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Bring It Down. Now.

Wednesday 8 June 2005

The Downing Street Memo is the gift that just keeps on giving. And well it should. It is the smoking gun which proves that the gravest possible crime was committed by the Bush administration, and among its victims were the American people.

I am more hopeful about American politics than I have been in a long time, though still cautious. For nearly five years now, the Bush administration has gotten away with murder - literally and figuratively - with seemingly immutable impunity, always defying the laws of political gravity, at least as they are known in this universe. So I’ve come to be tentative and rather pessimistic about the possibilities of ending this national nightmare of reaction, thievery and militarism, and bringing these criminals to justice.

But Downing Street seems to have legs, and I feel a critical mass building now. It is different this time, in part, because this is the first true insider smoking gun, set down in black and white. But it is also different, in part, because the context has changed. Unlike previous revelations, from the Clarke or O’Neill (Suskind) books, for example, the evidence this time comes against the background of growing discontent at home with the disaster of Iraq, and the diminished credibility of a president and the movement of regressive politics he leads.

Generally content or frightened people will forgive a lot, sometimes even murderous lies of this magnitude. But angry, deceived people will not. Bush has built himself a credibility gap of which Lyndon Johnson could be proud, which probably accounts more than anything for his inability to sell the bundle of Social Security deceits he’s been peddling. He said he was going to get Osama ’dead or alive’. He didn’t. He said his tax scheme would revive the economy. It didn’t. He said it wouldn’t add to the national debt. Boy, did it.

He and his minions said Iraq was a necessary war, in response to an urgent threat, and that American ’liberators’ would be greeted with flowers and chocolate. None of that came true, of course, and now the public no longer supports George and Dick’s Excellent Adventure in the Cradle of Civilization. Fifty-seven percent of Americans perceive the war as going badly. Only forty percent think that it’s been worth it to remove Saddam from power given the costs in troops and dollars. And only thirty-eight percent approve of how Bush is handling the war.

Moreover, Iraq echoes the tragedy of Vietnam in every salient way, from the lies going in, to the ’everything’s just fine’ detachment of the political class, the international opprobrium, the inability to effectively fight counter-insurgency warfare, and the lack of any sort of remotely appealing exit scenario. And on the Nam trajectory, it feels like we are at 1970 or so in terms of public disenchantment. (In part, we should note, that is precisely because of the lessons learned from that war, which produced a healthy increase in political skepticism among the American public.) But in Vietnam, the Tet Offensive had already occurred by 1970, and so, for many years, had the draft. Imagine what will happen to already low and falling support for the Iraq debacle if in the coming months there is a single, highly demoralizing reversal for the US military in Iraq, a la Tet, or if a starved military is forced to reinstitute the draft.

This is the context in which the damning evidence of the Downing Street Memo arrives, and it is part of the explanation for why the Bush administration may now finally find itself in the deep trouble it so richly deserves.

The Memo itself lays out in clear text the game of deceit played by the Bush and Blair gangs in the run-up to the Iraq War. Among its highlights, the DSM confirms that the war had been decided upon well before Congressional or UN Security Council action, and before weapons inspectors were inserted and then removed because of the ’urgency’ of Iraq’s threat (of course, the real urgency and real threat was that the absence of WMD would kill Bush’s pretext for war). The Memo then goes on to show, most significantly, that the war planners knew their case was "thin", so they distorted - "fixed" - the intelligence and facts in order to market the war. (For a more complete discussion of the Memo itself and the wholesale failures of the mainstream media to treat this earth-shattering story with anything approaching the coverage it deserves, see http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0513-20.htm.)

Eighty-nine members of the House sent a letter to the president asking for clarification of the ominous implications of the Memo, and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan soon began getting questions about it. It will hardly surprise attentive readers that his response to these questions was smug, condescending, and maximally disingenuous. Without addressing the content or implications of the Memo (and, most absurdly of all, while claiming not to have read it), McClellan refers us to the president’s statements of the time, which he says provide a clear record of Bush’s honest and very public diplomacy on the Iraq issue. It turns out, however, that if one examines that record just as McClellan suggests, one finds anything and everything but honesty from Bush and his team. Instead, precisely as the DSM prescribes, we were given a boatload of knowing lies from the administration, often in the most visible of fora, like the State of the Union address (see http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0519-30.htm).

Since these initial developments, much has happened in just a short time. First, knowledge of the Memo’s existence is becoming more widespread. As of this moment, I doubt more than one percent of Americans are aware of the story, but that number is increasing rapidly, especially through the alternative media. More and more articles written on a variety of subjects make reference to it, even in passing, and it is flying across email networks with accelerating rapidity. Google "Downing Street Memo" and about 267,000 hits are returned at present, with that number rising fast. The story feels at this moment like a virus about to kick into the exponential phase of its growth curve, or a pregnant cloud about to burst showers over the parched land.

The mainstream media is addressing the DSM, but still only in bits, and - it would appear - only reluctantly. No doubt the experiences of CBS and Newsweek have been precisely as intimidating as the White House intended them to be, and no doubt fears of lost profits prove even more sobering. Just the same, there is movement, and some of it has been forced by us. Two weeks too late, for example, the New York Times finally ran a brief single-column story. Of course, they buried it on page 10, and they gave the story the wrong emphasis.

Its first paragraph reads "More than two weeks after its publication in London, a previously secret British government memorandum that reported in July 2002 that President Bush had decided to ’remove Saddam, through military action’ is still creating a stir among administration critics. They are portraying it as evidence that Mr. Bush was intent on war with Iraq earlier than the White House has acknowledged." The article goes on to develop this theme of timing, which is by far the lesser of the two main deceits proven by the DSM. Almost no mention is made in the article of the much more egregious crime of lying about the necessity of the invasion for American security needs, and willfully constructing an entire campaign of disinformation to market the war.

