World Opinion Roundup: Blair and The Downing Street Memo

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Jefferson Morley
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 7, 2005; 1:00 PM

In his weekly discussion, washingtonpost.com staff writer Jefferson Morley conducts a freewheeling tour of the best of Internet news sites from Afghanistan to Beijing to Mexico City to Paris to Zimbabwe.

Jefferson Morley was online Tuesday, June 7, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the Downing Street Memo and Prime Minister Tony Blair 's visit to the White House.

Read today's World Opinion Roundup: The Downing Street Memo Story Won't Die.

Roundup brings the diversity of the global online media to your screen, presenting today's news and views from journalists, pundits and commentators from every continent. We'll talk about America in the eyes of the world, compare journalistic practices, analyze politics and perspectives, examine the nature of news and debate styles of journalism.

A transcript follows.

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Waynesburg, Pa.: Why has there been so little said about the Downing Street Memo in the U.S.? This is much worse than Watergate in my book. (Watergate did not kill our military personnel and innocent civilians). Seems some smart reporter somewhere would grab this story and run with it in Woodward/Bernstein fashion.

Jefferson Morley: I think some combination of cynicism, complacency and insulation has stifled the instincts of very good reporters.

I also think there is also a failure of leadership at the senior editorial level. The issues raised by the Downing Street minutes are very serious. To pursue them is to invite confrontation. This means that "beat" reporters cannot realistically pursue the story.

I say all this way of explanation, not rationalization. There are several natural follow up stories to the Downing Street memo that we should be pursuing right now.

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London, England: As you are saying you will compare journalistic practices around the world, I am curious as to how British journalists are generally viewed in the U.S.

Jefferson Morley: British journalists are, by legend, witty, prolific and cynical and sodden with drink. The reality is slightly different.

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Bethesda, Md.: (I haven't seen your column yet, so this may be redundant by then.) As quoted by Steve Cobble in The Nation, constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz is exploring whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses:

After Downing Street, a Resolution of Inquiry.

"The question must now be asked, with the release of the Downing Street Memo, whether the President has committed impeachable offenses. Is it a High Crime to engage in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for taking the nation into a war? Is it a High Crime to manipulate intelligence so as to allege falsely a national security threat posed to the United States as a means of trying to justify a war against another nation based on 'preemptive' purposes? Is it a High Crime to commit a felony via the submission of an official report to the United States Congress falsifying the reasons for launching military action?"

Is there any way a minority party, joined by majority members of conscience (like Rep. Jones of N.C.) can initiate such a Resolution of Inquiry?

Jefferson Morley: You got to read my column to get answer.

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Bethesda, Md.: In case your readers hadn't seen it yet, Rep. Conyers' petition to the President (to respond to the comments of the head of British Intelligence that he had "fixed the info" on Iraq) can be read at:

Letter to President Bush Concerning the 'Downing Street Minutes'.

To your knowledge has the White House had any response to the 90 lawmakers who signed a letter of inquiry to the President on the matter?

Jefferson Morley: On May 17, Scott McClellan said that the White House saw no need to respond to the Conyers letter.

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Laurel, Md.: It seems that most of the American media has ignored the Downing Street Memo and not questioned the administration about this very troubling information.

On Meet the Press, Tim Russert questioned RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman about the memo. Mehlman indicated that the findings "have been totally discredited by everyone who's looked at it," including the 9/11 commission and the Senate. Russert gave a brief retort and then moved on.

Why is much of the media covering the missing teen in Aruba, Michael Jackson's trial and the Runaway Bride, but ignoring this potential scandal?

Jefferson Morley: I think its because the Washington press corps is oriented around "news" as generated by the White House and the executive branch. When it comes to Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the White House and the Congress have settled on the following narrative: that the U.S. government had every reason to fear the nexus of Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, that the intelligence community agreed that Hussein had WMD and therefore war was not only justified but necessary.

The Downing Street Memo invites the thought that maybe that was illusory, that in fact people in the Bush administration were having meetings dedicated to figuring how, as Richard Dearlove said, "fix the facts and the intelligence." I think its hard to journalist's born and bred in the ways of Washington to contemplate the implications.

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Los Angeles, Calif.: I'm happy to see this memo is getting some attention somewhere! What, in your opinion, is the reason U.S. MSM has not been more aggressive in reporting this very important issue? Have any members of the White House Press Corps directly asked President Bush about it? Thank you for taking questions.

