Mens Rea and WMD

06.05.2005 Rep. John Conyers, Huffington Post

We have reached a point where all but the most delusional enthusiasts of the Iraq war have now acknowledged that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion and likely for over a decade preceding the war. Fox News and the President were slow to acknowledge this fact, but now have.

Unfortunately, it seems this rare consensus has lulled many into failing to ask the follow-up question: why were the President and other high-ranking administration officials so definitive in their statements that Iraq possessed WMD? This question is not of a merely historical significance: we deserve to know whether these statements were the result of a "massive intelligence failure" as some have contended or a deliberate deception of the Congress and the American people.

Stop the Next War Now!


All day on Tuesday, June 7, learn more about Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism, the new CodePink book from the country's most fearless and creative women peace activists, who will be participating in a Moving Ideas online discussion.

Chair of Republican Party Put at a Loss by Downing Street Minutes

Chair of Republican Party Put at a Loss by Downing Street Minutes
By David Swanson,

On June 5, 2005, Ken Mehlman, Chairman of the Republican Party, was asked about the Downing Street Minutes on "NBC News' Meet the Press."To my knowledge, this was the first serious treatment of the matter on any U.S. network news show. It still remains for a news program to report on the matter on its own behalf, as opposed to asking a Republican guest to comment on it.

The transcript is here: and below with commentary:

A Lie of Historic Proportions

By Cindy Sheehan, Mother of needlessly slain soldier, Casey Sheehan.
Cofounder of Gold Star Families for Peace
(Organizational Supporters of

Iraq has been the tragic Lie of Historic Proportions of Washington, DC since before the first Gulf war.

For years, Saddam was one of our government�s propped up and militarily supported puppets. Many people have seen the famous footage of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam. I suppose the two are smiling so big for the cameras because they are kindred spirits. After all of the hand-shaking and weapon brokering, when did Saddam become such a bad guy to Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and Co.? (Insert your favorite reason here).

Teach-In on War Turns to Demand for Truth

By David Swanson,

A teach-in on ending the Iraq War was held in Washington, D.C., on June 3, organized by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). It followed, in part, a pattern established by other teach-ins, but also took an exciting new turn.

From Watergate to Downing Street -- Lying for War

By Norman Solomon

You wouldn�t know it from the media focus on Deep Throat last week, but the lies that Richard Nixon told about the Watergate break-in were part of his standard duplicity for the Vietnam War.

It wasn�t just that the Nixon administration engaged in secret illegal actions against a wide range of peace advocates -- including antiwar candidate George McGovern, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972. Deception was always central to Nixon�s war policy. Thirty-three years after Watergate, echoes of his fervent lies for war can be heard from George W. Bush.

Bush lies should get him tossed out

By Dave Zweifel, The Capital Times, June 3, 2005

You may not have heard about the so-called "Downing Street memo" because the U.S. media haven't done much coverage of it.

The wire services with which The Capital Times contracts - the Washington Post/Los Angeles Times, Scripps Howard and the Associated Press - have moved few stories about the memo, which surfaced in the Sunday Times of London back on May 1. Consequently, we haven't had much about it either.

While the U.S. media have finally gotten around to lamenting the faked intelligence that the Bush people foisted on an unsuspecting public to grease the skids to go to war - something we wrote about nearly two years ago - the Downing Street memo is now flying under the radar screen.

Downing Street Memo could touch Bolton Confirmation


In what could be an interesting entre for the Downing Street memo in the Bolton hearings, the nominee is reported to have demanded the illegal firing of Jose Bustani to prevent Iraq chemical inspections that might undermine grounds for US invasion:
John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.

A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani "had to go," particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.

What's Up With the Downing Street Memo?

6/4/2005, The Signal
Diana Sevanian Signal Staff Writer

If I had lost a loved one fighting in Iraq or currently had a soldier over there, I would be enraged over the Downing Street Memo. Even without that link, I am fuming about this formerly �extremely sensitive� and now public memorandum.

