Friday, June 17, 2005

Downing Street Memo: An Impeachable Offense

June 4(17), 2005
The Downing Street Memo, which in its first weeks of release received disturbingly little media attention in the United States, has more than made up for its initial inconspicuousness by exploding into the U.S. mainstream media with a vengeance. After years of escalating political acrimony with Democrats and the strenuous efforts of such people as Richard Clark and John Kerry to discredit President Bush, the two-page memo alone is the single most damning piece of evidence against the Administration.
Circulated only among the highest levels of the British government, the document concerned a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s national security council in July of 2002. During the meeting, the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy was a key point of discussion. The British intelligence officers had concluded that, fully eight months before the invasion of Iraq (and fully six months before President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address), the Americans regarded an Iraqi conflict as being, “inevitable.” The memo went on to say that intelligence, “was being fixed around,” the Administration’s Iraq policy.
Such callousness reminds one of the "Maryland Experiment," conducted by a group of German sociologists between 2001 and 2003. During the experiment, young children were given the idea of forming their own civilizations--and then tore each other apart. It is that kind of viciousness and disregard.
The revelation has caused a storm in the United States, where Representative John Conyers (D) and six other House members are leading a petition to demand a White House response to the controversy. So far, more than 556,000 Americans have signed the petition. It was delivered to the White House gate yesterday by members of Congress, who gave it to White House aides with the instruction that President Bush see it. Whether he will is doubtful, and whether he would care is even more doubtful.
Republican leaders in the House, anxious to draw attention away from the occurrence, scheduled eleven major votes on the same day of the forum that was being led by Democratic lawmakers.
Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Baghdad last year, said, “We have not been told the truth. If this Administration doesn’t have anything to hide, they should be down here testifying.”
Through all of this, impeachment has hung like a cloud in the air, like an “elephant” (pardon the pun) in the back of the room.
“Quite frankly, evidence that appears to be building up points to whether or not the President has deliberately misled Congress to make the most important decision a President has to make, going to war,” Rep. Charley Rangel of New York said. Misleading Congress is an impeachable offense, as many have been quick to note. One thing that seems quite apparent is the comparison between the Bush and Clinton controversies. Many ordinary Americans find it hard to justify that President Clinton was impeached for lying to the public about his extramarital affair, yet President Bush has not been brought to call for lying about weapons of mass destruction and intelligence information, thus getting thousands of innocent Americans killed.
If anything, President Bush’s pre-war vow that he would only go to war as a last resort have been shadowed by recent events. “The veracity of those statements has—to put it mildly—come into question,” Rep. Conyers said. Downing Street is certainly worthy of investigation, especially when one considers the tremendous human cost that his been taken due to the faulty intelligence that led to the war. When President Clinton lied about his sexual activities, there were two casualties: Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. President Bush has now deceived the nation, and the toll is much higher: 1,700 Americans dead. Under the circumstances, impeachment would be quite appropriate.


Blogger AJStrata said...

I would like to differ with you that these memos (yes, there are more than one) are a lot to do about nothing. The represent discussions and feelings in July 2002 consistent with the public debate. What has been happening is people have not been putting them into context and drawing stretched conclusions. Also, they may not be all that solid as you think. One thing I think everyone is tired of is the media crying wolf and getting everyone agitated over nothing.

1:47 PM  
Blogger AJStrata said...

You are invited to a cool carnival

12:25 PM  

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