President George W. Bush has finally responded to a question that much of America has been asking: did a secret memo prove that Washington was gearing for war in Iraq months earlier than the White House has admitted?
The Downing Street memo on US preparations for war in Iraq was revealed in The Sunday Times five weeks ago. But it wasn't until Tony Blair's visit to the White House this week that the resulting controversy made waves in Washington, and revived a long-dormant American debate about President Bush's march to war from the summer of 2002.
It has also provoked embarrassed questions in the US media as to why so many newspapers and broadcast outlets here ignored the story for so long.
[. . .]
It's called Blogswarm, bitches!
[. . .]
Yet now the controversy is out in the open and there is no further doubting of the memo's authenticity, or excuse for media foot-dragging. The original Sunday Times report was widely quoted in leading newspapers this week. A Democratic senator entered the memo into the record of a meeting of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
A group of 89 Democratic congressmen has already written to the President questioning him about the claims in the memo, and several of their number have told The Sunday Times they do not intend to let the matter drop, despite the White House's refusal so far to respond. [my emphasis]
[. . .]
We will not let it drop. No way, no how. We're gonna fuck their collective ass with this until they choke. And by 'we' I mean bloggers. The Brits have noticed:
It is not that often, we have to admit, that an item posted one night on Times Online is still getting hundreds of thousands of hits six weeks later, especially when what bloggers like to call 'the mainstream media' have largely ignored its existence.
But that is what happened to the now infamous secret Downing Street memo, posted on the site on May 1 alongside a story by Michael Smith of The Sunday Times. And if the document has taken on a life of its own it is largely because of the bloggers and their web-savvy allies on the US Left.
[. . .]
This is the Boston Tea Party all over again. In the end, we might all be hanging on some far off hill, but fighting for what we believe is worth any cost. Reach down and grab a feel, make sure the brass is shiny and firm, because we're gonna need every bit of 'em before this fight is over. Remember, when the enemy is cornered and hurt is when his fight is fiercest. Don't kid yourselves into believing, even for a minute, that they will not resort to anything to hold onto their power. Yes, the tinfoil hat is on, but there is nothing I would put past these people. Not when so much money is involved.