Friday, June 17, 2005
L to R, Amb. Joseph Wilson, of yellowcake and outed wife fame; Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq; Ray McGovern, an ex-C.I.A. analyst; and John Bonifaz, lawyer and founder of After DowningStreet.org
Republicans and the media are worried about the growing American public awareness of what has become known as the Downing Street Memo.
The Memo, or the DSM as it is known in the blogsphere, is really a report on the minutes of a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top security officers held in the 10 Downing Street prime ministerial residence on July 23, 2002.
The Memo first came to light through the auspices of the May 1, 2005 edition of, oddly, Rupert Murdock’s Times of London in the midst of Blair’s re-election campaign.
While the Memo received wide coverage in Europe and around the world, the domestic American corporate media, perhaps fearful of their own complicity in the face of plummeting readership and ratings, ignored the story some are calling proof that President Bush tricked America into an unnecessary Iraq adventure by dint of this key paragraph:
C [MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove] reported on his recent talks in Washington…Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
American blogs and certain Democratic members of Congress have kept the Downing Street Memo story alive and slowly, thanks to the President’s free-fall in the opinion polls, the corporate press, the very tool Bush used to manipulate pre war sentiment, has been goaded into a sometimes-grudging occasional mention of the Memo in reporting cleansed of any hint of media involvement.
Some, including various timeline-challenged CNN buffoons, have shopped around the absurd idea that the President’s definite 2002 plans for a 2003 Iraq war were “common knowledge”, “widely known” and, thus, not news here in the present day
Additional proof that the imploding American corporate press is terrified of the Downing Street Memo came in this morning’s coverage of yesterday’s Congressional Forum held in a small basement room of the U.S. Capitol in defiance of the House Republican leadership by several dozen House Democrats lead by the Representative of Michigan 14th Congressional District John Conyers, Jr.
The veracity-compromised New York Times offered a brief, snide report with a misleading headline, Antiwar Group Says Leaked British Memo Shows Bush Misled Public on His War Plans, that, to their marginal credit, was at least linked from their homepage.
The Washington Post and reporter Dana Milbank, in a report not linked from the WP homepage, shamed themselves while displaying the fearful whites of their clubby eyes in a bit of juvenile schoolyard mockery.
In his lead sentence Dana attempts to deliver a swift derisive coup de grace:
In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.
Milbank then implied the forum was an ego-trip for John Conyers who didn’t speak or state but who, according to Dana, “spouted” his various thoughts.
The several dozen Democratic Congressmen joining Conyers became, in Milbank’s mandated fever, a most un-inside the Beltway-like “hearty band of playmates”.
Further Dana-esque proof of the Forum’s lack of importance came with this absurdity:
Of the 535 members of Congress, only one -- Conyers -- had mentioned the memo on the floor…House Democratic leaders did not join in Conyers's session.
But this, dear Dana, isn’t proof of the Forum’s lack of relevance but, rather, proof that the media wasn’t the only complicitious institution in Washington during the year long psychological campaign to gin up an Iraq war.
The media and Washington’s political leaders will persist in this shell game until the roar from a war-weary public drowns all opposition to the Downing Street Memo’s inherent truth.
--This link will take you to the DSM archived on the Times of London site.
--This links to the London Guardian's accurate report on yesterday’s Conyers Forum.
--According to the C-SPAN site the Conyers Forum will be rebroadcast tonight on C-SPAN2 at 8pm Eastern.
--This links to Crooks and Liars where portions of yesterday’s hearing have been condensed into Windows Media files.
--Joe Tresh’s photoblog has pictures of Democrats presenting a petition demanding answers from the President and signed by 550,000 Americans.
--Editor & Publisher explains how the Downing Street Memo has expanded with other documents since the May 1, 2005 Times of London publication and, also, speculates on media complicity with the pre-war misdirection.
--AmericaBlog publishes a copy of a letter sent by John Conyers to Washington Post management regarding Milbank's snide report discussed and linked above.
An email from Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center, this morning, revealed a great Father’s Day gift in the form of this glowing sphere.
Called the Stock Orb and possible through the miracle of satellite technology, the ball glows red when the stock market movement is on the downside, green for a rising average and yellow when the market is tranquil.
The Stock Orb retails for $160 and is available through the CAC’s gift shop at 513-345-8431 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, for scary weekend reading this article on a religious broadcaster convention linked through Doug Ireland’s excellent site will scare the pants off your non-fundie butt.
Images: NYT, CAC