6/03/2005

From Downing Street to Deep Throat

The Downing Street memo has received scant coverage in the U.S. media since its May 1 release, yet the criminal implications for a sitting president make Watergate seem like a school-boy prank by comparison.

The Downing Street memo is the official minutes of an August 2002 meeting between British PM Tony Blair, members of British intelligence MI-6 and various members of the Bush administration. The memo reveals that the Bush administration fixed the facts to shape its Iraq policy before going to war and in so doing deceived Congress and the American people. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died, nearly 1700 GIs have died, and thousands of brave, dutiful troops have been wounded or permanently maimed as a result of this horrific lie foisted upon the public by the Bush administration.

More than a month has passed since the memo has been released and few media outlets have mentioned it, let alone investigated it. Could it be that they are protecting the president?

Now, of course, we have Mark Felt, the notorious "Deep Throat," the person who confirmed the validity of information for Woodward and Bernstein after the Watergate break-ins (a small part of a much larger Counter Intelligence Program -- COINTELPRO -- against a number of progressive organizations, political parties and antiwar groups). Mark Felt was very much a part of COINTELPRO. He was convicted, and later pardoned by President Reagan, for illegal domestic spying on the antiwar Weather Underground. Also during the 1970s, Felt directed the violent FBI campaign against the American Indian Movement during the Wounded Knee standoff in 1975, after which Leonard Peltier was framed and imprisoned for the murder of two FBI agents even though the FBI has since admitted it does not know who actually killed the agents. (If anyone can provide more info. on Felt's relationship with AIM during this period, please email me or respond to this article.)

The media are portraying Felt as either a hero or a goat for his role as a whistleblower during the Watergate affair. Some commentators go so far as to say that Felt "brought Nixon down," when, if fact, it was Nixon's own criminal activities that brought him down, not Felt. There has been little mention of the illegal spying and wiretapping that the FBI was involved in during that period or what lessons we can learn today as the PATRIOT ACT takes over where COINTELPRO left off. If Felt is deserving of recognition -- and I believe he does deserve credit for speaking with the press, even if he just confirmed information as opposed to providing it -- maybe his recent "coming out" will spark more discussion of our constitutional rights and will inspire others in the Bush administration to grow a spine and speak truth to power. That should be some consolation for his family.

2 comments:

  1. I don't know about the media trying to cover up for Bush. It's more a matter of Rove's knowing how to strike back with enough force to send the media away with its tail between its legs.

    One thing we have to overcome is the viciousness of Rove and cabal.

    We have to make our minds up to move forward with whatever it is we know and, if we have skeletons in our closets, we just have to accept them and let Rove use them all he wants. If they're true, we can admit to them. It's sort of like fighting an enemy that's not afraid to kill himself to kill some of us. What do you do?

    So far, Rather had to apologize, even though the content of his piece was basically true, Newsweek retracted its article because of the same kind of technicality concerning its sources.

    J., Bush doesn't play by any rules, yet when someone points out a "misstep" by Bush or his administration, the administration goes running for the rulebook. My opinion about that? Screw them! This is a case where fighting fire with fire is appropriate.

    Rather should have stuck by his report, no matter what they discovered about his sources. Newsweek should have stood by its article and let Bush try to disprove the validity of their claims.

    In addition to the media being consolidated into Bush supporting corporations, this administration has the mainstream media scared to death.

    Bush can't ruin anyone unless they allow him to. The more courage that a mainstream media reporter exhibits, the more support that reporter will receive.

    The only reason that people turn against sources like Rather or Newsweek is because they're so quick to give up. They almost admit to whatever it is they're accused of by giving up without a fight.

    Walter Cronkite didn't care what it would do to his career when he spoke out against the Vietnam war in one of his nightly reports. He spoke the truth and it helped bring the war to an end.

    We need to keep putting pressure on the mainstream media as well as on our representatives in congress.

    The blogosphere needs to continue to strengthen its position as a government/mainstream media watch dog.

    So, keep on writing, J. I know it's frustrating sometimes when people don't read and/or respond to your writing (believe me, do I know it).

    Nonetheless, just as I happened onto your blog, others may do the same. And you will become another source for the truth.

    We know that Bush supporters don't use facts when they debate. We know they use name calling and disparagement. Witness the sophomoric op ed piece by Dana Milbank in The Washington Post.

    I worked for a guy who said "In God we trust, everyone else bring data."

    Well, forgetting the fact that I don't "trust" in a god, I understood what he meant.

    Facts will ultimately trump infantile babbling every time.

    The neocons must be feeling that their "15 minutes" are almost up. Don't let them back up off the mat.

    To friendship,
    Michael

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  2. A Republican attack dog like Rove would certainly have gone for the kill no matter who gets hurt, but I chose a more compassionate path out of consideration for Felt's family.

    Maybe I worked in nursing too long. I do not know if you have ever been around anyone with Alzheimer's disease, but it is a devastating illness and takes its toll on all family members. I refuse to add to their burden by an all-out attack at the expense of an ill family member.

    I know that compassion isn't very Rove-esque of me, Michael, but I also know that the neocons are going to topple from the weight of their own lies and dirty deeds. I would rather take the moral high road so there is no question about what separates this radical leftist from them.

    Peace, Jamie

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