The Times also felt the pressure of its readership on this issue to such an extent that the new Public Editor, Byron Calame, was compelled to publish an online response to the "flood" of angry email from readers expressing disappointment and worse at America’s so-called newspaper of record. Mr. Calame writes "My checks find no basis for Ms. Lowe’s [a sample incensed correspondent] concern about censorship or undue outside pressures. Rather, it appears that key editors simply were slow to recognize that the minutes of a high-powered meeting on a life-and-death issue - their authenticity undisputed - probably needed to be assessed in some fashion for readers. Even if the editors decided it was old news that Mr. Bush had decided in July 2002 to attack Iraq or that the minutes didn’t provide solid evidence that the administration was manipulating intelligence, I think Times readers deserved to know that earlier than today’s article [Calame is referring here to the article discussed in the previous paragraph]."

Again, this goes to the lesser issue raised by the DSM, but Calame then interviews Phil Taubman, the NYT Washington Bureau Chief, who addresses the more salient question of the manipulation of intelligence to sell the war. Says Taubman: "It is mighty suggestive that Lord Dearlove, the chief of MI6, came home with the impression, or interpretation, that ’the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.’ However, that’s several steps removed from evidence that such was the case. The minutes did not say that Mr. Tenet had told that to Lord Dearlove or that Lord Dearlove had seen specific examples of that. The minutes, in my estimation, were not a smoking gun that proved that Bush, Tenet and others were distorting intelligence to support the case for war."

There are two huge problems with this alibi for the Times’ obscene failure. First, by any reasonable standard, the Memo absolutely does provide such ’evidence’ that the facts were being fixed. It says so itself. And, remember that it is an internal British government document, leaked to the public. As such, and since it was never intended to see the light of day, there would be no reason for it to be dishonest or distorted for the benefit of its original readers. Remember also that Tony Blair has in fact commented briefly on the Memo, but never denied its veracity in any fashion. Recall that a member or former member of the Bush team who was privy to these discussions has confirmed, off the record, the accuracy of the Memo. And remember that the Memo’s blueprint fits precisely with what are now established facts from the period, namely, that the Bush people told lie after whopping lie about Iraq’s WMD capabilities, and did so knowingly. All told, this amounts to an extremely powerful case, one which would certainly prove highly persuasive in a criminal case, where the standards of proof are far higher than they are for a public’s evaluation of their political leaders in a democracy.

But, even if this extremely persuasive evidence were not on the table, the second problem with the Times’ lame excuse is that unassailable evidence of a crime (do we ever have that?) is hardly necessary for publication of a news story, anyhow. We don’t ’know’ yet whether Tom DeLay is guilty of the accusations which have been made against him, but those accusations are themselves highly newsworthy, and have been treated, appropriately, as such. We don’t yet ’know’ definitively whether John Bolton is a ’kiss up, kick down’ sort of fellow, but the fact that there is some evidence suggesting that might be the case deserves, and got, plenty of media coverage. And I sure don’t remember a lot of media hesitation over Whitewater or Monicagate. Me, I’m just one guy out here in the hinterlands, but where I come from, very powerful evidence of a president lying to sell a war - evidence which has not been disputed, evidence which has been independently corroborated in multiple ways, and evidence which has caused deep concern among a large portion of Congress - well, that’s worthy of a wee bit more coverage than we’ve seen to date. Indeed, apart from 9/11, what story of the last decade is bigger than this?

The arguments proffered by the Times for its poor coverage of the DSM render this news blackout and associated coverup distortions looking very much like a case of disingenuousness of which the White House would be proud. Together, they would constitute a crime on top of a crime, but for the fact that it is not, alas, the first episode in this ugly story. By its own (very late) admission, the Times betrayed its responsibility to the American public during the run-up to the war - precisely the period described in the Memo - by failing to question the ’evidence’ and claims offered by the administration for the necessity of going to war, serving instead as a virtual government stenographer. That makes the current fiasco - at best - a perfect trifecta of botched journalism from America’s paper of record. But it also makes that ’at best’ interpretation seem increasingly implausible. Far more likely with such a series of failings, all in the same direction of massively favoring the administration, is that the Times is purposely abdicating its duty as a government watchdog. Whether that is because of cowardice, profits, both, or some other explanation is as yet unclear.

My, how far we’ve traveled. In this week full of Watergate reminiscences, the irony of our present condition could not be more complete. Three decades ago, two cub reporters with the backing of a great patriotic paper struggled to uncover, bit by painstaking bit, information which saved the republic from a highjacking. Today, the story is out there in plain sight, and yet the no-longer-remotely-great journalistic organs not only fail to present it, they conspire to cover it up, adding their own special contribution to the current unraveling of constitutional government. Increasing numbers of Americans are coming to realize that learning the truth about their country requires going to foreign sources like the BBC, or to alternative electronic media. Fortunately, however, American journalism still exhibits a pulse in a few parts of the country. Most significant so far has been a stunning cri de coeur out of Minneapolis, deep within America’s heartland and hardly a Havana, Falluja or even Berkeley. In a devastating Memorial (’Memo’rial?) Day editorial, the Star Tribune called the president what he is, a liar who has committed the gravest sin any commander-in-chief ever could, "spending [American soldiers’] blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction".

