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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What do you think about the DOWNING STREET MEMO?

I received the following in an email:

The Downing Street Memo and the Case for Impeachment

Tomorrow, June 16, Congressman John Conyers will hold a hearing into the Downing Street Memo, the leaked British briefing notes that document the Bush Administration's intention to attack Iraq and its efforts to create public rationale for their pre-planned illegal war.

The Downing Street Memo is the "smoking gun" for those still searching for one indicting President Bush and his administration for high crimes and misdemeanors of the most serious and deadly kind. Its authenticity has not been disputed by either the British or U.S. governments since it was made public by the Times of London on May 1, 2005. While largely ignored for nearly a month by most of the corporate media here, it has now made its way into some news outlets. Rep. John Conyers and 88 other members of Congress have demanded an explanation from the White House.

The memo is a document containing minutes transcribed during a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair, members of his cabinet and other top military and security officials, on July 23, 2002. The head of British foreign intelligence (MI 6), Richard Dearlove, identified in the memo as "C," had just returned from a meeting with the U.S. National Security Council in Washington.

"C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

The key phrase here is, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It makes clear beyond question that the Bush administration had set the course for war on Iraq at least eight months before the U.S./British invasion.

In recent days, additional leaked British memos have confirmed the underlying information in the Downing Street Memo and further revealed that the Bush administration was making its plans to launch a war against Iraq and to find a basis to justify the illegal attack as early as March 2002. For instance a memo dated March 22, 2002, revealed that officials in the Blair government recognized that additional efforts would need to be made to justify the war since there was a lack of proof of connections between the Iraqi government and Al Qaida, and that the Iraqi government was not arming itself with weapons of mass destruction as the Bush Administration had claimed.

Now, more than 26 months after the invasion, 100,000 Iraqis have been killed (according to the British medical journal The Lancet) and Iraq is in chaos. Over 1,700 U.S. troops have been killed and tens of thousands have been maimed, suffering from serious wounds, injuries and illnesses, including enormous psychological trauma.

All this killing, dying and suffering is the result of a war justified by a deliberate campaign of unmitigated lies and deception knowingly carried out by Bush and his top associates - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Wolfowitz, et. al. All who remain in office should be removed and face trial for their war crimes. It is worth noting that the most serious category of war crimes is the Crime Against Peace; that is, planning and carrying out a war of aggression against another state which poses no threat to the aggressor state

What is your take on this? Should Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al be impeached? Is the Downing Street Memo a smoking canon proving an impeachable offense? Post your opinion as a comment below.

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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