Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Downing Street Seeing Print

The so-called "Downing Street Memo" has been a hot topic on US blogs and the foreign press for weeks now. But it's just beginning to get attention in the so-called mainstream media.

USA Today reported on it for the first time today. Mainly because it came up in a question to President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair at a joint news conference.

Why the wait? Romenesko quotes USA Today senior assignment editor Jim Cox:

“We could not obtain the memo or a copy of it from a reliable source. There was no explicit confirmation of its authenticity from (British Prime Minister Tony Blair's office). And it was disclosed four days before the British elections, raising concerns about the timing."

The Memo is purported to be minutes of a meeting between Prime Minister Blair and top intelligence and policy aides on July 23, 2002. President Bush's critics claim it's proof that the President decided to go to war with Iraq then created evidence to support his plan.

The Boston Globe has excerpts from the memo.

For the record, both President Bush and Prime Minister Blair say the memo does not accurately reflect events leading up to the Iraq War. (Romenesko)

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