Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

DSM: RNC and JTTF strategy to disrupt road shows

URL for this blog

This outlines a variety of things being kicked around to disrupt the Downing Street Memo road shows.

There is one small problem. Not only do we know about them, but there's plenty that can be done to mitigate these efforts.


In over two weeks, Congressional representatives plan to take the Downing Street Memos on a road show. These are referred to as Town Hall Meetings. [ More . . . ]

The power-issues should serve as a lesson for all during the upcoming Downing Street Town Hall Meetings: Your opponent will hope to exploit the transition and communication challenges.

Continue reading if you are interested in learning more about possible RNC efforts to interfere with the DSM Town Hall Meetings you're in for a treat. You've got more than 2 weeks to review this information and get your town halls ready for the possible disruptions.

Learn from the Raw Story: Be mindful of possible disruptions and give yourself time to be in position and ready to cover the DSM. Don't wait: Pland to prevail despite your opponents likely efforts to disrupt public discussion of the Downing Street Memo.


The Downing Street Memo is actually a series of official meeting minutes and other memoranda related to the decision to invade Iraq without any legal foundation.

The Vice President appears to have been assigned the task of disrupting the public discussions of the Downing Street Memo. [ More . . . ]

This note outlines the various weaknesses of the proposed options being discusses to disrupt public discussion of the Downing Street Memo.

Also, this note outlines the various things Congressional Staffers can do to ensure the Downing Street Memo reviews occur with minimal disruptions.


The primary issue driving the White House concerns at this point is the momentum building toward gathering additional evidence related to war crimes in Iraq. The White House’s chief function in 2006 Congressional races is to maintain party discipline and act as the Chief for RNC Campaign Contributions.

Barring a major revelation warranting impeachment, the majority of the donors who have contributed funds to the RNC will continue to do so.

What remains unclear is to what extent the issues driving the 2004 campaign will continue. This is to say that one of the popular notions about the reasons driving the RNC success in 2004 Presidential election is the ability to sway Southern Fundamentalists Vote. Although such a constituency might prove in 2006 to be vital for campaign success, it is important to remember that the 2006 elections cannot simply be seen as an effort to redo the 2004 elections. There may be other factors.

Issues undermining fundamentalist confidence in RNC

The major problem within the RNC base is the waning confidence in the RNC leadership. Specifically, the RNC is no longer seen as a vanguard for fundamentalists’ interests. Rather, the RNC is seen as a party that talks about fundamentalists issues, but there is a common awareness that results and actions demonstrate otherwise.

RNC plans and results at this juncture should be seen for what they are: Actions that talk about principles, but whose results are at odds with the fundamentalist base. Rove’s recent speech shows the disconnect between conservative values and conservative practices. [ More . . . ]

The White House is also under the microscope because of the grand jury investigation into what some allege were Karl Rove’s revelations. Regardless the actual source of the leak, the White House is perceived to have been compromised: Previously asserting that there was no problem; now the grand jury prosecutor asserts that their closer. [ Fantasy felon: Rove's fate? -- Alleged leaker; satire, not an actual photo.]

Iraq remains a major problem. This, ironically, will be one of the major issues to distract attention from the Downing Street Memo.

For those of you who are familiar with the Downing Street Memo, you know that the memos and memoranda outlined the various efforts to not only fix facts to justify an unlawful war; but to also start the campaign before Congress reviewed the maters.

In other words, the Downing Street Memo will be painted as a foreign document that ha little relevance to the issues on the ground in Iraq. Moreover, an RNC objective at this point is to disconnect the linkage between the poor planning in Iraq and the Downing Street Memos.

In other words, even though the Downing Street Memos are about plans to sway public opinion, the RNC hopes the public doesn’t realize that the RNC remains in the same position: Attempting to sway public opinion about the Downing Street Memo.

It remains unclear why the RNC position will catch hold. For if they were successful in 2002-3 in swaying public opinion for the war [despite no evidence], it remains unclear what has changed that would result in the RNC being unable to similarly sway public opinion in 2005 about the Downing Street Memo.

It remains a matter for the public to discuss to what extent the Downing Street Memo is evidence of fine planning and effort to sway public opinion, but evidence that too much effort was put into swaying opinion without the balanced results in terms of actually ensuring those plans to affect public opinion translated into real results and plans on the ground.

The disconnect should not be lost. Remember, it was the Vice President who was behind the 2000-2001 efforts to review Execute Branch Operations. The goals of these reviews were to identify areas for improvement. Despite this review, 9-11 occurred.

In short, what remains at the heart of the Downing Street Memo is a disconnect between what the Executive Branch was supposedly planning and doing, versus what they were actually doing.

It remains a matter for Congressman Waxman to explore why the Vice President was unable to identify in the 2000-2001 study the very issues which supposedly were only known after 9-11.

RNC Objectives

RNC at this point is taking an active role in ensuring the Downing Street Memo reviews are disrupted.

They know that any effort to discredit the memos could gain support. However, the public has been quick to see through these efforts.

It is more likely that the RNC will focus on a multi-option approach to interfering with the DSM road shows.

This note outlines the flaws with the proposed RNC approaches to disrupt the DSM road shows.

Media Strategy

At the low end of the scale are the simple messages coming out related to Iraq. The White House position is that the fight in Iraq is related to freedom.

Failed planning

The White House positions on Iraq are problematic. First, there is the issue of credibility. One area is the issue of planning and intelligence. The same White House which would ask that we believe is capable of planning a way forward, has yet to explain why the planning fell apart in Iraq.