Wow. One can only imagine the shivers running down the spines of Rove, Bush, Cheney and the rest as they read those words and consider the (very mainstream) source. Already unpopular and no longer trusted, the Memo has the capacity to devastate if not destroy this White House, and potentially even to sentence its occupants to financial ruin and long prison terms. (If this were to get any sweeter, more deserved, or more ironic, those jail cells would turn out to be in The Hague, rather than Leavenworth. Nobody pinch me yet, please, this is too good.)

Indeed, the ironies which may ensue from this point forward are exquisite to contemplate. Those who have recklessly dismantled American democracy over the last two decades in a naked pursuit of power may well in turn become victims of several of the destructive precedents they themselves have established.

For starters, consider Karl Rove’s dilemma right now. He is in precisely the position he has long loved to place his opponents (such as Democratic members of Congress over the Iraq war vote just before the elections of 2002, to choose just one example). If he says nothing about the DSM, he risks it continuing to proliferate exponentially, with more and more mainstream, heartland, media hurling devastating and unanswered body blows at the Bush administration, until ultimately a tidal wave of rage crests over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But if he addresses it head on, he risks making tens of millions of Americans aware of something they presently are not, with most of them likely to then see the plain message of this evidence for exactly what it is.

Hobson’s choice or not, at the rate things are progressing, the White House will have to respond, and likely soon. Just this week a chorus of impeachment calls has echoed across the alternative media, including even one (at least) from a conservative source, Paul Craig Roberts of the Hoover Institution, who accuses Bush of "intentionally deceiving Congress and the American people in order to start a war of aggression against a country that posed no threat to the United States". He goes on to note, quite accurately, that "As intent as Republicans were to impeach President Bill Clinton for lying about a sexual affair, they have a blind eye for President Bush’s far more serious lies".

To get a sense of how frightened and vulnerable the Bush team is, consider McClellan’s response to a reporter’s question about the letter sent by 89 members of the House calling for an explanation of the Downing Street Memo. McClellan said the White House saw "no need" to answer the letter. This tells us three things, right off the bat. First, the Bush administration is blocking Congress from performing its constitutionally mandated duty of oversight of the executive. Well, no surprise there. Second - and, again, absolutely no surprise - this White House has once more demonstrated its seemingly inexhaustible capacity to break all prior records for arrogance. Napoleon couldn’t touch this stuff, and neither could Nero. Imagine believing that you’re above answering basic questions posed by Congress about the single biggest issue of our time. Imagine seeing "no need" to explain to the country why documentary evidence exists showing that you lied your way into a war which continues to consume American soldiers by the thousands, with no end in sight. Now, that’s how they do it in the big leagues.

But experience reminds us that arrogance and bullying behavior almost always serve to mask massive insecurities just beneath, bringing us to the third revelation which can be extrapolated from McClellan’s non-comment. Think about it. The gravest possible accusation has been made against the president and his team, emanating from, among others, one-fifth of the House of Representatives. In addition to its moral implications, it has the political capacity to topple the presidency and perhaps kill the entire regressive right movement of the last quarter-century. It is, in short, some very serious business. Knowing what we know about how these folks viciously attack anyone who besmirches them in the slightest, what are we to make of their silence on this most lethal - this most existential - of political attacks? No doubt they are completely trapped by the evidence and can only hope and pray the Memo just goes away. But ever true to form, McClellan, Bush, Cheney and the whole lot of them would be strewing carnage across the landscape on this issue if they could get away with it. Just ask CBS, Newsweek, Amnesty International, Paul O’Neill, Richard Clarke, John McCain or John Kerry. Get in their way, and the attacks come hard, fast and personal. That they are not now in full assault mode further affirms the accuracy and power of the Memo, as well as suggesting that the White House is strategically trapped between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps they even find themselves in shock and awe.

It is crucial now for progressives and patriots of all stripes to push this opportunity as hard as possible, down multiple paths.

The mainstream media is the most significant avenue for advancing this initiative which has the potential to take down Bush. We must continue to exert unrelenting pressure on media outlets simply to do their jobs, so that the public may be informed of this gravest breach of its trust. Members of Congress, led by John Conyers, have also played an important role so far by providing legitimacy to the critique, a rallying point around which other vectors can agglomerate, and an important angle the media can exploit should they ever decide one day to earn their salaries. We must do more to pressure Congress, particularly vulnerable Republicans (and I predict there may be quite a lot of them in 2006) to take this question seriously or explain to their constituents why they do not.

Impeachment is completely warranted for the crimes committed by the Bush administration, and we must relentlessly demand this outcome. As mentioned above, there are potentially exquisite ironies in this case, and this is one of them. Having impeached Clinton for lying about oral sex, how ridiculous would Republicans now appear trying to argue that there is no impeachable offense here?

Another example of sublime irony might be produced by a court case, perhaps over a wrongful death charge. Cindy Sheehan (bless you for your sacrifice, and for your tireless work to save others from the same fate), are you reading this? History is calling your name. And once again, imagine the patently obvious hypocrisy of Republicans trying to prevent the president from having to testify in such a case, after they just got through establishing a legal precedent for the same by forcing Clinton to do so, while in office, over the far less harmful allegation of sexual harassment.

And, in yet another example of exquisite irony, imagine how unsympathetic the judiciary is likely to be toward them, after the radical right has excoriated judges who don’t bend to their will, to the point that GOP senators have offered justifications for recent violence directed against judges.

The regressive movement of the last several decades has provided a vicious spectacle, to the extent that internal cannibalization always seemed one likely avenue for its ultimate demise, with, for example, the far right running a nearly successful primary candidate against sitting Republican Senator Arlen Specter last year.

