[Vision2020] Congress to Hold Forum on Downing Street Memo

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Jun 16 06:35:18 PDT 2005

>From today's (June 16, 2005) Spokesman Review -

The Teflon seems to be wearing pretty thin on our president, the king of


Congress to hold forum on Downing Street memo 

The document says Bush 'fixed' data to justify the war in Iraq

Knight Ridder
June 16, 2005

WASHINGTON - The secret British memo of 2002 that reported that President
Bush was determined to go to war against Iraq months earlier than he
publicly acknowledged will get its first official hearing today - sort of.

In the closest version so far to a congressional hearing on the Downing
Street memo, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., will head a forum examining the
document. That will be followed by an Internet-organized rally in front of
the White House. Conyers plans to deliver the signatures of 105
congressional Democrats and more than 500,000 citizens on petitions
demanding a detailed response from the Bush administration to the memo's

The memo, minutes of a meeting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had
with aides on July 23, 2002, in London, said it "seemed clear that Bush had
made up his mind to take military action." Bush has long said he didn't
decide to go to war until shortly before the bombing began in March 2003.

The memo also says that the Bush White House "fixed" intelligence data to
justify the war. Bush's pre-war emphasis on the danger of Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction proved to be erroneous after inspectors failed to find any
such weapons.

The memo came to light on May 1 in the Sunday Times of London. So far in the
United States, it has triggered more of a national sigh than a gasp, but
news of it spread quickly on Internet blogs.

Conyers said he's holding the hearing to uncover whether "there was a secret
decision well ahead of the authority Congress had given" on Oct. 11, 2002,
to Bush to launch the war. Conyers said the memo suggests that even as the
Bush administration "was assuring Congress, they were secretly planning

Both Bush and Blair denied such allegations, but they haven't challenged the
document's authenticity.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,
said despite the memo, nothing points "to a deliberate politicizing to get
an end result" by the Bush administration. Hoekstra said his committee has
no plans to investigate the memo.

Today, four congressmen have planned a news conference to discuss
legislation calling on Bush to phase out the U.S. military presence in Iraq.


Take care, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil
and steady dedication of a lifetime." 
--Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

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