Resource mismatch in Iraq

Second, there is a disconnect between actual conditions and reported progress. One of the popular myths is that American forces are engaged in active combat operations, and the Iraqi insurgency is disrupting the power supplies.

There is one major problem with this media strategy. American troops returning from Iraq have reported that they have been stationed in remote, isolated, and inactive regions of the country.

At the same time, the power supply grids are below full capacity. It remains unclear why the arguments related to Iraq can be believed.

If the White House was truly serious about meeting its objectives [whatever those are this week], then those troops in those “boring” areas would also be a good indication for which areas additional power plans could be built.

Although building a power plan it not something that happens over night, there is a disconnect between what the White House is saying, what it is doing, and the actual conditions on the ground.

If the troops are in areas where there are no meaningful combat operations, then it remains unclear why these areas aren’t the regions where the power plans are built.

There is a larger issue of force concentration and resource mismatch. The White House would have the public believe that the mission in Iraq is simply about freedom.

There is one small problem. The actual missions are diverse. There are a variety of divergent missions that are not clearly linked with this final objective.

Multiple Conflicting US Missions in Iraq

Mission 1. Training mission: OJT, transition, monitoring.

Mission 2: Infrastructure protection. [physical assets]

Mission 3: Staging role for Iran.

Mission 4: Resource protection. [oil protection]

Mission 5: Ground campaign.

Mission 6: Ground efforts needed to win Iraqi support.

Mission 7: Civil war containment.

Mission 8: Convoy support.

Mission 9: Departure, force protection during withdrawal.

Mission 10: Government operations support and continuance of civil order.

The point being is that there is no single mission in Iraq. At best, there are a number of different missions each having various levels of complexity.

At worst, the missions contradict each other. As an illustration, look at the US abysmal war on drugs: A single mission but it failed.

For example, the training mission is designed to get the new Iraqi forces up and running for the final American handover.

However, this mission is at odds with the actual requirements for Mission 2 and 4 which require success not training. Where the Iraqis fail, the Americans have to step in.

At the same time, American forces are physically spread over the country not simply in divergent mission on the ground, but engaged in actions which are at odds with the actual stated objectives. For example, one strain on the military is the civil war [Mission 7] which is currently spreading; at the same time despite this requirement [which is not getting filled], the US forces are also staging operations for Iran-support [Mission 3].

Also, the Mission 7, Mission 8 and Mission 2 and 4 also require US forces to be in a state location; this is with the hopes of simply protecting the lines of communication, resources.

However, there is a problem with this. Troops are located in areas away from Mission 7 and located in remote areas where there is little combat activity, but high resource allocation requirements.

Adding to the complication are the challenges of sustaining a ground force that ha multiple missions, while at the same time letting the Iraqis run operations--Can’t do OJT while at the same time taking efforts to ensure there is 100% success in the other areas. There’s a tradeoff.

This is the balancing act of Iraq.

What the Downing Street Memo should be seen as: A document that not only talks about the planning, but the decision of the White House to ignore the above missions, yet continue to assert that things were going fine.

In short, the Downing Street memos were outlines and plans to get the United States into Iraq, but they were not credible discussions about what to do once the United States got there.

Questions for the road shows to raise with the audience related to planning.

Why are we to believe that the White House plans to get us into war are appropriately matched with resources?

They have a track record of putting a lot of energy and resources on a success-based plan: That things will workout.

But now that we find ourselves where we are, the RNC approach has been to defer to the public the responsibility for the setbacks.

In short, what RNC is doing is passing the responsibility for leadership and resource allocation onto those the RNC has said it would serve.

This is more than a legitimacy problem. It is at the core of the RNC complaint about the opposition: That those who have other views are the sources of problems.

In fact, when the RNC runs out of ideas of what to do, it accuses the public and those speaking out about the problems as being part of the problem. This is simply RNC showing that they’ve run out of ideas.

It’s not the job of the people discussing the Downing Street Memo to solve this problem for the RNC. RNC got into this mess. This was a war of choice. And the RNC freely chose to go along with the ruse.

Although privately, some if in the same position would resign, it is imprudent to share with the RNC solutions to the problem. First, they won’t listen. Second, this is their mess to deal with. Third, there’s no reason to help them out.

In short, the above issues are already known and ignored. Yet, these will be useful distractions from the Downing Street Memo.

Downing Street Memo

During the last week of July 2005, the Congressional staffs will be conducting the road shows.

Because the primary media relations efforts are failing, it is likely that the RNC will use other methods to distract attention and interfere with the road shows.

This note explores the variety of options RNC may exercise to disrupt the actual hearings. This note also explores a variety of methods the Road Show staff may choose to plan in advance to mitigate these risks.

There are six broad efforts

  • Media relations

    RNC in the final 14 days will be sending out various messages to the media to test out their responsiveness. This will be a testing phase for RNC. Their goals will be to test which messages are gaining traction and build momentum behind those which move.

    This will also be an effort to test out the loyalty of various media outlets. Those media outlets that fail to answer the RNC call will be cut off.

    Facility checks

    Based on the public list of locations and DSM meeting minutes, various facilities will be getting extra attention. These will come in the form of facility inspections. The goal of these inspections will be to shut down the facility at the last moment.

    Also, the facilities are being reviewed for maintenance issues. And special attention will be given to facilities that have security issues and personnel turnover. Keying and access will be designed to be problematic.