But this is better. Lots better. After a quarter century of scorched earth politics, I could not have designed a more appropriate fate for these destroyers of democracy than to be hoisted by their own petards, and then taken out by their own destructive precedents.

America has gone seriously astray due to the regressive right movement that began in earnest with Reagan, incubated under Gingrich, and blossomed full-blown in the era of Bush, Scalia and DeLay. This political cancer has yielded death, destruction, environmental wreckage, massive debt, wholesale violations of human rights, diminishment of national security, dismantling of constitutional democracy at home and widespread hatred for America abroad. And that’s just the first term. It is difficult to imagine that one could ruin a country so thoroughly in just four years, but the Bush team has succeeded famously (with a good deal of help from the press, the Democrats and the public). Finally, it appears that we have in the Downing Street Memo a weapon, and with it the proper context, to end our long national nightmare.

Impeachment. Now.

David Michael Green (pscdmg@hofstra.edu) is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.

http://www.commondreams.org/views05...

Forum posts

  • The DSM is only the latest smoking gun in an arsenal of smoking guns. The lack of WMDs still hasn’t raised so much as a leg to produce a stink from any people with power! The same hopes that were tied to the absence of WMDs have now been transferred to the DSM. Doesn’t anyone perceive that sound of one hand clapping, with the middle finger upraised, from the White House?

    • Thank you, Professor Green for trying to get the truth out to the American public with regards to the horrific revelations concerning Congressman John Conyers "Downing Street Minutes" memo. It’s about time we see more articles written by those we can respect and trust (if you can’t trust a Professor this Undergrad gives-up)...

      So thank you sir for giving this story the recognition it so deserves. Sadly, our mainstream media is slow to touch this. Each day it goes ignored equates to many more of our troops and innocent Iraqi people dying. Not to mention the disgrace and dishonor it’s bestowed upon our nation in the worlds views. What kind of legacy does this leave on our next generation, if we do nothing, and say nothing about this now. If some "one" does not begin to listen to the "whistle-blowers," and "Congressman John Conyers" about the lies to take our great nation into a horrible war, with no end in sight what does that say about what our founding fathers intended!?! We’re suppose to be the "home of the brave and free," rather I see Republican Senators cowardly lining-up to vote for anything Bush’s administration rolls off their oval office presses then blatenly lies during his weekly radio addresses to still more Americans, as he tries to blame it on the very Senate he and Rove give orders to.

      I plead to my fellow Americans’ to "Wake-up" before it’s too late. Haven’t we come to far to allow right-wing agendas take our liberties, freedoms and justice back to the stone-ages? Haven’t we learned anything from history?

      Personally, I feel like our country has been hi-jacked by the worst ultra-conservative agenda to ever assault our nation - namely the Republicans. While I don’t want to believe every republican is in agreement to the destruction of every part of what America stood-for prior to Bush’s election in 2000. His second term only solidifies the facts more: Americans need to start stand-up and be counted before their scandalous lies bring us down. Certainly, Clinton’s affairs seemed "ok" to pounce all over.

      Lastly, I don’t know about Bush supporters, but I for one refuse to a accept that the mainstream media is "liberal." Since when? Until the MSN begins to do their jobs, reporting authentic journals that crack-open major injustices to fellow countrymen and women, I’ll continue to read articles like Professor Green has written out here on the Internet. Oddly, the news is seeping out "bigtime" even in my sleeply little bedroom community. I say it’s just a matter of time before it "all comes out in the wash," and boy is it going to be dirty.

      The Downing Street Minutes can be found at sites like;
      http://againdowningstreetmemo.com
      http//downingstreetmemo.com
      http://johncongers.com/

      And many, many more out here. Just check http://www.google.com/ and seach for "Downing Street Memo," preferably "Downing Street Minutes," because it’s not a memo, it’s authentic documentation that prooves Blair, but mainly Bush, Bolton, Cheney and Co. had every intention of bringing our nation into war, by fixing facts and lying to sell all of this to the America people.

      How much are your children’s lives worth when sending them to war when in reality, they’re dying for Billionares like Halliburton, GE, Lockheed Martin, Bechtell and god knows who else.

  • We need moveon.org or PFAW to get behind this if we are present any kind of mass unified effort. So far, they have not responded. I urge everyone to contact them and tell them that they owe us.

    • Impeachment. NOW. That’s all that needs to be said. In addition to the crime of lying to the public about Iraq, how about subverting the election process in 2004? Prior knowledge of 9/11?

      We now have three salient, im peachable offenses that can be investigated and to which the administration must answer. If Congress does not act quickly to impeach, and even if they do, the administration surely has another diversionary tactic (like another faux-terrorist attack on the homeland) already prepared.

      Congress MUST act and the people must stand courageously in support of them. Republicans must now be asking themselves, after grabbing complete control of the functions of government, was it worth it?

      Time to make Bush, Cheney, Rumsfled, Rice, Wolfowitz, Pearle, Feith, DeLay, and others in the murderous cabal, pay for their crimes.

    • They ARE behind it...get on their website and sign the petition!

    • I have tryed & Kerry has no hair on his balls. I voted for him, I have communicated with him; he still wants to be a leader, yet he fails to pick up the flag & go. Best of luck. Steve...

  • "To get a sense of how frightened and vulnerable the Bush team is, consider McClellan’s response to a reporter’s question about the letter sent by 89 members of the House calling for an explanation of the Downing Street Memo. McClellan said the White House saw "no need" to answer the letter. This tells us three things, right off the bat. First, the Bush administration is blocking Congress from performing its constitutionally mandated duty of oversight of the executive."

