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Thread: 'Downing Street Memo'' Gets Fresh Attention

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    'Downing Street Memo'' Gets Fresh Attention

    ‘Downing Street memo' gets fresh attention

    By Mark Memmott

    A simmering controversy over whether American media have ignored a secret British memo about how President Bush built his case for war with Iraq bubbled over into the White House on Tuesday.

    At a late afternoon news conference, Reuters correspondent Steve Holland asked Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair about a memo that's been widely written about and discussed in Europe but less so in the USA.

    It was the most attention paid by the media in the USA so far to the “Downing Street memo,” first reported on May 1 by The Sunday Times of London. The memo is said by some of the president's sharpest critics, such as Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, to be strong evidence that Bush decided to go to war and then looked for evidence to support his decision.

    The Sunday Times said the memo is the minutes of a meeting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had with some of his top intelligence and foreign policy aides on July 23, 2002, at No. 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's official residence. The story said the memo indicates that Blair was told by the head of Britain's MI6 intelligence service that in 2002, the Bush administration was selectively choosing evidence that supported its case for going to war and ignoring anything to the contrary. The war began in March 2003.

    “Intelligence and facts were being fixed” by the Bush administration “around” a policy that saw military action “as inevitable,” the newspaper quoted from the memo.

    “There's nothing farther from the truth,” Bush told reporters as Blair stood at his side. “Both of us didn't want to use our military,” Bush said in response to a question about the memo. “It was our last option.”

    Blair added, “The facts were not being ‘fixed' in any shape or form at all.”

    Bush said that at the time the memo was written, no decision had been made about going to war. He pointed out that it was written two months before he went to the United Nations and asked for a Security Council resolution calling on Saddam Hussein to give up his weapons of mass destruction or face “serious consequences.”

    The Sunday Times' May 1 memo story, which broke just four days before Britain's national elections, caused a sensation in Europe. American media reacted more cautiously. The New York Times wrote about the memo May 2, but didn't mention until its 15th paragraph that the memo stated U.S. officials had “fixed” intelligence and facts.

    Knight Ridder Newspapers distributed a story May 6 that said the memo “claims President Bush … was determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policy.” The Los Angeles Times wrote about the memo May 12, The Washington Post followed on May 15 and The New York Times revisited the news on May 20.

    None of the stories appeared on the newspapers' front pages. Several other major media outlets, including the evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC, had not said a word about the document before Tuesday. Today marks USA TODAY's first mention.

    Some activists who opposed Bush's decision to attack Iraq have been peppering editors with letters and e-mails to push the news media into more aggressive coverage. Last week, a group known as offered $1,000 to anyone who can get Bush to answer “yes or no” to this question: Did he or his administration “fix the intelligence” about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to terrorism?

    “We want what the Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and Star Wars stories have gotten: endless repetition until people have heard about it,” says David Swanson, one of the organizers of

    Robin Niblett of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, says it would be easy for Americans to misunderstand the reference to intelligence being “fixed around” Iraq policy. “ ‘Fixed around' in British English means ‘bolted on' rather than altered to fit the policy,” he says.

    Ombudsmen at both The New York Times and The Washington Post have been critical of their newspapers for not covering the story more aggressively.

    USA TODAY chose not to publish anything about the memo before today for several reasons, says Jim Cox, the newspaper's senior assignment editor for foreign news. “We could not obtain the memo or a copy of it from a reliable source,” Cox says. “There was no explicit confirmation of its authenticity from (Blair's office). And it was disclosed four days before the British elections, raising concerns about the timing.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    somebigguy Guest
    The Downing Street Memo was just mentioned on the News. We are officially mainstream. They didn't go into it with a lot of detail and left out those pesky details regarding fixing the evidence to go into Iraq. But they did mention how they failed to properly plan an exit strategy.

    Oh well, its a start. I'm gonna send the MFers a copy of the memo so maybe next time they'll get their facts straight.

    Welcome to the mainstream people!!!!! Down With Bush!!!!

  3. #3
    somebigguy Guest
    Here's what I sent them:

    Hello there,

    I just watched a news cast on GBLCTor where the Downing Street Memo was discussed. While I appreciate you have finally began reporting on the activities of the corrupt U.S. government, I believe you missed the point of the memo.

    Your report discussed the fact that Bush and Blair failed to adequately plan an effective exit strategy for Iraq, and at the same time refrained from mentioning the true details of the memo--that Bush and Blair actively "Fixed" the evidence to support the war in Iraq. Thousands are dead due to their corruption and these facts continue to be ignored by the media.

    As you can see from this quote:

    "The New York Times wrote about the memo May 2, but didn't mention until its 15th paragraph that the memo stated U.S. officials had “fixed” intelligence and facts."

    From this site:

    That the American media is obviously complacent in this corruption and is intent on misleading the public. I would hope the Canadian media would be above this.

    The following statement:
    "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

    From here:

    Please give this issue due diligence.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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