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View Diary: 88 Representatives Want Answers on Leaked Memo (247 comments)

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  •  List of the 88 (more detailed info) (4.00)
    From Rawstory:  here's the text of the letter, and the people who signed.

    May 5, 2005

    The Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained "nothing new." If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.

    The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government. Among other things, the document revealed:

    • Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush's plans for invading Iraq.

    • British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged that the case for war was "thin" as "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran."

    • A separate secret briefing for the meeting said that Britain and America had to "create" conditions to justify a war.

    • A British official "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."

    As a result of this recent disclosure, we would like to know the following:

    1. Do you or anyone in your Administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?

    2. Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?

    3. Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?

    4. At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?

    5. Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?

    We have of course known for some time that subsequent to the invasion there have been a variety of varying reasons proffered to justify the invasion, particularly since the time it became evident that weapons of mass destruction would not be found. This leaked document - essentially acknowledged by the Blair government - is the first confirmation that the rationales were shifting well before the invasion as well.

    Given the importance of this matter, we would ask that you respond to this inquiry as promptly as possible. Thank you.


    Members who have already signed letter:
    Neil Abercrombie
    Brian Baird
    Tammy Baldwin
    Xavier Becerra
    Shelley Berkley
    Eddie Bernice Johnson
    Sanford Bishop
    Earl Blumenauer
    Corrine Brown
    Sherrod Brown
    G.K. Butterfield
    Emanuel Cleaver
    James Clyburn
    John Conyers
    Jim Cooper
    Elijah Cummings
    Danny Davis
    Peter DeFazio
    Diana DeGette
    Bill Delahunt
    Rosa DeLauro
    Lloyd Doggett
    Sam Farr
    Bob Filner
    Harold Ford, Jr.
    Barney Frank
    Al Green
    Raul Grijalva
    Louis Gutierrez
    Alcee Hastings
    Maurice Hinchey
    Rush Holt
    Jay Inslee
    Sheila Jackson Lee
    Jessie Jackson Jr.
    Marcy Kaptur
    Patrick Kennedy
    Dale Kildee
    Carolyn Kilpatrick
    Dennis Kucinich
    William Lacy Clay
    Barbara Lee
    John Lewis
    Zoe Lofgren
    Donna M. Christensen
    Carolyn Maloney
    Ed Markey
    Carolyn McCarthy
    Jim McDermott
    James McGovern
    Cynthia McKinney
    Martin Meehan
    Kendrick Meek
    Gregory Meeks
    Michael Michaud
    George Miller
    Gwen S. Moore
    James Moran
    Jerrold Nadler
    Grace Napolitano
    James Oberstar
    John Olver
    Major Owens
    Frank Pallone
    Donald Payne
    Charles Rangel
    Bobby Rush
    Bernie Sanders
    Linda Sanchez
    Jan Schakowsky
    Jose Serrano
    Ike Skelton
    Louise Slaughter
    Hilda Solis
    Pete Stark
    Ellen Tauscher
    Bennie Thompson
    Edolphus Towns
    Stephanie Tubbs Jones
    Chris Van Hollen
    Nydia Velazquez
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz
    Maxine Waters
    Diane Watson
    Melvin Watt
    Robert Wexler
    Lynn Woolsey
    David Wu
    Albert R. Wynn

    •  Thank you Jerrold Nadler as well! (none)
    •  Interesting to see the number of Blue Dogs (4.00)
      who signed this:

      Sandy Bishop, Jim Cooper, Harold Ford, Mike Michaud, Ike Skelton, Ellen Tauscher

      Two of them come from districts  Shrub won in 2004 (Bishop and Skelton), another from a district he almost won (Michaud) and another's running for Senate in a red state (Ford).

      The Democrats have officially learned to kick again.

      •  Gotta like Ike (none)
        Ike Skelton is ranking Democrat on the Armed Services committee and not somebody you'd call a dove. But he was vocally opposed to rushing into war with Iraq, got letters published in the KC Star and the Times to that effect, so it's no secret to his constituents (who probably voted Shrub on that all-important gay marriage issue anyway).
      •  And where's Matheson? (none)
        I don't see him. Time to email him. He hasn't heard from me in at least a week.


        •  Where's Berman? (none)
          It looks like my Congresscritter, Howard Berman (D-RIAA/MPAA) doesn't have the cojones yet to sign onto this. He needs to grow a spine and sign.

          Welcome to Planet Baka. Enjoy your stay. Spread the meme: Borrow-and-Binge Republicans.

          by MamasGun on Fri May 06, 2005 at 08:50:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks. (none)
      Hmmm... I notice my Rep. is absent from this list... he's going to be hearing from me...

      "Whensoever the general Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."
      - Thomas Jefferson

      by Billy Shears on Fri May 06, 2005 at 12:23:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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