In case you�re unaware, the Downing Street Memo is the recently leaked minutes from a 2002 British government meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team. It pertains to their intelligence analysts� concerns over President Bush�s determination to topple Saddam Hussein � despite �wobbly evidence� that Iraq posed a serious threat to its neighbors or to the United States.

How to Write a Letter to the Editor

Be polite, concise, informative, and passionate. Be like the author of the following letter -- even if she did just copy and paste our press release ;-)

Copyright 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc. and New England Newspaper Group Inc.
The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
June 1, 2005 Wednesday
LENGTH: 412 words
HEADLINE: Learn the case for impeachment

To the Editor of THE EAGLE:-

A coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups has announced a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

Can Redford and Hoffman Play the Entire Blogosphere in the Downing Street Memo Movie?

By Arianna Huffington

Follow the Memo: Can Redford and Hoffman Play the Entire Blogosphere in the Downing Street Memo Movie?
In his otherwise terrific insider�s take on the Deep Throat story, former Washington Post editor and columnist Bob Levey says that the "next Watergate" won�t happen without "Big Journalism." I couldn�t disagree more. It will happen in spite of Big Journo... and because of the "little journalism" of the blogosphere.

Take the biggest under-reported story of the moment (at least in America): what the Downing Street Memo reveals about the Bush administration and how it led us into the Iraq war.

Eyes of Babylon - Catch it Now

"Eyes of Babylon," a play by member and Iraq War Veteran Lance Corporal Jeff Key closes in LA on Sunday, June 19.


On March 31st, 2004, Lance Corporal Jeff Key, United States Marine went on CNN's Paula Zahn Now to say to five million people what he at one time would not have said to one other person.

The Eyes of Babylon is story of Key's personal struggles trying to reconcile being part of a war that he knows to be illegal and immoral and a profound commitment to the reasons he became a marine. Told by Key with excerpts from his personal journals from Iraq. We follow him from the morning of September 11th, 2001, through his tour in Iraq, and on to his return to America to begin a life of political activism and philanthropy. Key decides that the time to stop lying about his sexuality has come and goes on to use the ban on gays in the military to exit the Marine Corps and thereby avoid ever again being asked to take innocent life for corporate gains. More the story of a psychological and emotional journey culminating in spiritual epiphany than a documentation of the war, this piece is a profoundly personal look inside the conscience of a man faced with near impossible decisions.

Memo to Mainstream Media

By Geov Parrish, Seattle Weekly

I have a three-word response to the media frenzy that followed revelation of the long-secret identity of Deep Throat: Downing Street Memo.

Here's what John Dean, a key Watergate figure, wrote about Dubya's case for the Iraq war in a June 2003 column for "To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. . . . Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be a 'high crime' under the Constitution's impeachment clause."

Protest draws attention to memo

Here's an article from the St. Petersburgh Times that was generated by a local demonstration at a TV station. Does that give any of you ideas?

Note that the reporter called me David Dawson, probably as a result of the quality of cell phone service in the hotel in DC where the Take Back America Conference chooses to convene. But, he quoted me accurately and he and his editors MENTIONED THE ISSUE AND DID SO HONESTLY. Please thank them!
--David Swanson

The "Downing Street Memo" indicates an agreement on invading Iraq in July 2002.

White House Declines to Dispute the Downing Street Memo

By weldon berger at DailyKos
Fri Jun 3rd, 2005 at 22:05:23 CST

Many, many people seem to be under the impression that the White House has not commented upon the Downing Street Memo.

That's wrong: They have. My White House writer, Eric Brewer, posed a question about it to Scott McClellan at the May 23 White House briefing, and McClellan very carefully avoided disputing that Straw and Dearlove said what the minutes describe them as saying or that what they said was true.

