Thousands of you put great effort into producing over 150 Out of Iraq town hall forums on Saturday. By all accounts they were a tremendous success.
Author and media critic Norman Solomon, mother/activist Cindy Sheehan, and actor Sean Penn, at Out of Iraq forum in Sacramento on Saturday.
Below you'll find a report on what topic seemed most to interest participants at events around the country. Hint: It starts with the letter I.
You'll also find a report of an important new story confirming the Downing Street Minutes and detailing which Americans Sir Richard Dearlove met with before he reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that the "facts were being fixed around the policy." We need your help in forcing the media to cover this new development. See the link below.
You'll also want to read the cover story from the latest issue of The Nation: The Impeachment of George W. Bush By Elizabeth Holtzman, The Nation http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/6682
Most Popular Idea at Last Weekend's Out of Iraq Events? Impeachment.
By David Swanson
Your great work put together over 150 town hall forums last Saturday on the topic of getting out of Iraq. Reports, and audio and video, from dozens of these events have been posted at www.afterdowningstreet.org. What I gather from reviewing the reports, and from the two events I attended, is that the most popular topic was not the horrors of war or any legislation to end it, but the demand to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
Given that opposition to this war has grown as exposure of the lies that launched it has advanced, going after the war-makers could turn out to be the fastest way to end the war. No doubt, it's the best way to end the war on terms that make the next war less likely to come soon. In any case, it's where the people's passion is, and at some point a democratic movement has to let that be its guide.
Of course, we've known the popularity of impeachment from polling.
But it's powerful to hear it in person in so many different voices. And it means more now that Congressman John Conyers has introduced a bill to create an investigation into grounds for impeachment, and the bill has begun to pick up cosponsors. Judging by Congress Members' remarks on Saturday, there should be some more cosponsors on the list soon.
We don't have reports from all of the events, but we know that overflow crowds were turned away in Sacramento, Chicago, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Progressive Democrats of America has summarized the day of events here:
The Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska ran this headline: "Antiwar rally reflects changing attitudes," and wrote about people's opinions shifting against the war.
READ ABOUT THE OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT FOR IMPEACHMENT:
New Book "State of War" by NY Times' James Risen Gives Vital Background to Downing Street Memo
By Jonathan Schwarz
After the Downing Street Memo was leaked last May, the U.S. and U.K. governments were eventually forced to admit it was genuine. However, they never revealed any background to the memo—most importantly, who did Richard Dearlove, head of British intelligence, meet with in Washington just before the July 23, 2002 high-level U.K. government meeting the memo memorialized? This would go a long way to answering why Dearlove believed "Military action was now seen as inevitable" and "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
State of War, the just-released book by New York Times reporter James Risen, sheds important new light on these issues. (State of War is now best known for its revelations about warrantless spying by the NSA, but it contains a great deal of other significant information.) Regarding the Downing Street Memo, the most important points made by State of War are these:
• Dearlove was in part reporting on a CIA-MI6 summit he attended with other top MI6 officials at CIA headquarters on Saturday, July 20, 2002 • According to "a former senior CIA officer," the meeting was held "at the urgent request of the British"; CIA officials believe "Blair had ordered Dearlove to go to Washington to find out what the Bush administration was really thinking about Iraq" • During the day-long summit, Dearlove met privately with CIA head George Tenet for an hour and a half
This obviously raises other questions, such as:
• What records of the meeting exist on the American side?
• Will the Senate Intelligence Committee examine the meeting as part of its Phase II Iraq intelligence investigation?
• What specifically did Dearlove and Tenet discuss when alone?
• Why has the New York Times failed to publish Risen's information about the Downing Street Memo background?
READ THE RELEVANT BOOK EXCERPTS:
TELL THE MEDIA TO REPORT THIS STORY:
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