The Thinker


It’s important that you take a look at my extended entry today folks. My thanks to The Whiskey Bar for compiling this list of quotes on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction claims by Bush Administration officials.

These are not ambiguous quotes. These are quotes full of complete certainty. Then how can it be that just the other day our chief weapons inspector in Iraq, David Kay contradicted all that we’ve been told by this administration? His conclusion:

“My summary view, based on what I’ve seen, is that we’re very unlikely to find large stockpiles of weapons. I don’t think they exist.”

So how did this happen? I see three, and only three possibilities here.

The first is that the intelligence given to the president was conclusive. It said that Iraq currently possessed weapons of mass destruction and was targeting the United States. But that’s not what the intelligence summaries said based on information known and published even before the war started. They were clear that the information was partial and sketchy, and that the findings should not be used to draw any definitive conclusions. Intelligence agencies actually disputed each other on numerous point. The State Department was in particular skeptical of claims made by other intelligence agencies.

The second possibility is that the American people and our Congress were lied to by our Administration. This is possible but unlikely. Although this is one very arrogant administration, it’s hard to imagine if the administration knew that intelligence this poor it would still make these pronouncements as fact when it knew them to be wrong.

The third and most likely reason was that intelligence was read selectively. Evidence supporting Bush’s predisposition to invade Iraq was deemed credible. That which offered a different point of view was dismissed. This is quite plausible former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, in his recent book, made it clear that the administration had plans to topple Saddam Hussein even before 9/11. It was also the entire point of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s personal intelligence office. It was instructed to find the evidence that supported toppling Saddam, and to ignore the rest.

Ultimately though the reason doesn’t matter. In the first case simply did not happen. The intelligence summaries provided to the press prove it. In the second case we have clear grounds for Bush’s impeachment and removal from office. In the last case we have the most egregious case of misleadership imaginable.

Thus far over 500 American soldiers have died in our preemptive and unnecessary war in Iraq. We already have over $150B either spent or allocated to fighting and occupying Iraq, and doubtless the number will continue to climb in the years ahead. Conservatively at least 9000 people, mostly Iraqis have died in this war. Over five thousand of our soldiers have been wounded. Our armed forces are spread thin and occupy a country that had no connection with 9/11.

We fought the wrong war at the wrong time. We actually made our country more vulnerable to terrorism because we diverted forces away from those responsible for 9/11: al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. And if that were not enough we managed to squander most of our good will with other countries.

I can think of nothing a president can do that is worse than sending off our armed forces to start and fight the wrong war. For such widespread misleadership alone George W. Bush must not be reelected.

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

Dick Cheney
Speech to VFW National Convention
August 26, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

George W. Bush
Speech to UN General Assembly
September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
December 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

George W. Bush
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.

Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
February 5, 2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons — the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.

George W. Bush
Radio Address
February 8, 2003

If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us . . . But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct.

Colin Powell
Interview with Radio France International
February 28, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? . . . I think our judgment has to be clearly not.

Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
March 7, 2003

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.

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

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.

Ari Fleisher
Press Briefing
March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And . . . as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

Gen. Tommy Franks
Press Conference
March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we’re going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.

Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman
Washington Post, p. A27
March 23, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.

Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark
Press Briefing
March 22, 2003

We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Donald Rumsfeld
ABC Interview
March 30, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find — and there will be plenty.

Neocon scholar Robert Kagan
Washington Post op-ed
April 9, 2003

But make no mistake — as I said earlier — we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
April 10, 2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.

George W. Bush
NBC Interview
April 24, 2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld
Press Briefing
April 25, 2003

We’ll find them. It’ll be a matter of time to do so.

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 3, 2003

I’m absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We’re just getting it just now.

Colin Powell
Remarks to Reporters
May 4, 2003

We never believed that we’d just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld
Fox News Interview
May 4, 2003

I’m not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein — because he had a weapons program.

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 6, 2003

U.S. officials never expected that “we were going to open garages and find” weapons of mass destruction.

Condoleeza Rice
Reuters Interview
May 12, 2003

I just don’t know whether it was all destroyed years ago — I mean, there’s no question that there were chemical weapons years ago — whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they’re still hidden.

Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne
Press Briefing
May 13, 2003

Before the war, there’s no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.

Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps
Interview with Reporters
May 21, 2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we’re interrogating, I’m confident that we’re going to find weapons of mass destruction.

Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
NBC Today Show interview
May 26, 2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I don’t know the answer.

Donald Rumsfeld
Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations
May 27, 2003

For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.

Paul Wolfowitz
Vanity Fair interview
May 28, 2003

It was a surprise to me then – it remains a surprise to me now – that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of the forward dispersal sites. Believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. We’ve been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they’re simply not there.

Lt. Gen. James Conway, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Press Interview
May 30, 2003

Do I think we’re going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do, because I think there’s a lot of information out there.”

Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, Defense Intelligence Agency
Press Conference
May 30, 2003


One Response to “Misleader”

  1. 5:38 pm on April 27 2005, Tim said:

    Great job on collecting all these quotes. Really does a fantastic job of showing what lying sacks of sh-t they are.

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