    There is also the option to have the facilities shut down for various power and emergencies.


    What staffers can do

    The professional staff for each road show location should have a public back-up location.

    At the same time, it is recommended that there be a private non-public back-up that each professional staffer independently develop or have as alternative.

    Also, as back-up have various equipment. Whether you want to have portable generators with you remains up to you.

    However, it would be appropriate to look into having back-up paper copies of the slides you are presenting.

    Presentation disruptions

    One useful thing to do will be during your practice road shows is to practice how you and the audience will interact with public outbursts and interruptions.

    You are encouraged to involve these disturbance in the media relations. Also, it is encouraged to practice with your staff how you will work with local personnel to film and capture on live feeds the images of personnel disrupting the speeches.

    It would be interesting to compare the identifies of personnel with those from JTTF and the images of personnel on the Operation Falcon. [ More . . . ]

    During your practices you may wish to discuss with your staff how you will physically position various photographic and video as the unexpected disruptions occur. Remember, the disruption has simply confirmed the threat of the Downing Street Memo. [ More . . . ]

    The additional story, above and beyond the Downing Street Memo, will a discussion of the various ruses to suppress photographic evidence. The smart ones will have options already in place that will make any effort to suppress this information impossible: Alternate recording locations; multiple VCR downloads; multiple recording locations; real-time transmission to the blogs; and moblogging and screen captures that can be sent through land lines and evade proximity umbrellas designed to suppress cell phone transmissions.

    Feigned disruptions as pretext to seize evidence

    What will be a plus for the Downing Street memo road show is if there are live streaming feeds out of the presentation directly on to the web.

    As opposed to relying solely on still or time delays, it would be good to test out the equipment and periodically verify that the streaming feeds are getting out of the facility. It is not unexpected that JTTF and aircraft could be deployed to interfere with cell phone/wireless transmissions from the DSM presentation areas.

    What can be done is personnel inside the facility could use land lines to check with receiving points on the net outside the facility to verify the wireless transmissions are getting through.

    Once the interference is detected, this needs to be brought to the attention of the media and immediately blogged. It would be advisable to have local media contacts not simply to invite them to the Downing Street memo, but to have as a point of contact to give them updates on other developments.

    Also, sample and templates for these types of events could be pre-developed to save time. You’ll want to briefly review the Downing Street Memo, outline the meeting and the issues being raised, and then point out the various methods your location experienced in terms of interference or disruptions.

    Also, a good thing to have will be back-up websites. In the situation where your primary presentation is disrupted, power cut, or the there is a lockout, you’ll want to have pre-positioned on both primary and back-up mirrored locations on the web copies of your dry run speeches: Both pdf versions of your paper, and the video recordings of your dry-runs.

    You’ll also want to include in your subsequent press releases the addresses for these back-up location and files.

    Also, as a planning step, you’ll have to decide whether you want to move the presentation to a secondary/back-up location, or reschedule.

    Perhaps what you may whish to do is have multiple dates and facility locations pre-scheduled as opposed to a single presentation in a single facility. This will avoid some of the last-minute chaos associated with "unexpected" meeting locations.

    The key is to let your audience know that disruptions are expected and they have been planned for with appropriate backups.

    Moreover, your goal is to demonstrate that any effort to dissuade public discussion of these issues is not only going to fail but send a clear signal that the government fights for principles overseas in Iraq, but has little tolerance for accepting when these rights are exercised.

    In short, the Downing Street Memo and the likely disruptions are related to the same issues: A credibility problem in that there is a disconnect between what the government publicly asserts vs. what it is willing to tolerate.

    Event disruptions

    During your presentation, you may want to give a brief advisory of what you plan to do in the event there is some sort of disturbance. Remind the audience that there are multiple presentations going on, and that there are members of the media who are monitoring the event not just in this location but all over the country.

    The point being: Just because one facility is shut down or interfered with, the world is still hearing about the Downing Street Memo; and there is information available in press packs on the backup websites.

    Also, remind your audience that if there is a disruption [fire alarm, power outage, or focal disruption of the presentation] that this is to be expected but there is nothing to be overly concerned about.

    Also, remind the audience that if there is an actual emergency, there are trained professionals in the fire department who are ready to respond to the emergency.

    The key will be to remind your DSM-audience that if there is a situation which arises, your staff has carefully reviewed the risks and is fully prepared to assist the audience in moving out of the area to a safe area.

    You may wish to include on an exit map at the beginning of your presentation a diagram of where the exits are, where people are to meet, and the location of the back-up location if this facility is shut down.

    Also, when you send out your meeting notices include the location of your back-up location, and the location where you plan to meet should the facility be shut down because of either an emergency, lockout, or last minute safety-environmental issues.

    The message you want to send to the public is that you know full well that there could be some disruptions, but that you’ve thought through the alternatives and are prepared to be flexible and provide timely information to the audience if there are last minute changes.

    Getting to the facility

    One of the options being batted around is the various intelligence efforts. Your audience may be concerned that they could be under surveillance. [More . . .]

    Remind them that if that JTTF regularly engages in domestic surveillance. This information is shared with Echelon-allies and remains stored in locations outside the Americans control. Although JTTF may be collecting this information, the copies can prove to be adverse especially when the video splicing shows that JTTF has engaged in deliberate fabrications and evidence tampering.

    It remains a matter of law whether these intelligence gathering efforts result in information being transferred to criminals.

