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Downing Street Memo: “Fixed” Intelligence for Iraq War – Rick Perry Gay Sex Scandals – Man Faces Life in Prison for Recording Police

August 31, 2011

Downing Street Memo Mostly Ignored in U.S.

Comment: Here’s an oldie but goodie and chances are, you may not be aware of it.  Want to know how leaders justify unjust wars?  Here’s the proof.  The Downing Street Memos are minutes of a meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s senior ministers on July 23, 2002.  The memo states the “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of the Iraq invasion. It continues: “It seemed clear that 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. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.”  Below the story is the written account providing proof that a plot, which included state-sponsored mass murder of Iraqis, was being cooked up behind the scenes.  Never mind the fact that liberals were protesting the war, they were doing their job in order to get the neocon Republicans on board.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

WASHINGTON —  A British government memo that critics say proves the Bush administration manipulated evidence about weapons of mass destruction in order to carry out a plan to overthrow Saddam Hussein (search) has received little attention in the mainstream media, frustrating opponents of the Iraq war.

The “Downing Street Memo” — first published by The Sunday Times of London on May 1 — summarizes a high-level meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair (search) and his senior national security team on July 23, 2002, months before the March 2003 coalition invasion of Iraq.

The memo suggests that British intelligence analysts were concerned that the Bush administration was marching to war on wobbly evidence that Saddam posed a serious threat to the world.

Click here to read the memo.

In the memo, written by top Blair aide Matthew Rycroft (search), Foreign Secretary Jack Straw indicated in the meeting that it “seemed clear” Bush had already decided to take military action.

“But the case was thin,” reads the memo on Straw’s impressions. “Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”

The memo also paraphrased former head of the British Secret Intelligence Services, Richard Dearlove, fresh from meetings in the United States. The memo said Dearlove believed “military action was now seen as inevitable.”

“Bush wanted to remove Saddam Hussein, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD,” the memo reads. “But the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy,” according to Dearlove’s impressions.

“The NSC (National Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”

The memo, which received sporadic reporting in major newspapers in the United States throughout May, has sparked an outcry from more than 88 Democratic members of Congress who have signed two letters to President Bush demanding a response.

Led by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the signatories are mostly representatives who opposed the war in Iraq and make up the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Conyers says the mainstream media have ignored the story and let President Bush off the hook. He noted that liberal blogs and alternative media have been keeping the story alive. “But these voices are too few and too diffuse to overcome the blatant biases of our cable channels and the negligence and neglect of our major newspapers,” Conyers said in a recent statement.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said there is “no need” to respond to the memos, the authenticity of which has not been denied.

Dante Zappala does not agree. For Zappala, the Downing Street Memo strikes a critical and personal chord. His brother, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, 30, a soldier in the Pennsylvania National Guard, was killed in Baghdad 13 months ago on what Zappala said was a mission to find weapons there.

“My family knows the consequences of the decision they made to go to war,” said Zappala, 29, of Philadelphia. He is a member of Military Families Speak Out, a group that opposes the war and, according to Zappala, now has more than 2,000 members.

“I can’t speak for what the TV news decides to focus their attention on,” Zappala said. “They seem to have a willful deference to all relevant information. I think they’ve really just dropped the ball on this.”

But not everyone believes the Downing Street Memo represents a “smoking gun” and deserves more attention.

“As a smoking gun it leaves a lot to be desired,” said Kevin Aylward, a northern Virginia-based technology consultant who runs the conservative-leaning blog, Wizbangblog.com. “It’s interesting, but it’s probably fourth- or fifth-hand information.”

Aylward added: “I suspect the more interesting story at this point, seeing it three weeks later, is who is behind the letter-writing campaign to push it in the media.”

Several popular left-leaning blogs have taken up the cause to keep the story alive, encouraging readers to contact media outlets. A Web site, DowningStreetMemo.com, tells readers to contact the White House directly with complaints.

“This is a test of the left-wing blogosphere,” said Jim Pinkerton, syndicated columnist and regular contributor to FOX News Watch, who pointed out that The Sunday Times article came out just before the British election and apparently had little effect on voters’ decisions.

“In many ways that memo might prove all of the arguments the critics of the war have made,” he added. “But the bulk of Americans don’t agree, or don’t seem that alarmed, so it is a power test to see if they can drive it back on the agenda.”

