Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Milbank Gets it Wrong!

I read the Washington Post religiously. I have favorite writers and columnists. I search out Walter Pincus, as his articles are often hidden at the back of the A section. I never miss Froomkin. I also look forward to Dana Milbank’s articles and columns. Usually I find reading the WaPo a terrific way to start the day. I don’t always agree, but then not much in life is black or white.

So, when I read Dana Milbanks’ take on the hearing Rep. Conyers and the Democrats were forced to hold in a basement room, I was really taken aback. This hearing was an attempt to bring the Downing Street Memo (minutes) to light. Mr. Milbank, however, made a joke of the entire meeting. Thus, I believe by inference, making a joke of the evidence revealed by the minutes of a meeting with Blair and his cabinet.

Here is an email I sent to him, with cc’s to Michael Getler, the Ombudsman, and Walter Pincus:

Dear Mr. Milbank:

You are one of my favorite reporters and columnists. So, it was with a very heavy heart that I read your take on the "hearing" held by Mr. Conyers. Though I agree with many of your observations, as a respected writer your tone in the column suggested a lack of importance as to the central claim made by the Dems: the importance of the Downing Street Memo (Minutes.)

Yes, it is true that many of us, both inside and outside the Beltway, knew the case for the war was fabricated. But, as you are acutely aware, most Americans and voters do not read the Washington Post, and search out articles by Walter Pincus hidden on A18. As you are also aware the Pew Polls show that a gross majority of those who get their news from Fox actually believe that we have found WMD and that Saddam was involved in 9/11. This is only one indication of how uniformed the American public remains.

The minutes of the British meeting of the government's highest officers is not old news to most Americans, only those of us who are news junkies. That those at the highest levels of government were "conspiring " to make an illegal preemptive attack legal is news. Those who are trying to bring this information to the Average American need to be treated with the dignity they deserve even if they are forced to present it in a less than dignified setting. Your column's tone, though maybe you didn't intend it, derided the Minutes and their importance, not just the Dem's “faux” hearing.

Everyday I am sickened by more exposés in the news as to this "War on Terrorism." Most recently the not old news that we were bombing the Iraqi infrastructure in the summer of 2002 in order to ensure a cakewalk in the war.

People are dying in Iraq and the US standing in the world is diminished. This is serious and needs to be taken seriously. Your column, in my humble opinion, undermines what is at stake.

I will, of course, continue to read your articles and columns religiously. You are quite often very insightful, but I do believe that this time, unfortunately, you missed the mark.

Tuli Taylor, NYC

If this is the treatment that is given to this important effort by our government’s officials when trying to do their duty to inform the American public as to this revelation, what can we expect when it comes to informing the public about our militaries bombing Iraq’s infrastructure prior to the Congressional Resolution giving this administration a free hand in going to war?

According to another leaked memo in the Sunday Times of London:

A SHARP increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war “to put pressure on the regime” was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice.

Well, at least someone in the British Government and British press takes this seriously.

How long will we have to wait for someone in our government and press to take this seriously?

The Washington Post should stop patting its back over “Deep Throat” and get to work.