    If personnel are concerned with having their license plates recorded, encourage them to be mindful of the large parking challenges that may be a problem with large audiences. Perhaps they may feel more comfortable driving with friends, taking public transportation, or parking well away from the facility and walking.


    In the event there are disruptions or interference with electronic transmission, you’ll want to have video recordings that are non-wireless. This is to say that if you have VCR tapes, they will be a back-up for your pod casts.

    In the event the primary electronic transmissions out of your facility are jammed, you’ll have a video that is non-exclusively electronic, and that is a hard-copy of the events.


    We’ve seen various training efforts underway. JTTF is using public interactions as training and practice.

    When you first approach the facility, keep in mind that demonstrators could be undercover JTTF. There’s nothing you can do to stop them.

    However, you may want to practice with your friends approaching various facilities surrounded by demonstrators.

    Get used to getting yelled at. Remember, there will be many questions. No matter what you say or do, the video could get spliced.

    Practice keeping your composure despite the taunting from JTTF. [ More . . . ]

    Develop a team approach to your video-blogging. If a disturbance breaks out, move to your pre-planned positions that will effectively capture the incident for posterity. Practice moving as a team and capturing the incident from various angles. [ More . . . ]

    During your practice and planning, remember to plan your moves and photography primarily relative to the disturbance or area of interest; be less concerned with the facility layout.

    But, by all means, consider your facility layout in planning various options to get optimal images. However, keep in mind during your practice and planning that your final facility location may change.

    Be sure to keep some of your videographers in reserve with a panoramic view. A primary disturbance may break out as an initial ruse, followed by a second and a third. This is to be expected.

    Remember to keep an overall picture in mind: They’re doing this because the Downing Street Memo could result in the President and Vice President being held accountable for war crimes.

    JTTF personnel are also involved not simply to disrupt the DSM presentation, but in that they are actively trying to dissuade inquiry into JTTF role in supporting unlawful wars and 42 USC 1983 claims in re efforts to deprive people of their civil rights. [ More . . . ]


    One approach JTTF takes to seizing evidence and disrupting communications is to create a disturbance and then require people to turn over their photographic, cell cameras, and other recording devices as evidence.

    Once these devices, disks or other recording devices are seized they are turned over to the evidence lockers and may never see the light of day.

    Your job is to have a method that will ensure your real-live evidence has a live-feed out of the facility. This is to say that although your recording device could ultimately be seized, you’ll want a method that can both break through the cell-phone jamming, and at the same time be sent to a location and recording device that is separate, secure, and also non-electronic.

    It remains up to you how you devise your individual pod. You may want to have a transmission system that goes to a remote VCR-recording location, with a live-feed download to the internet from your individual pod.

    Whatever method you choose, know that there will be other people using different systems. Also, your final transmissions will be recorded by GCHQ.

    If there is a disconnect between your original version and the final splicing, at least you’ll know that people inside GCHQ will be well aware of the efforts to rewrite history.

    In short, because of the potential for electronic interface, by all means if you can take the time to include hand sketches and hand drawings.

    The professional Congressional staffs may want to invite professional artists to document the hearings with sketches. This way, if all electronic monitoring is jammed or recording seized, at least you’ll have some images. Be sure to include comments related to why the video recordings and cell phone images are not available: They were jammed and make sure the public knows the efforts JTTF and RNC are taking to disrupt public discussion of substantive issues of public interest.


    In short, the White House is in trouble. They have a number of efforts in the planning stages to disrupt the efforts.

    As you plan for these meetings, keep in mind that the White House is very worried. There are things that you can do to ensure your Downing Street Memo reviews go as smoothly as possible.

    Have backup locations.

    Have paper copies as back-ups to your primary electronic formats.

    Include in your presentation and online material announcements on what to do if there are disruptions, emergencies, or interference.

    Include on your mirrored sites drafts of your back-up and rehearsal material.

    Encourage your audience to ensure their vehicle registration is up to date. If they can be mindful of traffic and share rides or take public transportation.

    Have back-up location for not only your facility location, but websites and non-electronic backups of handouts.

    Check to makes sure there is a landline available to check whether there is electronic jamming and whether the video signals to the web are going through as planned.

    Encourage your audience to have a check-in system. If there are a variety of events of things going on, encourage your audience to have a check in partner with someone on the other side of the globe. If there are disruptions or problems, and they are not able to check in, at least there will be someone out there who will be looking into the events: To find out if there were problems, delays, or reasons for delays in returning.

    The key will be to monitor the patterns of what the disruptions are and ensure that the public is aware of the disruptions.

    If there is interference at the Downing Street memo, make sure this is included in your reports.

    You may also wish to review the Law Collective website on information related to reporting emerging events. As practice, you may want to get with friends, watch a sporting event, and practice speaking and documenting the events. Critique each other for clarity, what missed, and ensuring the information you are relaying is understandable and captures the essential activities related to movements. [ More . . . ]


    They key will be to know that you can practice with these various scenarios. You have some time. Take the time to think through how you may want to deal with certain situation.

    Ensure you practice with your equipment, or think through how you will respond and notice should there be a disruption.

    You’ll want to dry run with your cell and post casting. Verify your pod casting links are working, the audience information is going to the feed, and your subscribers can access the information.

    When you develop promotional flyers, include a number for the ACLU: Where people attending the event can report information related to incidents and durations.

