Monday, June 20, 2005


If only the Downing Street memo had been abducted in Aruba...

Oh yeah, fuck you, Dana Milbank and thank you, Greg Mitchell...

Raw Story pointed this out: UK official says WMD claims were totally implausible


For fun, let's parse this section of the memo, frequently referred to as the "most damning" section in the hopes that it will give us 1)insight into what was said and 2) ammo to repel belittling attacks on the memo after having gained such insight:

“Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam": OK, so did everybody else. That's not so terrible.

"through military action"--Why did he want to do it through military action? Weren't there other ways of doing it? Buying him off, for instance? Staging an Allende-esque coup, for example? Negotiations about ending sanctions, inspections, etc.--there were many options available to Bush besides military action. Already, the "damning" stuff has started.

"justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD"--Ah! That's how they'd make the case that only military action on our part could/should be used--because Saddam is known to reward terrorists and encourage terrorism and supposedly has WMD. But as Powell and Rice both indicated pre-9/11, Iraq was known to not have this capability. And of course, that's why 9/11 was such a godsend for Bush, because even though Iraq was in fact a weak nation lacking the means to inflict harm on the US (again, by the administration's own admission), the spin on 9/11 was that just when we think we're safe, the "evil ones" will strike.

"But the intelligence and facts"--Dearlove knew that the "intelligence" that Saddam had little to no capability to strike the U.S. created the "fact" that Iraq was therefore not a threat to the U.S. or, as Powell pointed out, his regional neighbors. To justify the war, the intelli-facts had to be and were being fixed around the policy.

"were being fixed around the policy": The right wing freakos want to argue that this is a British colloquialism that is being misunderstood by the American public, that to Britons, "fixed around" means "telling the absolute truth" or some such rubbish (too British?--"garbage" would've worked just as well). But that is merely a continuation of the semantic game the Repukes have gotten too good at (thank you, Frank Luntz)--create the slightest doubt that words may not mean what they seem to mean, and then hammer away at it. But "fixed around," from the context of the memo, clearly means "being obfuscated" or "being used to bamboozle the American public"--as Alex Hamilton pointed out at DailyKos, if "fixed around" didn't mean "doctored," there would be no need for the explanatory "but" at the beginning of the sentence. What the memo is saying is that, the Americans know and we know the case against Saddam is weak (the memo goes on to say that our "NSC had no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record [because they know that would show Iraq to not be a threat]"), but not to worry, the Yanks will convince their people otherwise in accordance with the Bush admin. desire to go to war.
Note that there are no other incidences of British slang throughout the memo--this was serious business and slang was not being employed.

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