Downing Street Update

Action Alert:

Today’s media contacts as part of the Awaken the Mainstream Media campaign are:

(A) Washington Post Ombudsman, Michael Getler. email: phone: 202-334-7582 fax: 202-334-5269

(B) USA Today Managing Editor of News, Carol Stevens. phone: 800-872-0001 or 703-854-3400 fax: 703-854-2165 email:

(C) Toledo Blade Ombudsman, Jack Lessenberry. email: phone: 419-724-6200

Good News:

Congressman Conyers is up to 145,000 signatures on his letter to President Bush. If you still haven’t signed the letter, head on over—and encourage everyone you know to show their support by signing, too.

The Big Brass Alliance is now up to over 360 members! (A reminder to members—be sure to check in daily with the BBA Forum, where we’ll continue to post Media Contacts, Action Alerts, Blogswarming Information, etc. in the Alliance News thread. And be sure to contribute your own thoughts, ideas, news tips, etc. in the open threads, from which we cull the most imperative information into the Alliance News thread for one-stop shoppers.

GOP Counterspin:

The “there’s nothing new in the Downing Street Memo” refrain is getting a little thin, so the GOP faithful are trying out a new argument, namely that the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998" [HR 4655] gave the President all the authorization he needed to invade Iraq. This is, of course, utter bullshit. To give you an idea of how resoundingly, laughably, far-fetched this assertion actually is, I’m going to reprint the entire resolution summary here so we can all take a look at for what it really provided:

Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 - Declares that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.

Authorizes the President, after notifying specified congressional committees, to provide to the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations: (1) grant assistance for radio and television broadcasting to Iraq; (2) Department of Defense (DOD) defense articles and services and military education and training (IMET); and (3) humanitarian assistance, with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals who have fled from areas under the control of the Hussein regime. Prohibits assistance to any group or organization that is engaged in military cooperation with the Hussein regime. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the President to designate: (1) one or more Iraqi democratic opposition organizations that meet specified criteria as eligible to receive assistance under this Act; and (2) additional such organizations which satisfy the President's criteria.

Urges the President to call upon the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and other criminal violations of international law.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq's transition to democracy by providing humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people and democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, including convening Iraq's foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response to the foreign debt incurred by the Hussein regime.
So, it makes regime change our official policy, but instead of saying anything about an invasion, goes on to explicitly list all the ways in which the US Government might work with Iraqi dissidents (and the United Nations), while providing humanitarian assistance during the transition to democracy. No war authorization is explicit or implicit; claims to the contrary are patently false.

(Common sense, it should be pointed out, would also suggest that if the resolution had actually provided Bush with the authorization to invade Iraq, he wouldn’t have sought additional Congressional approval. Duh.)

So keep your eyes peeled for the spin machine doing its magic, and get yourself well-versed in what the resolution actually says, because we’re all going to need to know. (Also visit the Democratic Underground for a discussion of possible responses.)

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus