WoMD ... so where are they?

by Simon 865 Replies latest social current

  • Jayson

    I got this opinion Ed. published a while back. I still think it is true.

    Opinion - March 10, 2003

    Bring peace to IraqOnly a fool "wants" a war. It seems that the minority of countries, and the minority of people who are opposed to a final action (militarily) to remove the problem in the country of Iraq simply fail to see that military action in the Iraqi conflict has been ongoing for more than 12 years. The lack of protests during the past decade makes me wonder, why now? Why are so many obsessed with countries that would rather wait to deal with this and other issues? After all, regardless of when, it will be American men and women who will fight this war, not the French, not the Germans, or the Chinese. No, mostly it will be us. I think that many people confuse the Iraqi issue with their pouting over the presidential election of 2000 or the extreme economic woes of their own countries. These protests are cannon fodder because when the chanting of "no war, no war" ends, nothing will have changed. The chanting is all they have. Everyone knows that these "inspections" are constant news bites and nothing else. What I have realized is the absolute apathy that Western Europe and much of my own country shows toward oppressed people. It is my hope that soon people who read this will look beyond what opinionmakers of newspapers and television want to assist you to think. I hope that we as individuals begin to give some honest open-minded scholarly study to world issues. We have not been at "peace" with Iraq. We are not currently at "peace" with Iraq. It is time to bring "peace" to Iraq.

  • William Penwell
    William Penwell


    Definition: (DOD) In international law, a suspension or temporary cessation of hostilities by agreement between belligerent powers.

    So in Germany's eyes, the second World War was only a continuation of the first World War (or the Great War).

  • Jayson

    Iraq museum exaggerated losses

    By William Booth and Guy Gugliotta, The Washington Post

    BAGHDAD - The world was appalled. One archaeologist described the looting of Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities as "a rape of civilization." Iraqi scholars standing in the sacked galleries of the exhibit halls in April wept on camera as they stood on shards of cuneiform tablets dating back thousands of years.

    In the first days after Baghdad fell to U.S. forces, condemnation rained down on U.S. military commanders and officials in Washington for failing to stop the pillage of priceless art, while tanks stood guard at the Ministry of Oil. It was as if the coalition forces had won the war, but lost an important part of the peace and history.

    Apparently, it was not that bad.

    The museum was indeed heavily looted, but its Iraqi directors confirmed Sunday that the losses at the institute did not number 170,000 artifacts as originally reported in news accounts.

    Actually, about 33 priceless vases, statues and jewels were missing.

    "I said there were 170,000 pieces in the entire museum collection," said Donny George as he stood with beads of sweat glistening on his forehead in his barren office at the museum. "Not 170,000 pieces stolen."

    George, the director general of research and study of the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and the source for the original number, said the theft of 170,000 pieces would have been almost impossible: "No, no, no. That would be every single object we have!"

    On Saturday, a team of U.S. investigators from the Customs Service and State Department released a summary of a preliminary report that concluded that of the 8,000 or so exhibit-quality, world-class pieces of jewelry, statues and cuneiform clay tablets, only 47 are unaccounted for.

    Sunday, Iraqi officials at the museum confirmed the U.S. numbers, with a slight adjustment.

    "There are only 33 pieces from the main collections that are unaccounted for," George said. "Not 47. Some more pieces have been returned." Museum staff had taken home some of the more valuable items and are now returning them.

    George apologized for the confusion, which has caused anguish among Mesopotamia scholars and the general public alike, but essentially said it was not his fault.

    George conceded that during the 48 hours when his museum was being looted, he was extremely upset with the Americans.

    "I was very angry at the time, so much anger," George said. "But we should stop blaming each other. We're working together now."

  • Jayson

    In holy city of Karbala, the U.S. occupation sits lightly

    By Anthony Shadid, The Washington Post

    KARBALA, Iraq - Hundreds of demonstrators surged through streets snarled with traffic. They coursed past the gold-leafed dome of one of Shiite Islam's most sacred shrines, past grimy walls plastered with portraits of young men killed by Saddam Hussein's government and past the hovels of pilgrims.

    Through a rickety bullhorn came chants demanding that U.S. forces occupying Karbala pay the salaries of soldiers in the disbanded Iraqi army and pensions to veterans.

    But the protest Monday was perhaps most remarkable for what was missing. Not once was there a chant denouncing the U.S. occupation, a staple of demonstrations elsewhere in Iraq. A request by U.S. troops for the crowd to make way for military vehicles prompted protesters to shout: "Get back! Get back!" The crowd hurriedly did.

    In a city so sacred that its soil is used to make the stones on which Shiites bow their heads in prayer, the American occupation of Karbala - 1,110 U.S. troops in a city of 500,000 - has emerged as a rare example of a postwar experience gone right.

    In gestures large and small - from reopening an amusement park with free admission to restoring electricity to twice its prewar level, from stopping looting with a rapidly reconstituted police force, to a conscious effort to respect religious sensitivities - Karbala seems to have avoided the bitterness and disenchantment that has enveloped Baghdad and other cities.

    "It's not Fort Apache," said Marine Lt. Col. Michael Belcher, the city's senior American officer and a native of Temple Hills, Md.

    Yet problems remain, and deep-seated fears linger over the future, many residents say. Complaints are rife over what many still perceive as too little security. The local government and police are seen as too weak, even corrupt. Clerics, some more militant than others, angrily trade rumors that U.S. servicemen drink alcohol, leer at women and distribute pornography.

    Lurking underneath is a fear that once the Americans leave, even uniformly Shiite cities like Karbala will erupt in bloodletting as scores are settled from three decades of Saddam's rule and dozens of factions - many armed and claiming religious sanction - slug it out for supremacy.

    "I'm one of the citizens who rejects the idea that the Americans leave," said Awad Rubai, a father of six. "Revenge is in the air. There would be chaos."

    Here, the chief of the two-month occupation is Belcher, a hard-driving Marine with a crew cut and a sunburned, bulldog face. In other cities, such as Fallujah, where soldiers are fighting a smoldering guerrilla war, the U.S. military presence has proved provocative. In Karbala, Belcher, 42, is treated as a mix of ambassador and potentate, and he touts as a model the ability of his staff to engage the city council and police with the tacit blessing of key clerics.

    Karbala is one of the few cities where government employees - 28,000 municipal workers and 31,000 retirees - were paid without interruption. To get the money for the salaries, troops had to escort a bank manager to neighboring Hilla to get approval from his supervisor to open his doors.

    Blackouts are limited to a few hours a day, better than any time since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Water filters were brought in to improve quality, a long-standing problem. And the city government distributed rations at the end of April.

    In the dreary classrooms of the school that serves as Belcher's base, he chats with his staff about "micro-enterprise lending" - loans to help Iraqis start small businesses - as well as providing Internet access and upgraded equipment to the local television station.

    "If all you have is a hammer," he said, "every problem looks like a nail."

    At a soccer game on Saturday, just before dusk subdued the summer heat, the Iraqi police team took on U.S. Marines in newly purchased uniforms of blue and red. Belcher sat next to the police chief, Col. Abbas Hassani. Expletives poured from the American sidelines as the Marines rooted for an outgunned team that ended up losing to the Iraqis, 8-3. But it was all civility in the stands.

    Belcher and Hassani called each other "general," even though both are colonels. Before the match, Hassani recounted, Belcher asked whether his men's shorts were modest enough. "They're the same as ours!" a surprised Hassani exclaimed.

  • Realist

    hello Jayson,

    Nevertheless, Tardieu was optimistic because ``a modern mobilization demands years of preparation and cannot be carried out in secret. Neither of these essentials is henceforth in the hands of Germany.'' If enforced, the disarmament regime would make Germany incapable of mobilization."

    and he was right. Hitler was allowed to rearm prior to 1939. otherwise germany would not have been able to go to war.

    hussein had no way to rebuild his army. despite the inspections and sattelite surveillance he also lacked the technology and his country lacked the mental as well as physical resources.

    summary: the two cases cannot at all be compared.

