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MemoLiesApathy * InsideSitcha * MediaReform

18 May 2005

"Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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."

Matthew Rycroft

23 July 2002 -
{Downy Street Memo}

1) Do We Care About Lies? British Memo Reopens War Claim
- - Conyers Looks for News in the Wrong Place
- - Anger as US Backs Regime in Uzbekistan
- - Sibel Edmonds - Gagged, But Not Dead
2) Inside [Plymouth, MA] Richard Sitcha Calling Out
3) Bill Moyers on Media Reform

- - Take Public Broadcasting Back

"An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information
and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by
the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight - ask questions and be skeptical."

Bill Moyers

Editor's Notes:

The British memo leak on the "staged" war against Iraq revealed what I had expected, it was a planned event, using intelligence to fit policy objectives, but the unexpected level of apathy in response to such evidence of a manufactured war killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, is/was a bit unnerving. It is like living in the twilight zone, a parallel universe where independent news reads the evidence and the mainstream media lives in a Disneyland-pseudo-democracy. Please note the article by Sibel Edmonds. Item 3 includes an article by Bill Moyers on the state of media reform. Item 2 is an update and plea for reasonable justice from Richard Sitcha. Is anyone listening?

Please check the end of this issue to consider supporting Flyby News. A little will go a long ways in extending peace-justice-truth resources for life's survival in the 21st Century.

"We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace
that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war."

-- Albert Einstein

1) Do We Care About Lies? British Memo Reopens War Claim

- - Conyers Looks for News in the Wrong Place
- - Anger as US Backs Regime in Uzbekistan
- - Sibel Edmonds - Gagged, But Not Dead

Do We Care About Lies?
by Clay Evans
Published May 15, 2005 by the Boulder Daily Camera / Colorado

They came to the Daily Camera editorial board in early autumn 2002, as our leaders in Washington were fueling fears that a small, oil-rich Arab nation run by one of America's former "sons of bitches" posed an imminent — yes, they used that word — threat to America.

They were mostly older, except for a Catholic priest, soft-spoken and grave. And as many Americans were deaf to the war drums being pounded daily by the Pentagon and White House, they were convinced that the Bush administration was going to attack Iraq.

Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis would die, they predicted, as would thousands of U.S. soldiers. The occupation would be anything but a "cakewalk." The Iraqis would not see us as liberators, and our presence would inflame them as long as we remained. The war would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It would further alienate the world's Muslims, and increase, not decrease, terrorism.

Nearly three years later, their predictions have proved correct, while the cocky pronouncements of our leaders have been almost uniformly wrong. A bunch of peaceniks in Boulder — along with millions of sensible grandmothers and teens, liberals and conservatives around the nation — knew better than the best minds of the world's only superpower. How can that be? They simply paid attention, sought information and ultimately trusted their own judgment over that of agenda-driven government officials. They suspected that the war was already a done deal, and all that was to follow — Colin Powell spewing what he privately called "bulls**t" before the United Nations; revolving door self-defense rationalizations from al-Qaida-Saddam connections to nukes raining down on London — was a staged distraction. President Bush chiseled his war of choice in stone even as he misled his people into believing it might yet be averted.

And now we have the memo to prove it. In a story that remains little known on our side of the pond, the London Times published a top-secret memo from a foreign policy aide to British cabinet officials that reveals that the war was already set in motion by July 2002.

You can find the three-page memo online by searching the name of the author, Matthew Rycroft. But here's a small sample (italics mine): "Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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."

"There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action ... But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

Now, even if you supported the Iraq invasion, are you pleased that you were misled by an administration hell-bent on war? If the president had made a truthful case — Saddam is a monster, we want regime change, and a U.S. presence between the Tigris and Euphrates will help guarantee future flows of oil — instead of horse-hockey about Iraqi assaults on America, would you have said, "go for it"? If so, what cost in lives, hundreds of billions of dollars, and shattered relations with most of the world would have changed your mind? Should we simply salute if (when?) we're told we must attack Iran or Syria?

I'm angry, not just at being misled into a bloody, cynical war, but that this kind of lying — call a spade a spade, folks — is so accepted, when Bill Clinton's foolish dalliances and lies were kindling for an endless media conflagration.

