Mudcat Café message #1503289 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1503289
Posted By: Amos
17-Jun-05 - 06:54 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From the Xian Science Minotaur:

Is 'Downing Street Memo' a smoking gun?

Bush critics say it shows he lied to Americans about Iraq, but others say memo offers nothing new.

By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com

President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and some media outlets, dismiss its importance, but the so-called 'Downing Street Memo' seems to be gathering increasing public attention.
Thursday senior Democrats held a public forum on Capitol Hill and called "for a full investigation into a memo that appears to accuse [Mr. Bush] of misleading Americans into backing the war with Iraq," as the CBC reports.

The memo [see it here] is based on a briefing given to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top security advisers in July 2002, eight months before the war. Labelled "top secret," the memo summarizes a report from Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of British intelligence, who had just met senior Bush officials in Washington.
The memo says: "Military action was now seen as inevitable." That "Terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]" would be used to justify the war. But, the memo says, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Los Angeles Times editorial and opinion editor Michael Kinsley writes that the memo "is not proof that Bush had decided on war."

Of course, if "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," rather than vice versa, that is pretty good evidence of Bush's intentions, as well as a scandal in its own right. And we know now that this was true. Fixing intelligence and facts to fit a desired policy is the Bush II governing style, especially concerning the Iraq war. But [Sir Richard Dearlove] offered no specifics, or none that made it into the memo. Nor does the memo assert that actual decision-makers told him they were fixing the facts. Although the prose is not exactly crystalline, it seems to be saying only that "Washington" had reached that conclusion.

But Joe Conason of Salon.com writes that Kinsley's response to the memo is just more proof that "the leading lights of the Washington press corps are more embarrassed than the White House is by the revelations in the Downing Street memo."

'Mooing in plaintive chorus, the Beltway herd insists that the July 23, 2002, memo wasn't news -- which would be true if the absence of news were defined only by their refusal to report it.'




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