    So you defend Germany's role in WW2. (Saying that the UK is laughable for what happened) Are you a Nazi sympathizer or just arguing with me?

    i dispise the nazi idiology. however the assessment of the era between the end of WWI and WWII is very onesided.

    germany was called agressive, militaristic etc. for taking back what it had lost after WWI. at the same time the countries that complained about germany had occupied half the world and tyrannized the endogenous population (india, africa, etc.).

    if switzerland would have raised the hand against germany OK but what moral authorization did britain, france (and the US) have in 1939? these guys were just full of shit getting upset about something they were more than guilty of themselfes.

    I agree with you that Europe does not carry it's weight in it's own military spending. It is put into it's socialist programs which are not sustainable indefinitely.

    they are largely sustainable. adjustments have to be made since the people live longer and have less children but it is nevertheless sustainable.

    if you ask me what is more important <Education, low crime rate, basic social security even for the disadvantaged ones, a functioning health system that treats everyone equal and a excellent infrastructure> OR on the other hand 14 aircraft carries, thousands of fighter jets, 30 stealth bombers (prize 2 billion $ each!) etc. than i will have to pick the former.

    if the US would try to do fair buisness with other nations like europe does (to a large extend) than it wouldn'T need its gigantic military power. what the US wins in $ because of its agressive foreign politics it looses at the same time due to gigantic military spendings. the whole deal is great for the super rich in the US but BAD for the average american.

    My point to the 91' uprising and US failure to grant support like later in the 90's when we (Clinton) fail them is

    it was bush sen. above anybody else who failed them! clinton just kept the sancions in place which cost the lifes of a million people.

    I want to point out how you take Saddam at his word Realist. It shows your ability to tell truth from fiction.

    i don't take him at his word at all! i just state his point of view and that the US was not able so far to disprove what hussein claimed. also, i don'T have a reason to trust bush any more than i trust hussein. bush overflowes with hypocritical, religious, simplistic BS in the second he opens his mouth. in my opinion one is just as evil as the other.

    The artifacts are and always were safe.

    well that would be the first good news out of iraq in weeks (havn't hear much about it though).

    There are 5 Security Members in the UN not one. Any one could have never allowed the sanctions. The UN made over a billion dollars administering the "oil for food program." The US is not the reason for the sanctions. Saddam was the reason for the Sanctions. Bush ended them he did not create them.

    yes there are 5. do the other 4 care enough about human rights to risk a serious economical conflict with the US? OF COURSE NOT! just look what the US tried to pressure germany, france and the non constant members of the security council to vote with them. exactly the same thing happened in 1990 and later. (by the way ...its the same thing with cuba).

    look what the US press published about france in the last 6 month! DISGUSTING propaganda! this was the first time europe did not oblige to US demands (by the way...not for noble reasons OF COURSE but for the interests of their own governemnts!)

    If Bush lied, according to you; does that mean that when the WMD are found it will be you who is the liar?

    no, it simply means he didn'T lie when he said iraq has WMDs (which is possible). but similar to germany in the 30ties i deny bush the moral authority to go to war with iraq because of whatever hussein had. the arabs have the same right of self defense as the US. i find it absurd to go to war with hussein about alledged WMDs and at the same time break the treaty about tactical nuclear weapons! (the US has to develop small nuclear weapons now because the big ones are too powerful to actually be used! WHAT A REASONING PROCESS!) can't you see that this is the kind of hypocrisy that enrages the world?

    Murder torture rape skullduggery apathy brutal dictatorship mass graves WMD programs of the past for decades a shown willingness to use WMD offensively and against civilians and a complete contempt for UN resolutions pretty strong evidence and even stronger reasons to kill him.

    hussein is/was a brutal man but so are all politicians in charge (be it bush, hussein, sharon or whoever). i strongly doubt a philanthrope will take over in iraq after the US occupation is over. whether they liquidate people in a democratic way (bush ordered a war and air strikes prior to it that cost thousands of lives) or non democratic way just depends on the environment they work in.

    by the way...the mass graves stem from the victims of the 1991 uprising. as sad as it is the killing of civilians in 1991 was a logical consequence of the attempted revolution.

    The existence of the WMD unaccounted for in Iraq were substantiated by the UN.

    blix said: there is no conclusive evidence in one or the other direction. it is possible he had WMDs it is just as possible he didn't.