Jefferson Morley: I've given some reasons, focusing on the responsibility of the media.

But a big part of the problem is that there are no voices in the majority party demanding accountability. Remember, no small part of the growth of the opposition to the Vietnam war were the very serious and informative hearings that Sen. William Fulbright had in 1965-66. It was hear that the American people heard policymakers explain and defend their policies. There is no such venue for accountability today.

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Knoxville, Tenn.: This story is the perfect proof that the idea of the "liberal media" is nothing more than another urban myth. Just imagine if 10 years ago it came out that President Clinton had mislead the American public on when he had decided to send troops to Bosnia. We would have had 24/7 media coverage of when the impeachment hearings would begin.

Also this brings up the question of how many administration officials have perjured themselves while testifying under oath before Congress for the 2002-2003 year that the administration was lying to the American people. Now it becomes extremely clear why Bush and Cheney and Rice all demanded not to be put under oath when "visiting" with the 9/11 commission and why no records of their discussions were kept.

But why should the Bush crime family worry with the crack White House press corps on the case--at last Tuesday's press conference the issue was never even brought up to Bush. And after Tim Russert's "hard" follow-up questioning of Ken Mehlman's lies about the memo on Sundays "Meet the Press" the story will die of neglect on network news broadcasts.

Other than maybe a Jon Stewart or Keith Olberman piece on this network TV will do all they can to ignore it until the next missing blonde or celebrity in legal trouble story shows up to fill the airwaves.

Jefferson Morley: I understand the temptation of cynicism. News organizations in Washington have lost their bearings but I have to believe that they can recover them.

This is a story about credibility and accountability.

To me the Downing Street Memo is directly related to the military's recruiting problems. There have been a lot of good stories about parents trying to thwart military recruiters. Once proud to send their kids into post-September 11 action against the country's deadliest enemies, mothers and fathers now hesitate because they don't believe the government's statements on the war.

The Downing Street Memo is one reason why.

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Glasgow, United Kingdom: Mr Morley: Do you think it is public fatigue on the question of whether the war was justified that has meant it has received so little noise in the press?

Everybody I mentioned this story to, and have sent the link to, have been shocked by this.

What else stops the press from giving more attention to this story?

Jefferson Morley: I think that there is some public fatigue but I don't think it is about the war. I think the fatigue is with polemics about the war (on the part of opponents) and non-credible statements (on the part of the administration).

But as the military recruiting crisis shows there is a real price that the country pays for this fatigue.

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New York, N.Y.: It won't die? Perhaps for the far left wing - John Conyers, The Guardian, former writers for The Nation such as yourself, the "Internet" denizens that John Kerry refers to.

Back here in the reality-based community, though, the "intelligence was fixed" charge was discredited by a BIPARTISAN investigation. But I suppose the bipartisan nature of the investigation is really irrelevant unless the bipartisan investigation has the result you desire, no?

Jefferson Morley: The Senate Intelligence Committee did not interview Richard Dearlove and they didn't interview many of the U.S. policymakers with whom he was dealing, so we really don't know why he came away from consultation with the administration saying that "the facts and the intelligence" would be fixed to meet the policy.

If Dearlove was fantasizing about the intentions of U.S. policymakers, then the minutes of his meetings kept by the U.S. side should show that. On the other hand, such minutes might confer Dearlove's account.

Those minutes, needless to say, are highly classified.

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Sparks, Nev.: Will anyone from The Washington Post ask Tony Blair on his visit here the question... is the Downing Street Memo true? I think the problem is that the major press and network reporters are afraid to investigate this. If The Post reporters don't ask the question... tell us, why not?

Jefferson Morley: I have shared my view that the story can and should be pursued.

If Post reporters don't ask Blair about the memo, they have abdicated responsibility in my view.

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Yonkers, N.Y.: Dear Mr. Morley

Here is a suggestion for Prime Minister Tony Blair: He should tell President Bush that he is going to war with Sudan and Somalia to install democracy because democracy is their God given right and he expects the U.S. to contribute 30 billion dollars a year in reconstruction costs for the next 5 years. Blair can distribute the money accordingly throughout Africa. Perhaps, he can persuade L. Paul Bremer to administer the reconstruction process.

