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Bush/Cheney lied about WMDs


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The best estimates available suggest that more than 500,000 people have died as a result of George W. Bush and Tony Blair's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. A newly released investigative report from the UK government suggests that intelligence officials knew ahead of time that the war would cause massive instability and societal collapse and make the problem of terrorism worse and that Blair and Bush went ahead with the effort anyway.

 

The correct response to this situation is to despair at the fact that the US and UK governments created such a horrific human tragedy for no good reason at all. However, partisan grudgefests run deep, and some on the right have argued that the UKs Chilcot report proves the real dastardly actors are liberals who accused Bush and Blair not just of relying on faulty intelligence suggesting Iraq had WMDs but of lying about the intelligence they did have.

 

 

To some extent, this is beside the point; even if they had been totally cautious and careful in characterizing the intelligence, the war still wouldve been a catastrophic mistake that took an immense human toll. But the truth also matters, and the truth is that there were numerous occasions when Bush and his advisers made statements that intelligence agencies knew to be false, both about WMDs and about Saddam Husseins nonexistent links to al-Qaeda. The term commonly used for making statements that one knows to be false is "lying."

 

Mother Joness David Corn has been excellent about chronicling specific examples over the years. Here are just a few:

In October 2002, Bush said that Saddam Hussein had a "massive stockpile" of biological weapons. But as CIA Director George Tenet noted in early 2004, the CIA had informed policymakers it had "no specific information on the types or quantities of weapons agent or stockpiles at Baghdad's disposal." The "massive stockpile" was just literally made up.

In December 2002, Bush declared, "We do not know whether or not [iraq] has a nuclear weapon." That was not what the National Intelligence Estimate said. As Tenet would later testify, "We said that Saddam did not have a nuclear weapon and probably would have been unable to make one until 2007 to 2009." Bush did know whether or not Iraq had a nuclear weapon and lied and said he didnt know to hype the threat.

On CNN in September 2002, Condoleezza Rice claimed that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs." This was precisely the opposite of what nuclear experts at the Energy Department were saying; they argue that not only was it very possible the tubes were for nonnuclear purposes but that it was very likely they were too. Even more dire assessments about the tubes from other agencies were exaggerated by administration officials and in any case, the claim that theyre "only really suited" for nuclear weapons is just false.

On numerous occasions, Dick Cheney cited a report that 9/11 conspirator Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer. He said this after the CIA and FBI concluded that this meeting never took place.

More generally on the question of Iraq and al-Qaeda, on September 18, 2001, Rice received a memo summarizing intelligence on the relationship, which concluded there was little evidence of links. Nonetheless Bush continued to claim that Hussein was "a threat because hes dealing with al-Qaeda" more than a year later.

In August 2002, Dick Cheney declared, "Simply stated, there's no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." But as Corn notes, at that time there was "no confirmed intelligence at this point establishing that Saddam had revived a major WMD operation." Gen. Anthony Zinni, who had heard the same intelligence and attended Cheneys speech, would later say in a documentary, "It was a total shock. I couldn't believe the vice president was saying this, you know? In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD, through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program."

 

The Bush administration on numerous occasions exaggerated or outright fabricated conclusions from intelligence in its public statements. Bush really did lie, and people really did die as a result of the war those lies were meant to build a case for. Those are the facts.

 

The failure of Iraq was not merely a case of well-meaning but incompetent policymakers rushing into what they shouldve known would be a disaster. Its the story of those policymakers repeatedly misleading the public about why, exactly, the war started.

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The best estimates available suggest that more than 500,000 people have died as a result of George W. Bush and Tony Blair's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. A newly released investigative report from the UK government suggests that intelligence officials knew ahead of time that the war would cause massive instability and societal collapse and make the problem of terrorism worse and that Blair and Bush went ahead with the effort anyway.

 

The correct response to this situation is to despair at the fact that the US and UK governments created such a horrific human tragedy for no good reason at all. However, partisan grudgefests run deep, and some on the right have argued that the UKs Chilcot report proves the real dastardly actors are liberals who accused Bush and Blair not just of relying on faulty intelligence suggesting Iraq had WMDs but of lying about the intelligence they did have.

 

 

To some extent, this is beside the point; even if they had been totally cautious and careful in characterizing the intelligence, the war still wouldve been a catastrophic mistake that took an immense human toll. But the truth also matters, and the truth is that there were numerous occasions when Bush and his advisers made statements that intelligence agencies knew to be false, both about WMDs and about Saddam Husseins nonexistent links to al-Qaeda. The term commonly used for making statements that one knows to be false is "lying."

