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(From the diaries -- kos)

Looks like the Washington Post realized the mistake they made in burying the Downing Street Memo, and have decided to go back to reporting real news, frontpaging a Walter Pincus story on the Secret Cabinet Memo unearthed by The London Times:

A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the British memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of that country.

The eight-page memo, written in advance of a July 23, 2002, Downing Street meeting on Iraq, provides new insights into how senior British officials saw a Bush administration decision to go to war as inevitable, and realized more clearly than their American counterparts the potential for the post-invasion instability that continues to plague Iraq.

In its introduction, the memo "Iraq: Conditions for Military Action" notes that U.S. "military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace," but adds that "little thought" has been given to, among other things, "the aftermath and how to shape it."

Read the whole thing.  It's solid reporting.  Nice to see that some parts of the media appear to listen to us when we have a legitimate point to make, as we did when we chastised them for ignoring the Downing Street Memo.  

Or perhaps nostalgia over Deep Throat is getting the Post to try and be a real news outfit again.

In any event, I hope the Washington Post is not standing alone in the US Media on this one.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:38 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4.00)
    The Washington Post deserves mojo here, not me, but I'll take it in its absence.  :-)

    "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    by pontificator on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 08:09:53 PM PDT

    •  ok, but ... (4.00)
      I just want to know how you jumped ahead of me on the recommended list after I broke the story LOL

      If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen.

      by EZ writer on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:27:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, I guess it was ... (4.00)
        The Washington Post that broke the story

        If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen.

        by EZ writer on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:27:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Wa Po story line sucks (4.00)
          It does not even mention that Bush/Blair decide on war 3 months before the Downing Street memo was even written.

          They are missing the big story. We all already know there was no post-war planning - that's old news.

          •  This is an innoculation story. (4.00)
            This story is typical of the corporate media.

            They take the far less explosive aspect of the story and get it out there so the casual news observer will hear about it: "Bush did not plan for the occupation".

            Then they say,"Duh! Like I didn't know that!"

            Enter informed Kossack talking about the Downing Street Minutes. It immediately triggers the recall in the casual news observer: "did not plan for occupation, DUH! Tell me something I don't know." Eyes glaze over at the breadth and depth of the Kossack's knowledge and passion.

            We lose.

            Over and over.

            I am glad that the WaPo finally found their scandal immunization angle to protect Bush.

            This aint no win. It is a big loss.

            Fucking sad!

            •  Comapre Headlines (4.00)
              The Sunday Times:
              Ministers were told of need for Gulf war `excuse'

              British Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Iraq Plan

              Wow, thanks NY Times.  This time the "old news" argument is correct.  They are glossing over the real story that the Brits knew that war was inevitable and illegal.  This is clear evidence that they and the US were trying to "create conditions" for war.

              •  OOOps (none)
                meant WAPO, all the same.
              •  What I find glaring in the WAPO article (4.00)
                vs. the Times of London article, is the Wapo slant on lack of post invasion plans.

                Here's a hint journalists.  Someone needs to leak the Cheney Energy Meetings minutes.  Remember those minutes environmental groups had no luck getting Cheney to disclose.  I bet it's got the full post invasion plans on it.

                my take:  Iraq was to be pillaged for gas and oil post invasion, and the population put under repressive and horrific conditions (falluja).  They knew the Iraqi's would resist, but they didn't give a shit.  Hence $55.00/barrel oil and billions in US tax money missing.

                "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

                by Yankee in exile on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:04:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think you're right (none)
                  They won't even release who attended the meeting. My speculation is that is because one of the attendees was Chalabi. It was probably Chalabi who leaked the map showing how Iraq's oil could be carved up-- a sort of warning shot to the Administration not to cross him. That might explain why Chalabi is still alive and doing fine. If he were to wind up dead or in prison, a full copy of the agenda would be sent to the media.  

                  Somewhere around 2001, Mr. Spock grew a beard.

                  by Olds88 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:06:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Disagree (none)
              We know this is old news, but we follow this stuff much, much more intently than most Americans.

              This is not news that can or will be dismissed by family and friends of the 130,000 troops in Iraq. It's another example - and an extremely strong one - of how careless and inept this administration is in treating our military. Eventually the wall will break.

            •  exactly (none)
              I thought it was bullshit.  Watch - on this morning's talk shows, if anyone mentions it, it will be no DSM and all about failing to plan a post-war policy.

              I expected nothing more.

              "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

              by matthewc on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:23:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It Would If They Were Trying to ... (none)
            ... get us off our cans.

            The average US voter, though, is more likely to be concerned with the escalating cost and the fitness of the military going forward. That's something that'll get the swing voter frothing at the mouth, and no matter how hard they try, BushCo won't be able to invent a lie big enough for folks to realize that:

            • the military is falling far short on recruiting quotas;
            • the national guard has been used for major extended periods;
            • the pricetag is starting to reach a point where folks sit up and take notice.

            The swing voters (i.e., folks who pay no attention to that man behind the curtain), near as my personal informal canvass can tell, are beginning to believe a draft is a virtual certainty, since the military has been weakened. They understand that. In light of that, they're also more prone to pay attention to the cost, and they'll pay even more attention as this drags on. They're still likely to deny, despite the minutes, that Bush definitely fixed the evidence, or that it even matters.

            Welcome to our USA.

            •  Another possible scenario (none)
              They'll fall back on the usual suspects.  LATHER: Yes, Bush made a stronger case for war than existed because the weak-kneed UN would wait until Saddam and Osama were gassing people in the streets of Des Moines. He had the capability, and we know he'd use it. RINSE: Saddam, evil dictator, gassed his own people, rape rooms, bad man had to go, the world is better off without him. REPEAT: Elections, blah, blah, blah... Why do you hate freedom?  Why do you hate America?
            •  I think (none)
              that most people think a draft is a certainty (including me).  However, I don't think there will be massive citizen action until it is debated in Congress or a bill is passed.  That is when all hell will break loose, IMO.

              It's only when the RWCM breaks something that it gets massive enough attention.  This is why our media finally paying attention to the Downing Street Memo is important.  It raises enough questions that people may start paying attention.

              What color are your pajamas?

              by Unstable Isotope on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:55:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Draft Inevitable? (none)
                No matter how bad things get in Iraq, the Congress is not going to bring back the draft.  

                The popular backlash against such a move would have the members of Congress literly afraid to sleep in their own beds at night.

                ownership society - you are on your own

                by Sam I Am on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:14:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yup. (none)
                  there arent enough jails to hold all the defectors and their mothers who will harbor them.

                  Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

                  by ablington on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 08:32:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Congression GOoPers (none)
                  The Republicans in Congress are scared shitless about reinstating the draft. Straw that broke the camel's back? Naw ... this ain't no straw, it's a truckload of anvils.

                  Nonetheless, the average voter can see that the US military preparedness, other than their ability to deliver airstrikes, has dwindled to a point where they cannot engage in a mission anywhere on the face of the earth outside of Iraq right now if the need should arise. To many of the folks in the middle, including some swing-conservatives, that's a big problem.

                  The point is not that a draft will be passed. It's that it won't, while the GOP lets the military become needy, which makes us weak. (Which was precisely a point LAKOFF makes in ELEPHANT.)

                  An all volunteer military can work, but it cannot support the neocon dream of empire.

          •  You'll enjoy this then... (4.00)
            I grabbed this comment in total from over at Americablog because it excellently illustrates the media angle.

            "British officials who had just returned from Washington said Bush and his aides believed war was inevitable..."- Pincus

            What the **?!?

            How DARE Pincus twist it in such a way it infers it was beyond the control of Bush and his aides. That they were just just reacting to events rather than actively creating them. Changes the whole complexion of it.

            "believed war was inevitable"??? They WANTED a war to be inevitable and MADE IT SO. That's the whole fucking point of the memo. Creating a situation where it became so. But Pincus softens it, the whore.

            Fuck, this is just starting to make me angry. This is worse than even ignoring it. They're only reporting it because of public pressure to do so. Under the guise of actually being a proper journalists actually reporting a genuine story, Wapo is now twisting it to weaken it as a story. This is proof they are consciously and actively doing this for a purpose. They don't want to report it truthfully, otherwise they would.

            They are purposefully misleading the American public, which makes them anti-American. Un-patriotic. Betraying both the American people as well as the trust the American people place in them. ACTIVELY COVERING UP A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY.

            This is no longer a joke. No longer a left-wing whine about 'biased' media. How they report this memo will be the judge of them. They are purposefully FAILING TO REPORT A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY perpetrated against the people of America. One they may have knowingly participated in.

            ...and were determined to use intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his relations with terrorists to justify invasion of Iraq.

            Inferring there was actual 'intelligence' by writing this. Exactly what fucking 'intelligence about Saddam's WMD's', Pincus?!? Why does he write it this way? Again to make it appear Bush et al were merely 'reacting' to intelligence rather than criminally conspiring to actively create it.

            The the whole point of the fucking memo, that there wasn't any intelligence they could use to start THEIR WAR, so they decided to CREATE IT. Exaggerate nonsense (Nigerian yellowcake, tubes, student's theses, and other bullshit) and ignore the real stuff saying there was no cause at all for war.

            Which is THE FUCKING STORY. A criminal conspiracy at the highest level.

            So Pincus and every other journalist who twist it the way he's done to cloud and diffuse the REAL STORY are criminal accessories after the fact.

            Enough is enough in even giving these so-called 'journalists' the time of day. News it ISN'T. Journalism it ISN'T. Call them what they are. Liars. Propagandists. Accessories. Anti-American. Un-Patriotic. Criminal conspirators.
            Forked Tongue | 06.12.05 - 6:39 am | #

            •  Absolutely Propaganda (none)
              When I first read this piece I could literally feel my blood start to boil.  The whole point of this piece is to take the heat off of George W. Bush.

              Your statement: "Inferring there was actual 'intelligence' by writing this. Exactly what fucking 'intelligence about Saddam's WMD's', Pincus?!? Why does he write it this way? Again to make it appear Bush et al were merely 'reacting' to intelligence rather than criminally conspiring to actively create it," is right on the money and exactly why this piece was written.

              I agree that this proves the Post is complicit in all of this, along with every other mainstream media outlet in America.  For whatever reason, the Post is actively trying to water this issue down by this reporting.  The question for me remains...why?