    With all due respect, I think you might want to reconsider any notion of a "Constitutional Mandate", giving the Congress "oversight" of "The Executive".

    First, the Congress and the Executive Branches are co-equal branches of the United States Government. Congress does not "Oversee" the President any more than the President "oversees" the Congress.

    Second, do you really want the Congress to oversee the President? Are you sure? Consider this: A Democratic President in 2009 being overseen by a Republican Congress. THAT sends shuidders down my spine.

  • Yes, yes, yes, yes........Yes, it is a smoking gun. (But Republicans control both houses of congress)
    They got him. Will they have the balls to impeach THEM ALL? Will enough from both sides of the isle challenge these lying, war criminals??
    I say no. I say it is wishful thinking.

    Hank Roth
    http://pnews.org/

    • I suppose you all would want Saddam and his sons still in power, still killing and raping whoever they want. None of you are Kurds I presume. Also, why is it okay to display a crucifix in urine, then call it "art", but if we sneeze too close to the bloodsoaked Koran, all hades breaks loose?

    • I very much doubt that the murdered and raped and tortured give a stuff about whether they suffer under Saddam or Bush, the result is the same. Perhaps the only difference is in the ’freedoms’ people enjoyed under the two different regimes. Under Saddam (pre-sanctions) Iraq had excellent healthcare, education, water, electricity, security and a degree of safety. Under Bush they have all the negatives (and very possibly more dead) and none of the positives excepting a government put in place by the americans.

  • Dear Friend,
    This "Bring It Down" is a long read, but speaks for a lot of American Patriots who feel that our Government has been hijacked by the Dynasty of greedy rich folk. In the meantime we hear bulletins every day about how well the economy is doing at the same time as General Motors is laying off 125,000 employees and companies are canceling their pension programs. When will people wake up to the fact that our elected officials are sending our citizens into possible death for no reason, except for Bush’s "Leap of Faith" and fixed ideas that he is doing the "right thing" for America. This sort of reasoning can never be questioned because it is never based on facts and there fore can be utilized to promote any one’s personal agenda. When will our country wake up to the travesty that is being promulgated by our present administration, which has shamed us all over the world. Does anyone care? When the hard working American family with both working two jobs are unable to support themselves because the rich folk have sucked up all the money by changing the taxation laws; perhaps then they will understand that they have to vote this administration back to the Texas they came from. Aside from the lumber camps and roads supported by our present administration to decimate our last vestige of national parks, and the loosening of air quality restrictions for big business polluters, the trust of our president has been to change social security insurance so that millions of people can risk their insurance funds in the stock market. Guess who those millions of investors will pay commissions to and what a happy day it will be for the market to receive such a wealth of new investment capitol. Not only is there no crises at the present time with social security, but the present administration’s support of eliminating the Estate taxes for those multi millionaires has exacerbated the problem with social security. The problem would disappear at once, if the Estate Tax would be re-instated with the proceeds to finance Social Security, but you can bet that will never happen with this administration and Republican congress.
    If you think all these things I already mentioned are troubling, then just wait until some of the newly appointed justices sit on the bench and begin making decisions based on their own personal understanding of how their religious beliefs (Fixed Ideas based on a "Leap of Faith") converge with the letter of the law, a dimension where sins and crimes seem to merge. Wake up America! Before it’s too late and all the blessings we have enjoyed are trampled.
    All best,
    Marc
    "What is objectionable and what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme,
    but that they are always intolerant."
    - - - Robert F. Kennedy 1964

  • Absolutely awesome article! Coherent, lucid, articulate and absolutely damning to the most corrupt administration in the history of our country.

  • The 1975 Senate committee hearings on CIA abuses chaired by Frank Church revealed that hundreds of CIA operatives were installed in America’s leading TV and newspapers to give the White House a means of controlling public opinion during the Cold War. Just the tip of the iceberg was revealed and then hastily resubmerged as too dangerous a revelation to national security.

    Until Carl Bernstein (of Watergate’s Woodward and Bernstein reporting team) followed up and revealed more in a 1977 Rolling Stone article.

    Americans remain unaware of what this means. The USA has a state-controlled press more effective than the KGB’s Pravda because Americans don’t know it is theirn government running their ’mainstream media.’ Please tell everyone you can.

    http://www.class.uidaho.edu/mickels...

    >snip<

    CARL BERNSTEIN: "The history of the CIA’s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception . . . .

    Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier-Journal and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Pres International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune.

    By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc."

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.u...

    >snip<

    Carl Bernstein, who had worked with Bob Woodward in the investigation of Watergate, provided further information about Operation Mockingbird in an article in Rolling Stone in October, 1977. Bernstein claimed that over a 25 year period over 400 American journalists secretly carried out assignments for the CIA: "Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested it the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles, and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad."

    http://agitprop.org.au/stopnato/200...

    >snip<

    In 1975, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence headed by Frank Church (the Church Committee) focused its attention on the Agency’s use of American news outlets. The CIA went to great lengths to curtail this part of the committee’s investigation, though, and some members of the committee later admitted that the Agency was able to get the upper hand. Colby and his successor, George Bush (CFR, TC), were able to convince the Senate that a full inquiry would cripple their intelligence-gathering capabilities and would unleash a “witch-hunt” on the nation’s reporters, editors and publishers.

    “The Agency was extremely clever about it and the committee played right into its hands,” one congressional source told Carl Bernstein. “Church and some of the other members were much more interested in making headlines than in doing serious, tough investigating. The Agency pretended to be giving up a lot whenever it was asked about the flashy stuff — assassinations and secret weapons and James Bond operations. Then, when it came to things they didn’t want to give away, that were much more important to the Agency, Colby in particular called in his chits. And the committee bought it.”