 

Mother Joness David Corn has been excellent about chronicling specific examples over the years. Here are just a few:

In October 2002, Bush said that Saddam Hussein had a "massive stockpile" of biological weapons. But as CIA Director George Tenet noted in early 2004, the CIA had informed policymakers it had "no specific information on the types or quantities of weapons agent or stockpiles at Baghdad's disposal." The "massive stockpile" was just literally made up.

In December 2002, Bush declared, "We do not know whether or not [iraq] has a nuclear weapon." That was not what the National Intelligence Estimate said. As Tenet would later testify, "We said that Saddam did not have a nuclear weapon and probably would have been unable to make one until 2007 to 2009." Bush did know whether or not Iraq had a nuclear weapon and lied and said he didnt know to hype the threat.

On CNN in September 2002, Condoleezza Rice claimed that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs." This was precisely the opposite of what nuclear experts at the Energy Department were saying; they argue that not only was it very possible the tubes were for nonnuclear purposes but that it was very likely they were too. Even more dire assessments about the tubes from other agencies were exaggerated by administration officials and in any case, the claim that theyre "only really suited" for nuclear weapons is just false.

On numerous occasions, Dick Cheney cited a report that 9/11 conspirator Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer. He said this after the CIA and FBI concluded that this meeting never took place.

More generally on the question of Iraq and al-Qaeda, on September 18, 2001, Rice received a memo summarizing intelligence on the relationship, which concluded there was little evidence of links. Nonetheless Bush continued to claim that Hussein was "a threat because hes dealing with al-Qaeda" more than a year later.

In August 2002, Dick Cheney declared, "Simply stated, there's no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." But as Corn notes, at that time there was "no confirmed intelligence at this point establishing that Saddam had revived a major WMD operation." Gen. Anthony Zinni, who had heard the same intelligence and attended Cheneys speech, would later say in a documentary, "It was a total shock. I couldn't believe the vice president was saying this, you know? In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD, through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program."

 

The Bush administration on numerous occasions exaggerated or outright fabricated conclusions from intelligence in its public statements. Bush really did lie, and people really did die as a result of the war those lies were meant to build a case for. Those are the facts.

 

The failure of Iraq was not merely a case of well-meaning but incompetent policymakers rushing into what they shouldve known would be a disaster. Its the story of those policymakers repeatedly misleading the public about why, exactly, the war started.

 

Why did Bill Clinton and the head of the Cia say different?

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like the CIA and the Bay Of Pigs...another rightwing Military Industrial Complex Fiasco

The head of the Cia at the time was appointed by Clinton..

And Clinton claimed Iraq had wmds

 

Did Clinton lie Benson?

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like the CIA and the Bay Of Pigs...another rightwing Military Industrial Complex Fiasco

Why did the invasion take place?

 

There were several reasons, and I don't promise to hit them ALL but I will mention some reasons which I have yet to see in your posts, Benson.

 

Several developments took place at this time or were already happening at the time or which had already transpired and substantively changed the operational or strategic dynamics of the Iraq/Middle Eastern situation.

 

All of these situational dynamics (and maybe others in addition to these) affected the major decisions to intervene in Iraq.

 

What were or are the major considerations of the USA (at the time and today) concerning the M.E. and/or Iraq?

 

To be continued.

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These arent lies

 

 

Saddam Hussein has repeatedly violated sixteen United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) designed to ensure that Iraq does not pose a threat to international peace and security. In addition to these repeated violations, he has tried, over the past decade, to circumvent UN economic sanctions against Iraq, which are reflected in a number of other resolutions. As noted in the resolutions, Saddam Hussein was required to fulfill many obligations beyond the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Specifically, Saddam Hussein was required to, among other things: allow international weapons inspectors to oversee the destruction of his weapons of mass destruction; not develop new weapons of mass destruction; destroy all of his ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers; stop support for terrorism and prevent terrorist organizations from operating within Iraq; help account for missing Kuwaitis and other individuals; return stolen Kuwaiti property and bear financial liability for damage from the Gulf War; and he was required to end his repression of the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein has repeatedly violated each of the following resolutions:

 

 

UNSCR 678 - November 29, 1990

 

 

Iraq must comply fully with UNSCR 660 (regarding Iraq's illegal invasion of Kuwait) "and all subsequent relevant resolutions."

 

 

Authorizes UN Member States "to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area."

 

 

 

UNSCR 686 - March 2, 1991

 

 

Iraq must release prisoners detained during the Gulf War.

 

 

Iraq must return Kuwaiti property seized during the Gulf War.

 

 

Iraq must accept liability under international law for damages from its illegal invasion of Kuwait.

 

 

 

UNSCR 687 - April 3, 1991

 

 

Iraq must "unconditionally accept" the destruction, removal or rendering harmless "under international supervision" of all "chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities."

 

 

Iraq must "unconditionally agree not to acquire or develop nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapons-usable material" or any research, development or manufacturing facilities.

