Skip to comments.Urban Legends About the Iraq War
Posted on 11/23/2005 7:08:24 AM PST by Valin
In recent weeks, by claiming that President Bush lied us into the Iraq war, many on the Left have restarted their efforts to rewrite history. But this revisionism isnt new. In the midst of the 2004 Presidential election, the cries were just as loud. The Bush Administration is finally pushing back, and many conservative bloggers are asking their readers to Google Clinton, Iraq, 1998 for all the information they need. Last fall, The American Enterprise debunked many of these same urban legends.
Urban Legends About the Iraq War
Urban Legend: The Bush Administration in general, and the Vice President and his office in particular, pressured the Central Intelligence Agency to exaggerate evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Reality: Here is the verdict of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligences bipartisan Report on the U.S. Intelligence Communitys Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq: The Committee did not find any evidence that intelligence analysts changed their judgments as a result of political pressure, altered or produced intelligence products to conform with administration policy, or that anyone even attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to do so. When asked whether analysts were pressured in any way to alter their assessments or make their judgments conform with administration policies on Iraqs WMD programs, not a single analyst answered yes.
Urban Legend: The President and his administration intentionally misled the country into war with Iraqand the 16 words that appeared in the 2003 State of the Union are the best proof of it. In the words of Senator Ted Kennedy, The gross abuse of intelligence was on full display in the Presidents State of the Union
when he spoke the now infamous 16 words: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
As we all now know, that allegation was false
Reality: On July 14, 2004after a nearly half-year investigationa special panel reported to the British Parliament that British intelligence had indeed concluded that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy uranium from Africa. The Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, chaired by Lord Butler, summarized: It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999. The British government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium . The statement in President Bushs State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa was well-founded.
In the U.S., the Report on the U.S. Intelligence Communitys Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq revealed that the CIA considered it important that the Nigerian officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerian Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting. The Select Committee on Intelligence also noted that the CIA reviewed and cleared the Presidents State of the Union address....
Urban Legend: Helping democracy take root in Iraq was a postwar rationalization by the Bush administration; it was an argument that was not made prior to going to war. In the words of a November 13, 2003 New York Times editorial, The White House recently began shifting its case for the Iraq war from the embarrassing unconventional weapons issue to the lofty vision of creating an exemplary democracy in Iraq.
Reality: The President argued the importance of democracy taking root in Iraq before the war began. A February 27, 2003 New York Times editorial shatters the very myth the paper was perpetrating just nine months later: President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night [in an American Enterprise Institute speech] of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a free and peaceful Iraq that would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example to the entire Arab and Muslim world, provide a stabilizing influence in the Middle East, and even help end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The idea of turning Iraq into a model democracy in the Arab world is one some members of the administration have been discussing for a long time. President Bushs 2002 State of the Union made the same case .
Urban Legend: Saddam Hussein posed no threat. In the words of former Senator Max Cleland, Iraq was no threat. We now know that. There are no weapons of mass destruction, no nuclear weapons programs, no ties to al-Qaeda. We now know that.
Reality: Upon his return from Iraq, weapons inspector David Kay, head of the Iraq Survey Group, said in Senate testimony: I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein . I actually think this may be one of those cases where it was even more dangerous than we thought . After 1998, it became a regime that was totally corrupt . And in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country.
Dr. Kays report noted that, We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. He concluded, Saddam, at least as judged by those scientists and other insiders who worked in his military-industrial programs, had not given up his aspirations and intentions to continue to acquire weapons of mass destruction . Saddam intended to resume these programs whenever the external restrictions were removed. Several of these officials acknowledge receiving inquiries since 2000 from Saddam or his sons about how long it would take to restart CW [chemical weapons] production.
Urban Legend: There were no links between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
Reality: The 9/11 Commission Report indicates that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan in late 1994 or early 1995 and that contacts continued after bin Laden relocated in Afghanistan. Iraq harbored senior members of a terrorist network led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an al-Qaeda associate. CIA Director George Tenet told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (in a 10/7/02 letter), We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade. Senator Hillary Clinton stated on October 10, 2002 that Saddam has given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members. The Clinton administration tied Iraq to al-Qaeda back in 1998, arguing that Saddam Hussein had provided technical assistance in the construction of an al-Qaeda chemical plant in Sudan .
Urban Legend: President Bush and his administration wrongly tried to link Iraq and Saddam Hussein to the September 11 attacks. President Bush should apologize to the American people for this plainly dishonest effort, insists a New York Times editorial.
Reality: Neither President Bush nor any member of his foreign policy team has ever said Iraq was linked to the attacks of September 11. On September 17, 2003, for example, in response to a question from a reporter, President Bush said: No, weve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11.
