from outside the big tent:Clearly the Republicans don’t have their talking points together on the Downing Street Memorandum, because Ken Mehlman, when asked about it today by Tim Russert, could only stutter and then tell a bunch of preposterous lies:
MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to the now-famous Downing Street memo. This was a memo, July 23, 2002, from the head of British intelligence to Prime Minister Blair; in effect, notes taken from a briefing that was given to Prime Minister Blair after the head of British intelligence came back from a trip to Washington. It says this: “[The head of British Intelligence] reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, though military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”Whoa, Ken buddy! Slow down there big fella. Nobody has discredited the Downing Street Memorandum. The Senate hasn’t “looked at” the memo. Neither has the 9/11 Commission which was dissolved before the memorandum was even disclosed. Nor did the 9/11 Commission even look at the question as to whether the intelligence was manipulated to justify the war against Iraq. The 9/11 Commission was about, well, 9/11.
MR. MEHLMAN: Tim, that report has been discredited by everyone else who’s looked at it since then. Whether it’s the 911 Commission, whether it’s the Senate, whoever’s looked at this has said there was no effort to change the intelligence at all.
The fact that the Downing Memorandum causes Ken to spout a torrent of lies is a good thing. It means the White House doesn’t have squat to say about it. They just want it to go away. But thanks to the Big Brass Alliance that isn’t happening anytime soon.