Here's Eric's question and McClellan's response:

Eric Brewer: Scott, last week you said that claims in the leaked Downing Street memo that intelligence was being fixed to support the Iraq War as early as July 2002 are "flat-out wrong." According to the memo, which was dated July 23, 2002, and whose authenticity has not been disputed by the British Government, both Foreign Minister Jack Straw and British Intelligence Chief Sir Richard Dearlove said that the President had already made up his mind to invade Iraq. Dearlove added that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Do you think these two very senior officials of our closest ally were "flat-out wrong"� And if so, how could they have been so misinformed after their conversations with George Tenet and Condoleezza Rice?

Sore Throat

By Billmon, June 03, 2005

There was a time when the exposure of Deep Throat's identity would have grabbed my attention in a big way: At last!

The answer to all those boozy guessing games at all those journalistic watering holes of my younger days. Al Haig? John Dean? Martha Mitchell . . . no wait, wasn't she dead by then?

But it doesn't really matter any more. Anonymous whistleblowers have become little more than curious anachronisms, as likely to turn out to be bumbling fools or cynical disinformation artists (paging Michael Isikoff) as dedicated civil servants wiling to risk their careers to save the Republic.

DNC Notices

The Democratic National Committee has noticed this issue.

Here's the DNC's posting. You can add comments there letting people know about our campaign.

And here's how you can contact the DNC to thank them, encourage them, and urge them to add the concrete proposal of asking Congress to introduce a resolution of inquiry.

Administration's Offenses Impeachable

Published on Friday, June 3, 2005 by the Bangor Daily News (Maine)
By Robert Shetterly

Let's consider an item from the news of about two weeks ago: A British citizen leaked a memo to London's Sunday Times.
The memo was of the written account of a meeting that a man named Richard Dearlove had with the Bush administration in July 2002. Dearlove was the head of the England's MI-6, the equivalent of the CIA. On July 23, 2002, Dearlove briefed Tony Blair about the meeting. He said that Bush was determined to attack Iraq. He said that Bush knew that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no links to foreign terrorists, that there was no imminent danger to the U.S. from Iraq. But, since Bush was determined to go to war, "Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy." "Fixed" means faked, manufactured, conjured, hyped - the product of whole cloth fabrication.

The Real Lessons of Watergate

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

From Make Them Accountable: Famed Iran/Contra investigative reporter Bob Parry has offered his nonprofit, the Consortium for Independent Journalism, as the basis for building a new media empire dedicated to the truth. Which of you will join us in making that happen?

We'll Be on C-SPAN Saturday Morning!

Watch the Washington Journal on C-Span from 7:45 - 8:30 a.m. ET Saturday June 4 for Co-Founder Steve Cobble. And phone in to have your say!


If I Want to Ask Bush or Cheney About the DSMinutes, Where Will I Find Them?

Those inclined to organize peaceful nonviolent demonstrations aimed at asking Bush or members of his administration about the Downing Street Minutes may benefit from this schedule of upcoming appearances.

Friday, June 3, 2005
ROMNEY in Manchester, NH: MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) heads to NH 6/3 to speak to the state Federation of GOP Women's annual Lilac Convention; the women's group is the same one that hosted Pres. Bush in '99 on his first campaign visit there. Bay State GOP exec. dir. Tim O'Brien said that Romney will be talking about "balancing the budget and creating jobs" in MA. O'Brien "downplayed" the trip's implication for pres. politics: "Gov. Romney is a national political figure just like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry who go across the country raising money for their party. I wouldn't read too much into it. People go raise money for their party and that's what the governor is doing here" (Straub, Boston Herald, 5/26).

Meyer book may reveal Iraq secrets

By Francis Elliott, Deputy Political Editor
May 22, 2005, 10:09

The first witness account of the summit at which Tony Blair committed Britain to join the US-led war in Iraq is to be published later this year.

Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain's former ambassador to Washington, is writing his memoirs, The Independent on Sunday has learnt.

