June 8, 2005
To state the blindingly obvious: if, on the thinnest evidence, we can impeach a president for lying about two inconsequential sexual relationships, the Downing Street memo sure as hell gives us enough to impeach Bush. David Michael Green via Common Dreams:
The Downing Street Memo is the gift that just keeps on giving. And well it should. It is the smoking gun which proves that the gravest possible crime was committed by the Bush administration, and among its victims were the American people.
… The Memo itself lays out in clear text the game of deceit played by the Bush and Blair gangs in the run-up to the Iraq War. Among its highlights, the DSM confirms that the war had been decided upon well before Congressional or UN Security Council action, and before weapons inspectors were inserted and then removed because of the ‘urgency’ of Iraq’s threat (of course, the real urgency and real threat was that the absence of WMD would kill Bush’s pretext for war). The Memo then goes on to show, most significantly, that the war planners knew their case was “thin”, so they distorted - “fixed” - the intelligence and facts in order to market the war.
… Remember also that Tony Blair has in fact commented briefly on the Memo, but never denied its veracity in any fashion. Recall that a member or former member of the Bush team who was privy to these discussions has confirmed, off the record, the accuracy of the Memo. And remember that the Memo’s blueprint fits precisely with what are now established facts from the period, namely, that the Bush people told lie after whopping lie about Iraq’s WMD capabilities, and did so knowingly. All told, this amounts to an extremely powerful case, one which would certainly prove highly persuasive in a criminal case, where the standards of proof are far higher than they are for a public’s evaluation of their political leaders in a democracy.
… America has gone seriously astray due to the regressive right movement that began in earnest with Reagan, incubated under Gingrich, and blossomed full-blown in the era of Bush, Scalia and DeLay. This political cancer has yielded death, destruction, environmental wreckage, massive debt, wholesale violations of human rights, diminishment of national security, dismantling of constitutional democracy at home and widespread hatred for America abroad. And that’s just the first term. It is difficult to imagine that one could ruin a country so thoroughly in just four years, but the Bush team has succeeded famously (with a good deal of help from the press, the Democrats and the public). Finally, it appears that we have in the Downing Street Memo a weapon, and with it the proper context, to end our long national nightmare.
A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have put money on it. But the American public is—finally—getting restive. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll:
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say the number of casualties in Iraq is unacceptable, while two-thirds say the U.S. military there is bogged down and nearly six in 10 say the war was not worth fighting – in all three cases matching or exceeding the highest levels of pessimism yet recorded. More than four in 10 believe the U.S. presence in Iraq is becoming analogous to the experience in Vietnam.
Perhaps most ominous for President Bush, 52 percent said war in Iraq has not contributed to the long-term security of the United States, while 47 percent said it has. It was the first time a majority of Americans disagreed with the central notion Bush has offered to build support for war: that the fight there will make Americans safer from terrorists at home. In late 2003, 62 percent thought the Iraq war aided U.S. security, and three months ago 52 percent thought so.
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