              •  By now somewhere, someone (none)
                must have discussed (put into print) the meaning of the memo and minutes.  I heard Randhi Rhodes do a great job of explaining and explicitly pointing out what made the war illegal--that Bush did not allow weapons inspections to continue and did not get the second UN vote (avoiding both I believe because neither would allow  him to invade--he had to get a jump on it).

                Has anyone found such a piece, or transcript of Randhi's show?  For my money, that is the story that needs to be told, over and over and over, and simply ignoring parsing the crap being written for spin.

          •  Details (none)
            Firstly, it's obvious that the post war planning was piss poor. The Wa Po storyline is a start. It may not go as far as some people want, but they are reporting on an entirely different memo to the one that is commonly discussed here. This one appears to be six pages long (whereas the commonly discussed one is only a single page)
    •  go buy a WaPo (4.00)
      Those of you who are in DC or have a decent newstand, go buy a Wapo with this story on it.

      It will be a good souveneir.

    •  Associated Press chimes in (4.00)
      I just went to do a Google news search of ""downing street memo" as I usually do a couple times a day.  This morning the search results were 726 - it's now at 826, and the increase is due to an Associated Press story, based on the Washington Post story.

      WASHINGTON - A staff paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair eight months before the invasion of Iraq concluded that U.S. military officials were not planning adequately for a postwar occupation, The Washington Post reported.

      Isn't this the first time AP has carried it?

    •  Frankly, I'd give the Post about a B- (4.00)
      Good for them for getting on this quickly. But -- and this is a big proviso -- the article focuses on the Admin's lack of preparation for the post-invasion phase, rather than the fact that Blair had committed the UK to an American-led invasion as early as the spring of 2002, and was thus bound to invent a plausible pretext for such an action. Compare the pale Post article-lite to the Real Thing, the London Times scoop.

      Also of note is some self-serving hackery toward the tail-end of the article, which tries to give the impression that the Post and the rest of the US-based media have been diligently on the case all along:

      The Downing Street Memo has been the subject of debate since the London Sunday Times first published it May 1. Opponents of the war say it proved the Bush administration was determined to invade months before the president said he made that decision.... Neither Bush nor Blair has publicly challenged the authenticity of the July 23 memo ... Last week, it was the subject of questions posed to Blair and Bush during the former's visit to Washington.

      Uh-huh. Yup.

      •  I'd give them an Incomplete (none)
        The jury is still out because reporting a story like this is basically meaningless.  

        The only way the Post reporting this -- and putting it on page 1 -- is if it informs the context of future stories.

        From now on, when they write about what's happening on the ground, they have to start from the presumption that one of the big problems is a failure to adequately plan for the post-war invasion.  

        If they let the Administration spin everything as a surprise, or as if greater attacks are a sign that our 'plan' is working, or as if the Republicans have done a good job on terrorism or this war specifically, then the Post will earn a D-.  

        Sure, it's great to get this story out there, but generally the Post prints this stuff in isolation.  It's time for their reporting to start from the presumption that this war is based on lies, was a detriment to the war on terror, and that failure to plan is resulting in our soldiers coming home in body bags.  

        Certainly, they have written enough individual stories (like this one), that those facts are clear.  It's about time all of their reporting was infused with these truths.

    •  nice work (none)
      as we say in japan . . .


    •  No contrast of Bush lies with real facts (none)
      Pinucs article was good and overdue, but no hard punches.

      For instance, he didn't contrast Bushes comments saying he had not made up his mind with the obvious facts that Bush had made up his mind - and was selling it to the British.

      They can't bring themselves to say that Bush was lying to the Congress, the American people and to the world.

      The shame continues.

      "pay any price, bear any burden"

      by JimPortlandOR on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:12:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They Deserve Mojo (none)
      If anyone on this thread thinks they are taking a line in this article that isn't useful but towing the political line of this admin your not looking at what has been in the media in the last year.

      The focus on recuitment numbers, lake of change in the insurgancy.

      One of the things that the DSM does perfectly is show how incompitent the Bush admin has been regarding Iraq.  This article does this well.  It's page A01, it may be a cop out to us because alot of people on here will be happy with only one thing and thats impeachment, but do a poll in America and ask them what the DSM is and maybe you'd have maybe 15% name recognition and 10% full understanding...ask them about Whitewater, Watergate, Monica L and you'd be up around 100%.

      We need to get near to 100% before the public and therefore politicians will start calling for similar type actions.....

    •  QUICK!! On MSNBC Front Page! (none)
      Washington Post story is the Front Page HEADLINE as I type this. Not sure how much longer it will be there!


      Even though you may have read it, click through to the article. That may keep it up longer.

  •  This is the tipping point. (4.00)
    We have arrived.  We may be on it for a while, but at least we got there.  The Editorial rooms have decided Iraq is a fiasco. The rest is history yet to come.
    •  This may be the tipping point for the media.... (4.00)
      The answers that Blair and Bush gave at the last press conference about the Downing Street Minutes were so illogical and insulting that they may finally have had enough.

      I'm interested if this will embolden some in the administration to begin to leak documents from this side of the pond confirming the same information....

      •  I think the tipping point for the media was (4.00)
        actually the Newsweek story. Don't know why they didn't wise-up before that, but ..... hey it's a start.

        How the f*** can they impeach Clinton over a blowjob and give Rethuglicans a pass on everything is unf'ing-believable!

        Now the rest of the people in the US better get their heads out of their butts and start pressuring the media as well as their elected officials to wake up and smell the coffee!

        •  I'd settle for... (4.00)
          I'd settle for approximately 55% of the US to get their heads out of their butts in approximately 230 congressional districts and seven states.

          But I try not to overextend myself... :)

        •  I'll second this take (4.00)
          I think even the complacent Kool Kid Washington media had to wake up and smell the jackboots after the Newsweek fiasco.  The Washington Post is indulging in a little payback here, IMHO.  I hope they get a taste for it, and think back on the glory days.  

          The big flop the Social Security Bamboozlepalooza tour proved to be put the first Bush blood in the water.  The Terri Schiavo panderfest proved the fundamental unlikeability of the wingnut right.  These softened up the Reich for the press to be ready to move in, and I think the spectacle of Scott McClellan lecturing the press on morality was just a little too much for them.  It's forgotten now, but Watergate's attraction to the press was probably almost as much because they hated Ron Ziegler (Nixon's press secretary, the McClellan of his day) as because Nixon was indeed a crook.

          I'd much rather be celebrating Pincus, Palast, Froomkin and Milbank right now, rather than Woodward and Bernstein.  And let's not forget our own good downingstreetmemo crowd.

          Journalism is yours! Please support ePluribusMedia

          by Dallasdoc on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:16:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also, I think Dean's resistance to public attacks (4.00)
            has had some effect.

            Maybe I'm indulging in wishful thinking, but I do believe that people are becoming bolder and bolder.

            "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

            by jbeach on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:39:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I dunno (4.00)
              Personally, I think it was that British guy telling Norm to go fuck himself. He proved it can be done. That was awesome.
              •  Yeah, you're right, (none)
                I wanted to do handsprings after seeing the MP literally manhandle the bugger. What a performance!
              •  Of course it can be done (none)
                The US is unique for the anodyne state of its political and journalistic discourse.  I'm feeling a little ranty today, but to enter the US is to enter through the looking glass.  All we need is George Bush in a big top hat with a 10 shillings sixpence price-card in it.

                "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

                by fishhead on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 01:02:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  This is an interesting take, (none)
              and one I had not yet considered. Will Dean's  statements, because they are so controversial, set a new standard for what IS controversial, thus allowing everyone else to move toward what was previously considered too controversial prior to Dean?
          •  Greg Palast (none)
            Bob McChesney will be interviewing Mr. Palast today (1-2 PM Central) on his show, Media Matters from WILL am 580 in Urbana-Champaign at the University of Illinois.

            Listen live online or later to the archive here. McChesney's previous guests include Gore Vidal, Sy Hersh, Naomi Klein, Bernie Sanders, Howard Zinn, Paul Krugman, Thomas Frank and a host of other vital progressive voices. See and hear for yourself and put his show on your weekly calendar!

            Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

            by bumblebums on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 08:02:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  tipping schmipping.... (4.00)
 way to cash in on that expression. On the other hand, I just ordered 2 million of these from China:

          When the Republicans stop lying about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

          by seesdifferent on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:30:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (none)
          Newsweek's initial reaction was a bit weak, but really they had no choice if their source was backing off of the allegation.  It's their actions afterward that are telling.  They published a story just last week that should have been written 1.5 years ago (better late than never) about how dangerous Iraq is, etc.  I'm happy that the Bush admin's serious overreaching and hysterics on the Newsweek story is biting them back.  One week later, it all turns out to be true (even a detainee allegation of Koran flushing, though not confirmed).  

          What color are your pajamas?

          by Unstable Isotope on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:01:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If only (none)
          I've given up giving the American people a pass and blaming the media.  The sad fact is that a lot of Americans don't want to know the truth.  They want to stay in a state of denial or - even worse - wilful apathy.  The lust for ignorance is just sickening.

          "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

          by fishhead on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 01:00:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  E Z writer has diary on the rec list (4.00)

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 08:18:16 PM PDT

    •  titles (none)
      Thanks, bumblebums.  I hadn't really noticed the other one 'til you pointed it out.  Saw it, but hadn't clicked on it.  Something about Washington Post and Page 1 !! got my attention on this one.

      Please sign Congressman John Conyers' letter asking the President to come clean about Iraq.

      by OLinda on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 08:54:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos (3.84)
    All the folks here and elsewhere who have been riled up about the way the war, its runup, and its aftermath have been covered in the media deserve a major round of applause. Without the continued and sustained drumbeat of pressure on the media to cover this side of the war this kind of story would never have ended up on page 1. Check out Michael Getler's ombudsman columns-- this is a failing he has been pointing out for a long time, and again it is thanks to people offering reasoned and consistent arguments over time that the Post needed to be fairer and accurate in how it covered the Iraq war that this story is on page 1.

    Indeed, without people agitating for this story to be covered in the first place there probably would not have been people within the Blair government and elsewhere who would have decided to gather the guts to leak the documents that let us know what our governments have been saying and doing behind closed doors.

