Lietta Ruger; profile in speaking out as military family, as a citizen civil activist on Iraq war

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Downing Street Memo, Say What?

Published at Suite101 06/07/2005 

“In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.”

May 30, 2005, The Star Tribune

(link to article )

May 1, 2005, The London Times article; The Downing Street Memo. Classified information released and reveals origins of initiation of war in Iraq.

(link to article,,2087-1593607,00.html  )

June 7, 2005, No media coverage in USA on this important document, save one lone newspaper, The Star Tribune.

That is the passing of a month and what do Americans know about the Downing Street Memo?   Do Americans even care, I ask myself?

The official minutes of a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then head of Britain's CIA equivalent, MI-6.

“Dearlove briefed Prime Minister Blair and his top national security officials on July 23, 2002, on the Bush administration's plans to make war on Iraq.

Blair does not dispute the authenticity of the document.

In emotionless English, Dearlove tells Blair and the others that President Bush has decided to remove Saddam Hussein by launching a war that is to be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction." Period. What about the intelligence? Dearlove adds matter-of-factly, "The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy."

When this article was made known to me within the day of its release, I understood the potential impact and waited to see if American mainstream news would even report it and not surprisingly it went unreported.  Of course, not so on internet and in blogosphere where the impact was also understood.  Yet it is newsworthy, surely more so than the headline stories of the past month.

If it’s not newsworthy, not notable, it really does beg the question, doesn’t it, of why it is not. 

And in the interim, Amnesty International has made its 2005 report citing

“The US government is operating an "archipelago" of prisons around the world, many of them secret camps into which people are being "literally disappeared," a top Amnesty International official said.  And the Bush Administration finds this an unfair attack, yet cited Amnesty International reports as among the reasons to take out Saddam Hussein.  How low we’ve fallen, USA, to now be the subject of an Amnesty International Report citing our country’s villainy and not inaccurately either.

If as early as July 2002, both Bush and Blair knew they were taking their countries to war in Iraq, knew they would be sending in troops, why then by March 2003 (8 months later) was neither prepared to equip the troops they knew they would send into Iraq?

If there was lead up time to prepare the plans to go to war and induce fear into a susceptible congress/parliament and citizenry, there was time then to adequately prepare for the needs of troops being sent into combat.

Even if an optimistic case scenario of shock and awe and a quick finish was an expectation of these 'planners and leaders', now 2 + years later it's abundantly apparent this will be a long drawn out IraqNam and IranNam next?

And if PNAC had years to prepare their blueprint, why didn't that blueprint include the needs of troops in combat? How disposable are our troops?

So for me, a military family speaking out in support of our troops deployed in combat, I continue to wait, watch, say what I can when I can, and hope the American public will listen to the disquiet that must by now be rumbling around in their gut telling each there is something very wrong about what we are doing in Iraq.  More than that, I continue to wait and watch and hope the American public will not continue to try to quiet those inner feelings of agitation by out shouting them with their voices reciting the now tired rhetoric, jingoism and platitudes of why our loved ones are in combat in Iraq.  And more than that, I continue to wait, watch and hope the American public will be moved to action on behalf of our troops and call to account this Administration’s culpability of deception. 

We become collectively culpable as a nation and it troubles me deeply to now fully appreciate and understand how it might have been once upon a time for the German people as a nation when they seemed frozen and unable to act to hold their own leaders accountable.   Don’t misunderstand as I am not making a comparison of our Administration to that period of time, but I am making a comparison of the American public response to the German public response and have come to know the answer to the question that I used to ask ‘how could they do nothing, let it happen, let it continue’.   It is a question I now mentally ask daily these days about our own American public.

Sign the Congressman Conyers Letter To President Bush Concerning ‘The Downing Street Minutes’

(link )

Sign the Petition to Prime Minister Tony Blair supporting the public inquiry into the Iraq war.

(link )

(link )

Leisure time, I paint among other things;
Winter Cabin, oil painting by Lietta Ruger

See more of Lietta's paintings at  Lietta's painting gallery