Friday, June 17, 2005

Re-Hashing Old Debates 

If you were looking for evidence that the NYTimes covered the hearing on the Downing Street Memo yesterday, it was hard to find. In fact, they did have a story below the fold of the website, under the head "Antiwar Group Says Leaked British Memo Shows Bush Misled Public on His War Plans", which made it sound as if no government officials were involved at all. Though God knows, the reactionary-controlled House did its best to marginalize the entire procedure, as Knight Ridder notes:
"A hearing Thursday on a secret British intelligence memo that said President Bush was committed to waging war on Iraq months before he said so publicly ended with a request for Congress to open an inquiry into whether Bush should be impeached for misleading the nation...

Thursday's hearing on the memo was organized by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
It was held in a cramped Capitol basement room and was attended by about 20 House Democrats and some anti-war activists. Republicans, who control Congress, refused to hold an official hearing or to participate, so Conyers termed it a "forum."
Among the attendees were Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq, Joe Wilson (beloved husband of Valerie Plame), and former CIA analyst and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity Ray McGovern

Among the House representatives were Charles Rangel, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters, who also announced the formation of the "Out of Iraq" caucus she would head. (Why does it seem only African-Americans are willing to stick their heads up and speak out on these anti-war issues?)

Following up afterward on the petitions and letter he had started, Conyers thoughtfully delivered them right to the crime scene:
"Conyers delivered petitions signed by 105 members of Congress and some 540,000 signatures sent via e-mail to a security gate at the White House early Thursday evening. The petitions urged Bush to thoroughly answer questions about the memo. MoveOn Pac helped Conyers collect the signatures."
Later, Scott McClellan was on hand to help the American people forget all that pointless old news:
"Asked about Mr. Conyers's letter and the British memo, Scott McClellan, the president's chief spokesman, described the congressman as "an individual who voted against the war in the first place and is simply trying to rehash old debates that have already been addressed."
"And our focus is not on the past," Mr. McClellan said. "It's on the future and working to make sure we succeed in Iraq.""
Our focus is on the future! No wonder Gore Vidal calls us the United States of Amnesia. A philosophy like that permits anything, because anything can be forgotten.

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