Planned Kerry Downing Street memo speech stirs controversy; Mass. Democrat mum

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and his press office remain silent as controversy mushrooms around a planned floor speech on minutes of a secret 2002 meeting between the officials of the U.S. and UK at which the director of British intelligence warned the intelligence was being “fixed” around the policy, RAW STORY has learned.

The minutes have fueled concern among Democrats in Congress that the concern over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was staged, a ploy to get Congress to go along with war.

Kerry’s remarks have taken on epic proportion, likely because a NewsMax article conflated Kerry’s quotes with Ralph Nader’s impeachment cry. (which is not affiliated with the news channel) led with a headline today ripening the confusion: “John Kerry to call for impeachment of George Bush.”

"When I go back [to Washington] on Monday, I am going to raise the issue," Kerry told Massachusetts' Standard Times newspaper last week. "I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home.”

RAW STORY has confirmed that Kerry intends to deliver a statement on the Downing Street minutes.

Any detail beyond that, however, is up in the air. Spokespersons for the senator have declined to comment further, fueling fresh speculation about the Massachusetts Democrat’s move.

The Downing street minutes, first reported in the London Sunday Times, were drafted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s foreign policy advisor. They contain an account of remarks by British MI6 director Sir Richard Dearlove, who said, “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.”

Eighty-nine House members have called on President Bush to answer new questions surrounding the minutes. Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said the president had no need to respond.

Leading the charge is Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), a Detroit liberal who is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

"Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a "runaway bride" to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers," Conyers wrote in a letter calling on congressmembers to sign. "The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so."

"This should not be allowed to fall down the memory hole during wall-to-wall coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and a runaway bride," he added.