    That he is gone is a blessing to the world.

    absolutely true. the best solution would have been however the duell proposed by hussein between him and bush. perhaps this would have rid the world of both these rats.

  • searchfothetruth

    Blix attacks 'bastards in the White House'
    By James Langton in New York, Evening Standard
    11 June 2003

    United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix says "bastards" in the Bush administration attempted to undermine his work in Iraq - and Tony Blair accepted intelligence reports that "did not hold water" in his decision to go to war.

    Mr Blix also poured scorn on the quality of British and US intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

    In an interview to be shown today on American television, he says: "I think they believed in what they saw, but some of the material did not hold water.

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    "If you want to start a war on this basis, then I think the intelligence should be good, not just 'Sorry about that, it was the wrong intelligence.' "

    Earl ie r, Mr Blix launched a verbal assault on what he called "my detractors in Washington", saying: "There are bastards who spread things around, who planted nasty things in the media."

    He also accused the White House of " leaning" on the UN inspection team to produce a more damning report in order to swing votes behind the American and British position in the Security Council.

    Asked if he believed he had been the target of a deliberate smear campaign by the Pentagon, he said: "Yes, I probably was at a lower level."

    He also attacked critics of the UN in Washington who regarded the body as an "alien power" based in New York.

    He says he "remains agnostic" about the possibility of chemical and biological weapons being found in Iraq.

    Last night, neither the White House nor the Pentagon would respond to his claims.

    Mr Blix is retiring in three weeks. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan yesterday named his deputy, Dimitri Perricos, as the new head of the weapons inspection team.

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  • Jayson

    Short conflict, less ammo kept war cost down By Laurence McQuillan, USA TODAY WASHINGTON — A short conflict that used fewer missiles, sparked fewer oil field fires and created fewer refugees than anticipated produced a lower-than-expected financial cost for the major combat in Iraq.

    Officials say the war lasted 26 days, from the launching of the first missiles March 19 until mid-April.
    By Roberto Schmidt, AFP

    That means President Bush won't have to go back to Congress for additional funding this year, a step that could have revived the debate over the war.

    A detailed account of expenses won't be complete for months, but senior administration officials say the cost of deployment and combat will be just less than the $62.6 billion Congress approved in March as emergency funding for Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is the first time officials have offered a tally.

    The price for the combat phase is about $220 per American. The Persian Gulf War in 1991 cost $76 billion in today's dollars. Though other countries financed 80% of that war, the United States is bearing most of the cost of this conflict.

    "The business plan for the war was roughly as successful as the military plan," Mitch Daniels said in an interview last week before he left the administration after two years as budget director. "The projections look pretty darn good."

    Those projections offer a window into the administration's prewar expectations. What kept war costs down:

    • The administration budgeted for the military buildup and 30 days of heavy fighting and bombing, followed by several months of skirmishes. Officials say the war lasted 26 days, from the launching of the first missiles March 19 until mid-April, when Iraqi political and religious leaders met with U.S. officials on forming an interim government.
    • Fewer expensive high-tech weapons were fired. For example, as many as 200 anti-missile Patriots were expected to be fired, but less than 25 were used. Each Patriot costs $2.3 million.
    • Planners had earmarked $489 million to put out as many as 500 oil well fires that Iraqis might ignite. Fewer than 10 wells were set ablaze, which cost about $5 million to extinguish the fires and repair damage.
    • Planners budgeted $593 million to care for as many as 2 million refugees, a problem avoided when urban combat was less extensive than expected. The refugee count was less than 100,000. In addition, $200 million was earmarked for emergency food supplies for Iraqis, but no major shortages occurred.
    • Troops are staying longer. The plan called for shipping more than 400,000 troops and equipment to the region and returning most of them within six months, at a round-trip cost of $30 billion. Now, at least 160,000 troops are staying in Iraq indefinitely, which means the cost of bringing them home can be deferred.

    Daniels and other officials have refused to estimate the costs of the postwar violence, peacekeeping and reconstruction in Iraq, and that has prompted complaints from Capitol Hill.

    "This stretches the tolerance and good humor of members," said Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

    The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent policy research institute, said the five-year cost for U.S. peacekeeping could exceed $100 billion. Estimates for rebuilding Iraq run as high as $30 billion a year for the next decade.

