Questions Over the Downing Street Memo

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Remember the Downing Street Memo? That recent-leaked note from early 2002 which showed that, at the time, the head of British intelligence thought that the intelligence for war against Iraq was “being fixed around policy”? “The case was thin,” the memo said. Right, that one. Well, the major newspapers are starting to ask questions about it—as opposed to merely writing stories about how befuddled they are that the memo, somehow, isn’t garnering more attention—and yesterday reporters confronted both Bush and Tony Blair on the subject. Freiheit und Wissen has a roundup of reports. See also ThinkProgress.

The main question here: why is this all important? Also known as: Do we really need to wade into this debate again? Well, yes. It’s true that the memo likely won’t change anyone’s mind about the war in Iraq—in some ways the validity or invalidity of the war is independent of the sinister motives behind it, and that’s doubly true today, now that Bush has convinced us that the war was fought all along to spread democracy rather than to disarm Saddam Hussein—but nevertheless, this is still very much the sort of thing worth investigating. I’m not holding my breath for Bush to be impeached, but ideally in the future I’d prefer if presidents refrained from going to war on false pretenses and skewed intelligence. And an exploration of exactly how and why it happened this time around is crucial towards preventing it from happening again.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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