Ellis Henican, a columnist for New York Newsday and a FOX News contributor, said the allegations of evidence-fixing had been made before the 2004 election by former senior administration officials Richard Clarke (search) and Paul O’Neill (search), and while many people believe they were right, it had little impact on the re-election of Bush in November.

“It’s a little late,” he said of the memo story, adding that people are resigned to the fact that the United States is in Iraq for the long term, regardless of what events led to the war. “We’re kind of stuck.”

That’s no excuse, said Zappala, who argues someone has to be made accountable for the lives lost on false pretenses. “The goal was always to invade Iraq whatever obstacles, legal and moral, were in our way,” he said. “I feel that we deserve an amount of accountability by our officials for the decisions they make.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,158228,00.html#ixzz1WclBBksi

THE ORIGINAL DOWNING STREET “MEMO”  (PDF)  (Plain Text)  (Annotated)
MAJOR PLAYERS–who are the people present at this meeting?
THE OTHER DOWNING STREET MEMOS AND DOCUMENTS



• As originally reported in the The Sunday Times, May 1, 2005

SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL – UK EYES ONLY

DAVID MANNING
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell

IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER’S MEETING, 23 JULY

Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

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.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun “spikes of activity” to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, 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.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that 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. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.

Conclusions:

(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)

MATTHEW RYCROFT

(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

[end text – emphasis added]

PDF printable version  |  Plain Text printable version  |  Annotated version
Major Players–who are the people present at this meeting?

Go to top of page link


Other documents tltle

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Rick Perry Accuser Goes Public Gay Sex Scandal 1:2

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Man Faces Life In Jail For Recording Police

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Every other case involving people arrested for filming cops has been thrown out of court, but media promulgates hoax that recording police is illegal

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Infowars.com
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

41-year old Illinois mechanic Michael Allison faces life in jail for recording police officers after authorities hit him with eavesdropping charges based on the hoax that it is illegal to film cops, a misnomer that has been disproved by every other case against people filming police officers being thrown out of court.

The state of Illinois is trying to charge Allison with five counts of wiretapping, each punishable by four to 15 years in prison.

Allison refused a plea deal which would have seen him serve no jail time but would reinforce the hoax that it is illegal to film police officers, as well as acting as a chilling effect to prevent other Americans from filming cases of police brutality.

Allison has chosen to reject the plea bargain and fight to clear his name via a jury trial, arguing, “If we don’t fight for our freedoms here at home we’re all going to lose them.”

A judge is expected to rule on when the case will go to trial over the next two weeks.

As another report concerning the Allison case documents, in every other example where people have been arrested for recording police officers, the charges have been dropped and the case thrown out of court. Despite this fact, the state is so desperate to make an example out of Allison that an assistant from the Attorney General’s Office was recently sent to speak against him during a hearing.

The notion that it is illegal to film police officers is a mass hoax that is being promulgated by authorities, the media, and police officers themselves.

In the latest example, charges were dismissed against a woman who filmed cops in her own back yard in Rochester, New York.

In Illinois itself, eavesdropping charges against Tiawanda Moore for recording patrol officers were dropped, after a “Criminal Court jury quickly repudiated the prosecution’s case, taking less than an hour to acquit Moore on both eavesdropping counts.”

Despite the fact that recording police officers (public servants) is perfectly legal, Americans are still being arrested for doing so, and the establishment media is enthusiastically perpetuating the hoax that such conduct is unlawful, even though in doing so they are completely eroding protections that guarantee press freedom.

There is no expectation of privacy in public, the police are fully aware of this, which is why they have dash cams on their cars to record incidents, wear microphones and utilize other recording equipment as part of their job.

Cases like Allison’s have been thrown out all over the country and yet police continue to arrest people for filming them as a form of intimidation.

The fact that the state is knowingly ignoring its own laws in order to engage in acts of official repression highlights the rampant criminality that has infested every level of American government. This behavior is reflective of a predatory system that seeks to criminalize all first amendment activities.

It also highlights how petrified the system is about the public being able to document and record acts of police brutality.

Prosecutors in Allison’s case are deliberately attempting jail an innocent man for life for an activity that they know full well is not illegal. If anything, they should be the ones being charged with illegal conduct and official oppression.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 5, 2011 2:18 am

    I have also blogged about this at http://www.wellthisiswhatIthink.wordpress.com – well done for raising such an important issue. Cheers, Yolly

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