DSM: Keeping The Story Alive
An article at "In These Times", A Dead-End In American Media, presents an excellent look at the go-nowhere history of the Downing Street Memos. For example:
Five main indictments emanate from this growing series of leaked documents. First, that the Bush administration decided to go to war earlier than was publicly stated. Second, that the reasons he gave for the war were bogus. Third, that Bush lied in saying that the war could have been avoided. Fourth, that the war actually began almost a year earlier than is assumed. And fifth, that the administration did almost no planning for the aftermath of the invasion.This little section of the article is also worth noting for the records:
The media's response to these allegations has been to ignore, distort, deny and denigrate them.
Why blow off such a huge story? ...
Bush said that war was to be his last resort, that Saddam could avoid it by telling the truth about WMDs, that he went to the U.N. to try to solve the problem peacefully, that Iraq represented such an urgent threat to U.S. security he could no longer wait for the inspectors to finish their work, that he therefore gave the order to attack in March 2003, and that U.N. resolutions gave him the authority to do so.
Not a single one of those assertions was truthful, as the Downing Street Memos prove.
The nadir prize within mainstream American journalism probably goes to Dana Milbank of the Washington Post for his curled-lip rendering of Rep. John Conyers' (D-Mich.) ad hoc hearing on the memos. It was ad hoc because the House Republican majority has every interest in burying this scandal, so much so that they wouldn't even give Conyers a conference room in the Capitol to use, despite the fact that several were available. (Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ultimately found him a stuffy basement room of about 20' by 30'.) To further stymie Conyers, the Republicans simultaneously scheduled important committee meetings and an astounding 11 floor votes--a House record.Following Milbank's article, the autor informs us, the Post received a torrid of angry reader complaints, prompting the Post's ombudsman to admit the story was "a serious mistake." Meanwhile:
In June alone, Google hits on "Downing Street Memo" went from 250,000 to 1.5 million.Guess who was sending those angry letters to the post? The same people Googling for news on this important issue. Somewhere in cyberspace, US Democracy is still alive...