    Also, be mindful that law enforcement will be reviewing your public plans. Some of them may have questions about whistle blowing. Include in your written material numbers for law enforcement personnel and the public to call in the event they need to report management misconduct, or efforts by JTTF which violate civil rights.

    Also, include in your flyers numbers for the law enforcement civilian review boards and law enforcement standards of conduct. These are sometimes referred to as police officer standards and training. The civilian review boards will want to know of the disruptions and have copies of the incidents to see which law enforcement, if any, are attempting to intimidate a civilian population from exercising their rights to assembly and free association, especially when it comes to matters of public interest like discussing whether the President has committed war crimes.

    Post Disruption Questions for JTTF and RNC

    If you are fortunate enough to get a visit by JTTF and/or RNC personnel, you’ll want to engage them in dialog. Ask them why they are afraid of knowing what happened during the Downing Street Memo-generations.

    You’ll want to ask them whether it is appropriate for resources be used to stifle public gatherings or free exchange of ideas. Indeed, if America is fighting for freedom in Iraq, why is the exercise of that freedom the grounds for RNC and JTTF harassment?

    Ask the Vice President’s office why he is interested in WMD. It is curious that the Vice president was interested in intelligence at the CIA, but despite those many visits wasn’t able to figure out what issues, if any, were related.

    Ask the Vice president what the results were of his 2000-2001 management reviews. Why were those not successful? Why have the results of his personal visits to the CIA ineffectual in identifying the problems of his oversight?

    Indeed, the issue of fixing facts wasn’t just in the memos, but it was the sleight of hand to create the impression that there was a problem with the CIA. However, if there was a problem at the CIA, why did the Vice President keep going back? Was he unable to ensure that, prior to his visit, his concerns were addressed; or was the Vice President’s staff incapable of exercising leadership and getting the Vice President’s staff in a position to getting a response from the various staffers within the Vice President’s staff?


    JTTF personnel are reviewing their training plans. The White House is working with various consulting groups to craft media messages to discredit the Downing Street Memo.

    Monitor the facilities you plan to use. Look for signs that the locks have been changed. This is a good indication that CIA contractors have been hired to interfere.

    As you approach the DMS hearing, you may see a number of signs indicating road blocks. Keep in mind that these could be ruses and distractions. They sometimes tell you that a specific roadblock is head in the hopes of convincing you to run away; then at that “escape” option, JTTF will be there to inquire into your travel, reasons for travel, destination. They’ll be sure to point out particular safety issues with your car.

    JTTF is also on the distribution lists for the various information. If you have a website that has a registration requirement, you can be sure that law enforcement and the RNC are subscribers. Remember to be inclusive when you discuss the issues. Your goal is to remind them that you remain a viable and effective leader.

    Although they may be in JTTF, they are still voters. If you do it right, they may actually consider you a more credible planner than the current buffoons running the operations out of the Vice President’s office.

    Downing Street Memo Road Show

    The key to communicate to all listeners is why a review is appropriate. Recall, Bush and Cheney reviewed their own offices in the 2000-2001 time frame. It remains unclear why only they are able to review executive branch operations, but the public is not allowed to do the same. We have yet to hear the results of these reviews; nor a credible basis to believe that the plans in place were insufficient despite the weaknesses of 9-11.

    Your goal of the Downing Street Memo review is simply to ensure you hear the public’s comments. It will be a good opportunity to listen to their questions. You’ll get some feedback whether the messages you’re sending out are sinking in; whether the media is getting the story; or whether the public is getting distracted by irrelevant side issues.

    Out of the Downing Street Memo review you should have a good fell for the gap between what is needed to justify an inquiry; and what the public is willing to support. There may be problems with the public’s support in that they are reasonably not clear on the significance of the Downing Street Memo; or why a foreign government’s meeting minutes have anything to do with the United States.

    Again, the point at this juncture is not to list the hypothetical issues the public may have, but to outline that there will be some understandable difference between how you as staffers perceive the public and what you actually hear. Be mindful that the public is catching on and that that they need to see a connection between a document in the UK and why they as a voter should care.

    They need to know what the relationship is between the UK meeting minutes and memos and the rule of law in the United States.

    They’re also going to want to understand the criteria required for war; and how the information appears to have been crafted to appear that way.

    The public also needs to be guided to understand the various elements and lists of a jury instruction. And then on the other side of the page shown how the various information from the Downing Street Memos match up against these various criteria.

    The goal here isn’t to say that the President is or isn’t guilty. Rather, it is to outline the various lines of public evidence that we do have, and show that there appears to be a pattern of conduct that warrants public oversight and understanding.

    Also, remind your audience that there are grand juries that are going on. Remind them that there are other lines of evidence that are before grand juries, and that these grand juries are looking into other matters besides who leaked the name of certain personnel.

    Grand juries are allowed to review any matter; over time, we’ll have a better understanding of to what extent the grand juries can provide additional information related to the Downing Street Memos or efforts by the administration to silence critic.

    The audience also needs to understand what the difference is between politics/policies and criminal law. Some have the believe/perception that government is allowed to lie to justify policies; at the same time there are questions about whether the various restrictions on propaganda even apply or are relevant. [More . . .]

    At then of your interactions with the various Downing Street Memo hearings, your audience is going to want to walk away with a sense that there is some structure and gamelan going forward.

    As far as what they need to do; what questions or issues that need to be explored; and what additional information the various Committee members need.

