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Creating Reasons to Go to War
Congressman John Conyers, Daily Kos

Mon May 2nd, 2005

Posted on Daily Kos

Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a "runaway bride" to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers. The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so.

The Times reports, based on a newly discovered document < http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1593607,00.html
>, that in 2002 British Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a meeting in which he expressed his support for "regime change" through the use of force in Iraq and was warned by the nation's top lawyer that such an action would be illegal. Blair also discussed the need for America to "create" conditions to justify the war.

The document itself is revealing as it indicates that "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 is the British government proclaiming foreknowledge of the manipulation of intelligence many of us have alleged for some time.

It also quotes the British Foreign Secretary as stating about the case for war: "the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force."

This should not be allowed to fall down the memory hole during wall-to-wall coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and a runaway bride. To prevent that from occuring, I am circulating the following letter among my House colleagues and asking them to sign on to it:

May ___, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained "nothing new." If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.

The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government. Among other things, the document revealed:

* Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush's plans for invading Iraq.

* British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged that the case for war was "thin" as "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran."

* A separate secret briefing for the meeting said that Britain and America had to "create" conditions to justify a war.

* A British official "reported on his recent talks in Washington. 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."

As a result of this recent disclosure, we would like to know the following:

1) Do you or anyone in your Administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?

2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?

3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?

4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?

5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?

We have of course known for some time that subsequent to the invasion there have been a variety of varying reasons proffered to justify the invasion, particularly since the time it became evident that weapons of mass destruction would not be found. This leaked document - essentially acknowledged by the Blair government - is the first confirmation that the rationales were shifting well before the invasion as well.

Given the importance of this matter, we would ask that you respond to this inquiry as promptly as possible. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Congressman John Conyers, Jr

669 Federal Building
231 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-5670
(313) 226-2085 Fax

http://www.house.gov/conyers


Republic or Empire? One Domestic Consequence of Bush’s Global Agenda.

Artist: James Sharland Adams


Craig B Hulet?

There are foreseeable consequences to both foreign and domestic policies of every government; often the one drives the other. The Bush Administration has a new corporate agenda that calls for corporations to eliminate time-and-a-half for overtime pay and the blending of part-time low wage hourly staff with full-time low salaried staff. If paid above the $22,100 line they would have to work overtime free. The law, about 80% of the workforce, covers almost 110 million workers. If you make under $22,100 a year you are entitled to overtime pay, but companies could decide to boost salaries above the cap to avoid paying overtime. This would signal the end of the 40-hour week as we have known it and workers could work 41 to 90 hours a week on a basic salary. The magnitude of this financial boon to corporations from the simple elimination of worker protections in areas of wage and hours is staggering.

This is a move back into the sweatshops of the early 1900s. This is why labor unions began in the first place. This, of course, is being implemented in the name of war and terrorism. Of course, your media hasn’t told you about it. That would be unpatriotic. It is the legal duty of the free and controlled corporate media, the free press it is called, to save human resource costs and maximizing the bottom line. They are as corporatized as GE or Boeing. We ask where are the labor unions? Why haven’t they addressed this issue? These regulations apply to a real world where private litigation is prohibitively expensive for individual workers, and meaningful government oversight for employees no longer exists.

This author has been self-employed his entire life; yet supports the unions in the face of Corporatism’s known past. It is suspected that this monstrosity will be phased in during peak times around holidays and while taking inventory. It is a real possibility you’d work 11 hours a day at regular wages. During war, which is now perpetual, as we will all see soon enough, you could easily work 16 hours a day due to emergency conditions and to support the troops. (Which has become a sick and slick euphemism for supporting war without having to admit you never gave a damn about the troops, never served yourself, now or in the past, but “hurrah for war” because of low self-esteem and self-loathing: i.e., many are just cowards that clamor to support the troops)

That these hourly wage alterations might entail barracks living and cafeterias would be a sad form of justice to the civilian workers clamoring for more wars. You would pay for room and board and meals. It is argued that the initial cost of the implementation of this program to employers would be $1 billion for changes and overall costs would be $2 billion. This would be offset by fewer lawsuits. Industries most affected would be construction, retail, health care, business services and personal services. This is George Bush’s answer to depression? Work the people harder for less money and fatten the corporate bottom line through bailouts and juicy contracts in war torn countries. Torn by wars that are illegal and now criminal as they speak of pipelines from Iraq to Israel!


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