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-ove...

    >snip<

    The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)

    MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who’s Who of journalism:

    * Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
    * William Paley (President, CBS)
    * Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
    * Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
    * Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star)
    * Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
    * Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
    * James Copley (Copley News Services)
    * Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
    * C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
    * Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
    * ABC
    * NBC
    * Associated Press
    * United Press International
    * Reuters
    * Hearst Newspapers
    * Scripps-Howard
    * Newsweek
    * magazine Mutual Broadcasting System
    * Miami Herald
    * Old Saturday Evening Post
    * New York Herald-Tribune

    Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.

    After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspaper’s relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:

    "We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."

    This quote has since become a classic among CIA critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a political agenda behind the Post’s headlines.

  • The DSM is certainly not the savior of the liberal left that you make it out to be. The entire scenario behind this cockamamie drama is completely looney. Rove and company set out to falsify the entire world’s inetelligence on Iraq’s possession of WMDs, and succeeded! Unbelieveable!
    I fear for the youth that are being indoctrinated by university instructors such as yourself, who have a socialist agenda and use the position they have to propagandize for a failed and utterly discredited ideology.

    • While I am not sure that DSM will have the (desired) effect of bringing down the BushCo government I do feel the need to respond with the following article concerning the "socialist" label; the lack of knowledge, wisdom and understanding of the above negative comment to "Bring It Down. Now" frightens me even more.
      Trite statements with no basis in reality, with no authoratative support, the dismissal of opposing thought (Clean Skies and Healthy Forests initiative) have all kept the current president in power and have allowed a few to profit at the cost to the majority of the American people, the environment as a whole and economy. That this is a pervasive attitude, it cannot go without comment.

      http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?control=910

    • "Trite statements with no basis in reality" pretty much sums up the left’s argument in this "smoking gun" issue.
      I am a bit surprised by your use of a Murray Rothbard article in your response to my criticism of "Bring It Down. Now." . I assume you use it to refute my characterization of the great professori as having a "socialist" agenda. Your criticism is based upon a historical and scholastic definition of the terms. I was writing in a more realistic and current vein. The modern liberal Democrat (I hold up many of the people Mr. Green has touted in the article as examples-though paid, elected examples) is most assuredly leading this country in the direction of a "socialist agenda". Mr. Green notes in his article that "Americans are coming to realize that learning the truth about their country requires going to foreign sources like the BBC..." Kerry, Conyers, and the Clintons as well, bemoan our lack of credibility in the world and obviously believe we should be following the lead set by Western Europe. These governments are largely socialist in the nature of their social programs, though guardedly capitalist in their economies. These leaders of the Democrat Party yearn for more central control of our government and our society. They want to redistribute the earnings of our polity to correct social disparities (from each...to each...), they believe the government is the answer to all of our ills. This is some of what I term a socialist agenda.

      Mr Green has said the Iraq war "echoes the tragedy of Vietnam". I would agree that it does, but not in the way he describes it. The tragedy of Vietnam was the loss of will the public experienced to continue to fight against a terrible and dedicated enemy, whose aim was to further brutalize and control millions of poor people in the countries surrounding the fighting. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people died as a result of our failure to help stem the communist aggression in this area. This effort was aided by the Democrats and the press, whose sole aim Mr Green seems to think is to be a "government watchdog". Communism was a serious threat to liberty the world over, and it’s victims (real physical victims, not victims of hazing rituals and holy book abuse) numbered in the millions. Finally, Mr. Green actually drools over the prospect of trying the Bush administration in the Hague (or rather jailing them there?), saying "pinch me, please" over the idea. Allowing a corrupt agency like the UN to try and convict and jail our President would be a "great day" for America, wouldn’t it?

      There have been mistakes made by this administration. Even going to war in Iraq at all was probably a mistake. Since our soldiers are there we should be behind their efforts and the efforts of our government to defeat the scum that attacked us on 9/11, though. Not focusing all our efforts on attacking Bush as though he were the only one making decisions, or Republicans as though they were the only elected officials that are leading this country down the wrong road. This hatred of Bush is the only thing the left can seem to actually get behind.
      I’d like to bring that down. Now.

    • The Bushco propaganda machine is alive and well. Trolls are actually paid to come to "liberal" sites like this one and troll shit like the above....hey troll, how much do they pay you for endorsing the lies of Bushco?

    • I got stock options in Halliburton and a down payment on a nice home in the country. Furthermore, after I finish posting on DU and MoveOn, I should have built up enough Bushco green stamps to be able to dump all the PCBs I’ve been storing in rusty drums behind my ghetto tenement, which I rent out to the locals. It’s a little environmental benefit to being a member of the vast rightwing conspiracy.

      But seriously, folks, do you people really think you’re the tolerant ones?

  • How could it have been a "secret" when it was reported on at the time? Are democrats admitting to being incompetent? All they had to do was make a Lexus Nexus search. At least they made it abundantly clear they are not competent to hold the highest office.

    Bush rallies US for strike on Iraq

    War on Iraq? Discuss it here

    Iraq: Observer special

    Peter Beaumont and Paul Beaver
    Sunday July 21, 2002
    The Observer

    President George Bush has told US troops to be ready for ’pre-emptive military action’ against Iraq, as security sources warned that a massive assault against President Saddam Hussein could be likely at ’short notice’.
    Whitehall sources confirmed that Tony Blair had decided Britain must back any US assault and had ordered defence planners to begin the preparations for a new war in the Gulf.

