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June 18, 2005

The Damning Downing Street Memo


by Gordon Prather

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.

No one!

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 in Iraq.

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?


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Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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