Now that Deep Throat has been outed as FBI second-story man Mark Felt, some Sixties Dead Enders (SDE) want to relive “the horror…the horror” (as an actor with an eating disorder said in Apocalypse Now) of that era and have it happen all over again. John Kerry wants the Senate to investigate the Downing Street Memo which SDE believe can get Bush 43 impeached – just like Nixon – just like in the good old days! (WP)
Iraq war news remains a big deal around the bird’s nest here at Quillnews; when Kerry started talking a smoking gun “Downing Street Memo” I paid attention. In anticipation of UK’s Tony Blair visit to DC this week, the weekend chat shows were in full food fight about how Blair’s re-election, the July G-8 Summit in Scotland, African debt relief, Edinburgh demonstrators, Iraq and the Global War on Terrorism were nothing compared to the buzz about the explosive revelations in the Downing Street Memo. Lefties had a website and online petition and letter drive and everything… Kerry wants Bush 43 impeached. But a quick look see saw that cooler heads have been onto this for a while. WP, Fox are on top of it; NRO nails it here.
Knowing the MSM’s SDE need for the “Bush 43 lied about WMD...the Iraq war is a disaster based on a lie...it’s all just another Vietnam” narrative, I also checked on my own notes taken when I was a back-bencher in the oil industry's lobby corps in DC in the period before and after Sept 11. My job in DC required among other things that I submit “political risk assessments” periodically to my management in London, Houston and Melbourne. My company, being in the oil business, quite naturally wanted to get at the oil in Iran, Iraq and the rest of the Middle East as soon as it could. It hired guys like me to pay attention to the political facts of life in DC where opinions on such things mean go or no-go on oil projects. Oil projects the world demands cost billions, last for decades and are one of the world’s prime engines of economic development, including tax revenues for governments and profits for investors, who also are governments and who all want to keep the money coming. This is the global oil industry and – despite the mythological narrative told in the MSM and populist political culture – it is quite open and transparent to its participants, to government ministries, to legislative and executive branches and to anyone who pays attention. (O&GJ) Everybody knows everything. And in 2002 what everyone knew was that Saddam was an international outlaw, leader of a terrorist state, fired regularly on American pilots, and was bribing or threatening others into cooperation. He had defied UN demands for a dozen years. Everybody’s best judgment figured he had nuclear and chemical weapons, or would soon have them soon and that he would use them. He already had. As a result, everyone expected that war would be waged to rid Iraq of Saddam.
Given this background, I looked through my notes of the various meetings, luncheons and seminars I attended in DC with others in industry during this same period to see what the buzz about the Downing Street Memo was about. It seems that the smoking gun memo Kerry wants the Senate to investigate deals with a Tony Blair cabinet meeting July 23, 2002 in which a staff note taker wrote summary minutes about what was said. An individual identified as C (Richard Dearlove Head of MI-6) gave others at the cabinet meeting a report on his recent talks in Washington. Said the memo:
“There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
This of course reflects the reality I had observed during this period in DC as well, and which were reflected in the political risk assessments I sent to my management. I'd like to say that my judgments were unique, but they weren't. Others would tell their managements and clients the same thing. It was also reflected in the contemporary commentary in the public press at the time, as well as in all public and private documents, public and private conversations in DC. These sentiments expressed in the Downing Street Memo were the conventional wisdom of the time, which a Senate investigation will discover quickly by reading its own records of statements, testimony, speeches and press releases.
The “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” comment merely describes the bureaucratic realities for all staff and policy directors who were charged with getting legal arguments down in a logical order so that they could be used with allies and at the UN in an open and transparent political process to secure cooperation for joint action against Iraq. Every professional observer of the environment in DC in 2002 had concluded that military action would occur. Duh. I mean, hello! In the wake of the Sept 11 attack, national security required the US as the world’s sole power with the ability to act with force to do so. Bush 43 et al wanted to 1) prevent another attack by jihadists and root out their camps in Afghanistan, 2) stop jihadists state enablers (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan et al) from giving them aide and comfort and 3) adjust future actions step by step over time until the threat was eliminated. Some states would go along with the US voluntarily (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan). Some would give the US lip service of cooperation (Iran, Syria) and be dealt with on an ad hoc basis as the situation developed. The ruler of the one state – Iraq – that aided terrorists openly, cheerfully, eagerly, which had invaded its neighbors, used WMD, and which had been defying the UN for a dozen years about its weapons of mass destruction program would be taken out.
This reality was widely assumed in government within days of the Sept 11 attack, but not widely reported or understood because sincere anti-war activists, Bush’s domestic political opponents and their MSM enablers didn’t tell it. This bias in the public debate would eventually enable Bush 43 opponents and anti-American forces world-wide to wage a long-term propaganda campaign to discredit Bush, both as a political candidate and as the leader of a people at war, and to discredit the war undertaken to defend freedom. Quillnews got into business to counter this anti-war disinformation campaign. I also wrote about a book about it: Just Business Just War. This is an account of what I observed in the oil industry during the post-Cold War period though the aftermath of Sept 11. The period covered in the Downing Street Memo is discussed in detail. I’d be happy to send a copy to Senator Kerry’s office free. No problem. The Senate can save some time and money on the investigation. Quillnews suggestion to assignment editors in the MSM:
- The oath in Article II, Section I of the US Constitution requires the president to recite the following: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
- Given this responsibility and the realities flowing from the Sept 11 attack, instead of telling stories about how Bush 43 should be investigated for impeachment because he took the country to war against Iraq “under false pretenses” why not investigate the even more certain reality that any president facing the conditions known in 2002 would have been impeached had he failed to wage war against Saddam and forcefully confront terrorist state enablers?
- Would Saudi Arabia be "cooperating" today to reform its own rickety state and twisted religious teachings had the US failed to act against Iraq?