john conyers applies the pressure

The Congressional Republicans didn’t make it easy for John Conyers (D-Michigan) to hold his hearings on the Downing Street Memo today, but they took place just the same. Here’s a clip with a bit of the background from the statement posted on Conyers’ site prior to the event:

For those commenters who were concerned (or hoping) that there would be a media blackout of the forum, that will not be the case. I have every major network, other than Fox, bringing cameras to the hearing. Nightline is taping the event, which I think represents a welcome development from a well respected investigative program. In addition, C-Span 3 and Radio Pacifica are carrying it live…

There has been some confusion about where the event will be held. As some of you may be aware, the Republican majority on the Judiciary Committee will not allow me to use Committee space, as I have in the past, for this. As a result, I had to consider some other locations, all with pros and cons. In the end, I decided it was best to hold the hearing in the one official room that was available, a very small room in the basement of the Capitol (HC-9). I want the location to be one that is nonpartisan and one where any Republican member interested in attending can do so…

So, they stuck him in the basement, in a room that could only fit about 20 people (from what I’ve heard), but it took place anyway. And, what’s more, when he was done with the hearing, Conyers stayed true to his word and hand-delivered a petition signed by 105 Congressmen and women, and well over half a million Americans, to the White House, demanding an explanation of the Downing Street Memo… Now, I guess we just have to wait and see what kind of treatment it gets in the corporate press, which, until now, has been reluctant to give the story even the briefest of mentions. (note: It might not be a bad idea to forward these links to your local paper.)

If the Downing Street Memo does make it into tomorrow morning’s papers, it will be primarily due to the efforts of John Conyers. Regardless of how well it’s covered, however, he should be commended for his efforts. He’s kept on the administration when few have had the courage, and, in my opinion, one day there should be a statue erected in his honor… If I might be so bold as to make a suggestion – I’d put it right outside the White House fence, in the exact location where he was stopped .

(note: If you missed the broadcast of the Conyers’ hearings today, I understand that they’re supposed to be rebroadcast on C-SPAN 2 on Friday night… And, if you’re interested, The Washington Post has an interesting on-line discussion with the reporter from the Sunday Times of London who first broke the Downing Street Memo story.)

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  1. Teddy Glass
    Posted June 17, 2005 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    And here’s your response from the White House after being given a petition signed by half a million Americans-

    Editor and Publisher says: “WH Press Secretary Mocks ‘Downing Street Memo.”


    part of the exchage:
    Q Scott, on another topic, has the President or anyone else from the administration responded to the letter sent last month by Congressman John Conyers and signed by dozens of members of the House of Representatives, regarding the Downing Street memo? Has the President or anyone else responded?

    McCLELLAN: Not that I’m aware of.

    Q Why not?

    McCLELLAN: Why not? Because I think that this is an individual who voted against the war in the first place [Conyers] and is simply trying to rehash old debates that have already been addressed. And our focus is not on the past. It’s on the future and working to make sure we succeed in Iraq.

  2. Posted June 17, 2005 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Seriously, I haven’t had a hero in a long time and Conyers has earned that distinction. McClellan’s non answer is going to piss some people off who have as yet to find their anger.

    BTW, The Today Show had a segment about it this morning. It’s not going away. It’s been a long time coming!

    Look at the fists on the guy behind the bars in your pic above, wimpy little fists!

  3. Posted June 17, 2005 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, let’s ignore the past when it doesn’t suit your needs and mock the one man in this country with the balls to take the Shrub on.

  4. john galt
    Posted June 17, 2005 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Al Sharpton would make a bigger spectacle.. And on the topic of Sharpton, I sat next to Don King on a plane the other week.. He’s a pretty nice guy. Dunno, for some reason they make me think of one another.. must be the hair.

  5. john galt
    Posted June 17, 2005 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    from today’s taranto blog

    “In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe,” reports the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. They held a pretend “impeachment inquiry over the Iraq war,” with Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, playing “chairman,” in which role he “spouted . . . chairmanly phrases, such as ‘unanimous consent’ and ‘without objection so ordered.’ ” Conyers & Co. called several “witnesses,” among them Ray McGovern, who “said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon”:

    “Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation,” McGovern said. “The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic.”

    Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who prompted the question by wondering whether the true war motive was Iraq’s threat to Israel, thanked McGovern for his “candid answer.”

