Sunday, June 19, 2005
Downing Street Memo Updates
Recent (excellent) email I received from Shakespeare's Sister:
Wow - so much is happening, I don't even know where to begin! This is a long dispatch, but I tried to condense it as much as possible while still including the most important information we should all know.
Let me start by giving us all a collective pat on the back, because we are making a difference. That Colored Fella emailed me to let me know the Big Brass Alliance had been mentioned on MSNBC, and Matt of Tattered Coat pointed me in the direction of One Woman Wrecking Crew's report on the mention:
"His smile of satisfaction was unmistakable as Ron Reagan Jr. covered the “Downing Street Minutes” and the Conyers hearing on the popular MSNBC show Connected. The Big Brass Alliance blogs were also credited for bringing the DSM to the attention of the mainstream media by Tony’s Tab, the noted blog analyst. The DSM blog swarm was represented with an impressive chart, that went, well, off the charts! The Big Brass Alliance website was also displayed."
Tony’s Tabs reports:
“On May 30, a blogswarm was formed. For those of you who might be less techie hip that means that many blogs got together on an issue and formed a new blog called "Big Brass Alliance." Their icon is a big set of brass balls. Funny. This blog is a conglomerate of almost 500 other blogs and collectively they support the After Downing Street Alliance in their efforts to get MSM attention for the Memo, as well as a congressional inquiry. Their ultimate goal is impeachment proceedings for President Bush. It has since gotten an increasing amount of play in the press, and as of yesterday Rep. John Conyers has a forum underway on the Hill, a begin to the process of discovery on the issue. Again, this is my cobbled together history, but I think it is relatively accurate. More than the nuts and bolts of dates and specific blogs, it illustrates the powerful potential of the Internet to expose the stories MSM has missed, ignored, or simply gotten wrong. And I want to stress my feeling that, coupled with the Rathergate scandal, this shows interesting potential for a checks and balances system that calls crap what it is, whether it's blue or red.”
Also, the Associated Press is suddenly all over the Downing Street Documents:
Memos: Postwar Iraq a Concern in Britain
U.S. War Plans Much-Discussed in Memos
2002 Memos Undercut British WMD Claims
Redford Says He Linked Deep Throat to FBI
(The last one includes Redford’s comments on the Downing Street Memo.)
Of course I’d prefer to see these stories on a WEEKDAY, but at least it’s a bloody start!
Paul the Spud has also posted on FAIR’s coverage of the media’s attempt to justify their lack of coverage on the Downing Street Memo: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2005/06/media-justification-read-lots-o.html
1. The big story that we need to blogswarm on Monday comes from the Independent: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=647397, which reveals that the US has used napalm-type firebombs during the Iraq War and lied about it to the British government. (The use of such weaponry was reported earlier here: http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/030805-firebombs01.htm.) Please note that care should be used in reporting on this weaponry. The actual bombs used are known as MK-77s, and they are napalm canister munitions. They evolved from the napalm bombs which we associate with the Korean and Vietnam wars. This is an extremely important issue, and we don’t want to end up giving our opponents the opportunity to discredit our reporting because of a quibble over the definition of the weaponry. Both The Heretik and Freiheit und Wissen have excellent posts up already on this topic. You can find more information on MK-77s here.
2. If you haven’t already, make sure to post on Friday’s hearings. If you weren’t able to watch, I liveblogged the hearings here and Crooks and Liars has a video highlights here. And you can find the image of Conyers being turned away at the White House here. There’s also plenty of coverage you can find at AfterDowningStreet, BradBlog, and Raw Story. (I know there are tons of other great posts and resources on this, too—I’m sorry I’m not linking to everyone.)
3. Contact your representatives and Senators (even if you’ve done it before) and encourage them to address the evidence of a possible conspiracy to defraud both Congress and the American people by manipulating intelligence, as presented at the hearing, by supporting a formal inquiry.
4. Finally, we should focus on contacting our local media. (Follow that link and you’ll see that they couldn’t possibly have made it any easier.) It is, of course, important to petition the national media and urge them to give this issue the attention it deserves, but there are still many, many Americans who use local newspapers and local news shows as their primary source of news. If we want to get this story in front of Joe and Jane America, then local news has to be a primary target.
And although the Progressive Democrats of America (which provides the ability to contact local media, linked above) offer a boilerplate message to send, I believe one of our primary goals at this point needs to be developing a counter-narrative of the war. Giving smaller, local papers an outline for a good story, for example one that suggests everything we thought about the war was wrong, and providing them with the relevant information, will not only have the effect of making their jobs easier (thereby making them more likely to report on it), but also help lay the groundwork for the Dems in 2006. If there’s an existing counter-narrative “out there” on which they can rely, we’ll be making their jobs easier, too.
My attempt to begin such a counter-narrative is here.
As always, email me with questions, comments, heads-up, etc.