There are three major issues brought up in the DSM that I think are worthy of public hearing. These are:
1.The statement that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of military action. This really sounds as if Bush and the hawks were aware that the war wasn't very justifiable, so they publicized what they wanted to push their end. It even alludes to outright lying. The only way we'll ever know about that is a true investigation.
2."Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran." The Bush adminin. knew the justification was weak, and that there were bigger threats to our national security, but they chose to go into Iraq. (Remember Richard Clarke and his assertion that Rumsfled wanted to strike Iraq back in 9/2001?) This should also be investigated.
3. "...but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.Â This sickens me. They wanted to go to war based on a timeline of political gain? Tell that to the families of the approx. 1800 (as of today) soldiers who bravely gave their lives. (Not to mention the untold thousands of Iraqi civilians.) This HAS to be investigated.
There are a lot more issues the memo brings up, including questions of post-war planning, and the fact that the Bush admin. was privately saying one thing and telling another story publicly at the same time. (Some like to call that "lying to the American People.") Will these and the other statements hold up to strong legal and public scrutiny? I'm not sure. But the only way to find out is to get that strong scrutiny. A true Congressional investigation is in order.
The point has also been made that Conyers is leading the Democrats into oblivion, presumably since nothing will come of the DSM. I will admit, I don't truly think this will lead to an impeachment of Bush. But why is the White House so scared of it? This admin. has never been interested in justifying their claims, true, but they've ignored Conyers' letter signed by 122 congressmen, and the Republicans in the House scheduled 11 major votes to coincide with Conyers' forum. Bush's little pat dismissal of the whole thing when standing with Tony Blair the other day did him no favors. Especially in a news cycle dominated by reminders of Watergate.
So I'll keep arguing to get the issue heard. The national news medias basically blew it off in May when the story broke in the Sunday Times in London, and only recently have picked up steam in covering it. This memo and its allegations should be investigated thoroughly, not dropped because the news media is onto a new trial or missing person story.
The entire Downing Street Memo
The Sunday Times article, May 1
CNN article, June 16th
Why Care? DowningStreetMemo.com
Teflon Dubya, Did I Say That Out Loud?