    There also needs to be an effort to reach out to the various departments and encourage personnel within DoJ, DoD, DHS, and other agencies to work with the IG offices if they are aware of misconduct.

    If there are disruptions or reasonable questions raised, you’ll want to summarize these that communicate to the audience that you are aware of the strong and weak arguments of others and understand that there are various limitations at this juncture. In short, there is much that is not known and this remains the reason why there needs to be attention through an independent inquiry.

    Review of White House problems

    You may want to have some follow-up with your audience.

    How confident are they in the White House?

    To what extent is the Downing Street Memo road show effective?

    Is the audience getting conflicting messages from the White House?

    Why is there a disconnect between what the white House was willing to review in 2000-2001, but is not willing to look at in 2005?

    Actions at odds with base support

    The present recently spoke at the 4th of July celebrations. He spoke of freedom and principles. Karl Rove also shared the same conservative values.

    There is ones mall problem. What the White House is doing is at odds with these principles. Their efforts are designed to thwart free exercise of the rights they supposedly fight for in Iraq.

    You’ll want to asses to what extent the voters and RNC base who respect these ideas of freedom actually see in the results and actions a mirror of these principles; is the audience seeing a disconnect between what they talk about, what they do in Iraq, and what is going on in the United States?

    Also, take careful note of the DNC effort to defeat the RNC efforts in 2006. It’s all well and good to talk about motivating fundamentalist to vote against the RNC. But the trap is to presume that fundamentalists are the swing in 2006 as they were in 2004. They may be; but it would be a shame to find out in 2006-7 that the real swing vote was “something else.”

    Make sure that you develop your plans based on 2006-realities, not simply refighting the lost opportunities of 2004.

    You’ll want your audience to walk away with a firm idea in their mind as to the extent here is a disconnect between the reviews Cheney-Bush did of their own department in 2000-2001, and contrast that with the reviews done of the Downing Street Memo. Howe can leaders hope to credibly govern if they refuse to look at the issues; or are we to believe that they didn’t look at the issues; or why was there a disconnect in 2001 if they did the reviews of 2000-2001?

    What did they find in 2000?

    What was found in 2001?

    Were there common trends between what they found in 2000 and what actually surfaced?

    How are we to gauge their proposed plans for Iraq given the disconnect between what they found in 2000 versus what is reported to have failed in 9-11?

    The audience is going to want to see the larger issues in 2005. The Downing Street memo may be sold as something that is old; in fact, it is about conduct to arrive at pre-determined conclusions.

    This should not be lost in 2005. Today, we see the same thing. In Iraq, for example, the White House is retroactively justifying the war in Iraq using principles that are not practiced.

    Just as the DSM is about fixing facts, today in 2005, the White House goal is to fix the debate. Their goal is to link Iraq with 9-11 and continue to suggest that there is new emerging evidence. Yet, remind the audience that these reports are just conjecture; for the actual information shows the opposite: There was no link to 9-11.

    Another myth that is floating around is that the fight has to be fought overseas. Strange, all the information from 9-11 suggests that the actual people behind the 9-11 attacks aren’t from where the White House is pointing – but actually were CIA contractors. Who put the explosives in the WTC?

    Thus, to argue that “we need to take the fight overseas” misses the point: The real people behind 9-11 are the ones in the White House. Thus, using their logic, it means that the Downing Street Memo needs a thorough review to hold those really behind 9-11 accountable.

    The public needs to walk away from the Downing Street Memo road shows with a fair picture of what the White House is willing to do to generate support for unlawful wars; what the US will embrace as an “acceptable solution”; what methods the US will take to justify foreign policy that is unlawful; and that there is a difference between policy and matters of criminal law.

    The audience needs to now that the US will tolerate imposing pressure and using intimidation to manipulate a civilian population. The audience needs to compare the definition of terrorism with the efforts the White House used to manipulate and intimidate a civilian population.

    It remains a matter of evidence to explore to what extent the terror alerts were designed to harass the US civilians. It is curious that in previous years, the ‘terrorists” had conveniently timed their “alleged plans” around holidays; but in 2005 there was no similar effort. Curious.

    Also, keep in mind there are efforts by Israelis to plant software on computers to get information over the internet. It remains a matter of law to identify whether the US JTTF was using the same methods to stifle public discussion of the same issues.

    The audience also needs to walk away with an understanding to what extent the US intelligence services were not convinced of WMD. One of the myths floating around is that “everyone was fooled.” This is absurd. Why, if everyone was fooled, did the Vice president keep returning to the CIA? Answer: He wanted to get his view of the situation imposed; indeed, the Vice president’s visits are sufficient evidence to show that not everyone was convinced; had they all be fooled, there would have only been one visit. There were many.

    Also, once we look at the Downing Street Memo in the context of the intelligence community [in that they got it right, and the White House got it wrong], we have to ask ourselves about the two efforts underway:

    First is the intelligence reform. We’ve been told that x-conditions existed and they need to be fixed. But upon closer examination, even despite these problems, information still got through: FAA reports; foreign intelligence.

    The issue isn’t what failed, but why despite the efforts to stile these communications, was the intelligence overlapped but still sufficiently explained away. Again, we need to understand what efforts the White House used to keep the Congress in the dark about the multiple reports that were ,contrary to their conclusions while at the same time the White House was engaged in this effort to intimidate the Congress and media into compliance, did the information continue to surface.