  • Jayson

    Over this stupid irrelevent topic [bush] I have no doubt lost a lot of friends. People who I once held in nothing but complete respect. Do I still have respect for them? Yes, my contempt is with the media not anyone here. I have asked, pleaded, yelled, and swore at people to look at more than media information. I really feel that political ideology is so strong that is impossible. I read claims about how it was the US who made the Iraqi army so powerful. That is hardly true. I have read where total military sales to Iraq equaled 250 million dollars where as France, Germany, China, and Russian sales where as high as 5 billion each. Yes Iraq had some backing via loans from the US during the Iran/Iraq war. Saddam paid back every penny plus interest. How many of you knew that Rummie brokered those deals in the 80's? And, Ollie the now news corespondant remember he has center in the Iran contra affair? No doubt that he aided the US in selling Arms via Israel to Iran during the same conflict. That is one reason for Saddams hate for the West. He thought that we were screwing him and we were. Kuwait [the invasion] was to try to revieve his economy. To win the Gulf war all he had to do was survive in power and he did. He was a beaken to the Arab world that you can stand up to the US and live. Containment was falling apart. Europe was board with it and quite frankly Iraqi contracts were to valuable to risk a war. Thus UN blockage today. The Iraqi death and no fly zones the endless occupation in neighboring countries I doubt anyone thought the US serious about removing Saddam. WMD an issue yes it was before the war. And, they still are an issue. As I said, what upsets me is not the stupid retoric that "bush lied." That is ignorance at it's best. It is that US intel was so poor that we don't know where they are. I pray we did not loose them. The nuclear looting has not been to hard to track. (Follow the bodies.) Europe is placid now I understand that. Peace is good. Russia wants to just worry about the economy and Germany is a pasifist and can be. The US did a good job. (Maybe to good) I mean in the UK remember don't shout "help" if you are being robed on the street. Shout "call the police" because no one should help you. That would be exessive force and land you in jail most likely. Nobody should be upset over Europes stance on all of this. There you do not do things on your own. Society does it. ("Call the police") Thus the US is not following what is societies will, which is the UN and the media. All this is at the heart of the media issue with me. It is the ultimate formation of attitude in Europe. That what the oracle[tv] says is what the truth is. And the media is dominated by the left. Totally dominated.

    I can't agree more with the people who say that the US is not the world's policeman. We have not the will to rule the world via empire, much less the ability. But, we should lead. Every dictator in the world is not could not be removed via force. But Saddam could easily and was without that much cost when you compare what is at stake. I like the overhauls to the UN and NATO that are taking place. They are long overdue. I like it when dictators are eraticated. Some people say that now the world is more unstable. However, I fail to see how it was stable before. Bush lied about the Saddam ties to WMD? Hardly, history shows the pattern of this man [Saddam]. History shows that this is a man who has every intention of going back to war with the world. To him it never ended. (Just like others of history.)

  • Realist


    Yes, my contempt is with the media not anyone here. I have asked, pleaded, yelled, and swore at people to look at more than media information.

    you do realize that the mass media in the US is controlled largely by bush and not the opposition right?

    I read claims about how it was the US who made the Iraqi army so powerful.

    no, the crux is that the US supported hussein when it was already clear that he is a gangster and that rumsfeld sold WMDs to him. and now rumsfeld goes to war over that same weapons. you don't see a shred of hypocrisy in that?

    Containment was falling apart. Europe was board with it and quite frankly Iraqi contracts were to valuable to risk a war.

    that leads to the core reason for the war. Economical interests. France and russia were afraid to loose their contracts while the US was planning to take over the contracts. this like 99% of all wars was a war primarily for economical reasons. bonus for the US was the establishment of a lasting stronghold in the region which allows them to attack every country that is not following US hegemony.

    the sanctions against iraq had the same reasons.

    Nobody should be upset over Europes stance on all of this. There you do not do things on your own. Society does it. ("Call the police") Thus the US is not following what is societies will, which is the UN and the media.

    in europe you don't do things on your own? what qualifies you to make that statement? what is the point of that statement?

