Thursday, June 09, 2005

Another Reason to Like John Conyers 

What do Watergate and the Downing Street Minutes have in common? Let our esteemed colleague Glen of A Brooklyn Bridge tell you about it.

And when you're finished, read John Conyers's BuzzFlash interview:
John Conyers, Jr.: Exactly, what you’re saying indicates that the more we look around, the more we investigate and research, and the more information that comes forward, it all supports the declassified British intelligence document that was the subject of at least two articles in the Times of London. And now more and more begins to come out as we think about it, as we review, as we think about what happened to weapons inspectors and the jeopardy that one of the wives – a CIA operative was put in – that as O’Neill said himself, everybody in the top circles of the Bush Administration knew that we were going to go to war with Iraq. It was just a matter of time.

BuzzFlash: And meanwhile the President continued to adamantly insist that he had made no decision, and that he was open-minded. But we learned also another piece of the puzzle this weekend – that the nominee to be the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, had someone fired in the U.N. who was trying to ensure Iraqi compliance with the chemical weapons accord. And Bolton had him fired because he was trying to avoid, in essence, a war.

John Conyers, Jr.: Yes, the Bolton aspect of this is another new piece of evidence that is coming out. So what are we going to do about it?

BuzzFlash: Can I ask you one more question before we get to that? You have called another article in the Times of London "the smoking bullet in the smoking gun." And that was an article which indicated that in 2002, British and United States flew planes over the no-fly zone and in other areas in an attempt not just to enforce the no-fly zone, but to actually degrade the radar of Saddam Hussein and to intentionally provoke him into a response to precipitate a war.

John Conyers, Jr.: Yes, it was clear that these bombings were intensified after May, way before the United States resolution gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August of 2002, these raids had become a full-fledged air offensive. And they doubled the rate of bombings that were dropped on Iraq in the beginning, hoping that Saddam Hussein would be provoked into giving the United States and its allies an excuse for war.
Rep. Conyers's letter to the President demanding an explanation of the Downing Street Minutes now has 160,000 signatures. If yours is not yet among them, you can add it here.

UPDATE (via our distinguished colleague Melissa at Shakespeare's Sister): In a Daily Kos diary, Rep. Conyers announced that:
[O]n Thursday, a week from today, I will be holding a hearing with my Democratic colleagues to begin to hear evidence about the DSM. We will have a number of witnesses, including Joe Wilson, who frequent readers here already know is a WMD expert and former Ambassador; Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA analyst; Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq; and John Bonifaz, a renowned Constitutional attorney. At the conclusion of the hearing, we will go to Lafayette Park and I will personally deliver your signatures to the White House.

This hearing is just one step in an investigation that I am commencing that will literally span the Atlantic. I am in touch with British officials and former U.S. intelligence officials and I am determined to get to the truth.

At the hearing, I will disclose information found to date, which includes the public release of newly discovered documents. While none of these documents are as damning as the DSM, they nonetheless bolster the accuracy of it.
Conyers also reports that, thanks to a boost from MoveOn.org, his letter now has 300,000 signatories.

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