Monday, June 20, 2005

Downing Street Memos

My friend Bill does a good job summarizing
the conservative blogoshpere’s reaction to the Downing Street Memo documents that were first published last month in the Sunday Times in London. But I’ll go ahead and summarize it just a bit further:

It’s no big deal, it’s all old news and it’s probably fake anyway!

The significance of these memos is hard to overstate because they give us an insider’s view of the deception that went into the Bush administration’s pre-war planning. They spell out many of the things that the Bush administration’s critics have long suspected but could never prove - that Bush was intent on invading Iraq regardless of what intelligence reports said about Saddam’s WMD capabilities.
The memos are the closest thing we have to the Watergate tapes of the Nixon era. So it is not a surprise that Bush backers will try to downplay their significance in order to continue living in their fantasy world. The latest effort to declare the memos “fakes” is probably the most humorous and easily debunked. I’m sure that if pressed, these folks will tell you that these documents were faked as well.
Nevertheless it is an all too common tactic on the right today and it helps keep a certain segment of their supporters in line - particularly those who refuse to read anything in the biased MainStreamMedia and get all their news and information from right-wing blogs and talk radio.

But it is difficult to maintain that charade when top government officials just won’t cooperate.

Two senior British government officials today acknowledged as authentic a series of 2002 pre-Iraq war memos stating that Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program was "effectively frozen" and that there was "no recent evidence" of Iraqi ties to international terrorism—private conclusions that contradicted two key pillars of the Bush administration's  public case for the invasion in March 2003.

For people who were opposed to Bush’s rush to war from the beginning, these memos simply confirm our worst suspicions. The Bush administration took advantage of the 9/11 tragedy to pursue an unrelated foreign policy objective that has proved to be much more costly in both lives and dollars than they ever expected.

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