    I can't agree more with the people who say that the US is not the world's policeman. We have not the will to rule the world via empire, much less the ability.

    well you should look at the US doctirne of establishing a US hegemony as long as there is no rival power (stems from rumsfeld, wolfowitz and a couple of other guys). the US is the only super power at the moment and it is acting accordingly.

    History shows that this is a man who has every intention of going back to war with the world.

    ok what exactly shows that?

    as to the US gov. telling the truth:

    what exactly was the truth in colon powell's report to the UN? was it the faked evidence of hussein trying to buy nuclear material? was it the 12 year old student report? was it the irrelevant sattelite photographs? you have to be more specific!

  • searchfothetruth

    The Dog Ate My WMDs By William Rivers Pitt
    Truthout Perspective

    After several years teaching high school, I've heard all the excuses. I didn't get my homework done because my computer crashed, because my project partner didn't do their part, because I feel sick, because I left it on the bus, because I had a dance recital, because I was abducted by aliens and viciously probed. Houdini doesn't have as many tricks. No one on earth is more inventive than a high school sophomore backed into a corner and faced with a zero on an assignment.
    No one, perhaps, except Bush administration officials forced now to account for their astounding claims made since September 2002 regarding Iraq's alleged weapons program.
    After roughly 280 days worth of fearful descriptions of the formidable Iraqi arsenal, coming on the heels of seven years of UNSCOM weapons inspections, four years of surveillance, months of UNMOVIC weapons inspections, the investiture of an entire nation by American and British forces, after which said forces searched "everywhere" per the words of the Marine commander over there and "found nothing," after interrogating dozens of the scientists and officers who have nothing to hide anymore because Hussein is gone, after finding out that the dreaded 'mobile labs' were weather balloon platforms sold to Iraq by the British, George W. Bush and his people suddenly have a few things to answer for.
    You may recall this instance where a bombastic claim was made by Bush. During his constitutionally-mandated State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, Mr. Bush said, "Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." Nearly five months later, those 500 tons are nowhere to be found. A few seconds with a calculator can help us understand exactly what this means.
    500 tons of gas equals one million pounds. After UNSCOM, after UNMOVIC, after the war, after the US Army inspectors, after all the satellite surveillance, it is difficult in the extreme to imagine how one million pounds of anything could refuse to be located. Bear in mind, also, that this one million pounds is but a part of the Iraqi weapons arsenal described by Bush and his administration.
    Maybe the dog ate it. Or maybe it was never there to begin with, having been destroyed years ago by the first UN inspectors and by the Iraqis themselves. Maybe we went to war on a big lie, one that killed over 3,500 Iraqi civilians to date, one that killed some 170 American soldiers, one that has been costing us one American soldier's life per day thus far.
    If you listen to the Republicans on Capitol Hill, however, this is all just about "politics." An in-depth investigation into how exactly we came to go to war on the WMD word of the Bush administration has been quashed by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Closed-door hearings by the Intelligence Committee are planned next week, but an open investigation has been shunted aside by Bush allies who control the gavel and the agenda. If there is nothing to hide, as the administration insists, if nothing was done wrong, one must wonder why they fear to have these questions asked in public.
    The questions are being asked anyway. Thirty five Representatives have signed House Resolution 260, which demands with specificity that the administration back up it's oft-repeated claims about the Iraqi weapons arsenal with evidence and fact. The guts of the Resolution are as follows:
    Resolved, That the President is requested to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 4 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution documents or other materials in the President's possession that provides specific evidence for the following claims relating to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:
    (1) On August 26, 2002, the Vice President in a speech stated: `Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction . . . What he wants is time, and more time to husband his resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons program, and to gain possession of nuclear weapons.'
    (2) On September 12, 2002, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the President stated: `Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.'
    (3) On October 7, 2002, in a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, the President stated: `It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.'
    (4) On January 7, 2003, the Secretary of Defense at a press briefing stated: `There is no doubt in my mind but that they currently have chemical and biological weapons.'