But not everyone is so afraid that they believe everything they're told; the continuing misery in Iraq — there were other approaches to the Saddam problem — was foreseen by millions, and not just "activists." Those millions who had their patriotism questioned simply because they opposed a unnecessary war; those believers in the humanity of all humanity — they were right, while our leaders have repeatedly borne false witness.

Copyright 2005, The Daily Camera and the E.W. Scripps Company,1713,BDC_2494_3776272,00.html
also posted at:

Text of the Downy Street Memo

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- - British Memo Reopens War Claim
By Stephen J. Hedges and Mark Silva
The Chicago Tribune

Tuesday 17 May 2005

Leaked briefing says US intelligence facts `fixed' around policy.

Washington - A British official's report that the Bush administration appeared intent on invading Iraq long before it acknowledged as much or sought Congress' approval--and that it "fixed" intelligence to fit its intention--has caused a stir in Britain.

But the potentially explosive revelation has proven to be something of a dud in the United States. The White House has denied the premise of the memo, the American media have reacted slowly to it and the public generally seems indifferent to the issue or unwilling to rehash the bitter prewar debate over the reasons for the war.

All of this has contributed to something less than a robust discussion of a memo that would seem to bolster the strongest assertions of the war's critics.

Frustrated at the lack of attention to the memo, Democrats and war critics are working to make sure it gets a wider hearing, doing everything from writing letters to the White House to launching online petitions.

The memo was written by British national security aide Matthew Rycroft, based on notes he took during a July 2002 meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his advisers, including Richard Dearlove, the head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service who had recently met with Bush administration officials.

Since being leaked to a British newspaper, the memo has raised questions anew about whether the Bush administration misrepresented prewar intelligence about suspected weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to justify military action against Saddam Hussein's regime.

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD," the memo said. "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening, his ability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

Blair's office has not disputed the authenticity of the memo, but the White House categorically denies the assertions in it. And on Capitol Hill, where investigations already have denounced prewar intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as "deeply flawed," there appears to be little appetite for reopening the question of why the U.S. went to war.

"I suppose it hasn't played there because, basically, didn't everyone know that Bush decided early on to get rid of Saddam?" asked Philip Stephens, a Blair biographer and associate editor of the Financial Times of London.

Stephens argues that there was a basic difference in the argument over the invasion of Iraq in Britain and the U.S.

"The contexts of the debates have always been different," Stephens said. "There was never really a question [in the U.S.] about whether it was justified or not to go for regime change. This was the administration's objective. People either agreed with it or disagreed with it. There really wasn't a disagreement about the legal basis for it."

Dubbed "the Downing Street Memo," the report of the July 23, 2002, meeting of Blair and his aides purported to recount the Bush administration's approach to Iraq at that point. The memo asserted that Bush had decided to remove Hussein nearly eight months before U.S. and British troops invaded Iraq.

Summarizing the view of intelligence chief Dearlove after consulting with U.S. officials, the memo said: "Military action was now seen as inevitable."

Public Told Another Story

At the time, the Bush administration was assuring the public that a decision to go to war had not been made and that Iraq could prevent military action by complying with existing United Nations resolutions that were intended to curtail its chemical, nuclear, biological and missile weapons programs.

The memo was divulged earlier this month by the Sunday Times of London, four days before Blair's re-election. It caused a stir in Britain, where the war in Iraq has been deeply unpopular.

In the U.S., however, the account has drawn only passing attention, even in Washington, where the debate over prewar intelligence on Iraq once dogged the White House. No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and Iraqi scientists have told U.S. inspectors that any weapons Iraq did possess were destroyed years ago.

Opponents of the war and administration have launched e-mail campaigns to elevate the issue. One Web site, , encourages visitors to sign a petition and "take action." Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) wrote a letter earlier this month to the White House, signed by 89 House Democrats, that expressed concern about the memo's revelations.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, asked Monday about the memo's implication that intelligence was being "fixed" on Iraq, said, "The suggestion is just flat-out wrong.


Critics of the Bush administration have long argued that Bush appeared intent on invading Iraq long before Congress voted to authorize military action in October 2002 if Hussein didn't abandon his alleged illegal weapons programs.

Former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, who was chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee when Democrats ruled, has written in his book, "Intelligence Matters," about his visit to MacDill Air Force Base, home of the U.S. Central Command, on Feb. 19, 2002. He was going for a status report on Afghanistan, Graham wrote, but CENTCOM'S Gen. Tommy Franks called him aside to tell him, "Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan."