  •  i know there's another diary (4.00)
    but this one has fewer comments :p

    I sent a couple of e-mails to the star tribune with links to the sunday times, and then washington post, asking them to not wait a month before burying this in the editorial pages.  i also implored them to let their investigative reporters do some real investigating on the issue and to have original coverage.  hopefully they listen.

    Give me Liberty or give me death!

    by guyermo on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 08:22:35 PM PDT

  •  Any chance this makes (none)
    a mention on the Sunday morning news circuit?
    •  Hopefully (none)
      Finally the media is paying attention. Maybe Felt coming forward, put enough pressure on the Washington Post to collaborate with the Sunday Times to confirm the smoking gun of our time.
      •  Frank Rich gives the media an enema (4.00)
        Snipped from the the NYT. In hospitals, enema 'severity" is designated by the number of H's.  4 H =  High, hard, hot and a helluvalot. See if this doesn't fit:

        "the attacks continue to be so successful that even now, long after many news organizations, including The Times, have been found guilty of failing to puncture the administration's prewar W.M.D. hype, new details on that same story are still being ignored or left uninvestigated. The July 2002 "Downing Street memo," the minutes of a meeting in which Tony Blair and his advisers learned of a White House effort to fix "the intelligence and facts" to justify the war in Iraq, was published by The London Sunday Times on May 1. Yet in the 19 daily Scott McClellan briefings that followed, the memo was the subject of only 2 out of the approximately 940 questions asked by the White House press corps...

        This is the kind of lapdog news media the Nixon White House cherished"

        Such is the equivalently supine state of much of the news media today that Mr. Colson was repeatedly trotted out, without irony, to pass moral judgment on Mr. Felt...
        The "Today" host, Matt Lauer, didn't mention any of this - or even that his guest had done jail time. None of the other TV anchors who interviewed Mr. Colson - and he was ubiquitous - ever specified his criminal actions in the Nixon years.

        "In the most recent example, all the president's men slimed and intimidated Newsweek by accusing it of being an accessory to 17 deaths for its errant Koran story; led by Scott McClellan, they said it was unthinkable that any American guard could be disrespectful of Islam's holy book. These neo-Colsons easily drowned out Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, both of whom said that the riots that led to the 17 deaths were unrelated to Newsweek."

        Though Nixon aspired to punish public broadcasting by cutting its funding, he never imagined that his apparatchiks could seize the top executive positions at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Nor did he come up with the brilliant ideas of putting journalists covertly on the administration payroll and of hiring an outside P.R. firm (Ketchum) to codify an enemies list by ranking news organizations and individual reporters on the basis of how favorably they cover a specific administration policy (No Child Left Behind).

        You are more likely to hear instead of how Watergate inspired too much "gotcha" journalism. That's a rather absurd premise given that no "gotcha" journalist got the goods on the biggest story of our time: the false intimations of incipient mushroom clouds peddled by American officials to sell a war that now threatens to match the unpopularity and marathon length of Vietnam.

        High, hard, hot and a helluvalot.

        When the Republicans stop lying about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

        by seesdifferent on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:50:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  also the Conyer's letter (4.00)
      ...should make 500,000 by morning....!!!

      When the Republicans stop lying about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

      by seesdifferent on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:05:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No time to rest (none)
    Vote it up on Yahoo so it winds up a highly rated story there too.

    story is here

    We have a long way to go on that one, the Freepers clearly have a head start.

    •  ONLY TWO STARS... (none)
      At Yahoo!

      We can do better than that for this IMPORTANT Story!

      Go here to vote.


      Tom DeLay is so corrupt...<HOW CORRUPT IS HE?>...He's so corrupt that when he takes the Oath of Office, he holds his hand OUT instead of UP!

      by mlkisler on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:04:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, Please Recommend! (none)
        Give EVERYONE a chance to vote by keeping this diary alive.

        Thanks again!

        Tom DeLay is so corrupt...<HOW CORRUPT IS HE?>...He's so corrupt that when he takes the Oath of Office, he holds his hand OUT instead of UP!

        by mlkisler on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:06:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fucking immunization! Damn it. (4.00)
        The DSM are going to come out as a post war planning faux pas instead of war crimes.

        I'm afraid we lost this one too.

        Teflon is sticky compared to this administration.

        •  me thinks you misunderstand the evidence here (4.00)
          none of this is new information. Some people KNEW this BEFORE the invasion

          this is written PROOF that what we were claiming THEN is true

          if you've ever studied Watergate, you see a familiar pattern here. The noose is drawing tighter

          the DSM is very similar to the June 22nd tape

          you're going to see a fatal blow to George Bush's Presidency and his position in History soon

          the tipping point will not be recognized until weeks later, and this might be it

          Richard Nixon rode off into the West peacefully. George Bush is going EAST, to the Hague

          George was wrong, we ALL won't be dead, and history ain't gonna be kind to his sorry ass

          •  Man I hope so. (4.00)
            I think that I am not misunderstanding it though.
            This is a familiar pattern with the corporate media these days.

            They push a story that is a bonafide scandal in a manner that hides the real scandal and plays up the secondary characteristics.

            I believe that this tactic is akin to an innoculation; give the public aspects of truth without giving them the real dirt, and then when the news consumer runs into someone like you and I, armed with knowledge and passion, they remember the secondary characteristics, and dismiss our arguments as partisan hyperbole.

            I do hope that you are right, but I have been through this several times in the last several years with issues that seem to be HUGE stories, but they get short circuited by the corporate media innoculation.

            Sorry to be a pessimist.

            I guess I should save my pessimism for better times.

            •  gives George Bush more rope (none)
              Nixon hung himself dude

              it was Nixon's denial of having information that was disproved by the June 22nd tape. Tricky Dick told us he didn't know until July something. The June 22nd recording PROVED the lie of that statement

              the question then became "what did the president know, and when did he know it"

              And then Tricky Dick told us he wasn't a crook ...

              can't have a new Vietnam without a new Watergate, can we ???

              And this shit is Vietnam on CRACK. This should all be wrapped up in time to destroy the repuglican party before the 2006 midterm elections

              when you gotta TELL people you're not a crook, you've got a serious PR problem

              •  "what did the president know...: (none)
                the question then became "what did the president know, and when did he know it"

                Ah, but that's the problem we have.  

                As soon as that question was asked (I think it was by Sen. Howard Baker), Nixon's fate was sealed.  It was the question, not the answer, that killed him.

                The mainstream media is not asking that question.  I think it's because they already assume the worst about Bush but just don't give a shit.

                Kudos to Pincus, a real mensch among midgets.

    •  Done. 2.5 NT (none)

      The truth is found when men are free to pursue it. FDR, 1936 Go fuck yourself. Dick Cheney, 2004

      by aimeeinkc on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:40:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  M$M (none)
    As someone else pointed out, Steve Gillard I believe, the only way the big media outlets are going to do major coverage on DSM is if there are new developments that make it breaking news.

    Thus the new leak to the Times of London counts as 'news' and is a reason to give some of the news hole over to covering the story.

    Hopefully there are enough new developments to keep this in the news rather than having the story get one-shot front page treatment. In particular I hope some media outlets have reporters doing a bit of digging and checking with their sources.

    •  The Whitewater Model (4.00)
      For 6 years there was no news about Whitewater, because there was never any there there in the first place. Unless, of course, you count the Pillsbury Report, which documented that there was no there there. But the Pillsbury report was buried by the WSJ, WP and NYT.

      Instead of news about Whitewater, there was news about accusations, political posturing or manuevering, false accusations, blind alleys, the misdeeds of Clinton cronies and enemies (the press never did learn to tell the two apart), and so forth--in short, the same sort of associated irrelvancies that accompany any sort of celebrity scandal.

      Obviously, this is what we need to do with the Downing Street Memo. Which leads to the question that all us boomers must be asking: where is Christine Keeler when we really need her?

      •  Question (none)
        Before "Whitewater" became a household word, did the right-wing proto-net buzz about it like we buzz about DSM?

        I'm not trying to equate the two, as, at worst, Whitewater lost money while DSM points to pointlessly lost lives, but I'm curious about the life of a meme.

      •  Christine Keeler's already appeared (4.00)
        Her name is Jeff Gannon.

        Journalism is yours! Please support ePluribusMedia

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:02:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why Do You Hate Christine Keeler? (4.00)
          She was an honest whore. She didn't pretend to be a jouralist.
          •  Hee hee (4.00)
            The American version of the hit show is always dumbed-down and more crass.  Jeff is just playing the same role.  But it's been rewritten for Fox.

            Journalism is yours! Please support ePluribusMedia

            by Dallasdoc on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:16:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Had to be done (none)
            Hats off to Phil Ochs:

            Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies,
            You're the gals for me.
            Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies,
            I'll keep you company.
            You can have your Marilyn, your Carolyn, your Jacqueline.
            Grace Kelly never meant that much to me--
            Just give me:
            Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies,
            You're the gals for me. (I'll give you secrets.)
            And you're the gals for me.
            Oh, you get good defense from Robert McNamara--
            Defends us all day long;
            But when Lord Profumo takes off his mascara
            You know he can't go wrong.
            Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Lord and Lady Astor:
            Everybody's gonna lose their minds
            Because of:
            Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies,
            Will you be mine, all mine? (I'll take your pictures.)
            Will you be mine, all mine?

            "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

            by fishhead on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 01:05:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Incompetence Bad, Criminality, Not So Much... (4.00)
    That would seem to be the guiding principle in front-paging this while burying the Downing Steet Memo.  Which is entirely consistent with the insider elite politics of the Washington Post.

    Still, it says something that they've frontpaged anything this critical, after ignoring so, so much.  I mean, it's not for nothing that Bush is known as the worst President ever.  

    If he weren't so terribly incompetent, then we'd really be in trouble.  Imagine if the invasion of Iraq went off like Hitler's invasion of France.  Imagine where Bush's popularity would be now.

    •  How'd that turn out ??? (none)
      Hitler's invasion of France

      this IS like Hitler's invasion of France, using Hitler's justification of the Poland invasion as a cover

      Hitler rolled over France, and we rolled over Iraq (France actually put up a fight, but France actually had an Army too)

      The French fought back using terrorist tactics, and the Iraqis ...

      the Germans lost in France and ...

      you don't see a pattern here ???

