Saturday, May 28, 2005

Signatures needed on a letter to Bush

Rep. John Conyers is one of the representatives who recently sent a letter to Bush asking him to explain the leaked UK memo that states the US administration was on a course for war with Iraq long before they publicly said they were. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has not responded to the congressional letter, and so now Rep. Conyers is asking for people to sign a letter to Bush, imploring him to respond to the memo. Rep. Conyers is hoping to get more than 100,000 signatures before delivering the letter to the White House.

Rep. Conyers has posted about this in his blog, the homepage of his website has an open letter asking for assistance, and he has also posted the full text of the letter he wants people to sign here.

Why are Rep. Conyers and other people concerned about this memo? Rep. Conyers explains on his blog:
"First, the memo appears to directly contradict the Administration's assertions to Congress and the American people that it would exhaust all options before going to war. According to the minutes, in July 2002, the Administration had already decided to go to war against Iraq.

"Second, a debate has raged in the United States over the last year and one half about whether the obviously flawed intelligence that falsely stated that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction was a mere "failure" or the result of intentional manipulation to reach foreordained conclusions supporting the case for war. The memo appears to close the case on that issue stating that in the United States the intelligence and facts were being "fixed" around the decision to go to war.

"These are not routine questions within a partisan give and take. Under the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8), the Congress has the sole power to declare war. If the Executive Branch deceives the Congress in this duty, it represents an attack of our democracy of the most serious nature. These Constitutional questions are not going away and must be answered forthrightly and completely by this Administration.

"I and 88 of my colleagues (that number is growing - more on that soon) asked the Administration to come clean about these troubling allegations. Our inquiries have been met with silence.

"The press has also been negligent in giving this matter the attention it deserves.

"I am committed to seeing this through until we get the answers we deserve. But I need your help.

"The conventional wisdom, which unfortunately governs Washington's political discourse, hold that the American people have long ago made peace with the mistakes or deceptions which led us into war. Help me prove them all wrong. I want to show the White House, the Press and my congressional colleagues that nothing could be further from the truth.

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