Democrats & Liberals Archives

Downing Street Memo II: Time to change the spotlight’s bulb.

Ever wonder what happens to stories when the media shifts its spotlight?

Not to say the Downing Street memo had a media spotlight, but with the devastating reports of hurricane Katrina currently filling our airwaves, follow-up stories about an upcoming vote on the House Investigation of the Downing Street Memo seems all but dead.

Ever wonder what happens to stories when the media shifts its spotlight?

Not to say the Downing Street memo ever had a media spotlight to begin with, but with the devastating reports of hurricane Katrina currently filling our airwaves, follow-up stories about an upcoming vote on the House Investigation of the Downing Street Memo seems all but dead.

What’s important about this story is that this is the first indication that someone in our government took the memo seriously. For months and months the detached avoidance from our esteemed leaders combined with character assassinations of those involved, resulted in a less-than-stellar reporting job by the mainstream media. Even when news of the Downing Street memo broke earlier this year, the full onslaught of the right-wing media manipulation machine (RWMMM) squelched the story by sending out the usual suspects as attack dogs in an effort to downplay the memo. Whenever the story gained momentum, RWMMM had its attack dog pundits fill the airwaves with more white noise. It’s no wonder that most Americans know very little about this important subject.

If a little burglary in an apartment complex called Watergate received the same media treatment as the Downing Street memo, Richard Nixon would have an airport named after him.

Republican Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa is the cosponsor of bill (H. Res. 375), which is a resolution of inquiry about the Downing Street Memo. The bill requests that the President and the Secretary of State transmit all information in the possession of the President and the Secretary of State relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between 1.1.2002 and 10.16.2002 relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq.

The bill, with the status of a privileged resolution, would require a full House vote, if stymied in committee. If the committee passes the resolution of inquiry, the administration would be required to reveal and an all information including all communications with the UK regarding the Iraq War policy.

This bill is a fact-finding mission. People in America deserve answers. One can only find answers if we start asking questions. It’s time that America focuses itself to the business of managing our leaders, instead of our leaders managing its citizens. I urge everyone to contact their legislators in support of (H. Res. 375).

Posted by john trevisani at August 30, 2005 9:40 AM
Comments
Comment #76278

This bill is a fact-finding mission. People in America deserve answers. One can only find answers if we start asking questions. It’s time that America focuses itself to the business of managing our leaders, instead of our leaders managing its citizens. I urge everyone to contact their legislators in support of (H. Res. 375).

Why? Your article didnt really tell us what facts they are trying to find. The link only gave me a list of sponsors. Whats actually in the resolution? What questions do they want asked?

Posted by: TheTraveler at August 30, 2005 10:17 AM
Comment #76284

As i said, it is up for vote as a resolution, so the details of the resolution is unavailable. The press isn’t covering it. Here’s the link from an overseas source (read me).

Posted by: john trevisani at August 30, 2005 10:52 AM
Comment #76287

To read the resolution, click here.

And for future reference, you might want to bookmark the House website and the Senate’s legislative page, too.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2005 11:13 AM
Comment #76296

Thanks for the link, Adrienne. I did try the House site, but couldnt find the res.

Seems to me this is just a set-up by the Democrats so they can complain when President Bush refuses to give them classified info. Since they do that anyway, I dont really care if this passes or not.

Posted by: TheTraveler at August 30, 2005 12:08 PM
Comment #76297

Still not really sure what questions you’re trying to have answered John.

Now that I think of it, wouldn’t the UK need to give their permission for some of this stuff to be released?

Posted by: TheTraveler at August 30, 2005 12:13 PM
Comment #76300

Traveler:
“Thanks for the link, Adrienne. I did try the House site, but couldnt find the res.”

My direct link to the resolution. didn’t work for you?
If not, go to the House site and under the Legislative Information column on the right hand side click Find A Bill Or Law — when the page comes up, go to the search box and type in H. Res. 375. and click search. When that page comes up it should say:”Listing of 1 bill containing your phrase exactly as entered” and the bill will be highlighted as a link.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2005 12:26 PM
Comment #76309

Thanks for posting the link to the resolution.

With regards to questions:
i think they are attempting to get to the bottom of how the Bush administration made its case for waging war against Iraq. There are some basic questions surrounding whether or not the Bush administration conspired to “fix” the data around the policy or not.

Posted by: john trevisani at August 30, 2005 12:53 PM
Comment #76350

Adrienne,

Your link worked. I was trying to find it on the House site before you posted it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at August 30, 2005 3:26 PM
Comment #76357

John, what do you mean by ‘fix’?

That question should be asked first, I think. Shouldn’t we start by having a conversation with the person who voiced this opinion and what he meant by that phrase first?

Or sould we make assumptions and go looking blindly for whatever we can find?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 30, 2005 4:41 PM
Comment #76363

i think they are attempting to get to the bottom of how the Bush administration made its case for waging war against Iraq. There are some basic questions surrounding whether or not the Bush administration conspired to “fix” the data around the policy or not.

Well, I wish them all the luck, though I dont think theyll find much.
It seems to me this is kind of like Parliament asking Prime Minister Blair about the meaning of the minutes from a State Department meeting. Wouldnt it be simpler for Congress to politely ask Blair if they could please talk to someone who was at the Downing Street Meeting, perhaps the guy who actually took the minutes? I doubt any Bush Administration documents can reveal the meaning of what is said in private UK meetings.

But they dont actually need to find anything do they? Like I said earlier, when Bush fails to release each and every classified document, this will present more whining opportunities for the Democrats. And thats just as important.

Posted by: The Traveler at August 30, 2005 5:17 PM
Comment #76392

—-
Like I said earlier, when Bush fails to release each and every classified document, this will present more whining opportunities for the Democrats.
—-
Each and every? You’ve got to be kidding. Bush hasn’t given up a single document without a fight since he got into the White House.

From opposing the 9/11 commission up to the Roberts memos - and the whole thing with not letting anyone in to see his speeches without signing an oath of loyalty. Bush has huge gonads when sending others to fight his fight - but when he has to get involved… hung like a hamster.

Posted by: tony at August 30, 2005 6:57 PM
Comment #76430

Tony,

Each and every? You’ve got to be kidding. Bush hasn’t given up a single document without a fight since he got into the White House.

Wow, I think youre right!

Please allow mw to rephrase:
When Bush fails to release any classified documents (or if he only releases only some of them), this will present more whining opportunities for the Democrats. I believe this is what the resolution is all about. Otherwise they would be asking the British government about this, not ours.

Im sure youll agree with that statement, now that Ive corrected it.

I do, however, have to disagree with you about the oath of loyalty thing. Ive never been to any of Bush’s speeches, but I know several people who have. They never had to do any such thing.

Oh wait a minute I think I just figured out what youre talking about! Bush speaks to members of the military and they take an oath to follow his orders upon enlistment. If thats what you mean, I have to admit that youre a master of spin, Tony!

Posted by: The Traveler at August 30, 2005 10:15 PM
Comment #76432

For God sakes, I’m so tired of hearing about the Downing Street Memos! They have been discredited and refuted so many times that one can not comprehend why people maintain such blindness. Even the British media has issued numerous statements, articles, columns, and commentary stating they do not understand the U.S. media’s obsession with the memos. There are NO facts in the memos. They were literally written by someone who knows someone who said he heard something. The author is not even a witness.

The moment the U.S. and Britain went to the UN over the issue of Iraq- the memos were completely bunk, and proven wrong. Then we went to the UN again, and again, and again. Further proving the memos wrong. I don’t even have the time to get into a fraction of the incoherent dribble in the memos. Get over it!

If you oppose Bush, fine. Just stop making up stuff about him. He didn’t lie. That’s a fact. He didn’t come into the White House with an agenda to invade Iraq, and so on. Just say you oppose the Iraq war because you hate war no matter how much evidence is there, no matter how many times our pilots were shot at, no matter how many times Saddam tries to assasinate a former president, no matter how much training and money he gave to terrorists, and no matter how much enriched uranium, sarin, and mustard gas we have found there (or have been used on our troops). At least then you’d be honest, and a dialogue could be opened up. I know you want so very bad for Bush to be Hitler, but face it - he’s not.

Posted by: Destro at August 30, 2005 10:18 PM
Comment #76436

Destro,

For God sakes, I’m so tired of hearing about the Downing Street Memos! They have been discredited and refuted so many times that one can not comprehend why people maintain such blindness.
Where do you get your news? Either provide links to some of these “sources” you mention or quit blindly repeating the talking points.
Classic Bait And Switch Enacted As Downing Street Memos Called Possible Hoax

Posted by: Charles Wager at August 30, 2005 10:40 PM
Comment #76437

Destro,

They were literally written by someone who knows someone who said he heard something. The author is not even a witness.

