Thursday, 26 March 2015

Surprise! That Document Bush/Cheney Used To Justify Iraq War, Doesn’t

In late 2002 and early 2003, American involvement in the war in Afghanistan would go on for another dozen years but already that war was losing its prominence in the headlines, so President Bush, Dick Cheney and the hawks on the right began the process of selling us all on the war they really wanted, Iraq. It was a matter of national security. It was an immediate threat. Iraq was amassing an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that threatened our way of life. It was a slam dunk. It was a lie.

On an almost daily basis, members of the Bush administration came before us with a mountain of information detailing Saddam Hussein’s WMD program that could only be dealt with by invading the country and toppling his regime. To make their case, the administration and its allies cited the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a 93 page report that compiled all the intelligence available, along with expert opinions and interpretations. We later found out that, while what they were saying did come from the report, they were often leaving out important, if not critical information, information that significantly changes the picture being drawn. What they left out was all the uncertainty and condition that ran through every page of the report like chocolate sauce through a half gallon of fudge ripple ice cream.

In 2004, the CIA released the report as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request, but it was so heavily redacted as to be almost meaningless. In 2006, Congress went back through the information that had been available in the run up to the war and concluded that the administration had “overstated” the case. Until now though, the general public has had to take them on their word just what that means. A new FOIA request from John Greenewald at The Black Vault has resulted in the CIA releasing a new, much cleaner version of the report.

Coming on the heels of the 9/11 attacks, it was important that Al Qaeda be kept at the top of our priority list. So, the administration went to great lengths tying Saddam Hussein to the terrorist group, National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer and others made the connection and then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came out and told us they had “Bulletproof” information linking the two.
Within six months of the invasion we knew they were wrong about all of that, the Al Quaeda connection, the biological weapons, the chemical weapons, the nukes, everything. But the administration clung to deniability. They blamed flawed intelligence. It was unfortunate, but mistakes were made.

When Dick Cheney said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. That was wrong. But he also said there was no doubt. But there was doubt, and he knew it, and that makes it a lie. When they said the aluminum tubes were for refining uranium, they were wrong. When they said the tubes could only be used for that purpose, that was a lie. And they knew it. When Donald Rumsfeld said it was bulletproof, that was a lie and he knew it. Every time they knowingly left out a qualification or a piece of intelligence that shed doubt, and told us they were certain, they were lying. Now we know it for fact.

Today the hawks on the right are talking up a new war, this time in Iran.

The Bush Officials lied DELIBERATELY to have the 2003 War in Iraq. It was not mistaken intelligence (a point I put to various brainwashed mainstream journalists in emails over the years - but to no avail). The declassified intelligence, directly cited in this post, shows there were strong doubts that any active WMD programs existed in Iraq (although it could not be ruled out), and concluded that the regime of Saddam Hussein was not a threat to the USA unless he was openly attacked first (and even then his means of response was limited). Specific 'points of evidence' aired by officials on TV were untrue. The war was ultimately justified because of an "imminent threat" of attack - a lie. Launching what was an unnecessary war based on lies is a War Crime. The people who are covering up this crime, failing to launch prosecutions (the dept. of justice), are also committing a crime with their failure to act. Today we are getting similar lies about Iran, something that was predicted to happen about ten years ago when the scale of the previous propaganda effort was being recognised. When we have events like ANZAC Day or Memorial Day you might think about saving lives by taking an interest in this kind of thing.

Related Info:

Bush Administration Officials Should be Charged for Murder (citing the NIE)

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, March 26th, 2015.]

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