Thursday, May 19

Downing Memo on Blitzer

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White House Press Secretary Scott McClennan was finally asked about the Downing Street Memo, and his response that he hadn't seen it - but "it's flat out wrong".

Not particularly surprising - but it has prompted a bit of reaction by the Mainstream Media. CNN's Wolf Blizter did a report where he talked to John Conyers about the memo, as well as Sen John McCain who staunchly supports the President stating "I do not believe that the Bush Adminstration decided to set up a scenario that gave us the rationale [to go to War with Iraq]".

Blitzer's report further states that McCain was part of a bipartisan investigation of the intelligence that found the U.S. WMD information was wrong, but not "doctored".

The problem with this claim is that the report they are most likely referring too, assuming of course it is the same "Presidential Commission" that included Sen. McCain, did not even address that issue. In CNN's own original report on the findings of that panel it is stated that: analyst were "too wedded" to assumptions about Saddam Hussein's intentions, but the question of whether analysts were pressured by the administration to lean forward with negative assumptions about Hussein were not part of the scope of the panel, and were originally scheduled to be addressed in a future panel - which as yet, has not occured and has not been scheduled to occur.

The CNN original report continued:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid faulted the report for failing to address "our national security policy-making process."

"I believe it is essential that we hold both the intelligence agencies and senior policy-makers accountable," the Nevada Democrat said.

Reid called on the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, "to investigate whether Bush administration officials misused intelligence."

However, even in the original report, CNN didn't include the following from Senator Reid's Press Release on the subject:

Last year, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee committed to investigate whether Bush Administration officials misused intelligence. The failure of the report issued today to examine this important issue only serves to increase the need for the chairman to keep that commitment.”


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