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Michael? Is that you?

REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL DICK THORNBURGH AND LOUIS D BOCCARDI

I knew I had seen the name before, journalist “Michael Smith”, the journalist who is now behind the Downing Street Memos.

My curiosity spiked, I took to the internet to find out more about him. Then I remembered where I'd seen the name before.

You see there was also a journalist Michael Smith involved with the previous memo farce - RaThErGaTe. In the CBS investigation - Thornburgh/Boccardi- it contains these little tidbits:

“The Panel might have given us some idea of the background of free-lance journalist Michael Smith, whose back-and-forth with Mapes on August 31 and September 1 provides the best glimpse of motive the Panel ever references: "What if there was a person who might have some information that could possibly change the momentum of an election but we need to get an ASAP book deal to help us get the information? Smith e-mailed Mapes on the 31rst. "Mapes responded in an e-mail to Smith's proposal, stating 'that looks good, hypothetically speaking of course,'" the report tells us on page 86, but it does not tell us what else Mapes said in that e-mail.

Here is the email Mr. Smith sent to Marla Mapes:

"Today I am going to send the following hypothetical scenario to a reliable trustable editor friend of mine...

What if there was a person who might have some information that could possibly change the momentum of an election but we needed to get an ASAP book deal to help us get the information? What kind of payment schedules are possible, keeping in mind the book probably could not make it out until after the election....What I'm asking in this best case hypothetical senerio, can we get a decent size advance payment, and get it turned around quickly.

Then they will respond with some possible scenarios of what they cold do. When we get to Burketts house I will have at least some scenerios to show Burkett about what could happen if he played ball with the documents. If he shows us what we want, then I can call my friend and tell him the real details and start the process."

What were Texas Michael Smith and Marla Mapes cooking up together? Well we know now it was nothing less than a journalist fraud on the American people and an attempt to defeat President Bush in the 2004 election. The rest is history.

However, the similarities between Rathergate and Downing-gate are striking as the name of the "two" journalists. In both cases we have memos that were “copies” (the originals were throw away; burned, etc).

In both cases the “source” was anonymous (only later after the CBS story fell apart was Ltc. Burkett revealed. We still don't know the sources of the original (indeed if there ever was) Downing memos.

Now the Michael Smith of RaThErGaTe was a freelance journalist out of Texas. The other out of London. Michael Smith a pretty common name. Yet I am now digging information so see if the two are one in the same person.

Back home we have a saying – “Something stinks”, and I’m smelling the stench.

I can't say for certain whether both Michael Smith's are one in the same.
But I'm on it and will keep you updated.

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