      {March 7, 1936 to March 6, 1945} compared to {March 19, 2005 to ____} (a date coming soon)

      •  That's not a bad analogy. (none)
        Sundance Channel showed a long documentary recently about Nazi propagandist and director (and hot chick) Leni Riefenstahl.  I can't remember the name of it.

        She spoke at one point about the reaction in Germany when the news came of the fall of Paris.  There was ecstasy all over Germany.  Why?  Because everybody thought THE WAR WAS OVER.  

        Paris had fallen.  End of the war, right?  Leni said that most people assumed that everybody would go back to their business, normal ordinary Nazi business.  It didn't work out that way.

        Too bad we don't have pictures of Hitler in a flight suit.

      •  Shorter time frame. (none)
        May 10, 1940, Germany invades France.

        June 14, 1940, German troops enter Paris.

        August 25, 1944, Paris liberated.

        "Folly is wont to have more followers and comrades than discretion." -Cervantes-

        by Don Quixote on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:25:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  see the signature line (none)
          March 7, 1936, German troops march west across the Hollenzoller Bridge in Cologne, and reoccupy the Rhineland

          March 6, 1945, German troops march east across the Hollenzoller bridge and blow up the bridge to prevent Allied troops from marching directly into Germany

          one day short of nine years, I bet George doesn't survive that long

      •  Silly Me! I Was Thinking of 6 Million Dead (none)
        in the Holocaust, which no one seriously questioned because Hitler's popularity was so high.

        The French Resistence was surely heroic, but hardly comparable in scope to what's happening in Iraq.  The Germans were very evil, but they were not incompetent.

        •  futility of occupation is the lesson (none)
          doesn't make any difference if the occupier is competent or not, in the face of resistance, the occupier will lose

          the French resistance is very comprable to the French resistance of WW II

          comparable to the patriots who killed British soldiers in 1775 too

          any resistance to occupation is part of the same game

          as to the holocaust, it demonstates how mobile some people's morals can be

    •  Bush's incompetence (none)
      Excellent insight!  I agree.

      Bush's incompetence will save us from Bush's incompetence and his lack of insight and/or ignorance and/or foolishness and/or shortsightedness will save us from his lack of insight and/or ignorance and/or foolishness and/or shortsightedness.  We can only hope.

      Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

      Proverbs (ch. XVI, v. 18)

  •  Boy, (4.00)
    the WaPo gave it the most innocuous headline their editors could dream up, didn't they?

    Don't think for a minute that the MSM is going to suddenly grow some teeth and a spine.  If this story continues to break, it's going to be folks like us who keep shoving it in their collective faces and force them to recognize it.

  •  Another nail in the coffin..... (4.00)
    Iraqi trade unionists are in the US right now on a whirlwind two-week national tour talking about how thorougly f-d up the occupation is and what it's doing to them, the economy and all Iraqi workers. They know this was never about liberation, it was about grabbing resources, privatization, etc.

    Check it out here. (Currently on recommend list. Help keep it there. Important info about tour needs to be publicized. Thanks ever so.)

  •  Halleluja! (none)
    Hopefully if the Washington Post decides they are a news organisation rather than a BushCo Press Release Publisher the others will follow suit and we can stop relying on foreign press for our news.

    Maybe there is still hope for our democracy, integrity and freedom.

  •  Bush (4.00)
    He has been doing quite a few pressers lately, watch those dry up real fast.

    He will become Mr inaccesible.

    Really hate to be scottie right about now.

    Of course, without a congressional majority, it's really all down to the press to uncover and report, and for us to apply as much pressure as possible to make sure they do.

    We have had too many false dawns for me to get my hopes up just yet.

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:32:49 PM PDT

  •  one of my favorite parts (4.00)
    [Wolfowitz] illustrated the optimistic view the administration had of postwar Iraq. He said containment of Hussein the previous 12 years had cost "slightly over $30 billion," adding, "I can't imagine anyone here wanting to spend another $30 billion to be there for another 12 years." As of May, the Congressional Research Service estimated that Congress has approved $208 billion for the war in Iraq since 2003.

    Thank you Pincus for some real reporting.

    •  My favorite part (none)
      of the Yahoo story:

      "A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise," authorities of the briefing memo wrote

      And now, two years later - with Saddam's alleged Al-Qaida connections and the imminent "mushroom cloud" of his WMDs discredited - this projected disaster has somehow metamorphosed into its own justification: Bush's "democratic" reason for having invaded Iraq in the first place.

      •  In 2000, Bush and Condi (4.00)
        said we shouldn't be in the business of nation building.

        Wish someone would replay those taped statements. And remember.

        •  Gandalf, (4.00)
          I have said that very thing. The answer?
          "But 9/11 changed everything!"

          I've even had otherwise sane, intelligent people, doctors, tell me that it didn't matter if we got some of our rights taken away "as long as we're safe."

          That's a pretty drastic change, all right.  People fought and died for those rights.  Poof! Trade them in for some intangible safety blanket.

          War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

          by Margot on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:43:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  WaPo goes there too (none)
            WaPo shines light on W's terrorism bambalooza tour.  Is this why we need to renew and expand the Patriot Act?  Read between the lines here, the Feds are using terrorism in this country the way "bad apples" used dogs in Abu Ghraib. Having seen two non-terrorism related federal cases in which the feds coerced, cajoled or intimidated witnesses into giving false statements against their target, I shutter to think of what can happen to anyone who lands on W's enemies list.

            On Thursday, President Bush stepped to a lectern at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in Columbus to urge renewal of the USA Patriot Act and to boast of the government's success in prosecuting terrorists.

            Flanked by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Bush said that "federal terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against more than 400 suspects, and more than half of those charged have been convicted."

            Those statistics have been used repeatedly by Bush and other administration officials, including Gonzales and his predecessor, John D. Ashcroft, to characterize the government's efforts against terrorism.

            But the numbers are misleading at best.

            An analysis of the Justice Department's own list of terrorism prosecutions by The Washington Post shows that 39 people -- not 200, as officials have implied -- were convicted of crimes related to terrorism or national security.

            Consider the case of Enaam Arnaout, director of the Illinois-based Benevolence International Foundation, who was indicted amid great fanfare in October 2002 for allegedly helping to funnel money and equipment to al Qaeda operatives on three continents. The charity was shut down.

            Less than a year later, prosecutors dropped six of the seven charges against Arnaout, and he pleaded guilty to a single count of racketeering for funding fighters in Bosnia and Chechnya. During a sentencing hearing in August 2003, U.S. District Judge Suzanne B. Conlon told prosecutors they had "failed to connect the dots" and said there was no evidence that Arnaout "identified with or supported" terrorism.

            The administration views the case differently. Bush, in a speech Friday at the National Counterterrorism Center in Northern Virginia, said investigators had "helped close down a phony charity in Illinois that was channeling money to al Qaeda."

            •  Reminds me (none)
              Of an old Chinese Communist banner from the time of Mao: Truth Is What The People Need.

              Just think how many ways that can be interpreted.

              War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

              by Margot on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 10:50:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's because they (4.00)
          were far too interested in Empire-building to have any interest in Nation-building.

          By the time these arrogant fools are done, we'll really have some Nation-building to do - right here at home.

  •  Excellent!... (none)
    ...thanks for posting.

    Be the creature. (But not a Republican.) blogomni

    by boran2 on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:37:00 PM PDT

  •  Gotta love leaks at the start of a news cycle (4.00)
    I'm getting the feeling that someone in the know has had quite enough of this, and is going about pressing the case with strategy.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:41:52 PM PDT

    •  You mean strategery n/t (none)

      Chaos, fear, dread. My work here is done.

      by madhaus on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:42:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  'Fool me twice...uh, fool - fool me...' (4.00)
        "It was so weird," said one bystander. "Once second the President was there, talking. Then he paused, even longer than usual. And then, all of a sudden there was this - popping sound, like a sudden rush of air, and all that was left was some sort of empty hole on top of his neck."

        Secret Service men rushed frantically around the podium for the President's missing head for three hours, but could find no sign of the First Head.

        "It's all my fault," said a visibly shaken Karl Rove. "The simulator told us he couldn't say it, but he swore to me he could say that word..."
        Rove was quickly rushed out of the room, and the Secret Service then proceeded to confiscate all video cameras.

        An anonymous reporter was able to sneak footage out. What appears is shaky and difficult to fully ascertain, but it appears the President's head collapsed in a formation now identified by quantum psychologists as a "Neuron Star".

        "In this syndrome," explained a since-discredited European anti-patriotic secular scumbag physicist, "the brain begins to collapse under the constant extra strain of thinking in black and white, and then in addition sincerely believe that black is white. If the brain is of low capacity to begin with, it will behave like as an ordinary star.

        "In the first phase, the person's head will swell to extreme size, while at the same time becoming colder. In the next phase, the neurons will collapse upon themselves, and the person's head will become exceedingly dense, and thought will have great difficulty escaping. If the person's brain is dense enough, it will continue to shrink until it completely implodes, and becomes an infinitely small hole in the fabric of mind which no thought can escape.

        "This stage of mind can then wander around and gobble up other thoughts and even other minds, as it grows in density before it ultimately collapses completely and disappers. Fortunately, it would appear that the President's mind is surrounded by only low-capacity minds."

        "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

        by jbeach on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:05:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've since expanded this lark (none)

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

          by jbeach on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:32:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Beware the Presidential Schwartzchild radius (none)
          most of the media have already achieved singularity.

          As a reporter approaches Bush's "head" (let's call it Sol X-1), he feels perfectly normal, though his thoughts are stretching out and bending toward the president.

          At the point of no return, the reporter's thoughts are so long he can actually understand them in reverse (i.e. "seeing" the back of one's head). Thus statements such as "We...discussed the importance of a democracy in the greater Middle East in order to leave behind a peaceful tomorrow" become logically consistent.

          But this is only momentary, and there is no possibility of escape. The only way to go is into the singularity itself, where his thoughts become one with the president.

          The reporter has made the ultimate sacrifice. I like to think, however, that this is a timeless journey, and at the final moment he will know - though he cannot share it with the rest of us - the answer to some of life's most persistent questions (e.g. "Is our children learning?").