Seriously though, can anyone doubt that the Downing Street memo is accurate? Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack shows an administration (with the exception of Colin Powell who got rolled like a cheap cigar) that was on a mission to go to war and did not want to be dissuaded.

Thanks.

Jefferson Morley: There is no dispute about the authenticity of the Downing Street memo.

Reporters need to assess its accuracy.

Who is Richard Dearlove? Is he a reliable reporter? Does he have an animus against Bush policy or policymakers? What was said in the meetings he attended that gave him the idea that the Americans were seeking to "fix" the policy. questioning other people who attended the same meetings as Dearlove

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Westlake, Ohio: What can we as citizens do in order to see that the Downing Street memo isn't swept under the rug?

Jefferson Morley: Talk about it with your friends

Write a letter to your Congressman asking for his/her explanation.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper asking them to print the Downing Street Memo and comment on its significance.

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Pacifica, Ca.: It's interesting that Republican officials like Mr. Mehlman are so dismissive of the Downing Street Memo. They certainly have not come up with very many good reasons why it should be ignored.

The memo, coupled with the fact that bombing of Iraq by the U.S. and U.K. clearly picked up in 2002 seems to indicate that war was indeed inevitable and that the battlefield was being "prepped" for an invasion.

What do you think are the chances of a real, fact-based investigation by Congress being conducted? And, do you think Tony Blair will be asked about this during his visit? Or will the bulk of the media continue its non-confrontational practices?

Thank you.

Jefferson Morley: I think Congress is unlikely to investigate until the story is better understood.

I hope Blair is asked about it.

My two-fold question would be, "Mr. Prime Minister why do you think your intelligence chief came away from meetings with U.S. officials in July 2002 seeming to believe that they were seeking to "fix" facts and intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq? And in your experience was Mr. Dearlove a reliable reporter of U.S. government policy deliberations?"

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Tampa, Fla.: Mohammed El Baradei was one voice that said our intelligence was wrong. Many inside the CIA said not to trust information from "Curveball". How can the Bush administration claim that they were not fixing policy, but had bad intelligence when they chose to only listen to those who supported their view on Iraq, and shut out any voices opposing their planned invasion?

Jefferson Morley: Good question.

The reason that the Downing Street Memo story is so potentially big and politically difficult to address is because it radically challenges the Bush administration's account of the "intelligence failure" on Iraqi WMD.

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West Haven, Conn.: Why did Ken Mehlman claim the memo had been discredited on "Face the Nation"

Jefferson Morley: I guess because he didn't want to talk about it.

No one questions the authenticity of the memo and the administration has provided no accounts of its meetings with Richard Dearlove in July 2002 that dispute his account.

If the administration supporters are correct in their claims that there is no story here, then the minutes of the U.S. meetings with Dearlove should confirm their viewpoint.

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Washington, D.C.: Mr. Morley,

There is absolutely nothing new in the Downing Street Memo. Its just being played up between the left wing groups and their friends in the mainstream media who hate Bush.

Bush won the election. America is at war. Stop trashing the war effort from home. Millions of people are free in Afghanistan, and Iraq is making real progress, despite the car bombs. The world is much safer and our troops should be supported and not trashed by the latest Abu Ghraib/ Koran Flush/ Downing Street/ Richard Clark / Halliburton story.

The Post, The Times and the television media are painting yourselves forever as the liberal anti war media. I think I will look back upon this time where my opinion of the media finally reached its low point.

Jefferson Morley: What's new is Richard Dearlove's statement that Bush policymakers were seeking to "fix the facts and intelligence" to justify a U.S. attack on Iraq.

No Bush administration official has ever said this. No intelligence official, American or British, has ever said this.

The question is, Is Dearlove a reliable reporter?

Asking this question is not "trashing the war effort" and it is not undermining the troops. People who are risking and losing their lives on our behalf deserve the whole truth, not just the truth preferred by elected officials.

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Tampa, Fla.: Have you noticed any differences on how newspapers treat the Downing St. Memo story based upon which chain owns them? Are any of the chains particularly known for allowing their papers to go after stories without interference from corporate headquarters? Or vice versa? Here in Tampa it is well known the editorial board of the Tampa Tribune wanted to endorse Kerry, but their corporate masters said no. I realize editorial and news management is separate, but I think the analogy apt.