    At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations–that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an “insider trading scam” on 9/11–that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks.

    There’s been a spate of stories lately about President Bush’s poor poll numbers–the importance of which is a mystery to us, given that the next presidential election is almost 3 1/2 years away, and Bush won’t be a candidate in any case. At the same time, the Angry Left seems to be getting less inhibited: witness Howard Dean’s various bouts of logorrhea, Charlie Rangel’s and Dick Durbin’s outrageous Americans-are-Nazis claims, and now this.

    We suspect there’s a connection here: The liberal media are persuading liberal pols that President Bush is in trouble with the public. The pols therefore conclude that the public is on their side, and this emboldens them to . . . well, in our opinion, to behave like total jackasses. Although we find this all somewhat vexing, we’re guessing that in the end it will not pay off politically for the Dems.

  6. john galt
    Posted June 17, 2005 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    so there you have it, the willy Jews set us up the bomb. I’ve been so misled, lets invade israel. Why is the left so anti-semitic? Do they really hate Jews, or just need a scapegoat? (interestingly the term scapegoat comes to us from Judaism Circa David, in which two goats we brought to the temple for sacrifice, one was allowed to “escape”, the other was sacrificed.. This brought to you by the history channel)

  7. john galt
    Posted June 17, 2005 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    more coverage of the mock impeachment… This time from

    The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration

  8. mark
    Posted June 17, 2005 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Are you suggesting that John Conyers is responsible for what people in the audience have on their t-shirts? Does the fact that somone turned the lights off somehow make the points being raised any less valid? I’m not sure that I get your point, but it sounds as though you’re criticizing the Democrats for being in a small basement room, when that’s where the Republicans put them.

  9. john galt
    Posted June 18, 2005 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Fire control time…

    The Associated Press
    Friday, June 17, 2005; 10:02 PM

    WASHINGTON — A handful of people at Democratic National Headquarters distributed material critical of Israel during a public forum questioning the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, drawing an angry response and charges of anti-Semitism from party chairman Howard Dean on Friday.

    “We disavow the anti-Semitic literature, and the Democratic National Committee stands in absolute disagreement with and condemns the allegations,” Dean said in a statement posted on the DNC Web site.

    Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the forum on Thursday at the Capitol to publicize and discuss the so-called Downing Street memo. That document suggests that the Bush administration believed that war with Iraq was inevitable and that the administration was determined to use intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

    The Sunday Times of London has reported that the prewar document, which recounts a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s national security team, was leaked from inside the British government. The White House has rejected the memo’s assertions.

    Conyers’ event occurred in a small Capitol meeting room, and an overflow crowd watched witnesses on television in a conference room at DNC headquarters. According to Dean, some material distributed within the DNC conference room implied that Israel was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    One witness, former intelligence analyst Ray McGovern, told Conyers and other House Democrats that the war was part of an effort to allow the United States and Israel to “dominate that part of the world,” a statement Dean also condemned.

    “As for any inferences that the United States went to war so Israel could ‘dominate’ the Middle East or that Israel was in any way behind the horrific September 11th attacks on America, let me say unequivocally that such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric,” Dean said.

    “The inferences are destructive and counterproductive, and have taken away from the true purpose of the Judiciary Committee members’ meeting,” he said. “The entire Democratic Party remains committed to fighting against such bigotry.”

  10. chris
    Posted June 19, 2005 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know galt was a jewish name.

  11. epaminondas
    Posted June 22, 2005 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Conyers can’t control what people wear…but he knows damn well what the complete moron Moran thinks, and if he had no idea what Mcgovern was to say then he is totally irresponsible (something he accuses the repub admin of btw).

    He knew or should have know what was about to be instantly ditributed by activists at this DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONGRESSIONAL FXN

    I have to wionder what his instant reaction would have been if Moran had asked…”Well it’s true that blacks are lazy and criminal isn’t it?” How long would it have taken him to throw the bastards out in thundering outrage? As he SHOULD. Conyers carrying out without a word either about a colleague, Mcgovern or the pamphleteers at his own function is no different from George Wallace saying after a signal polticial loss early in his career ..”I’ll never be out n*ggered again”, only this time the price of “winning” is to allow a union of the “liberals” with racists so long as you get word negative words in against the opposition.

    COnyers is no fool. He understands PERFECTLY what he is doing.

    Chris..go read Ayn Rand and educate yourself

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