Photo of 10 Downing Street
Recently, the "Downing Street Memo", a memo that came to light recently summarizing a 2002 British government meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his national security advisors, has raised new issues about the honesty of our government in involving us in the war in Iraq. This memo described the discussions between England and the United States regarding the preparations for war.
The memo stated:
C [Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's foreign intelligence service] 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 [National Security Council] 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.Fixing facts.
How do you "fix facts"? Best definition for this I could find was #11 on Dictionary.com:
"11. To influence the outcome or actions of by improper or unlawful means: fix a prizefight; fix a jury."President Bush succeeded in "fixing" a war!
Yet he claims to be disturbed about dissembling, what he calls "dis-assembling" the facts.
At a May 31, 2005, press conference President Bush took great umbrage at an Amnesty International Report on Guantanamo that related that:
Guantanamo has become the gulag our times, entrenching the notion that people can be detained without any recourse to the law.
If Guantanamo evokes images of Soviet repression, "ghost detainees" – or the incommunicado detention of unregistered detainees - bring back the practice of "disappearances" so popular with Latin American dictators in the past.
According to US official sources there could be over 100 ghost detainees held by the US.
In 2004 thousands of people were held by the US in Iraq, hundreds in Afghanistan and undisclosed numbers in undisclosed locations.
Photo of Presidential News Conference
President Bush responded to these charges by stating at the news conference:
THE PRESIDENT: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that is -- promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.Transparent means you are unable to interview the detainees.
In terms of the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, you know -- yes, sir.
And as recently revealed correspondence from Guantanamo reveals:
"If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done the "FBI" interrogators. The FBI will left holding the bag before the public."We know what dissembling means Mr. President.
This Administration dissembled getting us into the Iraq war by fixing facts.
This Administration dissembles about what is going on in Guantanamo.
Senator John Kerry is planning to bring up the Downing Street memo to the United States Senate. As reported:
"When I go back (to Washington) on Monday, I am going to raise the issue," he said of the memo, which has not been disputed by either the British or American governments. "I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."Thank you Senator Kerry!
It is time for dissembling to stop and for America to lead with truth and integrity. It is time for American values to return to Washington. Values about decency and honesty in government, and adherence to international standards including the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war. America deserves better!