Saturday, June 18, 2005

AP picks up Downing Street Memo(s) story

It seems that public pressure and alternative press criticism (such this article from Salon) has finally driven the AP to report on the leaked British intelligence memos from Downing Street, as today the AP released several reports related to the memos. A month late, but better late than never.

Excerpts From the Downing Street Memos
Memos Show British Fretting Over Iraq War
2002 Undercut British WMD Claims
U.S. War Plans Much-Discussed In Memos
Memos: Postwar Iraq a Concern In Britain

I've also seen the memos start to gain some coverage in the papers, as well. Much of the coverage seems to center around two premises: 1. that the memos do not constitute any "new" news and that 2. the memos are just hearsay.

Both of these points are shallow excuses for the news media having dropped the ball on this story.
1. The memos are secret internal documents that detail high level British administration policy discussion regarding the invasion of Iraq with implications that the British felt that America had determined to go to war well before that decision was supposed to have been made. Unless we already were privy to top secret British documents that cast the invasion of Iraq in a questionable light then this most certainly is new and newsworthy.
2. The memos contain briefings from high level British officials of their meetings with high level American officials, and the memos contain direct assesment of the situation in Iraq by British intelligence. This is not hearsay, its insider information.

Editor and Publisher also responded to these points here.

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