          The reporter vanishes without a trace. As outside observers, all we have left to remind us of his presence is a fading image, at the Schwartzchild radius, of the reporter...and a tagline: WASHINGTON (AP).

          •  That's great. (none)
            If you don't mind, I'd like to add your informative report to the diary I made, about the PResident's imploding head. With full credit to you, of course.

            "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

            by jbeach on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 10:02:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You disassemble. (none)
        He never said that. You're just trying to make the pie of lies higher.

        "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

        by nuttymango on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:57:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The technique of the leak (4.00)
      If all the cards had been played at once, it would give Dubya and his gang of thugs a great excuse to wiggle. "See, we had to do it this way because [insert outrageous lie that the media will eat up and not question further]."

      But we're not seeing it played out that way. Leaks come in dribs and drabs. Each leak is accompanied by  denials and lies. Lies build upon lies.

      Eventually, one would hope, so many leaks and so much information would be out there, that the lies simply can no longer be glossed over. The entire scheme collapses upon itself.

      Well, a boy can dream, can't he?

      He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

      by kensa on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:06:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think we're nearing that point, actually (4.00)
        The polls show the constant and continuing pounding the GOP and the Bushites are taking. They are losing credibility with the voters. They're great at spinning, and the media isn't making it too tough for them; but spinning something means still taking a hit, and I think it's adding up.

        I mean, there isn't any one thing Bush can point to right now that's working. No one's buying it.

        "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

        by jbeach on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:44:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How Blair deceives (4.00)
    The article actually has a very good example of how Blair uses his literal lawyerly answers to deceive if not actually lie. The quoted exchange ran:

    Asked about Dearlove being quoted as saying that in the United States, intelligence was being "fixed around the policy" of removing Hussein by military action

    Blair said, "No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all."

    If you pay close attention you will see Blair answers a different question from that asked. Asked if the intelligence was being "fixed around the policy" ie cherry picked to spport the administrations' assertiona about Iraq, he replies that the intelligence is "not being fixed" or fabricated. So the conversation ran:

    Q. Did you select intelligence to support your case?

    A No we did not alter or fabricate the intelligence we used to support our case.

    But in selectively quoting back only part of the question Blair has changed the meaning from one idiom (fixed around) to another (fixed). By answering the different question he did not lie as they did not change the cherry picked information (even though the intelligence later proved to be wrong)

    •  Questions (none)
      Londonbear, can you answer some questions for me?  

      How have troop deaths and casualties been reported there?

      What is the general post-election confidence and has interest in the DSM been building there?

      Why was it so important for Blair to be Bush's number one ally? The risk, particularly with the angst on that side over BushCo.'s poor post-invasion planning, with Bush's impatience and insistence on regime change, and Bolton and Perle's outing the risk to Brits was phenomenal.

      Why does anyone buy Murdock's rag?

      •  some answers (none)
        Every time a British Soldier dies as a result of hostile action there is an announcement within a few hours, followed by the Press congregating at the MoD and the victim's regimental hq in the anticipation of the release of further details.

        Identificiations usually come the same day. This is sometimes followed by a member of the bereaved family offering up a televised denunciation of Tony Blair.

        The injured are usually not acknowledged - one of the points Reg Keys ( father of a dead British squaddie who contested Blair's seat at the election ) made during his concession speech at Sedgefield was that Blair has never publicly visited any of the injured and never apologised for the "lies".

        The DSM is widely known - but it's effects were less pronounced, as it is generally acknowledged that "Bliar" was dishonest in the run up to war. It is just one document in a whole series of revelations that have accumulated over the past 2 years, many of which came out of the Hutton and Butler inquiries.

        Its release was calibrated to damage Blair, not the Labour party per se, and it has been effective in that goal.

        Blair's attatchment to Clinton was understandable; his attatchment to Bush is still something of a mystery. Maybe there was a "strategic" calculation to this - but it's hard to fathom. Whilst British PM's have generally been keen to maintain close relations with US presidents, the Bush-Blair axis is a step beyond even the Reagan-Thatcher relationship.

        •  thanks londanium (none)
          On the BBC program, Iraq, Tony and the Truth, the point was made that Blair was anxious to ally with a Republican president.  What does this mean to Brits in the context of the Reagan-Thatcher relationship?

          What do you see as the fundamental difference that would explain why so many high profile sources are not only willing to speak out about this, but do so on the record there, while we can count on two fingers the number of high profile sources willing to go on the record here?

          And then, what explains readership for Rupert's rag?

          •  you're welcome (none)
            I'm not sure that it makes sense to try to understand this in straight partisan political terms. Wilson, a Labour PM, simply told LBJ to get stuffed over Vietnam. Eisenhower dumped all over Eden, a Tory PM, when it came to Suez.

            I think it comes down to whether one subscribes to Atlanticism, which is not a party-political position. That's a strategic calculation - and it may also have something to do with the UK's continued committment to a nuclear defence posture.

            To a certain extent the specific President-PM relationships are all sui generis; I think Thatcher led Reagan rather than the other way round - she convinced him, for example, that Gorbachev was the man to deal with. Blair's trailing in Bush's wake is truly mystifying - particularly as he gets so little benefit from it in terms of reaping policy rewards elsewhere.

            As regards the Times - well, to appropriate a footie metaphor - form is temporary, class is permanent. I personally don't care for the Times, but they have a long track record of quality investigative journalism. Murdoch's "stewardship" is just one factor, and is not decisive.

            The sieve-like quality of the UK establishment is not new. Blair is widely disliked now. The Iraq war was, to put it bluntly, controversial within wide swathes of the intelligence, foreign policy, defence and political establishments. These discontents are coming home to roost with a vengeance. It doesn't help that there has been such a massive effort in Iraq with so little to show for it. The UK establishment has a fine nose for failure, and when it scents it, has a talent for the ruthless and often painful disposal of the authors of those failures.

    •  We need someone who (none)
      is familiar with both British and American idioms in order to "translate" the precise meaning of the DSM.... where is Sir Winston when you need him?

      ownership society - you are on your own

      by Sam I Am on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:27:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  facts are not intelligence! (none)
      Blair said that facts were not being fixed, but that doesn't answer the question of whether the intelligence was being fixed.  

      A date, a person's presence inside a building, a pollen index, a printed receipt are all facts.  Intelligence is what links a selection of facts into a meaningful picture.  The existence of an aluminum tube of x dimensions is a fact, but it isn't intelligence.  Knowing what that tube can be used for, and what it is likely to be used for, is intelligence.  A paper document is a fact.  Knowing that it is forged, and for what reason, is intelligence.


  •  Too legit to quit (pushing it)? (none)
    "Once bitten, twice shy," so: are we sure this and the previous memos are legit? I'm under the impression that they've been pretty well vetted by the British press -- who've been on this story since the beginning, shaming the US media -- so I'm not too worried. But is there a verified provenance for these things?
    •  The Sunday Times would check (4.00)
      After the "sexing up" incidents which led to the undemining of the BBC and the resignation of the two most senior people there, the British press is pretty circumspect. It is almost certain that the source of the documents is of the quality of "Deep Throat" You will see that the Times always transcribes the information rather than publishing it as a .pdf file. This is to avoid the source being traced as this level of document will be "watermarked" to identify each copy by subtle changes.

      My best guess is that someone currently or previously senior in British Inteligence is the source. It is almost certainly them getting their own back for being accused of making mistakes when the politicians and their political advisers mis-presented the information they provided.

      It is an open question whether the minutes and this document were leaked at the same time or whether this one has only just been given to the Sunday Times. It is possible that the ST delayed publication until now in order to confirm its veracity. On the other hand a release this week would he damaging to Blair who is both about to host the G8 meeting and who is imbroiled in a decision to indefinitely delay a British referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty.  

      •  Blair to go? (none)
        Will these revelations force Blair to step down?
      •  more to come (none)
        I suspect that there are more documents to, and the leaks are being carefully calibrated by committee. Blair is the target and resignation/replacement is the goal. I don't think that Brown is in the loop, but he is the beneficiary.

        Involvement is wide-ranging, encompassing elements of the Whitehall bureaucracy from a variety of departments plus the intelligence services ( look to Cheltenham and the DIA, not 5 or 6 ), coupled with some political direction from within the Labour party itself. I would guess ( and this really is just a guess ) that the point man is someone in the orbit of Robin Cook, who has been relatively low-profile of late.

        The next revelation will probably not come from the Times. I would look to the Telegraph as being the next source to spring a surprise.

    •  We'll see, but I think they'd've been discredited (none)
      by now.

      'Cause this is only getting worse and worse. They reallllly want to change the subject, but they haven't yet been able to successfully.

      Would have been good to switch it to Dean, but it doesn't really same that flap has gone much of anywhere.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:36:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  addendum (none)
        by "Would've been good," I mean, good for the GOP. I'm personally glad that the Dean flap doesn't seem to have distracted too much. Altho, who knows? I live in a bubble...

        "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

        by jbeach on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:37:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Melman's bogus claims exposed (none)
        And Dem leadership needs to feel the heat. I'm on Edwards, anyone care to join me from New York or MA or IN want to join me?

        This Knight-Ridder piece picked up by the Kansas City Star exposes the lies to cover the lies.

        But the Bush camp is working hard to deny the memo's fixed-intelligence passage - a sign that the White House is sensitive about the issue. Last weekend, GOP chairman Mehlman stated: "That (memo) has been discredited. Whether it's the 9/11 commission, whether it's the Senate, whoever's looked at this has said there was no effort (by Bush's war planners) to change the intelligence at all."

        Mehlman's claim is undercut by the facts.

        The Sept. 11 commission never looked at the administration's behavior; commission vice chairman Lee Hamilton said last year. "(Under the law) we were to focus our attention on 9/11 and those events, and not on the war in Iraq."

        And while a 2004 Senate panel did criticize the prewar intelligence as "a series of failures," it didn't look at whether the Bush team had misused the material. That task was postponed until after the election; today, in the words of Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, it's still "on the back burner."

        As yet, however, there's no sign that the memo will politically embarrass the GOP. None of the likely 2008 Democratic presidential contenders - Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Evan Bayh, John Edwards - have made it a cause celebre. The most prominent critic is in the House, where Democrats are virtually powerless, but where Michigan Democrat John Conyers plans to conduct a public forum Thursday, with interest stoked by a grass-roots Web site called

        Party strategist David Axelrod explained the Democratic wariness: "We already fought that battle (over Bush's veracity) and we lost. He got elected again. So even though the memo is important, there's a sense that people don't want to revisit the lead-up to war. Although I'm not sure I agree with that, when you look at the number of Americans dead today."