Jefferson Morley: Well, Fox News is hostile to the story so I wouldn't expect Fox outlets to pursue but, no, I have not noticed a pattern of ownership shaping coverage. It is something worth keeping track of.

The problem here is that the normal journalist impulses seem to be checked: Any editor knowledgeable in the ways of the national security bureaucracy can come with follow up stories on the Downing Street Memo that would have nothing but readers.

It is time for us to start doing a couple of those stories and see where they lead us. If the President's partisans are correct that there is no story here, then good reporting should show that.

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Washington, D.C.: There is no balance to the questions and comments on this chat. They're all liberal/left!!

Jefferson Morley: Thanks for your comment. Let's get away from the liberal/left readers for a spell.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: Did you get a chance to read James S. Robbins article "Causing a Commotion" about this memo, in yesterday's National Review Online? If so, what did you think?

Jefferson Morley: I did read that piece and it doesn't change my point of view that further reporting is warranted. Indeed Robbins raises a useful question that needs to be answered: Did Dearlove talk to the President? (Or Vice President Cheney) And he asks another useful question Maybe Rycroft or Dearlove could elaborate; by 'fixed around' did they mean that intelligence was being falsified or that intelligence and information were being gathered to support the policy? There is nothing wrong with the latter - it is the purpose of the intelligence community to provide the information decision-makers need, and the marshal their resources accordingly.

So I read Robbins and I come away more convinced than ever that we need to do more reporting.

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Arlington, Va.: Do you ever get tired of getting yelled at in these by people from both sides who either think this isn't getting covered enough or those who think its getting too much attention? How polarized is this country anyway? Maybe if a miracle happened and a politician actually gave a straight answer to a question just once it would help this country, but I guess that's just a pipe dream.

Jefferson Morley: I do get tired of it but it comes with the territory.

And there's nothing wrong with people caring about abuses by the government or by the media.

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Anonymous: Mr. Morley, you said that Bush is being accused of "fixing the intelligence" to attack Iraq. Why can't he use the same intelligence that Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and the rest used when they bombed Iraq, and build up our troop presence in Kuwait? Or are those reasons no longer valid?

Jefferson Morley: The questions raised by the Downing Street memo are very specific to run-up to the Iraq war in 2002. The memo doesn't concern the Clinton administration.

It is true that Clinton pursued a policy of regime change against Iraq and used military force and it is clear that he and his advisers used U.S. intelligence sources in making that policy. But no senior intelligence official has said that Clinton and aides were fixing facts and intelligence to pursue their policy.

If you have such information, that would be a good story. Please send such information to jeff.morley@wpni.com. All information will be held in strictest confidence.

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Washington, D.C.: You say "There are several natural follow up stories to the Downing Street memo that we should be pursuing right now."

Are you pursuing these or do you defer to your fellow reporters?

Also there was a segment on www.democracynow.org yesterday on this matter. They also reference http://www.afterdowningstreet.org so it seems that this is escalating...but perhaps it will be a slow burn? Where should we look to keep track of the status and developments? Meaning who do you think is covering this completely and accurately?

Jefferson Morley: My job is covering the foreign media, not the White House or the intelligence community. I am conveying to as many editors as possible my own belief that there are stories worth pursuing here.

I don't talk about the stories that I am or am not pursuing.

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Wallingford, Conn.: Republicans are unlikely to allow an investigation of the President, but there are not many Democrats pushing for one. Sen. Kennedy has posted a petition on his Web site for people to encourage their Senators to take action on the memo.

Why do you think the Democrats are not pursuing this aggressively?

Jefferson Morley: I think that may be changing. Ted Kennedy has come out with a strongly worded statement.

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San Antonio, Tex.: Would you mind refreshing our collective memories and tell how the Downing Street memo came into the hands of the British press? Was it leaked and if so, by whom? Dearlove? What kind of play did it get when it was first reported--front page coverage or buried in the back of the "A" section? Did the British government make any statement at the time the memo first appeared in print journalism?

Jefferson Morley: Good questions.

The Downing Street memo was published in the Times of London on May 1. The Times did not identify its source (of course) but made clear that it came from forces critical of Blair's war policy in the senior level of the British government. The story received front page treatment on the Sunday before the British elections, so it go major coverage, even from The Time's competitors. The British government responded by saying there was "nothing new" in the memo. The authenticity of the memo was not disputed.