    The public also needs to be reminded that the issue isn’t simply one of lying; but whether the false statements to congress were designed to create a legal framework to justify an unlawful war, and at the same time create some sort of immunity to war crimes accountability. The Downing Street Memo raises the real prospect that these issues aren’t simply policy matters, but they are matters of criminal law.

    While this unfolds, the public needs to be assured that there are ongoing criminal investigations in the matters. Although previous investigations have been closed out, the public needs to get a sense to what extent the Government Oversight Committee is reviewing the matters; and to what extent the public can have confidence that other investigation methods are arriving at new information.

    The problem for the White House as this point is that it has lower public confidence. The grand jury looking into the leaks is a distraction for the White House. It is uncertainty. Also, Rove is perceived to have lower public standing; it will have to be evaluated to what extent, despite this problem, his overall standing remains in tact after being recognized for his contributions to constructivism.

    I argue that Rove’s net standing will fall because of the perceived disconnect between the principles he talked about and his actual conduct. It remains a matter of law for the court to decide whether his actual standing suffers and substantially adds the momentum calling for a public inquiry.

    Despite the Rove problems, we do see that there is an effort to shift attention from the US military’s relative success and failures, and shift the blame on to the Iraqis and US population. This blaming should be called what it is: A failure of the White House to plan, and an effort to shift responsibility from those who launched an unlawful war onto those who dare challenge that illegality. This diversion is contrary to the notion of government accountability.

    Madison spoke of the danger of wars: Government gets powerful, debts increase, and the standing army gets greater deference. We’ve seen the same in Iraq. The White House continues to point to the military as the reason for the civilian population having to put up with greater intrusions, abuses, and non-sense, all the while making it appear to be a foregone conclusion that we’re in a state of perma-war.

    Nothing could be further form the truth. Congress could very well choose to shut off funds. The 2006 election results are far off.

    It is curious the contrast we are seeing. The DSM shows how the media was used to mobilize citizens for war; but when the public opinion turns, why can’t the White House once again get the media going again? It’s curious that the White House will talk about a mandate for war when the media can be manipulated; but the moment the public and media dare ask a question about the Patriot Act, suddenly that exercise of freedom is characterized as being unpatriotic. Looks as though freedom in Iraq is only good if it matches the White House’s preferred flavor.


    There are ongoing efforts to distract attention from the Downing Street Memo. There are flaws in the approaches and there are things that people can do to plan for these expected interruptions.

    The debate within RNC and JTTF is to what extent efforts to distract attention from the DSM will merely give additional attention to the memos and underlying claims. Again, the current strategy is t raise doubts about the memos; too much attention will simply add fueled to a fire and attract more attention.

    At the same time, despite the White House having no credible defense, there will be number of efforts to discredit the work. There will be other issues that come up between now and then. But those interesting in the Downing Street Memo should only include these issues if they tend to show a pattern of conduct that is consistent with what was identified in 2002: Fixing facts, manipulating the debate to arrive a pre-determined conclusions; and choosing to ignore the laws despite requirements to meet x-standards per the laws of armed conflict.

    Between now and 23 July, JTTF will be busy training. The underlying objective of the RNC is to dismiss impeachment as an option, and thereby raise questions as to why an inquiry will serve any purpose in that the information will go nowhere.

    Again, their goal is to draw a line in the sand, pretend that history and the past are not relevant, and emphasize that those who raise questions have some sort of moral problem caused by those who are being unpatriotic.

    We are reminded by the wisdom that true patriotism is when citizens hold their government accountable, not when the government convinced the population to be silent in the name of patriotism.

    It is true that the Downing Street Memo is from the UK. What will be interesting is to review the documents that are from the similarly-situated personnel. We have yet to see the similar memos as Lord Goldsmith that might exist then White House Counsel Gonzalez memos.

    The Downing Street Memo will be dismissed on the basis that it is from abroad, just a standard policy, and that every administration does this. But the public should walk away from the hearings with a sense that the DSM sheds a lot of light on the American way of waging propaganda and how information is manipulated not simply to justify war, but to justify something that is both illegal and indefensible.

    As you look forward between now and the time the Downing Street memo finally gets discussed at the road shows, know that there are people who have been assigned the task to disrupt the meetings. It is prudent to think through the various ways that they could disrupt your meetings and come up with options well in advance.

    As you dry run and rehearse your presentations, keep in mind that the public has very little understanding why the Downing Street Memo form the UK is relevant to them in their daily lives. Rather than talk about vague notions of accountability, your job will be to bring the issue home and how them how the pattern of conduct is actually affecting their work, focus, and ability to enjoy their rights.

    A government that gets a green light wage unlawful wars, gets more green lights to stop people without any reason, inquire into their personal affairs, and then use that information as a basis to make unfounded accusations.

    In short, the government simply uses its new power not to solve problems, but to harass the civilian population. That is not the reason we have a constitution; nor is it consistent with what the Constitution is all about it; rather, the Constitution is about standing up to this intrusive abuse and ensuring the government remains accountable, not in a state of perma-war finding convenient scapegoats in the population.

    The Downing Street Memo is about holding the real people accountable, not those who simply have the misfortunate of not realize the extent to which this government uses non-sense to justify more abuses and absurdity.

    Other examples

    As you prepare for your meetings, know that here are plenty of examples of government intrusions and efforts to dissuade public dialog.

    We’ve seen prosecutors fabricate evidence; they’ve also delayed trials; and asked the witnesses not to cooperate with inquiry; we’ve seen secret detentions.