    ’President Bush has already made up his mind. This is going to happen. It is a given,’ said one Whitehall source. ’What we are waiting for is to be told the details of how and when and where.’

    Although Britain has not decided on its level of commitment, defence sources say planners have been told to expect to send 20,000-30,000 British troops.

    The sources added that British Challenger II main battle tanks and other key armoured fighting vehicles were being pushed through a crash servicing and refit programme. The Ministry of Defence has explained the crash repairs programme by saying it is for a military exercise planned for Scotland.

    However, expectation of a large British involvement in a US-led war to topple Saddam Hussein has been raised by reports that Britain will issue an emergency call-up of reservists in September and by reports of other preparations, including a big increase in RAF training flights.

    ’The combat indicators are all there,’ said one source. ’This is going to happen. And perhaps sooner than we think.’

    Whitehall sources claim, however, that the Prime Minister is hesitating in declaring his full endorsement of Bush’s plans until Washington puts in a formal request for British troops.

    Unlike Bush, Blair is understood to be concerned that Britain can make a legal case for intervening in Iraq to remove Saddam, because of concern that his support for the war could split the Cabinet and lose the support of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

    Blair ordered the preparation of a document that would lay out the justification for attacking Iraq three months ago. Sources say the document - expected to set out a ’legal framework’ for a war -has been completed.

    The latest disclosures came as Bush used a visit to the troops that fought al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan to renew his vow that the United States would strike pre-emptively against countries developing weapons of mass destruction, telling troops that ’America must act against these terrible threats before they’re fully formed’.

    Surrounded by troops of the 10th Mountain Division, among the first sent to Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, one of the soldiers yelled: ’Let’s get Saddam!’

    Bush’s address came amid reports of efforts by Iraqi diplomats to court Arab neighbours in countries that might be used for a US assault.

    Iraq began to end a decade of diplomatic isolation in March at the Arab summit. Since then - according to the Washington Post - it has signed up to economic agreements with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and discussed prisoner exchanges with Iran, putting pressure on Washington to act swiftly.

    War clouds gather
    14.07.2002: PM and Bush plan Iraq war summit
    14.07.2002: Focus: Hawks lay their plans

    Comment
    14.07.2002: Leader: What would we be fighting for?
    14.07.2002: John Pilger: The great charade

    Special reports
    Iraq: Observer special
    War on Terrorism
    Observer Worldview

    More from Guardian Unlimited
    Special report: Iraq

    Observer investigation: what is the evidence?
    17.03.2002: Should we go to war against Saddam?
    17.03.2002: Timeline: From friend to foe
    17.03.2002: Key sources: who to believe?

    The Iraq debate
    23.06.2002: John Sweeney: How Saddam ’staged’ fake baby funerals
    17.02.2002: Will Hutton: Support for America could be Blair’s nemesis
    02.12.2001: David Rose: Why the doves are wrong - again
    10.03.2002: Nick Cohen: Blair’s just a Bush baby
    24.02.2002: Andrew Rawnsley: How to deal with the American goliath
    03.03.2002: Mary Riddell: Let go of Dubya’s coat-tails
    16.12.2001: David L Mack: Iraq after Saddam
    03.03.2002: ’Bombing Saddam is ignorance’
    17.02.2002: Terry Jones: OK, George, make with the friendly bombs
    17.02.2002: Steven Everts: Why should Bush take Europe seriously?

    The military build-up
    17.03.2002: Army fear over Blair war plans
    10.03.2002: Bush wants 25,000 UK Iraq force
    07.04.2002: Blair to back US war on Iraq
    24.02.2002: Blair and Bush to plot war on Iraq
    02.12.2001: Secret US plan for Iraq war

    Is this the same as the Boss mentioned earlier, that secret Downing Street Memo. You remember that memo right? It’s written by some British guy who got the information from another British guy who got the information from some un-named Administration officials who were guessing at what the President thought. Sounds like a smoking gun to me. LOL

    • "and obviously believe we should be following the lead set by Western Europe. These governments are largely socialist in the nature of their social programs, though guardedly capitalist in their economies."

      You’re right - those commie countries like Switzerland and Sweden are just horrible places with their humane social programs, socialized medicine, legal pot and no massive military industrial complex sucking off the teets of their tax payers. They’re just a bunch of stoned-out hippies I’m sure most Swiss citizens are just dying to get out of that hell-hole and come to America where your Neo-Darwinian-Capitalist vision of the future will make them feel alive and competitive again. Perhaps they can even join in on our "war on terror". By the way, in case you missed it, Iraq had nothing - let me repeat that word - nothing to do with 9/11. Besides, it’s quite obvious that King George would’ve gone in there regardless.

      It sounds as though you’re just like most republicans - you’re all for socialism as long as it’s in the form of the US military. Only in the US military is the Marxian cradle-to-grave security setup just fine for republicans. You spit out the words "socialism" and "liberal" without thinking that in many cases, they are two very good things. Can socialism be abused? Absolutely. But so can the unbridled capitalism especially the kind brought on by the Bush administration that you obviously espouse. Enron, with Bush’s close, warm, personal friend "Kenny Boy" is a good example of common capitalist abuses of power. By the way, Kenny Boy’s still not in prison, is he? Wonder why. Nope! No corruption here! Move on now everyone, move on . . . Nothing to see here.

