The Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that Bush and his administration were less than honest in their public statements prior to the War in Iraq:
The report cites several instances in which the Bush administrationâ€™s public statements were not supported by the intelligence. Among them:
* Statements and implications by the president and secretary of state suggesting that Iraq and al-Qaâ€™ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qaâ€™ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
* Statements by the president and the vice president indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
* Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
* Statements by the president and vice president prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraqâ€™s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence communityâ€™s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
* The secretary of defenseâ€™s statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
* The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.
Why should Bush care though? It’s McCain’s war now.
Update The link above is to the Editor & Publisher article. Upon further reflection, we should be taking our cues on Iraq from McClatchy (formerly Knight Ridder) whose reporting was almost entirely accurate and almost entirely ignored by the rest of the media. McClatchy’s story is here. Their headline is less reserved than some of the other papers – Senate Committee: Bush Knew Iraq Claims Weren’t True.
A long-awaited Senate Select Intelligence Committee report made public Thursday concludes that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made public statements to promote an invasion of Iraq that they knew at the time were not supported by available intelligence.
Now, before we get into the standard defense at this point that “golly gee, we just followed the evidence we had at the time and did the best that we could” feel free to check out McClatchy’s reporting from the time. Here are some of their headlines:
# 10/11/01: Former CIA director looks for evidence that Iraq had a role in attacks
# 02/13/02: Bush has decided to overthrow Hussein
# 02/20/02: Iraqi opposition leader suspected of misusing U.S. funds, but may get more
# 08/16/02: Planning unit is another sign Bush is preparing to oust Saddam
# 09/06/02: Lack of hard evidence of Iraqi weapons worries top U.S. officials
# 09/12/02: Experts: Iraq unable to get materials needed for nuclear bomb
# 10/04/02: CIA report reveals analysts’ split over extent of Iraqi nuclear threat
# 10/07/02: Some in Bush administration have misgivings about Iraq policy
# 10/24/02: Infighting among U.S. intelligence agencies fuels dispute over Iraq
# 04/19/03: Officials: Data didn’t back Bush claims on Iraqi weapons
# 05/30/03: Troubling questions over justification for war in Iraq
# 06/02/03: Failure to find weapons in Iraq leads to intelligence scrutiny
# 07/11/03: No real planning for postwar Iraq
# 10/14/03: CIA investigated tip on WMD from previously discredited source
# 11/11/03: CIA report: More Iraqis supporting resistance
# 02/09/04: Doubts, dissent stripped from public version of Iraq assessment
Didn’t you watch “The Road to 9/11”?
Iraq made direct payments to the Philippine-based al Qaeda-affiliated Abu Sayyaf group. Hamsiraji Sali, an Abu Sayyaf leader on the U.S. most-wanted terrorist list, stated that his gang received about one million pesos (around $20,000) each year from Iraq, for chemicals to make bombs. The link was substantiated immediately after a bombing in Zamboanga City in October 2002 (in which three people were killed including an American Green Beret), when Abu Sayyaf leaders called up the deputy secretary of the Iraqi embassy in Manila, Husham Hussain. Six days later, the cell phone used to call Hussain was employed as the timer on a bomb set to go off near the Philippine military’s Southern Command headquarters. Fortunately, the bomb failed to detonate, and the phone yielded various contact numbers, including Hussain’s and Sali’s. This evidence, coupled with other intelligence the Philippine government would not release, led to Hussain’s expulsion in February 2003. In March, ten Iraqi nationals, some with direct links to al Qaeda, were rounded up in the Philippines and deported as undesirable aliens. In addition, two more consulate officials were expelled for spying.
“The Path to 9/11”? You’re joking, right?
Yeah, I would take the word of a movie that invented events out of thin air (yes, that scene where military/CIA have Bin Laden surrounded and Sandy Berger refuses to let him be captured is fiction, the “drama” part of “docu-drama”), rather than an exhaustive congressional investigation… if I were a complete idiot.
T, you’re so well informed. Look into the quote. It happened.