I'm sure many of us are familiar with the adage, "If you're not outraged,
you're not paying attention." Well, judging by the near-total silence
emanating from the United States following a recently leaked British internal
memo, it would appear that most of us aren't paying attention. This past
Sunday, the Times of London released a leaked memorandum from Matthew Rycroft,
a foreign policy aide to Tony Blair. Dated July 23, 2002, the memo records
the minutes from a crucial meeting between Blair and British military and
intelligence chiefs nearly a year before the U.S.-led invasion of
At the meeting, Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of MI6 (the British equivalent
of the CIA), reported on his recent talks in Washington with George Tenet,
who was then chief of the CIA. According to Dearlove, there was a "perceptible
shift" in U.S. attitude toward Iraq and "[m]ilitary action was
now seen as inevitable." "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through
military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD."
In support of Dearlove's conclusions, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also
reported, "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military
action." Straw cautioned, however, that "the case was thin. Saddam
was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than
that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
Now comes the kicker. According to Dearlove, in light of the "thin"
case against Iraq, in Washington "the intelligence and facts were being
fixed around the policy."
You read it correctly. The Bush administration was tailoring the intelligence
and facts to support its Iraq policy. Put differently, the U.S. cooked the
This is not some politically-motivated allegation leveled by a nation or
party opposed to Bush's determination to invade Iraq. This is a "secret
and strictly personal" and "extremely sensitive" internal
memorandum from America's closest ally (and now proven co-conspirator) in
the so-called Operation Iraqi
This is the smoking gun.
The leaked memo has received significant coverage in Britain, particularly
since it was released on the eve of Britain's parliamentary elections. It
has received some passing coverage in the U.S., as well. The context of
that coverage, however, has been largely limited to Blair's chances of winning
reelection. In the U.S., the leaked memo has not been treated for what it
is: compelling proof that Bush & Co. manufactured and manipulated intelligence
to justify invading Iraq – an invasion which has, so far, resulted
in the deaths of over 20,000 Iraqi civilians and nearly 1,800 coalition
For instance, in the days since the Times broke the story, the leaked memo
has never been raised, not once, by the press in any White House press briefings.
One would think that the U.S. news media would at least be interested in
hearing the White House's spin on the issues raised in the leaked memo.
Nevertheless, not a single question. Not one.
Typical of the "coverage" in the U.S. regarding the leaked memo
was in a May 3, 2005 Washington Post opinion column entitled, "Could
Leaks Sink Tony Blair?" Likewise, on May 2, 2005, the New York Times
ran a story headlined, "For Blair, Iraq Issue Just Won't Go Away."
In neither case was there any mention of Bush & Co. "fixing"
intelligence to fit the policy. The mainstream press hasn't even seen fit
to report on Congressman John Conyers' demand on May 2, 2005 for an explanation
from the White House.
The American public hasn't done any better. More concerned with the motives
of Georgia's "runaway bride" and whether Paula Abdul slept with
an American Idol, most in the U.S. have shown little interest in or capacity
for seeking the truth. If the news isn't defined for them and then delivered
in monosyllabic or illustrated form, most Americans simply aren't interested.
I would like to believe that if they were even the slightest bit interested
and paid a modicum of attention, most Americans would be outraged at the
revelation that Bush & Co. fixed the intelligence on Iraq.
I'd like to believe that, anyway.
Clearly, however, as far as the U.S. press and the general public are concerned,
the "Iraq issue" has gone away for Bush. Just as it served as
Bush's propaganda division leading up to the invasion of Iraq, the obsequious
U.S. press now ignores the proof of Bush's lies. Just as it did before the
war, the deaf and dumb American public sits idly by, unmoved by the tens
of thousands who have died and suffered for Bush's deception.
If only the memo had a semen stain ....