It's getting to be old news. Another week, another anti-Bush administration rally on the streets of Boise. Two weeks ago, it was a 750-signature petition to "fire" DeLay. Before that, it was 150 people packing the Boise Public Library to protest privatization. More recently, a group of black-clad women, faces covered, performed a silent lunchtime vigil for peace in front of City Hall. This time, the marchers were on the corner of Front Street and Capital Boulevard in the middle of rush hour on June 16, picketing for the loftiest goal of them all: the impeachment of the second commander-in-chief in a row.
"We got a lot of positive response," said Joe Moran, one of the event's organizers. The group, operating under the umbrella of the advocacy group MoveOn.org, has staged dozens of similar events nationwide in recent weeks, to publicize a growing sentiment-including among normally lily-livered Democratic politicians-that Bush should be punished for what is now being referred to as the "Downing Street Memo."
How big of a deal is this memo? Rep. Maxine Waters of California, in a mock impeachment trial staged in Washington, D.C., last week, called it "One of the biggest scandals in the history of the country." Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, who led the proceedings that were attended by three-dozen Democratic members of Congress, said the papers "establish a prima facie case of going to war under false pretenses the singular phenomenon," and that their fallout "is going to turn this sad and terrible war around."
So what is the Downing Street Memo? It is a recently declassified British government intelligence document, whose authenticity has not been disputed by either British or American officials, stating that, "The case was thin," for invading Iraq. Then it adds, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Anti-Bush activists have treated the memo as a proverbial smoking gun since its May 1 release in the London Sunday Times, but protesters like Moran say they won't rest until everyone in Boise knows about it, too. "We're just starting," he says. "You're going to hear a lot more about impeachment."