June 17, 2005
This is the letter I sent earlier to Texas U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn. I suggest everyone do likewise. Conyers and 122 Democrats can't fight this battle alone. Republicans need to be brought on board.
Dear U.S. Elected Officials:
You have failed us. You have failed the people and the country you were elected to serve. You have failed the world at large.
I heard the Democrat’s hearing on the Downing Street Minutes on Thursday, June 16. I have also read the memoranda (6 of them) posted on the Internet. Various media have authenticated the documents. Members of the British intelligence have not denied the veracity of them.
Evidence strongly suggests that the Downing Street Minutes are credible.
The minutes are derived from meetings attended by highest officials in Britain in the summer of 2002 and their contents make it clear that President Bush was determined, in one way or another, to take down Saddam Hussein, no matter what. Indeed, this was true early in Mr. Bush’s first term as witnessed and reported by two former high-ranking officials, Mr. Richard Clarke and Mr. Paul O’Neill.
According to the Downing Street Minutes, in the summer of 2002, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair pressured their intelligence officers and British lawyers to fix the intelligence to fit their desired policy, i.e. find a way to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Additionally, one of the witnesses at the hearing yesterday, Mr. McGovern, a 27 year CIA veteran analyst, testified that Vice President Cheney would visit CIA analysts frequently, with Mr. Tenet in tow, pressuring them to look for links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. When analysts couldn’t find evidence supporting any linkage, Mr. Cheney would tell them to keep looking.
Intelligence fixed to fit the policy? We are fighting a war based on fictitious and manufactured “facts?”
I am deeply and profoundly disturbed by the fact that we Americans may have been misled into an unnecessary and geo-politically devastating war. A war that has been so unexpectedly costly in terms of American lives, our allies’ lives, Iraqi lives, many of them innocent victims, as well as the financial cost to our nation. Millions and millions of our hard earned dollars are going into the war at the expense of just about everything else here at home. There are cuts in just about every budget not related to war. To name a few, cuts in funding for education and services for the needy and impoverished. Health benefits have been slashed for our military – the men and women we put in harm’s way to protect us.
Tragically, we have lost credibility worldwide. We have lost our honor, our stature in the global community – we are no longer perceived as the beacon of light and ray of hope in the darkness of oppression. We were once known as the model of Democracy. It is glaringly apparent that this is no longer the case. Now the world asks us if we engage in torture. And our own President will not answer questions posed to him by his own American people. Instead, he attacks or ignores those seeking answers to questions he deems hostile to his neo-conservative agenda.
Fix the intelligence to fit the policy?
Such a realization makes me not only physically ill, but also deeply mortified. Does it mean that over 1700 of our nations military (our children, our husbands, our wives, our parents, our friends, our relatives, our colleagues, our acquaintances, our neighbors) have been killed for a fabricated and therefore illegal, not to mention immoral war?
Did Mr. Bush lie to us when he said military action was the last option in 2003 when it appears he was determined to attack Iraq in the Summer 2002?
Mr. Bush is required to answer the questions posed to him by Mr. Conyers, 122 members of Congress and over 500,000 citizens. He must explain his role in the Downing Street Minutes to the American people. We do not want to hear explanations from Mr. Bush’s PR people or from his appointed officials. We want the President to look us straight in the eye and tell us the truth. Mr. Bush is not above the law and must be honest with the American people.
As an elected official it is your duty to insist that Mr. Bush address the questions posed to him by the American people and our representatives. He should and must be held accountable for his actions. You gave him your approval to go to war with Iraq and you are therefore answerable as well. Why did you not ask harder questions, probe the motivations for war more deeply? Why couldn’t you divorce yourselves from politics, special interests and instead revert to principle, just for 30 seconds? We depended upon you to represent us and to do our bidding. If the Downing Street Minutes are indeed true, you have failed us, your constituency, miserably and horrendously.
This issue will not go away. Too many of us are in shock because our collective view of ourselves as a people has been shattered. If our concerns about the Downing Street Minutes are summarily dismissed, the shock will slowly but surely foment into rage. We will express our rage in the Internet, the media and at the voting polls. We will ask ourselves, who had the courage and integrity to ask our President about the Downing Street Minutes? Who did not? Who instead stuck to party line ideology and rallied around the President, refusing to hold him accountable for a potentially illegal and immoral war? Who attacked those posing the questions at hand?
According to the CBS/New York Times Poll on Thursday, June 16, 2005, President Bush’s approval ratings are:
Only 39 percent approve of his handling of the economy.
Only 39 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy.
Only 37 percent approve of his handling of the war in Iraq.
Only 25 percent approve of his handling of Social Security.
That should tell you something.
We are watching and we are waiting. We expect and insist upon an investigation into President Bush’s role in the Downing Street Minutes. Our patience is running thin.
The USA has blood on its hands. Rivers and rivers of blood.
We demand to know the truth.
Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Trump's low poll numbers, redux
31 minutes ago