    We’ve seen domestic intelligence efforts directed at those who are enjoying their rights in Nebraska; personnel are under surveillance for simply engaging in lawful conduct. [ More . . . ]

    We’ve seen the Denver Spy files; RNC demonstrations; San Francisco-Lodi Surveillance; and NYC prosecutor false evidence and law enforcement testiLYING. [ More . . . ]

    We’ve also seen JTTF and the US attorney engaged in efforts to spew forth non-sense about the Patriot Act. [ More . . . ] It remains a matter of evidence to explore to what extent the DSM-like-ruses were used to justify the Patriot Act.

    Prepatory Acts

    It will be important to watch for the planning efforts related to disruption. Notice any unusual maintenance, inspectors, or safety reviews at the facilities. You may wonder if there is unusual late night activity at the location.

    Be mindful that there could be efforts to condemn the location for safety related issues.

    JTTF PR Strategy

    There are six primary efforts underway. First is the media effort. This will be a period of warming up and planning stories for public consumption.

    Also, they will increase their efforts to undermine arguments for inquiry and attempt to discredit those associated with the Downing Street Memo.

    Third, they will consider and could possibly offer a “non-partisan” approach to the Downing Street Memo. This will have the appearance of being non-partisan, but will have the goal of doing the opposite: Finding out the thrust of the investigation, and then dissuading reviews into areas that are vulnerable.

    Fourth, they will engage at the forums for question and answer. They’re going to be there to challenge what you’re saying. Let their questions, however ridiculous, be feedback to you on whether your opponent is up to the match.

    Fifth, they will offer non-sense to deflate momentum.

    And finally, there is likely surveillance and actual threats of intimidation and smearing. Recall the efforts to discredit high profile personnel before the war in Iraq; and how the members of the community were discredited if they were not pro-war-enough.

    There could be some efforts to arrive at truth commissions. When those surface, remind them that the best way to arrive at truth is to have an inquiry into the Downing Street Memo; it is not appropriate to dive into the personal lives of those who happen to have the good sense to ask questions about war crimes and unlawful wars of aggression.,

    It is likely that the White House will attempt to associate those who are interested in the Downing Street memo as being advocates of unlawful activity.

    Their goal is to get those who are interested in the Downing Street memo to disassociate themselves.

    As a counterstrategy, one approach is to immediately disassociate and remove oneself from any group that advocates violence. Again, these moves to imply your association with disreputable organizations should be seen for what they are: It is an attempt to associate the valid concerns with the DSM with some sort of non-approved motive, so as to attack the message without credibly responding to the questions surrounding the Downing Street Memo.

    Bluntly, it is a distraction and you should have no hesitation in quickly spreading the word to others: What is going on; the desperation of the RNC; and the flawed approach they have to leadership and the rule of law.

    Encourage your local people to discuss the issues with the Unions and Churches. Make them aware of likely efforts to stifle their membership from exercising their rights to speak out, associate, and get access to the information.

    Remind them in advance that no amount of time and effort expended to interfere or disrupt is going to work. At best the efforts will backfire; at worst it will be the proximate cause for the growing public outrage at the RNC and materially undermine their election objectives in 2006.

    Either way, the hearings will go on; the road shows will present the information; and the public is going to find out. Whether the RNC wants to be part of the solution or be part of the disruptions remains and issue of leadership or lack thereof.

    Flaws with the White House media Strategy

    There are three emerging lines of evidence that, even before the DSM-related-media-efforts, the White House is facing problems. Overall, their goal is to distract attention from the Downing Street Memo.

    First, the White House lacks credibility. This will drive the Vice President to rely more on the non-official outlets as a means to discredit the Downing Street Memo.

    Second, Iraq situation is a major problem. This is actually a welcome surprise for the White House: The more problems there are in Iraq, the less attention there is on the Downing Street Memo.

    Third, they are using retroactive looks at Afghanistan. What we’ve been seeing is despite Afghanistan situation supposedly being contained, is the White House continuing to point to events in Afghanistan as if they were important.

    Keep in mind your opponent may lull you into "not worrying" about the risks of these disruptions with, "Stop making such a big deal," or "We would never do that."

    Remember, if they lose the debate they could go to jail. There's no reason to trust them when they say that the nation should stop all the commotion about certain issues. Rather, they need to justify why anyone should believe them given their veracity and credibility problems.

    ‘Tis far better to have planned and not exercise an option, than to trust a known liar when they promise to not do something that is contrary to your interests.

    You’ve been warned

    Ultimately, your success will be in whether you can demonstrate your approaches and systems are more viable and effective that the current Administration’s. It's all well and good to point to efforts to disrupt; but a far more credible solution would be to point to the vast efforts to dissuade you to discuss the Downing Street Memo and your subsequent effective plans and options that surmounted these failed efforts.

    In short, don't wait after the disruptions occur to whine about them. Plan for them to occur and show the world that your effective planning translated into both an effective public discussion and a compelling plan going forward to address the issues and hold government accountable.

    But don't stop there. In turn, you need to show that you're taking the lessons and have credible solutions in place that will move the country forward. And these have to be specific, not more RNC-like platitudes about philosophy and principles.

    In other words, you have 3 weeks to get your act together. Stop whining about what JTTF and the RNC are or are not doing to cooperate. Your job is to show the world that despite the most outrageous efforts to stifle public discussion of issues related to war crimes, you can rally the nation, build a credible plan to move forward and build an architecture for a credible and compelling future.