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Thursday, December 01, 2005


(Written: May 31, 2005)

On May 1, 2005, The Times of London printed a highly classified document containing minutes of a July 23, 2002 meeting at 10 Downing Street. This was the first in a series of what has come to be known as
"The Downing Street Memos."

This memo was sent during the time the White House was insisting it had no plans to invade Iraq.

"The Smoking Gun Memo," was included in a report sent by the head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, Sir Richard Dearlove, to Prime Minister Tony Blair regarding his talks in Washington with the Bush Administration to determine its plans for action in Iraq.

The Times quotes Dearlove's memo as saying "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD (weapons of mass destruction). But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The (National Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regimen's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial: "Memorial Day/ Praise Bravery, Seek Forgiveness," now circulating the Internet at light speed, states that "former counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were right. Both have been pilloried for writing that by summer 2002 Bush had already decided to invade."

It also throws kudos to Walter Pincus of The Washington Post, who on May 22, provided "further evidence that the administration did, indeed, fix the intelligence on Iraq to fit a policy it had already embraced: invasion and regime change."

Pincus wrote that, mere days before Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address, the National Security Council staff "put out a call for new intelligence to bolster (weak) claims" about Saddam Hussein's WMD programs.

The Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
website's May 20, 2005 Action Alert castigates the print media for downplaying this story. Its headline reads "Network Viewers Still in the Dark on 'Smoking Bun Memo.'"

Sources say a new memo has surfaced detailing the Bush Administration's military provocation of Hussein, bombing Iraq to goad him into giving them an excuse for going to war. Countless Iraqi citizens died during this "pre-emptive strike."

On May 20, 2005, the White House issued a pre-Memorial Day Press release:

It describes U.S. soldiers as "unrelentling in battle, unwavering in loyalty, and unmatched in decency." It further states, "Because of their selfless courage, millions of people who once lived under tyranny now are free, and America is more secure."

However, the Star-Tribune editorial, a lone media voice, sorrowfully observes, "As this bloody month of car bombs and American deaths --- the most since January --- comes to a close, as we gather in groups small and large to honor our war dead, let us all sing of their bravery and sacrifice. But, let us also ask their forgiveness for sending them to a war that should never have happened. In the 1960s it was Vietnam. Today it is Iraq. Let us resolve to never, ever, make this mistake again. Our young people are simply too precious."

By clicking on this link, you can sign a letter submitted to President Bush on May 5, 2005, by Representative John Conuers, Jr. and 89 members of Congress requesting a response to serious questions raised by the Downing Street Memo.