Downing Street Memo Pressure Mounts

For the past several weeks many of us on the left have been stepping up the pressure on the Administration to answer questions surrounding the Downing Street Memo. The most pressing question stems from one line in the memo that seems to suggest the administration was bent on going to war with Iraq at a time when it was claiming publicly that was not the case, and that intelligence was being massaged to support their plan.

“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.

A strong effort by Representative John Conyers (D) of Michigan to bring the Administration to the table on this has begun to bear fruit. As of last Friday Conyers had over 100,000 signatures on this letter to President Bush seeking answers on the memo. It is no surprise then that the right wing has begin it’s campaign to minimize the memo and belittle it’s sources.

In a piece this morning in The National Review Online, James S. Robbins attempts to deflect criticism by claiming the allegations in the memo are “old news.” His argument quite simply is that it was obvious to anyone in the know that there was war planning going on but that this means nothing because there is no proof the administration had given up on diplomacy. Unfortunately for the Administration Robbins , either knowingly or inadvertently, makes a lucid comment in his piece that I am sure the left will agree with.

“But if Dearlove meant the former, he should be called upon to substantiate his charge.”

I could not agree more, as a matter of fact I would take it a step further. Let’s bring those British officials who attended this meeting to a hearing on the Hill and allow them to be questioned about it. And why stop there, since the memo is about the President, he should also be questioned publicly about his war planning. No secret, off the record, 9-11 Commission-type questioning either, I mean a full public investigation of these allegations. If they can not be corroborated then fine, it will die on the vine. But the longer the President remains silent, the more momentum this thing will gain.

UPDATE: I would like to point out an example of how the right-wing echo chamber works. A quick Technorati search for Downing Street Memo will turn up piles of blogs mentioning this story. What I find funny is this piece with the following conspicuous by-line:

Monday, June 6, 2005
Subject: A Shocking Secret Document?
Time: 9:57:00 AM EDT
Author: republicanlady2

A quick scan of this post proves the author to be a plagiarist as she literally copied the entire piece from this mornings National Review article mentioned above yet claims it as her own. No mention of the original author, no mention of the National Review, and a boldly stated Author: republianlady2. Please sheeple, think for yourselves would you?

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