House Judiciary to Hold Hearings on ‘Downing Street Memo’

June 10th, 2005 - by admin

John Byrne / Raw Story – 2005-06-10 23:18:37

(June 9, 2005) — The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled hearings on the 2002 minutes between senior British and American officials which asserted that intelligence was “being fixed” to support the case for war in Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

The hearings, which will be held next Thursday, will bring renewed attention to what is being called the “Downing Street memo,” actually official minutes of a secret 2002 meeting.

Conyers office has revealed that they will introduce new documents that corroborate the Downing Street Memo at the hearings June 16.

“We expect to release new documents that corroborate the Downing Street memo,” a Judiciary aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RAW STORY Thursday afternoon. “None of the documents are as earth-shattering as the Downing Street minutes but all of them corroborate the accuracy of what it says.”

Among those scheduled to testify are
• Joe Wilson, former ambassador and weapons of mass destruction expert;
• Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA analyst, used to do presidential daily briefings for Ronald Reagan;
• Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost her son in Iraq combat; and
• John Bonifaz, the Boston constitutional lawyer who has called for a resolution of inquiry into what he sees as impeachable offenses in the president’s false pretenses for war.

The Democratic Judiciary staffer said the overwhelming online response to Conyers’ push on the Downing Minutes has further proven that pressure on issues can be built outside the mainstream press.

“We learned a lesson from the Ohio election investigation that frankly a lot of people on Capitol Hill haven’t learned, is that you can’t rely on mainstream media to be your validation as to whether you’re doing the right thing,” the aide quipped. “When you talk straight to the people, if you’re doing the right thing, they’ll let you know.”

“So much politics in this town is people putting out press releases, waiting to see if the press covers it, and if the press doesn’t cover it, then they move on,” the aide added.

Others are also expected to speak at the hearings. The aide said that other Democrats have expressed interest, including Reps. Barbara Lee (R-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and John Lewis (D-GA).

The following formal advisory was issued this evening:
MEDIA ADVISORY Congressman John Conyers, Jr. to Hold Democratic Hearing on Downing Street Memo and Lead-up to Iraq War

Hon. John COnyers, Michigan, 14th District, Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Dean, Congressional Black Caucus

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday June 16, 2005, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of House Judiciary Committee, and other Democratic Members will hold a Democratic hearing to hear testimony concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the efforts to cook the books on pre-war intelligence.

On May 1, 2005 a Sunday London Times article disclosed the details of a classified memo, also known as the Downing Street Minutes, recounting the minutes of a July 2002 meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair that describes an American President already committed to going to war in the summer of 2002, despite contrary assertions to the public and the Congress.

The minutes also describe apparent efforts by the Administration to manipulate intelligence data to justify the war. The June 16th hearing will attempt to answer the serious constitutional questions raised by these revelations and will further investigate the Administration’s actions in the lead up to war with new documents that further corroborate the Downing Street memo.

Directly following the hearing, Rep. Conyers, Members of Congress, and concerned citizens plan to hand deliver to the White House the petition and signatures of over a half million Americans that have joined Rep. Conyers in demanding that President Bush answer questions about his secret plan for the Iraq war.

WHAT: Democratic hearing on Downing Street Minutes and Pre-war intelligence

WHEN: Thursday, June 16, 2005, Time TBD

WHERE: Location TBD

WITNESSES: Joe Wilson, Former Ambassador and WMD Expert Ray McGovern, 27-year CIA analyst who prepared regular Presidential briefings during the Reagan administration Cindy Sheehan, mother of fallen American soldier John Bonifaz, renowned constitutional lawyer