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Black Mountain, N.C.: I cannot say how much I appreciate the increasing attention to the Downing Street Memo from the washingtonpost.com. In terms of print media and nightly news, why haven't they run headline news - "Administration cooked intelligence to lead country to Iraq War?" Isn't that news? Is the media concerned that covering the memo will lead to... more military deaths, more anti-American anger, more terrorist attacks, and not spreading democracy across the Middle East?

Jefferson Morley: We should be very concerned about the implications of the memo. If facts and intelligence were deliberately altered to magnify threats and justify war, then U.S. soldiers who risk their lives on our behalf were deceived. If this is a possibility, the press needs to investigate. A decent sense of patriotism requires it.

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Arlington, Va.: The memo is such a dud because there is no news there. And, then Kerry is at it again - From your article:

"I think it's a . . . profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home," Sen. John Kerry told a Massachusetts audience last week.

Wasn't it John Kerry that said he would have authorized the invasion -even if- he knew there were no WMD?

WMD was the best public/world excuse for invasion after the terrorist connection didn't take. Clearly, the governments of the U.S. and U.K. thought the immediate invasion and removal of Hussein was required, but that the real excuse might not pass muster in the public eye. Plus, there was a chance they would get lucky with some nerve gas or something. Stuff like this happens all the time when you have a democracy and the tough choices of the geo-powerful.

Jefferson Morley: Thanks for your cynical point of view.

As for me, I see too much cynicism in the news business so I try to avoid it.

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New York, N.Y.: The Downing Street Minutes seem to confirm the testimony of Richard Clarke from more than a year ago regarding a sought-after excuse to attack Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, suggested a similar climate within the administration.

What source would be legitimate enough to warrant coverage? I ask this question in the context of the recent revelation of Deep Throat's identity.

Jefferson Morley: O'Neill was talking about pre-9/11 planning. Clark was talking about post 9-11 planning. The Downing Street minutes document the war planning in the summer of 2002. But there does seem to be a continuum there.

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San Antonio, Tex.: "My job is covering the foreign media, not the White House or the intelligence community. I am conveying to as many editors as possible my own belief that there are stories worth pursuing here,"

So, how are other European countries, other than Britain, reacting to the Downing Street memo? How about the reaction from the Arab press?

Jefferson Morley: Very good question.

The Downing Street Memo has gotten very little attention in the Arab press. I think this is in part because of a wide consensus in the Arab world that, of course, the Bush administration acted in bad faith. I also think it is based on lack of knowledge about how the Western national security bureaucracies truly function.

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Manheim, Pa.: It seems we need some new 21st century Deep Throats and Bob Woodwards. Why is it there seems to be no heroes to help bring down this criminal administration? If I were a reporter I'd be all over this and many other things I feel have not gotten the attention they desire from the media. Know any news organizations I could go to and give them the Big scoops, that would help bring down the most criminal administration in America's history? Thank you

Jefferson Morley: Let's not romanticize the past.

No one regarded Woodward and Bernstein or their sources as heroes when they were reporting on Watergate in 1972 and early 1973. They were out on a limb and much criticized by the White House. Its not a pleasant place to be and reporters are understandably reluctant to go there.

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Sterling, Va.: Don't the revelations of the Downing Street minutes now clarify the purpose of John Bolton's mission to seek the ouster of Jose Bustani from the U.N.'s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons?

Isn't it now clear that with the march to war locked in, the United States could not afford for the U.N. to make a fact-based inquiry that would presumably have proven what we now know to be true: that there were no chemical weapons stockpiles in Iraq?

Jefferson Morley: I think it does clarify it.

It may be that one of the ways to "fix" the intelligence, was to remove from positions of responsibility people who might put forward intelligence that impeded the war policy.

We need to know more about Bolton's actions in 2002 to know if this is the case. I would like to know: Did Dearlove or his deputies meet with Bolton in 2002?

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Wayzata, Minn.: Has it become a myth that one of the core reasons people become journalists is the desire to report the truth to the public? Because I don't know what journalists right now are working so hard for. Is it for ego, praise or.. what? It can't be money! I mean, it is so obvious that good, hard working journalists are laying down on this Downing Memo, and I don't know why. What are they afraid of?

Jefferson Morley: What are they afraid of?

I don't think Post reporters are afraid of this story.