"Excuse me?"' Graham replied.

"Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq," Graham quoted Franks as saying.

Graham wrote: "I was stunned. This was the first time I had been informed that the decision to go to war with Iraq had not only been made but was being implemented, to the substantial disadvantage of the war in Afghanistan."

For the complete article, see the original:,1,5984426.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

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- - Conyers Looks for News in the Wrong Place
by Sylvester Brown Jr.
Published May 15, 2005 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Missouri

Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, is peeved. He can't understand why an explosive story published early this month in England hasn't received more attention here.

On May 1, The Sunday Times of London reported the British government and the United States government secretly conspired to attack Iraq in 2002 - a year before the war started. In one meeting, an official suggested Britain and America "create" conditions to justify the war, the Times reported.

Conyers and 88 fellow congressional members sent a letter to President George W. Bush on May 5 asking about the "troubling allegations." They asked Bush several questions, including whether there was a "coordinated effort to fix intelligence" to justify the invasion.

In the letter sent to colleagues for their support, Conyers took a potshot at the media.

"Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy ... to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers," Conyers wrote. "This should not be allowed to fall down the memory hole during wall-to-wall coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and a runaway bride."

As of Friday, neither the president nor anyone representing the mainstream media (or "MSM" as Red Staters refer to it), responded to Conyers' letter.

With 17 years of experience with the Fourth Estate, I feel compelled and at least somewhat qualified to answer Mr. Conyers' charge against the media:

Dear Congressman:

Thank you for your letter. The issues you've raised are of dire importance to the public interest and all of us constituting the "mainstream media." However, due to our changing demographics, evolving technology and the rapid growth of our industry, it is not an advantageous time to pursue "real news." With all due respect, the genre has changed. In your day, news was just news. Guys like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and Bob Woodward worked for news organizations that focused solely on ... well, news. Today, the same organizations that deliver information also deliver music, books, coffee, refrigerators, ball games, concerts, fun parks and weapons of mass destruction. Viacom owns CBS and MTV. NBC is owned by GE (a huge defense contractor). And ABC is the property of Disney. In a very real sense, Mr. Conyers, Disneyland is today's news.

Article Truncated, for the complete article, see original:

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- - Anger as US Backs Regime in Uzbekistan

Anger as US Backs Regime
by Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow and Paul Harris in New York
Published May 15, 2005 by the Observer/UK

Human rights concerns as troops put down uprising in Uzbekistan

Heated criticism was growing last night over 'double standards' by Washington over human rights, democracy and 'freedom' as fresh evidence emerged of just how brutally Uzbekistan, a US ally in the 'war on terror', put down Friday's unrest in the east of the country.

For this article, see original:,6903,1484251,00.html

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- - Sibel Edmonds - Gagged, But Not Dead

Gagged, But Not Dead
By Sibel Edmonds ­ May 14 2005

The Appeal Court's decision on Sibel Edmonds' Case is out: ‘Case Dismissed;' no opinion cited; no reason provided. The Court's decision, issued on Friday, May 6, has generated a string of
obituaries; 'another major blow, maybe the last one, to Sibel Edmonds, a woman who has faced an unprecedented level of government secrecy, gag orders, and classification.' Well, dear friends and supporters, Sibel Edmonds may be gagged, but she's not dead.

On October 18, 2002; three months after I filed my suit against the Department of Justice for unlawful termination of my employment caused by my reporting criminal activities committed by government officials and employees, John Ashcroft, the then Attorney General, invoked a rarely invoked privilege, the State Secrets Privilege.

According to Ashcroft, everything involving my case and my allegations were considered state secrets, and whether or not I was right in my allegations, the United States District Court had to dismiss my entire case without any questions, hearings or oral argument; period. According to Ashcroft, the court had to grant his order and dismiss the entire case with no hearings solely based on the fact that he, Ashcroft, said so. After all, our government knew best. As of that day, my case came to be gagged; but I continued on.

In April 2004, after attorneys for a large group of 9/11 family members subpoenaed my deposition, the then Attorney General, John Ashcroft, made his next move: He invoked the state secrets privilege for the second time, and this time, he designated my place of birth, date of birth, my mother tongue, my father tongue, my university background, and my previous employments all State Secrets, Top Secret Classified, and matters of the highest level national security.