I hate to say this, but you’re wrong.
Actually, the DSM was the minutes to a classified British Government meeting on Iraq. That is why I think the House Democrats would be asking the British government about this if they were serious about digging up dirt instead of simply looking for stuff to bitch and whine and moan and complain about.
Unfortunately, the Democrats have ceased to be serious in their leadership as well as their politics. Moaning and complaining (instead of being an alternative) have now become their modus operani. They are no longer willing to step up and be the leaders, even though Bush is a week president. Thats why they have trouble winning national elections.

Posted by: The Traveler at August 30, 2005 10:59 PM
Comment #76441

Thank you for a great post.

This bill is a fact-finding mission. People in America deserve answers. One can only find answers if we start asking questions. It’s time that America focuses itself to the business of managing our leaders, instead of our leaders managing its citizens.

People in America do deserve answers. We have been given one lie after another. That is a fact. When is wanting the truth ?complaining?? No one should be above the law. A habitual liar is what he is.

When we fail to start questioning, when we accept poor management of leaders who misrepresent the best interests for which we give them the power to represent us, the fact is that they are only proving that money and power gives them the right to be above the law and when this is established to be a fact in America, we have given power to terror itself and for all the wrong reasons.

Thank you for this kind of information, which can and will make a difference.

Posted by: Annie at August 30, 2005 11:20 PM
Comment #76447

To have a blind allegiance to traditional social-political-religious customs or organizations supports dictatorship. A person who says, “I love my country—right or wrong” or “America—love it or leave it” may be a flag-waving, patriotic speech-making politician who is secretly an antidemocratic authoritarian (similar in some ways to Hitler). For the authoritarian the values of respecting and caring for others are not as important as being right.
read The Authoritarian Personality by Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson & Sanford

Posted by: Annie at August 30, 2005 11:46 PM
Comment #76455

Annie,

We have been given one lie after another. That is a fact.

Is it? Why not try to prove it? I just told you what you need to do (Keep resding this post, I’m about to say it again (hint: it’s the part in bold))…

When is wanting the truth complaining?

This resolution is case-in-point. If the you think the British government has information that would implicate Bush in a lie, you ask the British government! You dont ask Bush! A party that was serious about leadership (As opposed to simply being the complaining opposition) would instinctively know this.

Posted by: The Traveler at August 31, 2005 12:07 AM
Comment #76458

The Traveler,

Your response is a strawman argument at best. What exactly would asking the British government achieve? Blair’s administration has just as much to lose by revealing the truth as Bush and his administration do. Besides, aside from verifying that the memos are true (which two individuals in Blair’s administration already have done, apparently, and nobody in either administration has denied that they are true) what exactly do you expect the Democrats to ask them? Why doesn’t Congress as a whole launch an investigation so that they will actually have some authority? Incidentally, about five more Republicans have recently signed on to the request for an investigation so this is slowing becoming a more bipartisan issue.

Posted by: Charles Wager at August 31, 2005 12:24 AM
Comment #76470

Hurricane Katrina is a double blessing for Bush — not only does it shift media attention from the Downing Street memos, it also drives up the price of oil.
The Traveler —
Are you suggesting, as you seem to be, that the only way the American people can obtain the truth is by asking the British government for it? I get a very sarcastic/smug vibe from your post, as if we should all know that the Bush administration has our best interests at heart even when it refuses to tell us what it’s doing. Whether you’re right or left you should always be wary of your government, else it becomes your dictatorship.

Posted by: Alejo at August 31, 2005 1:58 AM
Comment #76488

Charles,

What exactly would asking the British government achieve?

Probably not much, but it’s worth a try at least. Since it was the British Government who actually wrote the Downing Street Memo, it seems to me a logical place to start. Especially since the whole assumption is based on the dubious meaning of one word in the leaked minutes of a meeting of a foreign Government. Why ask Bush what it means? His government didnt write the thing.

Alejo,

Are you suggesting, as you seem to be, that the only way the American people can obtain the truth is by asking the British government for it?

It was their memo.

I get a very sarcastic/smug vibe from your post, as if we should all know that the Bush administration has our best interests at heart even when it refuses to tell us what it’s doing.

Im being serious. I doubt he lied to go to war, but I admit the possibility. It just makes sense to me that:
1. Bush doesnt run the British government, so he cant tell you what was said in the meeting that resulted in the writing of the line in question.
2. Even if he could, I doubt he would incriminate himself.

Thats why Ive taken the next logical step and insinuated that the Democrats are not serious about investigating the actual meaning of the document. They just want to use it to force Bush to release classified material, because his failure to do so will create another talking point.

