Bush Administration DID LIE us into Iraq

The Red County/OC Blog feed headline “Bush Never Lied To Us About Iraq” caught my eye this afternoon. I had to click through to see what drug Jubal/Matt Cunningham was on. 

Prominent Democrats and their apologists have claimed ad nauseum that they — and by extension the nation — were deliberately mislead into war by the Bush Administration. It doesn’t matter that it is a false and self-serving assertion. In the precincts of the Left, it has taken on the quality of dogma.

So it was refreshing to read a voice of the Center-Left stating as much in a Los Angeles Times op-ed earlier this week.

The op-ed that Jubal/Matt refers to was written by James Kirchick an assistant editor of the New Republic. The op-ed is humorous in that it completely ignores fact. I do not really need to dig to deep to find the evidence to back up the fact that the Bush administration, and by extension President Bush himself lied to us about Iraq and the need to go to war.

On June 5, 2008 the Senate Intelligence Committee unveiled the Final Phase II Reports on Prewar Iraq Intelligence.

Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information and Report on Intelligence Activities Relating to Iraq Conducted by the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group and the Office of Special Plans Within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Washington, DC — The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, and a bipartisan majority of the Committee (10-5), today unveiled the final two sections of its Phase II report on prewar intelligence.  The first report details Administration prewar statements that, on numerous occasions, misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq. The second report details inappropriate, sensitive intelligence activities conducted by the DoD’s Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, without the knowledge of the Intelligence Community or the State Department.

“Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced.  Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence,” Rockefeller said.  “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.  As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

“It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa’ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. To accomplish this, top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa’ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11.   Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses. 

“There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence.  But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.  

“These reports represent the final chapter in our oversight of prewar intelligence.  They complete the story of mistakes and failures – both by the Intelligence Community and the Administration – in the lead up to the war.  Fundamentally, these reports are about transparency and holding our government accountable, and making sure these mistakes never happen again,” Rockefeller added.

The Committee’s report cites several conclusions in which the Administration’s public statements were NOT supported by the intelligence. They include:

  • Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’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 Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing. 
  • The Secretary of Defense’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.

Additionally, the Committee issued a report on the Intelligence Activities Relating to Iraq conducted by the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group and the Office of Special Plans within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. The report found that the clandestine meetings between Pentagon officials and Iranians in Rome and Paris were inappropriate and mishandled from beginning to end.   Deputy National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz failed to keep the Intelligence Community and the State Department appropriately informed about the meetings.   The involvement of Manucher Ghobanifer and Michael Ledeen in the meetings was inappropriate.   Potentially important information collected during the meetings was withheld from intelligence agencies by Pentagon officials.  Finally, senior Defense Department officials cut short internal investigations of the meetings and failed to implement the recommendations of their own counterintelligence experts.

Today’s reports are the culmination of efforts that began in March 2003, when, as Vice Chairman, Senator Rockefeller initially requested an investigation into the origin of the fraudulent Niger documents.  In June 2003, he was joined by all Democrats on the Committee in pushing for a full investigation into prewar intelligence, which was eventually expanded by the Committee in February 2004 to include the five phase II tasks.

The Committee released its first report on July 9, 2004, which focused primarily on the Intelligence Community’s prewar assessments of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs and links to terrorism. Those findings helped lay the foundation for some of the intelligence reforms enacted into law in late 2004.

In September 2006, the Committee completed and publicly released two sections of Phase II:  The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress; and Postwar Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments.

In May 2007, the Committee released the third section of Phase II: Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq.

Separately, in early 2007, the Pentagon Inspector General released its own report on the intelligence activities conducted by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and also concluded that those activities were inappropriate. ###

Sorry Jubal/Matt, while the New Republic may be to the left of Red County, calling the publication center-left is about as absurd as calling Red County center-right. To believe that the Bush administration did not lie about Iraq is to rely on revisionist history that even George Orwell would admire.

  10 comments for “Bush Administration DID LIE us into Iraq

  1. Jubal
    June 22, 2008 at 12:31 am

    This is the report that waqs the exclusive product of Democratic staffers (obviously with no ax to grind)?

    Keep telling yourselves that: “He lied to me. Bush lied to me. I didn’t know. I didn’t know. Bush lied.”

