Monday, August 22, 2005

My First Foray into "Blog Journalism"

I consider myself a very minor hub in the world-wide information network. I have subscribed to a few news e-mail lists (NYTimes, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Economist. . .wish I had more conservative sources) and some activist lists (MoveOn, PDA, Brookline Peace Works, True Majority, the Thomas More Society, City of Utopia. . .again, wish I had more conservative sources, even though I've read something a little more reactionary on the City of Utopia list) that I read and, if still relevant (I'm really about three or four months behind on it, like in my Daily Show watching), I send out on my "news feed" list that you can subscribe by e-mailing to: newstothe_lex-subscribe@topica.com or registering onto the topica mailing lists at http://lists.topica.com then sign onto the newstothe_lex list. Unfortunately, I am so behind that I don't pay much attention to the "mainstream" sources at the moment and only forward the presently relevant non-mainstream sources.

Anyway. . .through my e-mail and World-Wide Web activism, I signed a petition and sent an e-mail to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Representative for MIddlesex County Barney Frank about my opinion on the current war on Iraq some time ago. In response, someone on his staff sent me a press release with some interesting information. The said press release included a letter to the President written on May 5, 2005, signed by himself and three other politicians who I can't read their signatures, wih the following bits of text:

"We write because of trouble revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously disimissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained 'nothing new.' If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.

"The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government [cited attached document: "Secret and strictly personal -- UK eyes only," July 23, 2002]. Among other things, the document revealed:

"- Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush's plans for invading Iraq.

"- British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged that the case for war was 'thin' as 'Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran.'

"- A separate secret briefing for the meeting said that Britain and America had to 'create' conditions to justify a war [cited document: Michael Smith, "Blair Hit By New Leak of Secret War Plan," The Sunday Times-Britain, May 1, 2005.].

"- A British official '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 conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.'

[. . .]

"We have of course known for some time that subsequent to the invasion there have been a variety of 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.

[. . .]"

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