the wait)


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