No thanks to the domestic and international neo-crazy
media sycophants, you probably now know about the "Downing Street memo."
The memo is actually the minutes – stamped "Secret and Strictly Personal –
UK Eyes Only" – of a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair
and his senior national security team.
The meeting was held at Downing Street on July 23, 2002, and the leaked minutes
were first published by the Sunday
Times of London on May 1, 2005.
No one in Bush's or Blair's government has questioned the accuracy or validity
of what the Sunday Times published.
Perhaps the most damning revelation is that Richard Dearlove – then director
of the Brit equivalent of the CIA – told Blair that "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."
Remember that these are minutes of a meeting, not an actual transcript. And
much of the meeting concerned Bush's plans and decisions. So Bush and Blair
have discounted the Downing Street memo, claiming that most of those plans and
decisions were never implemented.
Consequently, the neo-crazy media sycophants are claiming the reason they didn't
tell you about the Downing Street memo is that "there is nothing in it
that we didn't know about at the time."
Well, maybe they already knew in July of 2002 that Bush-Cheney-Bolton-Wolfowitz-Feith
had been "fixing" the intelligence for almost a year to fit the upcoming
war of aggression. But did you?
For example, did you know that Bush-Cheney-Bolton had conspired in early
2002 to get Jose Bustani, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition
of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), fired? Why did Bustani "have to go"? According
to unnamed Bolton aides, because "he was trying to send [OPCW] chemical weapons
inspectors to Baghdad and that might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged
Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war."
As a result of the revelations contained in the Downing Street memo, constitutional
lawyer John Bonifaz has established AfterDowningStreet.org
and called for a "Resolution of Inquiry"; a formal congressional investigation
into whether President Bush committed impeachable offenses in the run-up to
– and launching of – Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Of course, once the inquiry is under way, it need not concern itself with the
undisputed revelations contained in the Downing Street memo.
For example, since the war began in March 2003, at least 163 members of the
National Guard – plus 45 Army Reservists and 45 Marine Reservists – have died
Until the president or Congress declares a national emergency, the president
has no authority over National Guard units or the Guardsmen themselves.
Governors do, but not the president.
On Sept. 14, 2001, President Bush did issue a "Declaration
of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks" on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon, and "the continuing and immediate threat of further
attacks on the United States."
On the same day, citing that declaration, Bush issued an executive
order "Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty." But,
that executive order – citing that declaration – makes no mention of the National
Guard or the Reserves.
Bush has, nevertheless, misused that declaration and executive order
to justify the federalization of the National Guard and the dispatch of National
Guard and Reserve units to fight in Iraq.
By law, the constitutional powers of the president to "introduce United States
Armed Forces into hostilities" are limited, and can only be exercised "pursuant
to (a) a declaration of war, (b) specific statutory authorization, or (c) a
national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories
or possessions, or its armed forces."
On March 19, 2003, in invoking the authority of the "Joint Resolution
to Authorize the Use of U.S. Armed Forces Against Iraq," President Bush
sent his "determination" that Iraq posed "a continuing threat to the
national security of the United States" by "continuing to possess and develop
a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a
nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations."
But isn't that exactly what Richard Dearlove told Tony Blair on July, 23, 2002
that Bush had decided to do, and had been "fixing" the intelligence
to that end?
And don't we now know that Bush did send members of our U.S. armed forces –
including National Guardsmen and Reservists – to their deaths in Iraq on the
basis of "fixed" intelligence?