A.K.A. memogate

A memo released May 1st, 2005 by the London Times detailing secret meeting minutes between several high ranking officials regarding the adjustment of intelligence to provide cause for the eventual invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The minutes were recorded July of 2002, eight months before the invasion took place. Was the President involved in a conspiracy to mislead the public, even while publically stating that war was the final option?

"We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq."
                --President George W. Bush, March 6, 2003, Radio Address
"I've not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully..."
                --President George W. Bush, March 6, 2003, White House Press Conference

Both Tony Blair and President Bush have vehemently denied the contents of the memo. According to The Times, British officials did not classify the document as a falsification. Britain's Chief of Defense Staff at the time, Michael Boyce, stated it would have been "irresponsible" to not be prepared of the possibility of military action. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has denounced it, deeming it unfit to even respond.

This was a major story in Britain, so it amazes me how slow the mainstream U.S. media have been in reporting this story. It has been over one month since the London Times released the memo. At this time, it is still not front page news. USA Today has even went so far as to release a statement defending the lack of coverage, mentioning the following points:

  • lack of verfiable sources, and
  • the release of the memo was only four days before British elections, raising questions of timing.
I believe these are both valid points, however, this is the rabid U.S. media we are speaking of. A story is a story, and this has the possibility of being one of the biggest stories of our generation, possibly rivaling the fall of Richard Nixon (if and when the authenticity of the memo is concretely verified, of course). If there is such a thing as the "liberal media", I cannot believe the members of that "most esteemed" group have not milked it for all of its worth.

Some quotes from the memo, reprinted from the London Times:

Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

The above quote is, by far, the most debated quote in the entire memo, centering around the single word "fixed". At first glance, the context of the word appears to be "adjusted" or similar definitions. Some individuals have noted that the word "fixed" in British English means "bolted on", which does slightly alter the meaning of the above quote, however, there are many other British English speaking individuals quoted on the Internet that maintain that the word "fixed" does indeed mean "modified" or "altered". The similarites between the fixation on this single word and Bill Clinton's defintion of the word "is" are striking. Regardless of the meaning of the illustrious word, it does not affect the following quotes:

There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.
People involved with the memo/meeting:

Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) has put up an online petition to request the President to respond to several of these allegations. You can sign the petition at http://www.moveonpac.org/tellthetruth/. I encourage all United States citizens to sign this petition, so that we can know the truth, whatever it may be.

I also warn everyone: read the full text of the memo. Make your own decision. Do not jump on a bandwagon without making an informed query of the facts.

More information is available at http://DowningStreetMemo.com and http://AfterDowningStreet.org.

CST Approved

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