        Bacevich, the retired Army colonel, said, "Despite our love of democracy, we as a people have bought the idea that foreign policy should be made behind closed doors, based on secret information that mere mortals can't handle, without a full national debate. This memo shows the danger of that attitude. And that we should find it unacceptable."


        Good for Army Colonel Bacevich, and good for the Kansas City Star for bringing this into Pat Roberts back yard.

        We can shake our Dem leadership out of their willful ignorance and show them we agree with Colonel Bacevich, this is NOT ACCEPTABLE!

  •  I think they know Rep. Conyers (none)
    is about to blow the lid off this thing and some of them don't want to be appear lacking, so to speak.

    We need to keep on it and on it. They lied and brave Americans and innocent Iraqis are dying for their lie.

    •  Leaning forward (none)
      This information shows not only the lies, but the rush to war.  Bush has justified the rush to war with mushroom clouds and terrorists.  Fucking Rice and Dick Cheney were still peddling this crap in the run up to the election. Rumsfeld was still excusing the piss poor equipment for our troops with his "you go to war with the army you have."

      There was no "rush to war".  The documents make that abundantly clear, as do they make the lack of post-invasion planning. Even for those who think that Saddam needed a take-down, there is no excuse for sending our troops in without basic equipment and without a plan to "win the peace". These documents show that the Brits did not buy the neo-cons' "greeted as liberators" bullshit.

      For the democracy, water under the bridge, we're already there crowd, the question should be can anyone trust this leadership after misleading the nation on "war as a last resort", on the folly of "candy and flowers" against our own military experts best advice, on the cost or war, on the inability to equip our troops 2 years into the "insurgency", on the inability to train Iraqi forces, and the incredibly bad policies that made us less safe and spread hatred of the US throughout the world?

  •  Sunday Times Article More Damaging (4.00)
    The Sunday Times article based on the same leaked briefing paper is even more interesting and damaging for Blair and Bush. Here are some of the more salient points.

    (The July 2003)leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

    The document also appears to explain why Blair had to go along with the deciet to support Bush

    since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal.

    This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.

    The paper exands on much that is already know in summary from the Minutes/

    (T)he only way the allies could justify military action was to place Saddam Hussein in a position where he ignored or rejected a United Nations ultimatum ordering him to co-operate with the weapons inspectors. But it warned this would be difficult.

    "It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject," the document says. But if he accepted it and did not attack the allies, they would be "most unlikely" to obtain the legal justification they needed.

    The suggestions that the allies use the UN to justify war contradicts claims by Blair and Bush, repeated during their Washington summit last week, that they turned to the UN in order to avoid having to go to war.

    •  Much more damaging. (none)
      I just posted them both on another site and this London Times article got more of a response. The other one...nah.

      War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

      by Margot on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:25:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is the UK independent? (none)
      This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.

      The UK lacks the power to deny the U.S. the use of British bases for an action of which it does not approve?

      •  permission is required (none)
        No. The US would need formal approval for the use of UK facitities and sovereign territory. The US cannot simply lauch aircraft from Fairford or Diego Garcia to attack another country without the consent of the UK government, unless such use falls within the orbit of existing agreements.

        This is one of the reasons why Blair was so desparate for a second resolution to give a legal sheen to the enterprise.

        When the US bombed Libya in 1986, using British airbases, it was with the permission of Thatcher.

    •  Wrongfooting Saddam (none)
      Three days later, on March 17, Paul Wolfowitz, the US deputy defence secretary, was the guest at a lunch with the British ambassador, Sir Christopher Meyer. After the lunch, Meyer composed a private letter to Manning. "I ... went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN security council resolutions and the critical importance of the Middle East peace plan. If all this could be accomplished skilfully, we were fairly confident that a number of countries could come on board."

      Putting together the pieces for creating those necessary conditions.

  •  Walter Pincus deserves a the Medal of Freedom! (4.00)
    Walter Pincus gets less press than Sy Hersh but he deserves as much if not more credit for presenting a model of what a reporter should be.  While pussies like Isikoff make shit up, and offer fodder to Bushco, Pincus has been dismantling the lies and incompetence of this Nit Whithouse one story at at time... Beyond today's blockbuster story about the British memo indicating that they knew Bushco was fucking up the planning for the post-war, here are excerpts from an article from the 2003 Washingtonian which presciently lays out the case for Pincus to enter the Pantheon of journalistic prophets...

    Why Doesn't the Post Love Walter Pincus?

    If President Bush suffers because it turns out he took the country to war on false pretenses, he might look back on stories by Walter Pincus for drawing first blood.

    On March 16, the eve of war, Pincus wrote in the Post that "U.S. intelligence agencies have been unable to give Congress or the Pentagon specific information" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    At the time, the Bush White House was telling the world that America had to invade Iraq to root out weapons of mass destruction. Pincus quoted sources saying that there was "a lack of hard evidence." And they also said the White House had "exaggerated intelligence" to back up its drive toward war... Snip

    Yet the Post buried Pincus's March 16 story on page A17. It took help from Bob Woodward to get the story published at all... Snip

    Pincus had been writing about the buildup to theinvasion for months, along with Post writers Dana Priest, Karen DeYoung, Barton Gellman, and others who gathered at "war meetings" every day. But according to reporters, editors continually underplayed Pincus's scoops and discounted their stories that ran counter to Bush's call to arms. None of which deterred him, especially after he dissected Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5 speech to the United Nations.

    "I suddenly realized everything he said was inferential," says Pincus. As he did with stories about the neutron bomb in the 1970s and the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s, Pincus burrowed deep and wrote often... Snip

    In June Pincus sunk his teeth deeper into the emerging story of the nuclear material that Iraq was supposed to have sought from Niger to make nuclear bombs. US officials repeated the claim as fact and talked ominously of mushroom clouds. President Bush mentioned "significant quantities of uranium" in his State of the Union speech... Snip

    Finally, at the end of May, Pincus broke onto the front page with a story about the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. He stayed there as his stories--some with other reporters--put pressure on the White House to admit that the President's 16-word sentence about uranium going to Iraq was not credible.

    Pincus eventually prevailed within his own newspaper, but why did a veteran reporter have to bow and scrape to get his stories noticed and then printed?

    "It was ridiculous. Many of the stories were buried," says Priest, also a star on the national-security beat. "Editors continually undervalued what he does."


    For the full story...

    This is as big as, if not bigger than, what Sy Hersh does.  More props to Mr. Picus from Kosdom.

  •  Now in full (4.00)
    The full text of the briefing paper has just gone up on the Times web site. I am going to quote it in full as the Times does not have copyright and their links tend to become unreliable.




    Ministers are invited to:

    (1) Note the latest position on US military planning and timescales for possible action.

    (2) Agree that the objective of any military action should be a stable and law-abiding Iraq, within present borders, co-operating with the international community, no longer posing a threat to its neighbours or international security, and abiding by its international obligations on WMD.

    (3) Agree to engage the US on the need to set military plans within a realistic political strategy, which includes identifying the succession to Saddam Hussein and creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action, which might include an ultimatum for the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq. This should include a call from the Prime Minister to President Bush ahead of the briefing of US military plans to the President on 4 August.

    (4) Note the potentially long lead times involved in equipping UK Armed Forces to undertake operations in the Iraqi theatre and agree that the MOD should bring forward proposals for the procurement of Urgent Operational Requirements under cover of the lessons learned from Afghanistan and the outcome of SR2002.

    (5) Agree to the establishment of an ad hoc group of officials under Cabinet Office Chairmanship to consider the development of an information campaign to be agreed with the US.


    1. The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it.

    2. When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change, provided that certain conditions were met: efforts had been made to construct a coalition/shape public opinion, the Israel-Palestine Crisis was quiescent, and the options for action to eliminate Iraq's WMD through the UN weapons inspectors had been exhausted.

    3. We need now to reinforce this message and to encourage the US Government to place its military planning within a political framework, partly to forestall the risk that military action is precipitated in an unplanned way by, for example, an incident in the No Fly Zones. This is particularly important for the UK because it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action. Otherwise we face the real danger that the US will commit themselves to a course of action which we would find very difficult to support.

    4. In order to fulfil the conditions set out by the Prime Minister for UK support for military action against Iraq, certain preparations need to be made, and other considerations taken into account. This note sets them out in a form which can be adapted for use with the US Government. Depending on US intentions, a decision in principle may be needed soon on whether and in what form the UK takes part in military action.

    The Goal

    5. Our objective should be a stable and law-abiding Iraq, within present borders, co-operating with the international community, no longer posing a threat to its neighbours or to international security, and abiding by its international obligations on WMD. It seems unlikely that this could be achieved while the current Iraqi regime remains in power. US military planning unambiguously takes as its objective the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime, followed by elimination if Iraqi WMD. It is however, by no means certain, in the view of UK officials, that one would necessarily follow from the other. Even if regime change is a necessary condition for controlling Iraqi WMD, it is certainly not a sufficient one.

    US Military Planning

    1. Although no political decisions have been taken, US military planners have drafted options for the US Government to undertake an invasion of Iraq. In a 'Running Start', military action could begin as early as November of this year, with no overt military build-up. Air strikes and support for opposition groups in Iraq would lead initially to small-scale land operations, with further land forces deploying sequentially, ultimately overwhelming Iraqi forces and leading to the collapse of the Iraqi regime. A 'Generated Start' would involve a longer build-up before any military action were taken, as early as January 2003. US military plans include no specifics on the strategic context either before or after the campaign. Currently the preference appears to be for the 'Running Start'. CDS will be ready to brief Ministers in more detail.

    2. US plans assume, as a minimum, the use of British bases in Cyprus and Diego Garcia. This means that legal base issues would arise virtually whatever option Ministers choose with regard to UK participation.

    The Viability of the Plans

    8. The Chiefs of Staff have discussed the viability of US military plans. Their initial view is that there are a number of questions which would have to be answered before they could assess whether the plans are sound. Notably these include the realism of the 'Running Start', the extent to which the plans are proof against Iraqi counter-attack using chemical or biological weapons and the robustness of US assumptions about the bases and about Iraqi (un)willingness to fight.