No, Im not being sarcastic or smug. Here I am (a supporter of the war, no less) actually telling the Democrats what they need to do to dig up dirt on the Bush administration, and I get laughed at.
In another thread I told them what they need to do to win elections (stop yakking on and on and on about a second term president and talk up your their ideas) and I was laughed at then, too. Maybe its not that the Democrats dont have leadership, its that the just dont respond to it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at August 31, 2005 7:54 AM
Comment #76490

Destri:
>>For God sakes, I’m so tired of hearing about the Downing Street Memos! They have been discredited and refuted so many times >>

i’d be more than willing to read where the DSM has been discredited and refuted. Because, it was my understanding that Blair and Bush both have not formally discredited the contents of the memo. So, if you would, please include any link that i may go to, or a book that i may purchase.
Thanks.

Posted by: john trevisani at August 31, 2005 8:01 AM
Comment #76494

—-
When Bush fails to release any classified documents (or if he only releases only some of them), this will present more whining opportunities for the Democrats. I believe this is what the resolution is all about. Otherwise they would be asking the British government about this, not ours.

Im sure youll agree with that statement, now that Ive corrected it.

I do, however, have to disagree with you about the oath of loyalty thing. Ive never been to any of Bush’s speeches, but I know several people who have. They never had to do any such thing.
—-
1 - So, you see the problem as people should be happy we’re not bothered about reading all those dang documents… we know how much Bush tries to make everyone ‘happy.’ The truth would only make us ‘whine’ even more.

2 - The ‘oath of loyalty’ thing was more prevalent during the election - and it was most certainly there. I was with several protesters who were not allowed in to see Bush because they would not sign the document.

If you also take into account that Bush made the press turn in their questions to be approved before being chosen to ask him directly… what a mouse… Although - we ever we see him just out there winging in, I can see why his handlers want to avoid that at all costs.

Posted by: tony at August 31, 2005 8:36 AM
Comment #76497

Man, if we could get Congress and the media to go fishing on why president Bush lied about WMD to invade Iraq, the same way they did to Clinton over a decades-old real estate deal, we might really learn something.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 31, 2005 9:12 AM
Comment #76503

Tony,

So, you see the problem as people should be happy we’re not bothered about reading all those dang documents… we know how much Bush tries to make everyone ‘happy.’ The truth would only make us ‘whine’ even more.

Dont presume to tell me what Im thinking.
I just happen know that Bush doesnt like releasing documents. The Democrats know that as well and they think they can take advantage of it, instead of investigating DSM itself and finding its meaning.
Some of you think that just because I support the war in Iraq that Im some rabid Bush-supporting lunatic whos trying to trick you on this. Im not. Im honestly trying to offer your party some leadership because they have none of their own.

The ‘oath of loyalty’ thing was more prevalent during the election - and it was most certainly there. I was with several protesters who were not allowed in to see Bush because they would not sign the document.

What did the document say? Like I said, Ive read on the internet about these documents, but Ive yet to meet anyone who had to sign one.

If you also take into account that Bush made the press turn in their questions to be approved before being chosen to ask him directly… what a mouse… Although - we ever we see him just out there winging in, I can see why his handlers want to avoid that at all costs.

I dont really think anything can stop a reporter from asking Bush any question during a live press conference. Considering the press continues to ask the same boring questions and He continues to give the same boring answers, it probably doesnt matter, though. If someone had an original question, Im sure it would be asked one way or another. Which brings us to:

AP,

Man, if we could get Congress and the media to go fishing on why president Bush lied about WMD to invade Iraq, the same way they did to Clinton over a decades-old real estate deal, we might really learn something.

Wow, Im afraid Im going to have to agree with you again (twice in one lifetime. This is becoming a habit). Fortunately, Ive told them where they can start (see my posts above).

One more thing: The Democrats seem to have a problem with politeness these days. If they do go to the British, they have to remember to be nice. Say please and thank you. Dont get all up in their faces and scream that they are liars. And leave the protesters at home. Above all, try not to sound hostile. This isnt like dealing with Bush. Were talking international relations here, people.

Posted by: TheTraveler at August 31, 2005 9:56 AM
Comment #76517

The Traveler —

I?m being serious. I doubt he lied to go to war, but I admit the possibility. It just makes sense to me that: 1. Bush doesn?t run the British government, so he can?t tell you what was said in the meeting that resulted in the writing of the line in question. 2. Even if he could, I doubt he would incriminate himself.

I see your point but I find I still must disagree. This administration’s deathgrip on information (or lack of it) has gotten us into trouble in quite a few ways and we as Americans (not just the Left) need to let our government know we won’t be ruled by an administration that refuses to tell us what it’s doing.

