Downing Street Memo/Minutes RoundupSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Downing Street Memo/Minutes Roundup

26 June 2005 at 12:13:48 PM

Palm Beach Post-Editors, Cover the Memos

 No topic has funneled more recent outrage to this desk than what have become known as the Downing Street memos. Critics charge that the leaked British intelligence documents are further evidence that the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was a done deal at least eight months earlier, rather than a last resort, and that the administration scammed a timid Congress while assuring a fearful American public that an invasion decision had not been made.

"And, if this be true," e-mailed Jimmy L. Shirley Jr., "it shows that the war is based on a lie (sound familiar?) and that our boys and girls are dying and being maimed based on this. Two of my sons are over there in the Army. I hope they get out and away alive and in one piece."

James Ryan e-mailed, "Why are you ignoring what is one of the most important news stories in the history of the United States? A president and his administration willfully and purposely deceived the country they represent into a war. Americans are dead, and continue to die. What can be more newsworthy? Your lack of coverage on the Downing Street memos will boomerang on you when (not if) the viewing/listening public wonders where your journalistic integrity was on this issue."

Even if the memos are saying only what everyone already knows, the administration needs to answer for them more than it has. In failing to seek those answers, news organizations also have a lot for which to answer.

Focus: Leaked Documents Reveal the Hidden Path to War

Last week saw Dick Durbin, a leading Democratic senator, compare an account of detainee treatment at Guantanamo Bay with prisoner abuse in totalitarian regimes. It also saw Karl Rove, the president’s most powerful political aide, essentially call all “liberals” a danger to their country for their response to 9/11 and the Iraq war.

Chuck Hagel, a leading Republican senator, called the White House “completely disconnected from reality. It’s like they’re just making it up as they go along”. The internet blogs and the op-eds were full of similarly calm discourse.

It’s not that the Bush administration policy is likely to change any time soon. It’s that the American people have reached a point of no return with the president and his constant and unpersuasive assertions that everything is just peachy in Mesopotamia.

A poll that showed 60% of Americans want to start removing troops from Iraq merely confirmed the obvious: Bush’s war policy can no longer be sustained by the kind of “trust us” condescension that he has previously employed.

The doubts have increased markedly since America woke up to the secret Downing Street memos that shatter illusions about the build-up to war. The memos — first revealed in The Sunday Times by Michael Smith on May 1 — have since stormed through American websites and made headlines in the mainstream US media.

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