In general, I think reporters are afraid of being used by the President's opponents. I think they're afraid of a secret document that they don't have. I think they are afraid of losing access to high-level sources. Such fears are entirely justified. The reporter who doesn't think about them isn't doing the job right.

Of course, acknowledging fears does not require succumbing to them.

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Baltimore, Md.: Re: Bolton's involvement in firing a U.N. official, as detailed in your column: This AP story got front page above the fold in the Baltimore Sun on Sunday. Yet I looked for it in The Post on that day and saw nothing? Did I miss it?

Jefferson Morley: No. It wasn't there.

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Washington, D.C.: This memo is the latest try to destroy the war effort by defeating Bush. It's cynical. I'm surprised you've given it as much respect, Mr. Morley. We had this debate in this country, we know Saddam had weapons, used weapons and violated the sanctions, we know because no less than the U.N. (hardly a friend of the administration) told us so.

The fact is you libs are trying to destroy this country by running wild with speculation and fantasy, ignoring the historical facts leading up to and during the war. Try and mentioning 17 resolutions, try mentioning the consensus of the West on WMD, try mentioning any of this and you get more fantasy and liberals assign crazy motives to everyone. Its over guys, you lost the election and now you've officially enter "KOOK" status. Move to Canada already.

Jefferson Morley: I'm puzzled. Charles Deulfer and David Kay of the CIA investigated and concluded that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction in 2003. They were not trying to destroy this country.

Nor am I. I love this country and love that free speech is one of its foundations.

I am trying to say there's a real story worth perusing here. If Richard Dearlove was way off base in his reporting on the Bush administration's policies in mid 2002, then U.S. government and officials should be able to demonstrate that with more accurate recollections and documents.

Your notion that there was consensus in the West on Iraq's WMD is not historically supported. The British officials who met with Blair said the case for war to remove Saddam's alleged WMD was "thin."

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Clinton, Mont.: Jefferson, This isn't a question but a hearty congratulations! Having just read through your article, I have to say, you just may be the leading story scoop champ of, at least the day.

Your article really does cover the critical points at least on the presently known surface, and really does put you way out in front of MSNBC, Newsweek, CNN, and CBS. You have potential to actually go down in history as the one main-stream journalist that is really pulling the facts together in the true spirit of the outing of Deep Throat - a genuine Woodward and Bernstein. I love it! Keep up the digging.

I've always thought that someone just needed to "connect the dots" as they say about 9/11, and the true picture will emerge. By now you know that Senator Kennedy has come forward presenting the DSM story in Congress. Why don't you interview him and start asking him what the next steps are in getting to the actual truth involved in this horrid fraud perpetrated on America.

Jefferson Morley: Thank you, Clinton.

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Laurel, Md.: Is it possible that the real reason that the media is mostly steering clear of this story is that past stories such as CBS's coverage of Bush's military service and Newsweek's coverage of the Koran abuses, and the way that the White House manipulates that coverage, have made many media outlets a bit "gun shy"? It is starting to seem that the White House is winning the cat-and-mouse game that it is playing with the American public and the truths that it denies so vehemently.

Jefferson Morley: I would say every reporter should be "gun shy" about making serious allegations in print.

And its good to be aware of how an accurate story may attract fire

But neither of these is a reason not to pursue the implications of the Downing Street minutes.

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San Antonio, Tex.: What do we know about Dearlove? Any chance that the administration would release minutes of the meeting(s) with Dearlove, especially if the minutes of any meeting(s) were incriminating to the administration? Where does the public's right to know play into the story?

Jefferson Morley: I don't know a lot about Dearlove, save that he recently left the British government for a business venture of obscure nature.

There is little chance that the Bush administration will release its minutes of the meetings that he attended.

This story is all about the public's right to know. We have the right to the information that will enable us to determine if the Downing Street minutes are accurate or not.

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Arlington, Va.: For the record, not everyone who wants to know more about this is a Bush-hating liberal who needs to move to Canada. Some of us just want to be sure we weren't lied to.

Jefferson Morley: Hear Hear.

And with that very timely reminder, I have to sign off.

I regret I couldn't get to all the questions but we are way over time.

I did answer every question from those readers who disagree with my views on the Downing Street Memo.

If you want to get World Opinion Roundup via email, send a message to jeff.morley@wpni.com and put the word "subscribe" in the subject line. Your address will not be shared with any other party.

See you next week.

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