    UK Military Contribution

    9. The UK's ability to contribute forces depends on the details of the US military planning and the time available to prepare and deploy them. The MOD is examining how the UK might contribute to US-led action. The options range from deployment of a Division (ie Gulf War sized contribution plus naval and air forces) to making available bases. It is already clear that the UK could not generate a Division in time for an operation in January 2003, unless publicly visible decisions were taken very soon. Maritime and air forces could be deployed in time, provided adequate basing arrangements could be made. The lead times involved in preparing for UK military involvement include the procurement of Urgent Operational Requirements, for which there is no financial provision.

    The Conditions Necessary for Military Action

    10. Aside from the existence of a viable military plan we consider the following conditions necessary for military action and UK participation: justification/legal base; an international coalition; a quiescent Israel/Palestine; a positive risk/benefit assessment; and the preparation of domestic opinion.


    1. US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community. Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law. But regime change could result from action that is otherwise lawful. We would regard the use of force against Iraq, or any other state, as lawful if exercised in the right of individual or collective self-defence, if carried out to avert an overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe, or authorised by the UN Security Council. A detailed consideration of the legal issues, prepared earlier this year, is at Annex A. The legal position would depend on the precise circumstances at the time. Legal bases for an invasion of Iraq are in principle conceivable in both the first two instances but would be difficult to establish because of, for example, the tests of immediacy and proportionality. Further legal advice would be needed on this point.

    2. This leaves the route under the UNSC resolutions on weapons inspectors. Kofi Annan has held three rounds of meetings with Iraq in an attempt to persuade them to admit the UN weapons inspectors. These have made no substantive progress; the Iraqis are deliberately obfuscating. Annan has downgraded the dialogue but more pointless talks are possible. We need to persuade the UN and the international community that this situation cannot be allowed to continue ad infinitum. We need to set a deadline, leading to an ultimatum. It would be preferable to obtain backing of a UNSCR for any ultimatum and early work would be necessary to explore with Kofi Annan and the Russians, in particular, the scope for achieving this.

    3. In practice, facing pressure of military action, Saddam is likely to admit weapons inspectors as a means of forestalling it. But once admitted, he would not allow them to operate freely. UNMOVIC (the successor to UNSCOM) will take at least six months after entering Iraq to establish the monitoring and verification system under Resolution 1284 necessary to assess whether Iraq is meeting its obligations. Hence, even if UN inspectors gained access today, by January 2003 they would at best only just be completing setting up. It is possible that they will encounter Iraqi obstruction during this period, but this more likely when they are fully operational.

    4. It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003.

    An International Coalition

    1. An international coalition is necessary to provide a military platform and desirable for political purposes.

    2. US military planning assumes that the US would be allowed to use bases in Kuwait (air and ground forces), Jordan, in the Gulf (air and naval forces) and UK territory (Diego Garcia and our bases in Cyprus). The plans assume that Saudi Arabia would withhold co-operation except granting military over-flights. On the assumption that military action would involve operations in the Kurdish area in the North of Iraq, the use of bases in Turkey would also be necessary.

    3. In the absence of UN authorisation, there will be problems in securing the support of NATO and EU partners. Australia would be likely to participate on the same basis as the UK. France might be prepared to take part if she saw military action as inevitable. Russia and China, seeking to improve their US relations, might set aside their misgivings if sufficient attention were paid to their legal and economic concerns. Probably the best we could expect from the region would be neutrality. The US is likely to restrain Israel from taking part in military action. In practice, much of the international community would find it difficult to stand in the way of the determined course of the US hegemon. However, the greater the international support, the greater the prospects of success.

    A Quiescent Israel-Palestine

    18. The Israeli re-occupation of the West Bank has dampened Palestinian violence for the time being but is unsustainable in the long-term and stoking more trouble for the future. The Bush speech was at best a half step forward. We are using the Palestinian reform agenda to make progress, including a resumption of political negotiations. The Americans are talking of a ministerial conference in November or later. Real progress towards a viable Palestinian state is the best way to undercut Palestinian extremists and reduce Arab antipathy to military action against Saddam Hussein. However, another upsurge of Palestinian/Israeli violence is highly likely. The co-incidence of such an upsurge with the preparations for military action against Iraq cannot be ruled out. Indeed Saddam would use continuing violence in the Occupied Territories to bolster popular Arab support for his regime.


    19. Even with a legal base and a viable military plan, we would still need to ensure that the benefits of action outweigh the risks. In particular, we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective as set out in paragraph 5 above. A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise. As already made clear, the US military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden. Further work is required to define more precisely the means by which the desired endstate would be created, in particular what form of Government might replace Saddam Hussein's regime and the timescale within which it would be possible to identify a successor. We must also consider in greater detail the impact of military action on other UK interests in the region.

    Domestic Opinion

    20. Time will be required to prepare public opinion in the UK that it is necessary to take military action against Saddam Hussein. There would also need to be a substantial effort to secure the support of Parliament. An information campaign will be needed which has to be closely related to an overseas information campaign designed to influence Saddam Hussein, the Islamic World and the wider international community. This will need to give full coverage to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, including his WMD, and the legal justification for action.


    1. Although the US military could act against Iraq as soon as November, we judge that a military campaign is unlikely to start until January 2003, if only because of the time it will take to reach consensus in Washington. That said, we judge that for climactic reasons, military action would need to start by January 2003, unless action were deferred until the following autumn.

    2. As this paper makes clear, even this timescale would present problems. This means that:

    (a) We need to influence US consideration of the military plans before President Bush is briefed on 4 August, through contacts betweens the Prime Minister and the President and at other levels;

    •  Important to also note (4.00)
      that right above the text the Times states this:

      The paper, produced by the Cabinet Office on July 21, 2002, is incomplete because the last page is missing. The following is a transcript rather than the original document in order to protect the source.

      So, if anyone is going to use it, make sure you don't say it's the full document.

      What name shall we bestow on this "source" - any suggestions?

      •  Yep should have put "fuller" (none)
        In my haste to put the thing up I lost sight of the important caveat which is obvious as it ends on a bullet point a). The reasons for the caution are set out in my post above (The Snday Times would check)

        Although I sepeculate on the precise source, may I suggest the nickname "Deep Thought". As well as having connotations of Deep Throat, this is the name of the computer in the "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" which provides the answer to life, the universe and everyhing.  

      •  the Mr. Smith memo (none)
        "That memo and other internal British government documents were originally obtained by Michael Smith..."

        It'll stick in people's minds because of the movie.

        After a lot of counseling, I've left James and am pursuing a new more fulfilling life in the liberal blogosphere.

        by Jeff Gannon on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:04:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Last page missing? (none)
        I wonder whether that's because some of the conclusions that the memo is getting around to on the second-to-the-last page are too sensitive to release?  (Or maybe it's a mundane reason like not wanting to reveal the distribution codes on the final page -- they might make it easy to identify the leaker.)
        •  tactical reasons (none)
          As it's a transcribed text of a distributed document, it's unlikely that the "leaker" could be identified. It's possible that they don't have the last page.

          It's more likely, however, that they're replaying the tactic used with the publication of the Attorney General's advice: the press published parts of it and the government then published it in full. It seems to me that they're trying to force the hand again - the missing page will be published by the government ( it's contents are probably not earth-shattering ) - and it will lock-in the provenance and authenticity of the document; it will be impossible for Tony ( or Bush ) to then retroactively repudiate it.

      •  The Military Action Memo (none)
        It's right in the title (Conditions for Military Action), and it makes a critical point--that Bush and Blair had already decided upon invading Iraq.

        Somebody upthread was saying that the drip drip drip of evidence coming out is the most damaging thing to Bush, and I agree completely. It keeps the story alive, and even better, it gets Bush and his cronies to keep lying about each new revelation--lies whichsubsequent revelations bring into ridicule.

        We already could show from DSM that Bush lied on Tuesday when he said all his talks with Blair before July 2002 had been about finding a peaceful solution to the Iraq standoff. But this new briefing paper shows even more clearly that Bush was lying.

        As I said last week, it is now our chance to turn this into a story about Bush lying and stonewalling, which would definitively turn it into a Watergate style evergreen.

        Btw, sorry gang that I've been incommunicado for so long. Last evening (as I was about to check the London Times website for any new bombshells!) a branch pulled down my telephone line. The telephone company will not come to repair it until tomorrow, so I had to stitch together a repair this afternoon for myself. My computer now is behaving like it is full of molasses; don't know if there's a connection, but it takes about 10 minutes (!) now just to switch from one document to another. God only knows if I'll be able to produce an Awaken diary for tomorrow, or paste in any of the obvious publications. I don't suppose somebody could just send me a list of links to all the obvious stories, plus the full text of the new memo? At the rate my computer is working today, it would take me a few hours just to copy and paste a dozen links/texts.

        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Epictetus

        by smintheus on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:59:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  coincidence? (none)
    my husband and i decided to rent and watch "all the pres. men" tonight.  unbelievable the paralells!  it's not only the gen'l story that is so similar to what's going on now, but in scene after scene, the similarities are mind-boggling.  i'm old enough to have lived thru the coverup of watergate and remember being riveted to the tv during the hearings...also, did an experimental theatre piece about the fall of the white house.  
    pls all:  continue your great work, urging us on and remember to stay on target.  do it for the good of the country.  the whole world's watching.  thanks.
  •  Sorry (none)
    I posted the same sentiment as you up-thread and then I saw your post.

    You beat me to it so I gave you a four for having a sharp eye on what the WaPo was really reporting.

  •  Sorry... (none)
    this is anassociated...

    but man I thank God that I live in a neighborhood where at 11:47 pm at night on a Saturday, two doors down a death metal band is playing as loud as they possibly can to about 10 people and after 30 minutes of thrashing (and a pretty quick set of drums) no one has called the cops yet... hee hee... I'm just glad I'm not in for bed yet...

    After a lot of counseling, I've left James and am pursuing a new more fulfilling life in the liberal blogosphere.

    by Jeff Gannon on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:48:36 PM PDT

  • (none)
    Kudos to all the bloggers, and to AAR, for pressing on with publicizng this story! The press reads the press, so they'll be cannabalizing the WaPo in no time. It remains to see how it's spun.