 

 

Iraq must "unconditionally accept" the destruction, removal or rendering harmless "under international supervision" of all "ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 KM and related major parts and repair and production facilities."

 

 

Iraq must not "use, develop, construct or acquire" any weapons of mass destruction.

 

 

Iraq must reaffirm its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

 

Creates the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) to verify the elimination of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programs and mandated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verify elimination of Iraq's nuclear weapons program.

 

 

Iraq must declare fully its weapons of mass destruction programs.

 

 

Iraq must not commit or support terrorism, or allow terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate in accounting for the missing and dead Kuwaitis and others.

 

 

Iraq must return Kuwaiti property seized during the Gulf War.

 

 

 

UNSCR 688 - April 5, 1991

 

 

"Condemns" repression of Iraqi civilian population, "the consequences of which threaten international peace and security."

 

 

Iraq must immediately end repression of its civilian population.

 

 

Iraq must allow immediate access to international humanitarian organizations to those in need of assistance.

 

 

 

UNSCR 707 - August 15, 1991

 

 

"Condemns" Iraq's "serious violation" of UNSCR 687.

 

 

"Further condemns" Iraq's noncompliance with IAEA and its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

 

Iraq must halt nuclear activities of all kinds until the Security Council deems Iraq in full compliance.

 

 

Iraq must make a full, final and complete disclosure of all aspects of its weapons of mass destruction and missile programs.

 

 

Iraq must allow UN and IAEA inspectors immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

 

 

Iraq must cease attempts to conceal or move weapons of mass destruction, and related materials and facilities.

 

 

Iraq must allow UN and IAEA inspectors to conduct inspection flights throughout Iraq.

 

 

Iraq must provide transportation, medical and logistical support for UN and IAEA inspectors.

 

 

 

UNSCR 715 - October 11, 1991

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN and IAEA inspectors.

 

 

 

UNSCR 949 - October 15, 1994

 

 

"Condemns" Iraq's recent military deployments toward Kuwait.

 

 

Iraq must not utilize its military or other forces in a hostile manner to threaten its neighbors or UN operations in Iraq.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors.

 

 

Iraq must not enhance its military capability in southern Iraq.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1051 - March 27, 1996

 

 

Iraq must report shipments of dual-use items related to weapons of mass destruction to the UN and IAEA.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN and IAEA inspectors and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1060 - June 12, 1996

 

 

"Deplores" Iraq's refusal to allow access to UN inspectors and Iraq's "clear violations" of previous UN resolutions.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1115 - June 21, 1997

 

 

"Condemns repeated refusal of Iraqi authorities to allow access" to UN inspectors, which constitutes a "clear and flagrant violation" of UNSCR 687, 707, 715, and 1060.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

 

 

Iraq must give immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to Iraqi officials whom UN inspectors want to interview.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1134 - October 23, 1997

 

 

"Condemns repeated refusal of Iraqi authorities to allow access" to UN inspectors, which constitutes a "flagrant violation" of UNSCR 687, 707, 715, and 1060.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

 

 

Iraq must give immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to Iraqi officials whom UN inspectors want to interview.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1137 - November 12, 1997

 

 

"Condemns the continued violations by Iraq" of previous UN resolutions, including its "implicit threat to the safety of" aircraft operated by UN inspectors and its tampering with UN inspector monitoring equipment.

 

 

Reaffirms Iraq's responsibility to ensure the safety of UN inspectors.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1154 - March 2, 1998

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN and IAEA weapons inspectors and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access, and notes that any violation would have the "severest consequences for Iraq."

 

 

 

UNSCR 1194 - September 9, 1998

 

 

"Condemns the decision by Iraq of 5 August 1998 to suspend cooperation with" UN and IAEA inspectors, which constitutes "a totally unacceptable contravention" of its obligations under UNSCR 687, 707, 715, 1060, 1115, and 1154.

 

 

Iraq must cooperate fully with UN and IAEA weapons inspectors, and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1205 - November 5, 1998

 

 

"Condemns the decision by Iraq of 31 October 1998 to cease cooperation" with UN inspectors as "a flagrant violation" of UNSCR 687 and other resolutions.

 

 

Iraq must provide "immediate, complete and unconditional cooperation" with UN and IAEA inspectors.

 

 

 

UNSCR 1284 - December 17, 1999

 

 

Created the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission (UNMOVIC) to replace previous weapon inspection team (UNSCOM).

 

 

Iraq must allow UNMOVIC "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access" to Iraqi officials and facilities.

 

 

Iraq must fulfill its commitment to return Gulf War prisoners.

 

 

Calls on Iraq to distribute humanitarian goods and medical supplies to its people and address the needs of vulnerable Iraqis without discrimination.

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