Colonel Brandt: “I wonder what we’ll do after we lose the war.”
Captain Kiesel: “Prepare for the next one.”
–”The Cross of Iron,” film by Sam Peckinpah
On September 12, 2001, President George W. Bush attended a meeting of the National Security Council.
“Why shouldn’t we go against Iraq, not just Al-Qaeda?” demanded Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense.
Vice President Dick Cheney enthusiastically agreed.
Secretary of State Colin Powell then pointed out there was absolutely no evidence that Iraq had had anything to do with 9/11 or Al-Qaeda. And he added: “The American people want us to do something about Al-Qaeda”–-not Iraq.
On November 21, 2001, only 10 weeks after 9/11, Bush told Rumsfeld: It’s time to turn to Iraq.
Liars Club: Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld
Bush and his war-hungry Cabinet officials knew that Americans demanded vengeance on Al-Qaeda’s mastermind, Osama bin Laden, and not Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein,. So they repeatedly fabricated “links” between the two:
- Saddam had worked hand-in-glove with Bin Laden to plan 9/11.
- Saddam was harboring and supporting Al-Qaeda throughout Iraq.
- Saddam, with help from Al-Qaeda, was scheming to build a nuclear bomb.
Yet as early as September 22, 2001, Bush had received a classified President’s Daily Brief intelligence report, which stated that there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11.
The report added that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al-Qaeda.
Even more important: Saddam had tried to monitor Al Qaeda through his intelligence service-–because he saw Al-Qaeda and other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime.
Bush administration officials repeatedly claimed that Iraq possessed huge quantities of chemical and biological weapons, in violation of UN resolutions. And they further claimed that US intelligence agencies had determined:
- the precise locations where these weapons were stored;
- the identities of those involved in their production; and
- the military orders issued by Saddam Hussein for their use in the event of war.
Among other lies stated as fact by members of the Bush administration:
- Iraq had sought uranium from Niger, in west Africa;
- Thousands of aluminum tubes imported by Iraq could be used in centrifuges to create enriched uranium;
- Iraq had up to 20 long-range Scud missiles, prohibited under UN sanctions;
- Iraq had massive stockpiles of chemical and biological agents, including nerve gas, anthrax and botulinum toxin;
- Saddam Hussein had issued chemical weapons to front-line troops who would use them when US forces crossed into Iraq.
Consider the following:
August 26, 2002: Cheney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars, “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.”
September 8, 2002: National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice said on CNN: ”There is certainly evidence that Al-Qaeda people have been in Iraq. There is certainly evidence that Saddam Hussein cavorts with terrorists.”
September 18, 2002: Rumsfeld told the House Armed Services Committee, “We do know that the Iraqi regime has chemical and biological weapons. His regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons—including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas.”
October 7, 2002: Bush declared in a nationally televised speech in Cincinnati that Iraq “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.”
March 16, 2003: Cheney declared on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We believe [Saddam Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
March 30, 2003: On ABC’s “This Week” program, 10 days into the war, Rumsfeld said: “We know where they [weapons of mass destruction] are.”
Bush never regretted his decision to invade Iraq, which occurred on March 29, 2003.
Even as American occupying forces repeatedly failed to turn up any evidence of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs), Bush and his minions claimed the invasion a good thing.
In fact, Bush-–who hid out the Vietnam war in the Texas Air National Guard-–even joked publicly about the absence of WMDs.
He did so at a White House Correspondents dinner on March 24, 2004-–one year after he had started the war.
To Bush, the non-existent WMDs were nothing more than the butt of a joke that night. While an overhead projector displayed photos of a puzzled-looking Bush searching around the Oval Office, Bush recited a comedy routine.
“Those weapons of mass destruction have gotta be somewhere,” Bush laughed, while a photo showed him poking around the corners in the Oval Office.
“Nope-–no weapons over there! Maybe they’re under here,” he said, as a photo showed him looking under a desk.
Meanwhile, an assembly of wealthy, pampered men and women–-the elite of America’s media and political classes–-laughed heartily during Bush’s performance.
Ultimately, the war that Bush had deliberately provoked would
- Take the lives of 4,486 Americans;
- Cost the United States Treasury at least $810 billion; and
- Kill at least 116,000 Iraqi civilians.