Center For Public Integrity: The Lies that Led to Bush’s War in Iraq: It is difficult to believe that there are still people in the world who cling to the notion that the build-up to the War in Iraq was not systematically orchestrated by the Bush administration. The outright falsehoods committed to paper and memo and soundbyte are innumerable — or so we thought. The Center for Public Integrity, an organization established for journalism devoted to the public interest, has launched a 380,000 word searchable database compiled by Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith documenting the falsehoods of the Bush administration. The most damning, of course, are the 935 falsehoods that are bookended by September 11, 2001 and the initiation of war with Iraq in March 2003.
For instance, there is the statement made on November 29, 2001, by Vice-president Cheney on ABC’s Primetime Live: “There’s every reason to believe, since he kicked out the inspectors, that he did that specifically because he wanted to develop further his capabilities in this area, so-called biological, chemical agents and nuclear weapons . . . “
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle on February 23, 2002, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowicz stated: “So you can’t wait until you have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that somebody did something in the past, you know that people are planning to do something against you in the future and that they’re developing incredibly destructive weapons to do it with and that’s not tolerable.”
In a press briefing in Qatar on June 11, 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in answer to a question of what the Pentagon thought Iraq was working on or had, stated: “Oh, that they have chemical weapons and biological weapons and they have an appetite for nuclear weapons and have been working on them for a good many years, and that there’s an awful lot we don’t know about their programs.”
President Bush himself declared on November 11, 2002, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa: “This is a man who has deceived the world for 11 long years. He said he wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction; he’s got them. We know for a fact he was close to having a nuclear weapons at one time. We don’t know how close he is today because he has stiff-armed the United Nations.”
These are just four statements made by top Bush administration officials, including the president. As stated previously, there are hundreds of others. But how do we know that they were falsehoods? We know they were falsehoods through the statements and testimony of Hans Blix, the former United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector at the time Saddam Hussein removed the inspectors from Iraq, that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to or during the buildup to the war in Iraq. And we know they were falsehoods by the testimony of Joseph Wilson, the U.S. diplomat charged with tracking down in Fefruary, 2002, the possibility of deals made between Niger and Iraq of a nuclear nature, deals that never occurred and the facts of which Wilson wrote in the New York Times in July, 2003, had been twisted by the Bush administration. It was even intimated by the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton Commission (Iraq Study Group) that the Bush administration’s use of faulty intelligence had no merit in that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The report, “False Pretenses,” by Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith, is just another compendium of evidence of the arrogance and abuse of power that has been the hallmark of the Bush administration.
Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith, “False Pretenses,” PublicIntegrity.org
“Blix: Iraq War Was Illegal,” Commondreams.org
“Profile: Joseph Wilson,” BBC.co.uk