Last night during dinner, one of the guests who had at one time in his early life been stationed in the far northern regions of the US, where he was charged with releasing the hell fire of nuclear destruction on our enemies, opined as to how he could not understand why the opposition party in the geographic state of the United States was not constantly barraging and lambasting the party in control and its administration for its illegal war on another country under false premises. He could not understand why the issue was not brought up at every opportunity.
Apparently, one Democrat feels the same way.
This should not be allowed to fall down the memory hole during wall-to-wall coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and a runaway bride," he remarks. "To prevent that from occuring, I am circulating the following letter among my House colleagues and asking them to sign on to it."
May 2, 2005
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action.
While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration.
However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained "nothing new." If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.
The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government. Among other things, the document revealed:
* Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush's plans for invading Iraq.
* British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged that the case for war was "thin" as "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran."
* A separate secret briefing for the meeting said that Britain and America had to "create" conditions to justify a war.
* A British official "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."
As a result of this recent disclosure, we would like to know the following:
1) Do you or anyone in your Administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?
2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?
3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?
4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?
5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?
We have of course known for some time that subsequent to the invasion there have been a variety of varying reasons proffered to justify the invasion, particularly since the time it became evident that weapons of mass destruction would not be found. This leaked document - essentially acknowledged by the Blair government - is the first confirmation that the rationales were shifting well before the invasion as well.
Given the importance of this matter, we would ask that you respond to this inquiry as promptly as possible.
Congressman John Conyers
These words in the Times Story are of particular interest:
The minutes, published by The Sunday Times today, begins with the warning: “This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. The paper should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know.” It records a meeting in July 2002, attended by military and intelligence chiefs, at which Blair discussed military options having already committed himself to supporting President George Bush’s plans for ousting Saddam.
“If the political context were right, people would support regime change,” said Blair. He added that the key issues were “whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan space to work”.
The political strategy proved to be arguing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed such a threat that military action had to be taken. However, at the July meeting Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, said the case for war was “thin” as “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran”.
Straw suggested they should “work up” an ultimatum about weapons inspectors that would “help with the legal justification”.
Blair is recorded as saying that “it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors”.
A separate secret briefing for the meeting said Britain and America had to “create” conditions to justify a war.
And then there is this
New Poll: 57% Now Say Iraq War 'Not Worth It'
By E&P Staff Published: May 03, 2005 6:30 PM ET
NEW YORK The number of Americans who do not believe it was “worth it” going to war in Iraq continues to grow, now reaching 57% of the public, according to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. Just 41% say it was worth it.
Just last week, Gallup placed the “not worth it” figure at 53%. In February the “not worth it” sector stood at 48%. Yet there have been very few media explorations of the possible reasons for this sentiment.
Asked how things are going for the United States in Iraq, 56 percent said "badly" or "very badly," up from 45 percent in March.
Perhaps Gallop should ask,
Should we trade our Blood,
and our National Soul,
Or should we lead the world
by waging peace
and bringing a new world of energy
that frees the earthfamily from this folly?
The numbers would speak as loud,
as the stalking hunter is quiet.