      "The tragedy of Vietnam was the loss of will the public experienced to continue to fight against a terrible and dedicated enemy, "

      So what you’re saying is we should’ve stuck it out in Vietnam, right? You and Pat Buchanan. The South Vietnamese puppet government we set up wouldn’t fight for their own country. Why should we? This is not a personal attack, but an observation: You *are* insane. Look at Vietnam today - it’s probably got more "capitalism" per square mile than anywhere in the US. Look at the Soviet Union. Oh, that’s right - there is no Soviet Union, and despite you and Ronald Regan taking credit for that, the system did a terrific job of falling apart on its own, thank you.

      Are *you* ready to go fight and die in Iraq? How about donating a son, brother, sister or daughter to the cause? Why is it that the people fighting that war - just like the Vietnam war - are the poor families, the ones who can’t find a job in Bush’s deficit-driven, tax-cuts-for-the-rich economy? You first admit - admit!! - that it was a bad move to go into Iraq, and then turn right around and say we should support this bad move? Alright then where can YOU sign up - put your money where your mouth is, pal.

      "But seriously, folks, do you people really think you’re the tolerant ones?"

      Well, well, let’s look at the right’s record in terms of tolerance. A Christian, white-majority, anti-gay government. Well as long as you fit that criteria, sure. The right’s very tolerant. The republicans running the show now impeached a president because he lied about a question that should never have been asked in the first place. The same bunch of pious, right-wing whiny wind-bags want us to now stop asking questions of this president altogether and just "trust him". Right.

      "This hatred of Bush is the only thing the left can seem to actually get behind. "

      As if that didn’t happen in reverse when Clinton was president? You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Nice try. You sir, are a hypocrite.

    • That’s funny. I didn’t say anything about half of the stuff you attributed to me. But I guess that’s tolerance for ya. I don’t agree with everything Bush or any Republicans do. I meant EXACTLY what I wrote: reality being that we are in Iraq, we should stick it out and win the damned peace!
      I guess the Killing Fields was just so much capitalist propaganda, and that trying to keep up in the arms race with the US (while liberals moaned constantly about MAD) had nothing to do with the fall of the USSR.

      If you really think about it, you’ll see that there are points on both sides that bear a listen. To illustrate, I will say that the existence of satellite TV and the world media’s exposure had a big impact on the social unrest that caused the fall of the USSR. It certainly wasn’t all Reagan’s doing.

      Well, I’ll say this about the Downing Street Memo: If Bush and co. were so evil and traitorous as to have doctored the facts around their aim to topple Sadaam, then why didn’t they also "find" WMDs there when they got there?

      What did Bush know and when did he know it?
      The answer, quite frankly and as it relates to good and reliable intell surrounding Iraq’s WMD, is "not much". If he knew there were no WMDs, he never would have gone to war on that basis.

      You lefties can’t have it both ways. Rove/Bush/Cheney are either evil geniuses or bumbling idiots, but it has to be consistent, ya know. The truth lies in the middle. They are human. They believed, as did the entire world intelligence community, that Sadaam had and intended to use WMD. They acted, ACTED, on that assumtion. They were apparently wrong. Hopefully the action turns out right in the end. I hope for the best and support the effort to make it so, rather than concoting every little idiosyncratic or insignificant reason to holler "liar!" at the administration and pout.

    • BTW, I feel this, at least, was uncalled for and rude:

      "Are *you* ready to go fight and die in Iraq? How about donating a son, brother, sister or daughter to the cause? Why is it that the people fighting that war - just like the Vietnam war - are the poor families, the ones who can’t find a job in Bush’s deficit-driven, tax-cuts-for-the-rich economy? You first admit - admit!! - that it was a bad move to go into Iraq, and then turn right around and say we should support this bad move? Alright then where can YOU sign up - put your money where your mouth is, pal."

      People who volunteer to fight in Iraq do so themselves. We don’t donate or give permission to grown adults. They make their own decisions. While I am too old to go fight in Iraq, I do support those who make that decision and applaud the work they do. I don’t make niggling criticisms at everything they do and every even slightly negative comment that gets made in the Mainstream Media. I will say that in my present job I probably face more danger than most people who work in this country and deal with a population of people that is as twisted and dangerous as most neighborhoods in Baghdad. What do you do, sit in a cubicle or attend class?

      And your grasp of the econmy and math in general is obviously very poor, because the tax cuts were proportional to all areas of the economy. They were actually progressive in their effect on the poor. That means the poor gained more than the rich. Now the kind of things proposed recently by Democrats around the country, like a Draft and the continual proposals of sin taxes (which are truly regressive) in local economies are a different story, but you probably support that stuff.
      Ask Charlie Rangel about who wants a draft. He’s put forth legislation at least twice now calling for a draft, and then voted against it! Why? So he can keep the fear of a draft alive and blame that on the Republicans.

      Wake up and put down the koolaid.

    • Okay, that’s enough of this "memo". It wasn’t a memo, it is the verified (by Blair himself) minutes of a meeting of the security portion of the British Government. As such it transcends the concept of a "memo" by several thousand per cent. Eventually you lot will have to face the truth, so why let any more people die because of your ignorance and ridiculous head in the sand posture.

  • Hi Dave,

    Having read this screed, I do believe you seem to be manifesting signs of advanced gluteo-cranial infarction. Can you come up with anything better than this drivel, or is it really the best that Hofstra can field?

    And just what, exactly, is meant by "caractere defamatory", Dave? What does "...xenophobe, sexist, the threats, politic and commercial advertising" mean?

    Have you run out of those little speller and syntax thingies that are supposed to be whizzing along in your thinker?

    Wow! Tell me you’re not REALLY a "professor of political science", Dave! Tell me otherwise innocent
    people don’t actually have pay money to sit in a classroom and listen to you.

    What a travesty!

    Bellaciao, Dave! Have a nice whatever!
    Wolfman