"I suspect the more interesting story at this point, seeing it three weeks later, is who is behind the letter-writing campaign to push it in the media."Red State Blog:
Several popular left-leaning blogs have taken up the cause to keep the story alive, encouraging readers to contact media outlets. A Web site, DowningStreetMemo.com, tells readers to contact the White House directly with complaints.
"This is a test of the left-wing blogosphere," said Jim Pinkerton, syndicated columnist and regular contributor to FOX News Watch, who pointed out that The Sunday Times article came out just before the British election and apparently had little effect on voters' decisions.
"In many ways that memo might prove all of the arguments the critics of the war have made," he added. "But the bulk of Americans don't agree, or don't seem that alarmed, so it is a power test to see if they can drive it back on the agenda."
After a long series of breathless pontifications from our friends on the left that the Downing Street Memo would provide the political impetus for impeachment proceedings against President Bush, a new memo has surfaced which detonates the claim that the decision to go to war was already made at the time the DSM was jotted down, and that pre-war intelligence was doctored to fit the already-crafted political decision of the Bush administration.National Review:
When the NYTimes starts tolling the bell for your conspiracy theory, it's probably time to let go. Will the far left actually let go? You'd have to ask Jeff Gannon.
Dearlove's comments include the intriguing passage noted above, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." To the president's critics, the meaning is clear; the WMD intelligence was being faked to support the rationale for intervention.Wiz Bang Blog:
This passage needs some clarification. Maybe Rycroft or Dearlove could elaborate; by "fixed around" did they mean that intelligence was being falsified or that intelligence and information were being gathered to support the policy? There is nothing wrong with the latter it is the purpose of the intelligence community to provide the information decision-makers need, and the marshal their resources accordingly.
The section of the memo dealing with strategic planning, yes, that was worth keeping close hold on. But the speculations about the inner workings of the American government? Sounds like the same things one could have heard on any newscast. Looking at the document in context it is hard to see what the commotion is about. Most of what might be thought sensational has already been written about elsewhere, to little fanfare. The charge of intelligence fraud (if it is such a charge) has already been investigated and found baseless. And the allegations that the president had already decided to go to war and was thus deceiving the American people are personal opinions based on unsubstantiated impressions from unnamed sources.
The lying to Congress charges ignore the fact that the United States has been, in essence, at war with Iraq since the end of the first Gulf War. Military patrols of the "No Fly Zones" in Iraq had been ongoing for more than a decade with occasional flare-ups. If radar, missile systems, or hostile aircraft were detected they were destroyed. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations would have been derelict in their duties had they not planned for
Can you imagine the howls of the left if Saddam had been assassinated and the country plunged into genocidal civil war? They'd be blaming the President for failing to take action to stop destabilization of the Middle East. Frankly I'd be a little more impressed with the left had that scenario come to pass; at least they'd be staying true to Democrats traditional support for exporting freedom and ending the reign of oppressive, tyrannical despots.
We have gained a lot of yardage in the last few weeks... let's not fumble the ball in the end zone.