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Politics, War and Deception
January 24, 2004
By Todd Smyth

The war in Iraq could have been justified based on the non-compliance of the Gulf War Treaty and the defiance of weapons inspections. But that didn’t happen. It would have required the cooperation of the UN and NATO and that would have taken too long. Not because of an imminent threat of terrorism. But because of an imminent threat of not getting re-elected.

The Bush administration systematically mislead the American people to create the perception of a link between Saddam Hussein and terrorism that presented an imminent threat to the American people. Meanwhile intelligence officials were pressured to find enough evidence to support the case for a unilateral, "preemptive" war in Iraq.

The purpose of this deception was to make the actions of the president legal, based on the power given to him by congress, to fight a war on terrorism. The result of this deception was an unnecessary war that has cost thousands of human lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. The purpose of this war was political re-election and crony, war profiteering.

After creating a financial disaster in the US with massive tax cuts for the wealthy, outrageous deficit spending, a loss of more jobs in America than any president since Herbert Hoover and a failure to capture Osama bin Laden, GW was looking for a good scapegoat and Iraq won the coin toss. Bush knew US troops could beat Saddam easily because he knew Iraq was no real threat.

Among the many damaging results of this war have been the betrayal of trust between the American people and her government as well as the loss of respect from countries we once called allies. To the rest of the world our democracy now looks like a fraud.

Shortly after George W. Bush's inauguration, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said: "We have kept him contained, kept him in his box." Hussein "has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction." Seven months before 9/11, 2001 CIA Director George Tenet, testified before Congress that Iraq posed no immediate threat to the United States or to other countries in the Middle East.

Four months before 9/11, 2001 Colin Powell testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee: "The sanctions, as they are called, have succeeded over the last 10 years.... The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. ... It has been contained." On February 24, 2001, during a visit to Cairo, Egypt Colin Powell stated: ”He [Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.”

After the events of 9/11, in his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush introduced the "axis of evil" Iraq, Iran and North Korea. He spoke at length about the war on terrorism without mentioning the Taliban or Osama bin Laden. In February 2003, just before the war in Iraq, Powell said: "We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more." After the war in Iraq on September 23, 2003 Colin Powell stated: “Iraq has no WMD.”

The following are a few of the many references President Bush made in speeches leading up to the war in Iraq:

"The Iraqi regime ... possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons." -- George W. Bush

"We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas." -- George W. Bush

"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States." -- George W. Bush

"The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. ... Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." -- Cincinnati, Ohio Speech, October 7, 2002 -- George W. Bush

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." -- State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003 -- George W. Bush

"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." -- Address to the Nation, March 17, 2003 -- George W. Bush

David Kay was named by the CIA in June 2003 to head the Iraq Survey Group to search for chemical, nuclear and biological weapons in Iraq. Seven months after the war ended, no evidence was found. In Dec 2003 David Kay resigned before the group submitted its final report. In early January 2004, the US brought home 400 members of the Iraq Survey Group tasked with searching for chemical or biological weapons, indicating the US has given up real hope of finding WMD.

In a Jan 7, 2004 Washington Post article "Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper" by Barton Gellman, interviews with Iraqi scientists explain why Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction of any kind. The article states that while there was evidence Iraqi leaders wanted to develop such weapons they had no success. A combination of international boycotts, U.N. weapons inspections and destruction, and internal squabbling and incompetence prevented Iraq from putting together any credible threat to the United States, or even neighboring countries.

In a 60 Minutes report on Jan 11, former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, revealed that President Bush had decided long before 9/11 that he wanted to remove Saddam Hussein from power. O'Neill, who sat in on National Security Council meetings, said he never saw legitimate evidence that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The Army War College report, Jan. 11 by Jeffrey Record, strongly criticizes the Bush administration calling the war in Iraq "a war-of-choice" and "unnecessary" citing that it has drawn resources away from fighting terrorism.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a report (WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications, Jan 2004) confirming that military intelligence concerning Iraqi WMD was terribly distorted and that Iraq posed no danger for the US. The study states that the "intelligence community overestimated the chemical and biological weapons in Iraq" and "appears to have been unduly influenced by policy makers' views." There is "no solid evidence of a cooperative relationship between Saddam's government and al-Qaeda."

Senator Edward Kennedy gave a speech at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C. on January 14th, 2004. Below are excerpts from that speech.

"The Administration capitalized on the fear created by 9/11 and put a spin on the intelligence and a spin on the truth to justify a war that could well become one of the worst blunders in more than two centuries of American foreign policy." ... "After repeatedly linking Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in his justification for war, the President now admits there was no such link.” ... "When Ambassador Joseph Wilson publicly challenged the Administration for wrongly claiming that Iraq had purchased uranium from Niger for its nuclear weapons program, the Administration retaliated against his wife, potentially endangering her life and her career." ... "The threat he [Saddam Hussein ] posed was not imminent. The war has made America more hated in the world, especially in the Islamic world. And it has made our people more vulnerable to attacks both here and overseas." ... "By far the most serious consequence of the unjustified and unnecessary war in Iraq is that it made the war on terrorism harder to win. We knocked Al Qaeda down in the war in Afghanistan, but we let it regroup by going to war in Iraq." ... "War with Iraq has given Al Qaeda a new recruiting program for terrorists. For each new group of terrorist recruits, the pool is growing of others ready to support them and encourage them." -- Senator Edward Kennedy

On September 17th 2003 President Bush admitted that Iraq had no connection to the 9/11 attacks on national television. Stating: “We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 11 September attacks" And yet more than 50% of Americans still think Iraq was involved in 9/11. Now President Bush is trying to justify the war based on Mommar Khadafi's agreement to open Libya up to WMD inspections. This would have been more impressive if he actually had weapons of mass destruction. Khadafi just didn’t want to be the next scapegoat.

Here's what George Bush will be running on in November:

  • An unjust war, responsible for thousands of civilian deaths and hundreds of US military deaths based on lies for the purpose of re-election and crony profiteering.
  • A foreign policy that has destabilized our position in the world and made us more dangerous than we were before 9/11.
  • Healthcare policies that benefit large insurance and drug companies while sticking it to most Americans.
  • A phony Wall Street, economic recovery, inflated by deficit spending and tax cuts for the rich that has not produced good paying jobs for the middle class.
  • A loss of more jobs in America than any other president since Herbert Hoover.
  • Tens of thousands more jobs heading overseas.
  • A new immigration plan that would legally displace tens of millions of low paying American jobs while providing almost slave labor conditions for immigrant workers.
  • 2.6 million good paying, median income jobs have been replaced by part time and minimum wage jobs.
  • The typical American now works 184 hours longer than in 1970, an additional 4.5 weeks on the job for only nine percent more pay.
  • Unfunded mandates in education that leave all but rich children behind.
  • The US is last in education among first world countries.
  • The richest 20% of the US population now own 85% of the nations total wealth while poverty has reached an all time high.
  • Homelessness has risen by 40-50% on a nationwide level.
  • The national debt is now over 7 trillion dollars; that’s $7,000,000,000,000
  • The worst environmental record of any US president
  • And now he wants to spend a trillion dollars to go to Mars

None of this is funny.

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