I received this interesting letter that Congressman Conyers and others have sent to the president. It's very sad that such a letter doesn't seem at all out of place today:
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, John Conyers, and Other Members signed the following letter to the President, warning him not to make any further misstatements in his state of the Union Address. The letter was prompted by previous misstatements by the President concerning Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction and efforts to obtain uranium from Niger. The text of the letter follows:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you prepare to deliver your fifth State of the Union address tomorrow, we write to respectfully request your personal attention to the accuracy of the information contained within your speech. We are sure you will agree that thorough fact-checking in preparation for this event is in the best interest of the welfare of the American people and our credibility around the world.
Throughout the course of American history, the impact that the State of the Union address has had upon the Congress, the American people, and the larger worldwide audience to which it is delivered cannot be overstated. In years past, this speech has reinvigorated the disheartened, consoled the grieving, and inspired the downtrodden. Three years ago, you used this address to press Congress and the American people to war against Iraq. However, they now know that information you used in delivering this battle cry was false. Just this month we have seen additional proof from the State Department of disagreement within your administration, at the time your speech was delivered, regarding your claim on Iraq seeking uranium from Africa.
Since its first delivery by President George Washington in 1790, the State of the Union address has grown beyond being merely a constitutional mandate. In fact, there are few events on the world stage where one individual commands the attention of so many on such a wide variety of issues. After your delivery of incorrect information in the past, you must now take special care to ensure that every word you speak can be proven to be accurate. Such attention to detail is crucial to repairing the trustworthiness of you- words and your presidency, as well- as our nation's integrity and leadership on global affairs.
Therefore, on January 31, we encourage you to pledge to your audience that every piece of your State of the Union address has been verified as true. Thank you for your consideration of our request. We look forward to your reply.