In the past three years, I have been threatened; I have been gagged several times; I have continuously been prevented from pursuing my due process; all reports and investigations looking into my case have been classified; and every governmental or investigative authority dealing with my case has been shut up.

According to legal experts familiar with my case, the level of secrecy and classification in my court case and the attitudes and handling of the court system in dealing with my case is unprecedented in the entire U.S. court history. According to other experts I am one of the most, if not the most, gagged woman anybody knows of or has heard of. Why?

Those of you who still think this case, my case, is about covering up some administrative blunder or bureaucratic mismanagement, please think again.

Those of you who may think that my Kafkaesque case, the unprecedented secrecy, is due to some justified and official higher reasons, please think again.

Those of you who may think that our government, our entrusted leaders, may have an ongoing investigation of criminals involved, please think again.

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice, in its ‘unclassified report,' has confirmed my core allegations. What were those core allegations, and who did they involve? Not only some low-level terrorist or terrorist organization; not only some ‘maybe' critical foreign entities. No; trust me; they would not go to this length to protect some nobody criminal or terrorist.

It is way past time for a little bit of critical thinking. The Attorney General cites two reasons to justify the unconstitutional and panic driven assault on me and my case. Reason one: To protect
certain diplomatic relations - not named since obviously our officials are ashamed of admitting to these relations. Reason two: To protect certain U.S. foreign business relations..

..And lastly, for those of you who may think that since I have been gagged and stopped by almost all available official channels, I must be ready to vaporize into thin air, please think again. I am gagged, but not dead; not yet.

For the complete original article, see:

and related information, visit

For more information on this topic, see FN's archives:
The Bush Conspiracy and 9/11 Investigative Reports,
looking into the unanswered questions

2) Inside [Plymouth, MA] Richard Sitcha Calling Out

[Editor's Note: The following is from a letter from Richard Sitcha to Jonathan Mark and Flyby News, in reply to letters and FN issues sent to him. Thank you for any help in helping a man who is being persecuted for no crime committed.]

Dear Jonathan,

Please do not think that the long silence in replying to your letter is a sign of discouragement or laziness. I guess you have been informed about everything that happened to me when I was transferred to Plymouth. All my stuff was taken away from me, I was moved from a unit to another, I wasn't stable. I didn't have any pen, paper, envelopes or stamps.. I'm now stable and could write to every one of you. Thank you very much for asking friends to bring their support on my behalf. With all this I can tell you that I'm stronger than ever. .. I'm just asking for justice.. I have been granted Asylum, then saw my Asylum Revoked, and sent into Prison where I continue to suffer for now 20 months. I never committed any crime. I'm not a threat for national security, in my 2 years on the street in America I was useful for the communities in different ways. I never broke any law. Even though my Asylum was revoked, as the law required, I should have been given time to leave the Country to seek Asylum somewhere else. I should have not been sent to prison with efforts to deport me to where I'm fearing for my life in my Country. I asked for time to leave, but never got any answer. A Seeker of Asylum is deport-able only if he remains in the Country after time given to leave. I just want justice in my case. I continue to believe that America is a country of moral values. A country of freedom, a country of justice, different than our third [world] countries with many types of injustice and abuse. I continue to trust and believe in America Justice.

I want to take this opportunity, too, to hail all those wonderful people GOD sent on my way..

Justice, Peace and Love in the Earth,


Sitcha, Richard
ID# 39823
Unit: FSB; Rm. A07
Plymouth County Correctional Facility
26 Long Pond Road
Plymouth, MA 02360

Web site for more information:

3) Bill Moyers on Media Reform

- - Take Public Broadcasting Back
Published May 16, 2005 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)
Speech at Conference Assails Right Wing
by Michael Sorkin

Bill Moyers denounced on Sunday the right wing and top officials at the White House, saying they are trying to silence their critics by controlling the news media.

He also took aim at reporters who become little more than willing government "stenographers." And he said the public increasingly is content with just enough news to confirm its own biases.

Moyers spoke in St. Louis at a conference on media reform.

For the complete original article, see

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Full Text of Bill Moyers' speech to the
National Conference on Media Reform:
Take Public Broadcasting Back
St. Louis, Missouri 5/15/2005

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- - Muting The Conversation Of Democracy by Bill Moyers

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