    (5) On January 9, 2003, in his daily press briefing, the White House spokesperson stated: 'We know for a fact that there are weapons there Iraq.'
    (6) On March 16, 2003, in an appearance on NBC's `Meet The Press', the Vice President stated: `We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. El Baradei frankly is wrong.'
    (7) On March 17, 2003, in an Address to the Nation, the President stated: `Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.'
    (8) On March 21, 2003, in his daily press briefing the White House spokesperson stated: `Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly.all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.'
    (9) On March 24, 2003, in an appearance on CBS's `Face the Nation', the Secretary of Defense stated: `We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that, in one case at least, the command and control arrangements have been established.'
    (10) On March 30, 2003, in an appearance on ABC's `This Week', the Secretary of Defense stated: `We know where they are, they are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.'
    On June 10, 2003, Representative Henry Waxman transmitted a letter to Condoleezza Rice demanding answers to a specific area of concern in this whole mess. His letter goes on to repeat, in scathing detail, the multifaceted claims made by the Bush administration regarding an Iraqi nuclear weapons program, and deconstructs those claims with a fine scalpel. "What I want to know is the answer to a simple question: Why did the President use forged evidence in the State of the Union address?" the letter concludes. "This is a question that bears directly on the credibility of the United States, and it should be answered in a prompt and forthright manner, with full disclosure of all the relevant facts."
    It is this aspect, the nuclear claims, that has led the Bush administration to do what many observers expected them to do for a while now: They have blamed it all on the CIA. A report in the June 12, 2003 edition of the Washington Post cites an unnamed Bush administration official who claims that the CIA knew the evidence of Iraqi nuclear plans had been forged, but that CIA failed to give this information to Bush. The Post story states, "A senior intelligence official said the CIA's action was the result of 'extremely sloppy' handling of a central piece of evidence in the administration's case against then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein."
    Ergo, it wasn't the dog who ate the WMDs. It was the CIA. Unfortunately for Bush and his people, this blame game will not hold water.
    Early in October of 2002, Bush went before the American people and delivered yet another vat of nightmarish descriptions of what Saddam Hussein could do to America and the world with his vast array of weaponry. One week before this speech, however, the CIA had publicly stated that Hussein and Iraq were less of a threat than they had been for the last ten years.
    Columnist Robert Scheer reported on October 9, 2002, that, "In its report, the CIA concludes that years of U.N. inspections combined with U.S. and British bombing of selected targets have left Iraq far weaker militarily than in the 1980s, when it was supported in its war against Iran by the United States. The CIA report also concedes that the agency has no evidence that Iraq possesses nuclear weapons."
    Certainly, if citizen Scheer was able to read and understand the CIA report on Iraq's nuclear capabilities, the President of the United States could easily do so as well.
    The scandal which laid Bill Clinton low centered around his lying under oath about sex. The scandal which took down Richard Nixon was certainly more profound, as he was accused of misusing the CIA and FBI to spy on political opponents while paying off people to lie about his actions. Lying under oath and misusing the intelligence community are both serious transgressions, to be sure. The matter of Iraq's weapons program, however, leaves both of these in deep shade.
    George W. Bush and his people used the fear and terror that still roils within the American people in the aftermath of September 11 to fob off an unnerving fiction about a faraway nation, and then used that fiction to justify a war that killed thousands and thousands of people.
    Latter-day justifications about 'liberating' the Iraqi people or demonstrating the strength of America to the world do not obscure this fact. They lied us into a war that, beyond the death toll, served as the greatest Al Qaeda recruiting drive in the history of the world. They lied about a war that cost billions of dollars which could have been better used to bolster America's amazingly substandard anti-terror defenses. They are attempting, in the aftermath, to misuse the CIA by blaming them for all of it.
    Blaming the CIA will not solve this problem, for the CIA is well able to defend itself. Quashing investigations in the House will not stem the questions that come now at a fast and furious clip.
    They lied. Period. Trust a teacher on this. We can spot liars who have not done their homework a mile away.
    William Rivers Pitt [email protected] is a New York Times best-selling author of two books - "War On Iraq" available now from Context Books, and "The Greatest Sedition is Silence," now available from Pluto Press at www.SilenceIsSedition.com. Scott Lowery contributed research to this report.
    © Copyright 2003 by TruthOut.org http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/061303A.shtml

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