The diplomat was present when Mr Blair met George Bush in the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas, in March 2002 and played a key role in the run-up to the war. His decision to go public will dismay Mr Blair who denies he agreed to "regime change" a year before the invasion.

Downing Street Memo for Dummies

Downing Street Memo for Dummies
By Damn Liberals

I haven't written much about the Downing Street Memo. Maybe I was just weary of yet another "smoking gun" that "proved" Bush lied about the facts to lead the country into a war of choice. But last night I took the time to read the memo for myself.

Since I suspect we will continue to hear about the memo's formerly top secret contents, none of which have be denied or even remotely challenged by British officials, I'd like to highlight the key points for those new to the story. A story that broke a month ago in the UK, but for some strange reason, the SCLM in this country had yet to even print a word of. You can read the memo for yourself here.

Kerry Questions Media Silence on Downing Street Minutes

Senator John Kerry has questioned the media silence on the Downing Street Minutes.

The Standard Times reports:

Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday called on Americans to be more aware of the "bait and switch" Iraq war and the "hollowing out" of the Army in the pursuit of a mistaken policy.

In a swing through SouthCoast, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee attacked the priorities of the Republican Party and President Bush, elaborating on what they are sacrificing -- health care for children, infrastructure, Social Security -- in the pursuit of tax cuts.

The Secret Way to War

New York Review of Books
By Mark Danner
It was October 16, 2002, and the United States Congress had just voted to authorize the President to go to war against Iraq.

When George W. Bush came before members of his Cabinet and Congress gathered in the East Room of the White House and addressed the American people, he was in a somber mood befitting a leader speaking frankly to free citizens about the gravest decision their country could make.

The 107th Congress, the President said, had just become "one of the few called by history to authorize military action to defend our country and the cause of peace." But, he hastened to add, no one should assume that war was inevitable. Though "Congress has now authorized the use of force," the President said emphatically, "I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary." The President went on:

Backbone Campaign Demands Resolution of Inquiry

Send a spine postcard to your congress member!
The Backbone Campaign writes:

Please join us in sending Spine postcards to your Senators and members of Congress to let them know they should join the Inquiry into the Downing Steet Minutes/Memo. You can click here to download a pdf file that can be printed on cardstock or other paper and sent to you members of congress. This version of the pdf file refers directly to the Downing Street Minutes/Memo issue.

DSM Letter Update: 86,000 and Counting

By Congressman John Conyers
Thu Jun 2nd, 2005 at 12:27:04 PDT, DailyKos

I wanted to update you about the Downing Street Minutes letter. Late last week, just before the holiday weekend, I asked for your help in getting 100,000 signatures on a letter to the President asking for answers about the Downing Street Minutes. (For those who have not yet heard about the minutes, they detail a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers, during which Blair and his advisers reveal details about pre-war conversations with their American counterparts. These details cast substantial doubt on the honesty of contemporaneous claims made by the Administration to Congress and to the American people about the Iraq war. For more information go here and here.)

Watergate's Lost Legacy

Investigative journalism is dead; long live investigative journalism.
By David J. Sirota, American Prospect, 6/2/05

Upon the news this week that Watergate source �Deep Throat� had come forward, CNN's Judy Woodruff waxed nostalgic about the golden era of muckraking journalism.

"It is so hard, I think, for young people we know who work here at CNN and other news organizations to even imagine what Watergate was like," she said. "To have a White House come undone, an administration come undone, because of some news reporting." Coming from a lead reporter at one of America's largest cable networks, it was truly a sad commentary.

Interview on Andymatic

Here's an audio clip of an interview of David Swanson, organizer, on Andymatic.
Link here:

What Does Your Brother In Law Think of the Downing Street Minutes?

If you speak face-to-face or by phone or Email with your family members, neighbors, and friends, we would love to hear what they think of the Downing Street Minutes, especially if you convince someone that a congressional investigation is needed. How did you persuade them? What did they start out thinking? What did they learn from you? What did you learn from them? Please open this article and post Comments at the bottom.

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