I’m not sure what to say to your admission that our president would lie to us in order to save his skin. How can you trust a leader you believe is willing to lie to you?

Maybe it?s not that the Democrats don?t have leadership, it?s that the just don?t respond to it.

I think you have a point there! Perhaps one of the Left’s biggest problems is the overwhelming number of anti-establishment types in its ranks, but I’m not sure what we can do about it; it’s sort of the nature of the beast (and why the Right finds us so infuriating, too).

BTW — I wasn’t laughing at you. I just missed the tone of your post. You make good points.

Posted by: Alejo at August 31, 2005 10:42 AM
Comment #76545

I’m not sure what to say to your admission that our president would lie to us in order to save his skin. How can you trust a leader you believe is willing to lie to you?

All politicians are liars. But since we elected them, we have to give them some trust. If we claim they lie about everything whether we have proof of this or not, and oppose everything they try to do no matter what, then the government wont work at all. And thats not good for either party. Its certainly not good for the American people.

BTW — I wasn’t laughing at you. I just missed the tone of your post. You make good points.

I know you werent. Its just that quite a few people around here tend to dismiss my wisdom simply because I support the war. I dont support the Democrats on most issues, but Id like to help them win something because one-sided politics is boring. Thanks for the compliment.

Posted by: TheTraveler at August 31, 2005 12:08 PM
Comment #76689

I have just a theory, or two, concerning the U.S getting involved in this war in Iraq and this Administration
1. Did the President want to show up his Father, I went into Bagdad and you didn’t.
2. Sadam tried to kill George 1st, let’s get him.
3. The U.S. has always re-elected a president during a war. I would not put it past Bush’s brain (Karl Rove) to have the President find any excuse to go to war in Iraq to insure re-election. Rove will do anything, stomp on friends to lie like a dog, to make either himself or Gee Dubba look good and get his narrow minded views across.
4. The neocons and the Administration will do anything to cast any doubt on the “Downing Street Memo” because there will always be people that will believe anything comming out of this White House, administration and ultra right elephants. I remember seeing elephanats at the circus. They just grab ahold of the tail of the one in front of them and are led around without any knowledge of where they are going.
5. The constant lies from this administration will eventually catch up to them, soon. Hopefully the real Republicans will take back their party from the ultra right wing churches, the mega wealthy, the neocons and those who just grab the tail of the one in front and follow.

Posted by: Craig T. Rich at August 31, 2005 5:38 PM
Comment #76917
If they do go to the British, they have to remember to be nice. Say please and thank you. Dont get all up in their faces and scream that they are liars.

LOL! Judging by the way President Bush does diplomacy, I’d say the British are pretty thick skinned. Not like those touchy French and Germans. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at September 1, 2005 11:21 AM
Comment #76921

Craig, I think you’re right about 4 and 5, but I believe President Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc. sincerely thought Saddam was a threat to US interests in the region, even if they had to sex up the evidence to “prove” he was an imminent threat. 9/11 was a convenient excuse to take care of it.

They made no secret about their plans, publishing essays in The Weekly Standard and at the Project for a New American Century. There’s no reason to go looking for conspiracy theories or Freudian psychoses.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 1, 2005 11:33 AM
Comment #77831

No, they were not the minutes to any “secret” meeting. It is a fact, and has been proven by all major American and British news sources, that the memos were written second hand. That is why even the major media does not press the issue anymore. Links would be a waste of time because the information has been reported everywhere (not blogs). The mere fact that the memos were written PRIOR to the US and Britain going to the UN proves the memos wrong. You need no other facts. They only ones “blindly repeating talking points are you”. The author of the memos was not in the meetings.

Posted by: Destro at September 3, 2005 7:35 PM
Comment #77864

Here’s the proof you need that the memos were not authored by anyone in the meetings. A damn reporter says he copied the documents, and then destroyed them after he retyped them word for word - Riiiiiiiiight. We have no idea what happened in that meeting, and we never will. It doesn’t matter anyway.

It’s a fact Saddam supported terrorism, had WMD’s (we’ve found enriched uranium 1.8 tons, sarin, and mustard gas - the last two have been used against our troops), violated UN resolutions and the armistice, he tried to assasinate a former US president, we worked with Al Qaeda on several occasions (Tarik Aziz has admitted it), and he attacked US and allied military personel over the no fly zone dozens of times. Never mind everything else. That right there is more than enough cause for war, but here’s your link anyway.

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/downing+street+memos

Posted by: Destro at September 3, 2005 9:25 PM
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