  2. June 22, 2008 at 12:48 am

    No, a lot of us did know. If you were read much at the time and were following things back in 2002- 3 you had a pretty good idea they were lying whenever they opened their mouths. Unfortunately most Americans did not read much, were ill-served by the media, didn’t know Saddam from Osama, and were traumatized, terrified and angered by 9/11 to the extent that they didn’t think straight and trusted their government like little children.

  3. cook
    June 22, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Vern & Chris

    Americans maybe dumb children and need for the government to tell them everything,
    what to think and what to believe.
    But we have an elected government of high brow brains of two political parties plus others, who are entrusted to know better and have the independent intelligent,
    both of their own minds and that of trusted advisors.

    So this President , who many say is a low brow dumbass, was/is able to pull the wool over the eyes of the child like huddled masses of America, but not only that,
    but also the other 544 people of congress and the senate and the supreme court, that make up the entire decision makers of America’s federal government.

    So who are we to believe?

  4. Republican dementia
    June 22, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Every American can see the result of the Bush administtration’s lies when they fill up their gas tanks.

    Massive deficits caused by the war and tax cuts for oil companies have driven the dolllar down so we’re now buying oil with a deflated currency. Destabilization of the mideast has reduced oil production from Iraq and reduced supply. A national energy policy might have helped, but Bush and Cheney promoted waste and corruption.

    Find revisionist history everywhere you want, but the truth is visible at the pumps every day to every American who drives.

    Bush, Cheney, and Rohrabacher all lied is into a war that has has been devastating, and McCain wants to keep us there fpr another 100 years.

    Blaming the liberals and trying to find solace in the neocon pages of the Lost Angeles Times opinion pages won’t change the result of a toxic administration where greed and politics triumphed over any rational policy in any part of the government.

  5. RHackett
    June 22, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Jubal,

    At this point in time it is should be obvious by all the reports coming from those involved or close to those involved in the decision making process that Bush had his eyes on unseating Hussein. We’re now engaged in a war with no immediate viable resolution.

    The reasons given versus the actual reasons have finally started to come to light and it isn’t pretty. Bush himself has admitted that oil is a reason for this war. The collateral damage he has done to the GOP will be felt even harder this November than it was in ’06.

  6. Jubal
    June 22, 2008 at 11:31 am

    RHackett:

    Maybe you forgot that unseating Saddam was national policy, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton.

  7. RHackett
    June 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Maybe you forgot that unseating Saddam was national policy, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton.

    Big fan of Clinton’s? Glad to hear it.

    The 1998 Iraq Liberations Act states:

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of United States Armed Forces (except as provided in section 4(a)(2)) in carrying out this Act.”

    The word nothing makes the law very clear.

    Section 4(a)(2) says that the military may equip and train forces to counter Hussein.

    So the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act actually runs counter to the actions of the Bush Administration.

  8. June 22, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Jubal,

    Stop trying to change the focus from Bush to Clinton. The topic is about Bush’s lies not Clinton administration policy. To that end here is some more information for your consideration:

    “Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.”  President George W. Bush – State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003

    Not True
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as dozens of leading scientists declared said tubes unsuitable for nuclear weapons production — months before the war.

    “Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at [past nuclear] sites.” Bush speech to the nation – 10/7/2002

    Not True
    Two months of inspections at these former Iraqi nuclear sites found zero evidence of prohibited nuclear activities there. IAEA report to UN Security Council – 1/27/2003

    “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”  President George W. Bush – State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003

    Not True
    The documents implied were known at the time by Bush to be forged and not credible.

    “We know he’s been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” VP Dick Cheney – “Meet the Press” 3/16/2003

    Not True
    “The IAEA had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.” IAEA report to UN Security Council – 3/7/2003

    How many more lies do you need documentation of before you can see the truth?

  9. intergalacticman
    June 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    honestly i still don’t know why this is such a big surprise. i thought it was fishy all along

  10. Republican dementia
    June 22, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    It’s only a big deal because neocons insist on trying to rewrite history to pretend that everybody went along with their disastrous invasion of Iraq that has directly caused the high gas prices that are making everybody angry. Part of their defense is now that it wasn’t really their fault, even though they controlled the entire government, the intelligence wasn’t manipulated, there were no protests, it was Clinton’s fault, or some other balderdash.

    They start with this conviction that they are always right, were always right, and will always be right, and they think no one will notice the prices at the gas pump, the sinking dollar, or the way that they have systematically plundered and pillaged the country.

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