News Articles

PNAC Proponents Inflated WMD Threat to Promote Iraq War

Here are a few of the growing number of stories about how administration officials worked to ensure that the threat of Iraq’s claimed WMD prgrams and readiness were overstated, in making the case for war with that country.

Powell was Under Pressure to Use Shaky Intelligence on Iraq: Report

US News and World Report magazine said the first draft of the speech was prepared for Powell by Vice President Richard Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, in late January.

According to the report, the draft contained such questionable material that Powell lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring, “I’m not reading this. This is bullshit.”

Cheney’s aides wanted Powell to include in his presentation information that Iraq has purchased computer software that would allow it to plan an attack on the United States, an allegation that was not supported by the CIA, US News reported.

Full Article…

(Here is a link to the U.S. News & World Report article referred to in the above. The article will go to their for-pay archives after a while.)

Might and Right
Commentary by Philip Gourevitch
The New Yorker
Issue of 2003-06-16
Posted 2003-06-09

Two weeks ago, on the first day of his first foreign trip since the fall of Baghdad, President Bush went to Auschwitz. The symbolism could not have been more heavy-handed: with the international press full of images of the grisly excavations of Saddam Hussein�s killing fields, the President claimed the memory of the six million to explain his �war on terror,� invoking the Nazi gas chambers and crematoriums as �a sobering reminder of the power of evil and the need for people to resist evil.� Bush ended his trip in the same spirit, telling a cheering throng of American troops in Qatar, �The world is now learning what many of you have seen. They�re learning about the mass graves. They�re learning about the torture chambers. Because of you, a great evil has been ended.� It�s true that stopping Saddam�s tyranny is the most heartening and unambiguous consequence of the war in Iraq. But Bush did not take over that country on a humanitarian impulse. As Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has said, although Saddam�s �criminal treatment of the Iraqi people� was a �fundamental concern� for Washington�s war planners, it was �not a reason to put American kids� lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it.� Rather, according to the repeated claims of the Administration, our kids were put at risk in order to disarm Iraq of its chemical and biological weapons, which, intelligence assessments were said to show, posed an urgent threat to our national security.

So where is Saddam�s terrible arsenal? Bush, on his way to Auschwitz, took time out to tell Polish television, �We found the weapons of mass destruction.� That wasn�t true. After more than two months of searching, American forces in Iraq had yet to discover any trace of biological or chemical agents. All they have found is a pair of tractor trailers, which appear to have been fitted out as weapons laboratories but never used. The President�s readiness to present this discovery as a finding of the weapons themselves follows a pattern of distortions on the part of the Administration�hypotheticals proclaimed as facts, suspicions and fears spun as clear and present dangers, actions taken accordingly�throughout the planning, marketing, and prosecution of the war.

Full Article…

Senators Urge Congress to Hold Hearings on Iraq
Tuesday 10 June 2003

WASHINGTON - Two key senators said on Tuesday that Congress should hold hearings on what intelligence led the United States to go to war against Iraq.

Concerns have been rising in the United States and worldwide that the banned arsenal the U.S. administration cited as the reason for launching the war has not been found in the weeks since the ousting of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

President Bush stopped short on Monday of repeating his pledge that weapons of mass destruction would be found, although he stated flatly that Iraq had a banned arms program.

Full Article…


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