So, I think it's fair to say that if Bush lied about our reasons for going to war with Iraq, this should be grounds for impeachment. Of course, unlike Clinton's blow-job denial, Bush wasn't under oath and he doesn't face an opposition party with the courage to do anything about it, but let's face it. Many people have died of this war and if Bush deliberately misled us, don't the many thousands of dead people deserve that he at least be impeached, if not removed from office?
Just four days ago the Times of London published a bombshell of a story. This story is about a top secret memo (which you really, really want to read) leaked to them. The date on the memo is July 23, 2002. Here's a little excerpt from that memo (emphasis mine):
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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 NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
Military action inevitable? Our invasion of Iraq didn't begin until March 20, 2003, almost a year after this memo. Bush, of course, was constantly denying that we were committed to this action. This memo, if true, shows that Bush lied. More horrifyingly, while he now claims that our intelligence was faulty, suggesting that our policy was based on bad information, the memo is suggesting that the information was "fixed". Now read that carefully. Note the use of the word "policy." As far as the British were concerned, invading Iraq was already Bush administration policy. Intelligence and facts were being "fixed" to support it.
Now what might be a reasonable response by the British government? I suppose they could claim the memo's a fake. Of course, if it turns out to not be a fake, they're in even bigger trouble if they're caught. Not surprisingly, the government has stated that the memo contains "nothing new." However, in one of the relatively few US media sources to have given this story major attention (it's receiving widespread international attention, though), the Kansas City Star has more interesting information about this:
- A White House spokesman said they would not comment on leaked British documents.
- A spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington referred queries to another official rather than address them (after all, why on Earth would a spokesman have anything to say?)
- That other official did not return calls.
Maybe I just have my tinfoil hat on, but doesn't anyone want to talk about that document? They should be denying it's true. They're not. They should be claiming that people misunderstand it. They're not. We should be demanding to know what the hell is going on. We're not. We're docile cattle who will moo a little and then go back to chewing our cud. If you care at all about this mess, please copy this post to your own journal or link back to it. There are questions that need to be answered. With all the buzz that bloggers are supposed to be able to have an impact, let's see if we can prod a few people.
Now go read that memo for yourself and remember, this was months before we claim to have finished our intelligence analysis (in October of 2002, as I recall), almost a year before the war and Bush and Blair were vehemently denying that any decisions had been made.
On a local note: somewhat unsurprisingly, our local paper, the Oregonian, appears to have no mention of this story. Of course, this is the same paper that allowed our former governor to refer to his molesting a little girl as "an affair." Journalism isn't their strong suit. Hell, our "liberal media" is more obsessed with the Jacko trial and runaway brides than to do any hard-hitting investigation.