Urban Legend: President Bush has shown an arrogant disrespect for the United Nations on Iraq, according to Senator Ted Kennedy.
Reality: The administration devoted enormous time and energy to pass five separate U.N. Security Council Resolutions on Iraq, each by unanimous vote.... President Bush personally addressed the U.N. General Assembly in September 2002. The administration supported the work of Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. special envoy in Iraq, and a continued U.N. role in Iraqs political transition.
Urban Legend: The President launched a unilateral attack on Iraq, to use the words of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.
Reality: The coalition that liberated Iraq ranks among the largest war coalitions ever assembled. President Bush in his 2004 State of the Union address: Some critics have said our duties in Iraq must be internationalized. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our partners in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, El Salvador, and the 17 other countries that have committed troops to Iraq . There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country.
Urban Legend: Flights out of the country for members of the bin Laden family were allowed before national airspace reopened on September 13, 2001; there was political intervention to facilitate the departure of the bin Laden family from America; and the FBI did not properly screen them before their departure.
Reality: Here are excerpts from The 9/11 Commission Report: First, we found no evidence that any flights of Saudi nationals, domestic or international, took place before the reopening of national airspace on the morning of September 13, 2001. To the contrary, every flight we have identified occurred after national airspace reopened.
Second, we found no evidence of political intervention. We found no evidence that anyone at the White House above the level of Richard Clarke participated in a decision on the departure of Saudi nationals....
Third, we believe that the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals who left the United States on charter flights.... The FBI interviewed all persons of interest on these flights prior to their departures. They concluded that none of the passengers was connected to the 9/11 attacks and have since found no evidence to change that conclusion. Our own independent review of the Saudi nationals involved confirms that no one with known links to terrorism departed on these flights.
Published in The Year the Democratic Party Sailed to New England October-November 2004
I have no idea! Sometimes I wonder if they just think, "Well we're too busy doing the real job to bother refuting extremists." I like Dubya but I don't think he understands the PR situation very well.
Excellent post, Valin. Copied and saved.
Wizard or Jim,
Do either of you know whether the 1.77 tons of enriched uranium had been, in fact, declared previously by Saddam? Moonbats seem to think we knew in advance about the uranium, but I can't find independent confirming evidence about whether this was the case.
It certainly seems to me that if in fact the enriched uranium was NOT declared and unknown to us before the war, then it's game-over for the "there was no WMD" crowd.
I've said this before and I will continue to say that Scott McClellan is a HORRIBLE press secretary - he stands there looking like a sweaty porky pig and just comes off as way too defensive.
Mr. President, puh-LEEZE call up Ari, offer him whatever it will take to get him back, and I guarantee you will see polls start to move in your favor in very short order.
bookmark to refute the tired talking points of rudderless leftists.
Saved to my Iraq file.
Nevertheless, this is at best a secondary objective when viewed within the context of the Admisitration's overall foreign policy.
Bottom line: ANY form of stable government would be acceptable as long as the supply of oil to the global market is not disrupted.
"Nevertheless, this is at best a secondary objective when viewed within the context of the Admisitration's overall foreign policy. Bottom line: ANY form of stable government would be acceptable as long as the supply of oil to the global market is not disrupted."
My moonbat/bs detection meter just pegged....coincidence?
Friend, just as the liberals were wrong about the first Gulf war being "about oil," they are wrong again about Iraq being "about oil." If it were about oil, we'd have confiscated oil fields in Iraq and Kuwait by now. We'd have demanded the Iraqis pay for the war by providing us cheap or free oil. None of these things happened. The "no blood for oil" idiots can continue to scream this meme about a "war for oil" but facts will remain their enemy.
Gee Willie. What was the role of Oil in 9-11-01? Such a pity you are so aggressive at spewing forth your 9-10-01 political dogma. Sorry Willie but the viability of your Neo-Isolationist political views died with the Twin Towers.
Th absurdity of this "War for Oil" propaganda lie is proven by Chavez and Venezuela. We get about 6 times as much oil from Venezuela as the Mid East. If the free flow of Oil governed policy we would of invaded Venezuela, not Iraq. But that is right, in the Pat Buchananites fever swamp reality doesn't exits until Pat tells his acolytes like Willie what it is.
bookmark & bump
bump to bookmark
No coincidence... it is accurately indicating that you're full of it.
Friend, just as the liberals were wrong about the first Gulf war being "about oil," they are wrong again about Iraq being "about oil."
Oil is the only strategic interest that we have in the Gulf region.
If it wasn't for oil, we'd ignore the feuding Islamic tribes just like we ignore the Hutu and Tutsis.
You are right sir. It's nice to know there are people who think like I do (Free Republic helps me keep my sanity) but until an MSM network turns away from the Dark Side, we won't get through to enough of the country.