I have not said much about the Downing Street Memo. Quite frankly, when I first read it, there was nothing there of any interest, except to perhaps some historians that will eventually record the events leading up to the Iraqi invasion. The memo contains no information that was not already publically known, with the exception of the memo writer's interpretations of what he heard. This is not the "smoking" gun the left is so deperately looking for, it really a children's popgun, it lookslike a gun, makes some noise and fires off a corkon a string. Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters has some interesting things to say as well as John over at PowerLine. You really should go read their analsys.
What I do find interesting is that the reporter who leaked the document, reproduced it and either destroyed the originals or returned it to his source. I find it a little funny that any reporter would either destroy or return source materials. That will surely fuel speculation that there is some thing less than above board going on here. Even, so this memo is all heresay and not fact. Here is an excerpt from an editorial from the Rocky Mountain News.
"Thus the most damning passage in the "Downing Street Memo." The memo is now touted as the smoking gun by those who believe the Iraq war is based on lies and deceit and not, primarily, erroneous intelligence. But read the passage again.
"Bush wanted to remove Saddam . . ." Of course he did. It had been U.S. policy since 1990 to favor regime change in Iraq.
"There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable." Actually, the idea the administration's attitude had shifted and military action was now seen as inevitable contradicts the theories of those who've claimed George Bush came into office determined to oust Saddam Hussein and only seized upon 9/11 as an excuse. No matter. The fact is we have no idea whose opinions Dearlove was relating, let alone whether he did so accurately.
By July 2002, in any case, the media were running many stories about U.S. preparations for a possible invasion of Iraq. Why is it a surprise that some officials, whether they wanted war or not, by then saw it as "inevitable"?
Ah, but the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Well, so says one man. But that's not what the 9/11 Commission and other probes have concluded. It's not what Bill Clinton's administration believed about Iraq's alleged possession of WMDs, or what the Germans or French thought, either.
The Downing Street Memo is an interesting document and more grist for historians. But it is no smoking gun."
All of the Western intelligence services as well as Russian intelligence were convinced that Saddam had WMDs. I find it interesting that these same leftists that point to the 9/11 Commission report to debunk and al-Qaeda/Iraq links, do not even mention that the 9/11 Commission Report found no evidence of any intelligence "cooking" of the books. What we have here is a memo, written by a staffer, that merely reports on his impressions of a meeting he attended. There is nothing there that can be construed in any way, well except in the minds of desperate lefties, as criminal or impeachable conduct. - Sailor