    Meanwhile, go to the site I've mentioned above (and have diaried) and download their free, little Bush-face flags, meant for sticking into dog poop.  With a digital camera, you can send it to your favorite City Editor and help ramp up the campaign to put George in his place.  Seize the Day, my friends.

    Tikkun Olam: Heal the world.

    by diamondpen on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:10:33 AM PDT

  •  WaPo Conservatives (none)
    are nervous about the polls:


    The individual ratings for the president are among the worst since he took office. Support for the war is the lowest yet recorded in this poll. Never before have Bush's priorities been as far out of kilter with public opinion.


    Polls are snapshots that change quickly, as White House aides quickly pointed out. But this one reflects my own anecdotal sense of a shift that I have been hearing about from politicians and activists in the nation's capital and elsewhere over the past six weeks. This survey should be treated by the White House as a serious warning.

    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

    by x on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:40:34 AM PDT

    •  This worries me (none)

        There is one way, and only one way, Bush can get his poll numbers back up.

        I'd minimize my time in high-profile public buildings for the foreseeable future.

      A gay Republican is, by definition, a prostitute.

      by Buzzer on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 08:28:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WaPo: DSM is minutes! (none)
    Walter Pincus in this front-page WaPo article confirms that the Downing Street Memo consists of minutes!

    In those meeting minutes -- which have come to be known as the Downing Street Memo -- British officials who had just returned from Washington said Bush and his aides believed war was inevitable and were determined to use intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his relations with terrorists to justify invasion of Iraq.

  •  WaPo story on C-SPAN. (none)
    The Washington Journal on C-SPAN just mentioned Pincus's article today.
  •  It makes me wonder (none)
    The now infamous "16 words" in the 2003 SOTU.  Could British intelligence be behind the Niger uranium forgeries?  After all, the previous DSM described intelligence being "fixed around" the conclusion.

    It seems more and more obvious that the reason we went to war in March 2003 is precisely because the inspectors weren't finding anything and B&B were worried that their justification for war would completely disappear.

    What color are your pajamas?

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:14:14 AM PDT

    •  I doubt it (none)
      The Brits seem to have been much more cautious because of the illegality of regime change.  While Blair knew the intelligence was "dodgy", I doubt MI6 was willing to manufacture such bad forgeries. Funny how the forger has never been revealed, eh?

      The Mirror, July 2004:  While Blair was warned two weeks before publication of the Iraq dossier that the intelligence was dodgy, it emerged last night.

      In a personal meeting with the PM, the head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove admitted one of the key sources on Saddam's chemical weapons was "on trial".

      He told the PM "the source remains unproven". But just 14 days later Mr Blair declared in the forward of the dossier that the chemical weapons intelligence was "beyond doubt".

  •  Why no traction for DSM? (none)
    I made this point on another thread, but my thinking is this:

    If Congress knew that the intelligence was faulty from the onset, and it defies belief that they could not since these people are the most powerful in the world besides the president, would that explain why this story is getting little traction?

    If Dems and Reps alike understood what was going on from the beginning, but they both signed off on it, it would explain why the DSM is not really becoming an issue. Yeah, Conyers gets it, but he's not exactly a big fish. LIMITED mention of DSM in the Senate. It's hard to believe these people didn't know what was going on. I'm just sayin'..

    Truth doesn't take sides

    by KingJames on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:17:05 AM PDT

    •  bingo (none)
      Moyers wrote in March 2003, "Then there's the other war that's coming.  Whether you are for or against it, invading Iraq is a diversion of resources and a huge distraction from what ails us.  But Democrats signed a blank check over to the president in the fall of 2002 because their leaders wanted 'to move on to more important things', namely, the mid-term elections, which they lost anyway."

      Certainly they can say now they voted to authorized military force as a last resort to give the president the backing he needed.  Once the president took this nation to war, they would "support the troops".

  •  Did anyone read (none)
    Michael Kinsley opinion column in the Washington Post today called No Smoking Gun. This should raise a few hackles amongst us bloggers.
    •  Sure did! (none)
      I don't understand what is up with Mr. Kinsley.  His smug, superior attitude gets to me.  

      I suppose he's right though--Bush has not come out and stated in his "I'm a dumbshit, idiotic, ignorant, gun-totin' Texan, who decides to go 'clear brush' when the temperature's over 100 degrees" accent, "Yes, I lied about going to war with Iraq--I had it planned before I entered office, and I'm gonna do what I want to do.  Any questions?"


  •  Email the TImes story to everyone you know (none)
    I just sent it out to about 50 people on my email list, friends and foes.  It's the only way to get this out.

    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

    by adigal on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:13:26 AM PDT

  •  knight ridder is spreading the news, too (none)
    Memo offers Bush's critics hard evidence on prewar intelligence


    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    PHILADELPHIA - (KRT) - Shortly after his November triumph, President Bush declared that voters had endorsed his prosecution of the war in Iraq. In his words, "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections."

    But today, with U.S. casualties rising and military recruitment falling, it is clear that Bush's accountability moment has been extended. Even though he won't run for office again, voters continue to assess the signature decision of his presidency; in growing numbers, they are voicing dissatisfaction.

    See also new recommended diary on st petersberg times. This (the DSM) is a bomb with a slow fuse, not a dud.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:45:03 AM PDT

  •  A possible Democratic spin on the war (none)
    1)Bush screwed up, and the Republicans in Congress enabled the screw up.

    All the rest is commentary.

    The American public isn't going to vote for a political party that rubs the public's nose in their shit (that the American public supported an illegal war, and probably the majority still doesn't care that its illegal.)

    The only reason people are turning gainst Bush is because the war is going poorly.  And Bush screwed up, precisely becuase he didn't plan properly for the occupation and how to staff it and pay for it.

    The Democrats had no input into those decisions.

    They will be doing well to dump the Republicans as being incompetent losers (perhaps the official spokespeaple need to say that more politely, but that's the message that needs to get out.)

    I don't know how we can ensure that the US never again engages in an illegal war, but making that a political issue won't win Democrats votes.  Aside form the usual large number of arrogant PNAC supporters, there are counless Americans who have been fear-mongered into a state of contempt for the concept of international law.  And if the fears were justified, they might have a point.  

    That's wat the Democrats have to work with.  Stop whining because they aren't meeting some high idealistic standard.  Sticking to high-minded principles means that right-wing Republicans will continue to be elected.  

    Local Stores, local schools, local work

    by Menachem Mavet on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:58:22 AM PDT

    •  Oh...thanks for this... (none)
      "Stop whining because they aren't meeting some high idealistic standard.  Sticking to high-minded principles means that right-wing Republicans will continue to be elected."
  •  When will Blair be dumped by Labour? (none)
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Local Stores, local schools, local work

    by Menachem Mavet on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:59:45 AM PDT

  •  scream it from the rooftops (none)
    The prescient Dr. Cole has some thoughts;

    ""regime change" is illegal in international law"...

    Who knew?

  •  Don't get too excited about WAP (none)
    take a look at Michael Kinsley's op-ed in same issue dismissive altogether of DSM

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:05:17 AM PDT

  •  If I'm dreaming...please don't wake me! (none)
    The front page of the Seattle Times has 4 stories on it:  a 2005 graduate story; a HIV/AIDS pandemic spreading in women; AND...

    "U.S. TERROR CONVICTIONS OVERSTATED, DATA SHOW of 200 cited cases, 39 are applicable.  Bush touts numbers to bolster extension of the Patriot Act."



    It's a baby step, but we have to start somewhere in getting the word out, right?    

  •  I would edit your first graph: (none)
    Looks like the Washington Post realized the mistake they made in burying the Downing Street Memo, and have decided to go back to reporting real news, frontpaging a Walter Pincus story on the Secret Cabinet Memo unearthed by The London Times:

    Slight edit for accuracy:
    Looks like the Washington Post realized the mistake they made in burying the Downing Street Memo, and has decided, today only, to go back to reporting real news, frontpaging a Walter Pincus story on the Secret Cabinet Memo unearthed by The London Times:
  •  Why does the Post always bury Pincus? (none)
    Walter Pincus' editors really must not like him very much - his stories and sources are dead-on, time and again, even in tackling the toughest and most controversial stories.  And, time and again, he winds up being vindicated after the Pest passes on the scoop and some other paper handles it.  Then they'll get Walter to update the story and run it.  Seems to me he had the whole WMD issue wrapped up months, if not a year or more, before the MSM was ready to handle it, and the Post basically gave him a no-confidence message.  

    In the recent bruhaha (sp?) over Mark Felt a lot of people wondered where today's Woodstein was...and a lot of folks said the real question was, where is today's Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlee...well, Ben Bradley is still hanging around and I can't imagine Phillip Graham is that beholden to the bushistas.  As I understand it, the whole newsroom conventional wisdom was that Pincus is just a crazy old man/crank and had it wrong.  This was a newsroom culture failure, and that really does dissappoint me.  

  •  WaPo (none)
    The WaPo article seems more damaging to Blair than Bush whereas the Sunday Times article really hits hard at Bush & as well as Blair
  •  L.A. Times Ignored Latest Memo Entirely (none)
    The Sunday Los Angeles Times front page ignored this latest UK memo altogether. Their front page today consisted entirely (except for one actual news item about the G8) of feature pieces, evergreen stories, including one on an increase in Iraqi weddings. Page 3 carried a news piece about dead and injured in the war in Iraq that should have been on the front page.  And editor Michael Kinsley wrote an op-ed piece discounting the Downing Street Memo.  The L.A. Times is going downhill fast following its purchase by the ChicagoTrib.
  •  KirstyZ's diary "Another Leaked British (none)
    "Cabinet Briefing' Paper" from yesterday also has some good stuff.


  •  Oh, God. Today's NYTimes article on... (none)
    this newly-released memo is headlined: "Prewar British Memo Says War Decision Wasn't Made".

    Part of the article reads: "The publication of the memorandum is significant because a previously leaked document, now known as the Downing Street Memo, appeared to suggest that a decision to go to war may have been made that summer. In Washington last week, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair denied that they made any decision in 2002, and suggested that the memorandum was being misinterpreted."

    The Gray Lady is now nothing more than a cheap, two-dollar whore...then again, you may have known that already.

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