Wednesday, June 08, 2005

THE DOWNING STREET CAMPAIGN has scored its first major victory: articles about the Downing Street minutes in the three major mainstream papers -- the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times -- and coverage in at least a dozen other major news sources.

Plus, at a press conference held at the White House yesterday, which was supposed to be solely for the purpose of publicizing debt relief plans for African nations, Tony Blair and Pres. Bush were confronted by reporters wanting the two leaders to answer questions about the DSM.

Blair and Bush both denied that any firm decision was made to invade Iraq in the summer of 2002, or that the intelligence on Iraq's weapons program was manipulated to fit the decision to invade. But their denials were lame and unconvincing -- basically just saying, No, no, it isn't true. They made no effort to explain why Richard Dearlove, Britain's national intelligence director, returned from a personal meeting with Pres. Bush reporting that Bush was irrevocably committed to an invasion of Iraq, and that he wanted to work the evidence of WMDs and links to terrorism around that policy.

Blair claimed that the Downing Street meeting was held before Britain and the U.S. decided to get authorization from the U.N.; and that was why the minutes did not reflect that decision -- a completely unconvincing explanation, since we also know from other sources (like Juan Cole's article in Salon) that Bush went to the U.N. with great reluctance, and only because he was persuaded (by Tony Blair, mainly) that getting U.N. approval would give the invasion a veneer of legitimacy.

Bush said, "We worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully. ...Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option." Which of course is an empty denial, with no hard facts or information to explain why the DSM contradicts Bush's claim that he wanted to avoid war.

Our next task is to keep pushing the corporate media until they acknowledge in print (which they have not done yet) that there is a large and rapidly growing grassroots movement to get Congress to launch an investigation into the possibility that Pres. Bush has committed impeachable offenses (by lying to Congress and the public about using war as a last resort when his decision to invade had already been made; and by using flawed and downright fraudulent intelligence to justify the policy).

And there is no question that this movement is growing by leaps and bounds. The Big Brass Alliance now has almost 400 member blogs; and 89 members of Congress have signed John Conyers' letter to Pres. Bush, as have about 145,000 members of the public.

So let's give ourselves a well-earned pat on the back -- and keep writing, phoning, and talking!

UPDATE: This just in from Freiheit und Wissen:

[Update: 4:30pm Freiheit und Wissen was featured on CNN's Inside Politics today along with the Big Brass Alliance- Thanks to DemBloggers for providing the video: ]

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