Downing Street Memo: Questions for Rumsfeld

In addition to the letter he, along with 88 members of Congress, sent to President Bush (which, if you still haven’t signed, please go here to do so), Representative John Conyers yesterday also sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, questioning him about US military air attacks prior to the war in "an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war." BradBlog reports:
This latest information on the covert way in which the Bush Administration may have pushed the world towards war is based on a new report from Rupert Murdoch's London Times which reported over the weekend that "despite the lack of an Iraqi reaction, the air war began anyway in September [of 2002] with a 100-plane raid."

In fact, the original Downing Street Memo/Minutes mention that "The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime."
That the US was allegedly taunting Saddam Hussein into war is, of course, quite different than what was reported to the American people by this administration (she said with all due restraint). Just as Conyers laid out specific questions in his letter to Bush that were raised by the Downing Street Memo, he does the same for Rumsfeld:

"Did the RAF and the United States military increase the rate that they were dropping bombs in Iraq in 2002? If so, what was the extent and timing of the increase?

What was the justification for any such increase in the rate of bombing in Iraq at this time? Was this justification reviewed by legal authorities in the U.S.?

To the best of your knowledge, was there any agreement with any representative of the British government to engage in military action in Iraq before authority was sought from the Congress or the U.N.? If so, what was the nature of the agreement?"

Conyers and the other 88 members of Congress have yet to receive a response from either the White House or the Pentagon in regard to their questions.

BradBlog’s got the entire text of Conyer’s letter; I encourage you to read it. It will hearten you to know there’s someone who’s tenaciously pursuing the truth on behalf of us all.

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