|Michigan Congressman John Conyers nailed in yesterday in a quote about the U.S. media's lack of attention to the leaked UK memo suggesting that President Bush and Tony Blair essentially agreed to invade Iraq much earlier than either admitted to their respective countrymen, and that they sought a rationale for the invasion despite clear cut findings that "regime change" in itself, was not a legal basis for war. Raw Story posts Conyers' statement:
"Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a "runaway bride" to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers," Conyers writes. "The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so."
The actual text of the letter asks some of the very questions the MSM should be putting to Mr. Bush, and that enterprising reporters should be running down instead of the ad nauseums on the Georgia "runaway bride," namely:
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.
We'll see if anybody but Keith Olbermann picks up the story. Manwhile, the British press has been all over the story, including its implications for the impending parliamentary elections.