Tuesday, June 14, 2005


We now have a second “Downing Street Memo” (original) that is certain to stir up the calls from the left side of the Democrat party to investigate and impeach. With respect to this second memo, I think it holds even less value than the first, which is to say not much at all. I think that journalist/blogger Marc Cooper has it about right. Essentially the new memo says that if war with Iraq was going to take place that politicians had to build a case that their citizens could support and that getting an UNSCR towards that end would be helpful. That sounds about right to me, it sounds like what happened. With every attack post-war highlighting the lack of WMD, both memos accept Iraqi WMD as a given. This is not the greatest evidence of lies.

This story, it occurs to me, has a relationship with another story that got the American left into as big a huff. There is a second story here tat is not being pursued. It is the story of the act of leaking itself. We have two memos which each contain the following:

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents. (Emphasis added by London Times)

A genuine need to know? Extremely sensitive? No further copies? Sounds a lot like the British version of Top Secret. Sounds like a crime might have been committed. Sounds like there are some parallels to the Valerie Plame affair.

So why isn’t the right harping on the leaker? The left would insist that the reason is that, while unwilling to admit it, the Republicans know that Bush lied. I’m not so certain the right “knows” that, but I’m pretty sure that they don’t care, especially not after 5 years of vicious attacks on a President they support. I suspect in the end it is that hindsight is 20/20 and this case will go about as successfully as Plame did. However, if I were a Republican itching for a fight, I think this would be a pretty good one to jump into.


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