'we don't have a policy of torture'...,
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why should anybody care about british colliquialisms:
Michael Smith, the London Times reporter who originally published the leaked Downing Street Memos:
This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed and as for the reports that said this was one British official. Pleeeaaassee! This was the head of MI6. How much authority do you want the man to have? He has just been to Washington, he has just talked to George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq. Fixed means the same here as it does there.
It was a strange defense either way, if intelligence was being "framed", say, around the policy it would still mean that Bush was repeatedly lying to congress, the nation, and the world about the intelligence and his use of it. Policy is supposed to be framed around intelligence, if the memo said "policy was being fixed to meet the intelligence" that would be entirely laudible, like fixing a fence. Say, if the inability of UN weapons inspectors to find any war-justifying violations even after recieving the "rock solid" American intelligence on WMD stockpiles, and policy was then fixed around this new, ongoing intelligence to avoid an unnecessary invasion and examine peaceful alternatives. That's the sort of thing one would be lead to expect from Bush's own public statements, contrarywise his orderlies' statements that even if Saddam took exile we'd invade anyway.
No matter how you interpreted "fixed" it's high level confirmation of what was understood long before the war, if only by those who were paying close attention: that the US and UK were looking for war, not for peace, and that having failed to create a legal pretext they went to war anyway, committing a crime against peace.
If an unemployed college dropout could pick out a handful of outright lies or omissions in the 2003 State of the Union address just by looking up the relevant UNMOVIC report from four years earlier what the hell were the "professional journalists" doing? People are asking where the nation's editorial boards are on the Downing Street Memo. They're probably wondering where the fuck they were before the war, too.
I didn't even spend much time on this on my blog - the "intelligence" was more than adequatedly ripped apart by the resources dragged out from back pages and foreign papers collated by the kids at Stand Down - but just looking through my own pre-war archives you get lies, lies,
starting the war long before the invasion,
misdirections, equivocations, plagiarisms, mischaracterizations,
lies, hypocrasies, and perfectly clear public statements that we would invade regardless of what Iraq did or did not do months before the war, contrary to public statements by Bush all the while that he was seeking a peaceful resolution, that war was the "last option".
All of this was buried by the editorial boards of American media just like the Downing Street Memo was buried. They were far too busy trying to help the administration justify the war by printing front pages filled with re-fried intelligence. It's still the case that any time anybody says "liar" on the broadcast cable networks they get chewed out, like it's some sort of unholy libel to state what was plainly a defensible and fair position before the war. It's their job to help hold public officials to account. We're now getting talking heads who turn around and ask why Americans suddenly care so much when nothing particularly new was revealed by the memos. Maybe because it's news to them? Maybe because they keep being told it was all the intelligence community's fault? All heads nod sagely whenever that one gets tossed around. Having relentlessly failed us in the past there would be no time for our leaders to succeed like in the present.