Skip to comments.Journalist claims proof of WMD lies (Report Aired in UK)
Posted on 09/22/2003 9:15:51 PM PDT by Mark Felton
AUSTRALIAN investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence the war against Iraq was based on a lie that could cost George W. Bush and Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard down with them.
A television report by Pilger aired on British screens overnight said US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice confirmed in early 2001 that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been disarmed and was no threat.
But after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11 that year, Pilger claimed Rice said the US "must move to take advantage of these new opportunities" to attack Iraq and claim control of its oil.
Pilger uncovered video footage of Powell in Cairo on February 24, 2001 saying, "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 neighbours."
Two months later, Rice reportedly said, "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
Powell boasted this was because America's policy of containment and its sanctions had effectively disarmed Saddam.
Pilger claims this confirms that the decision of US President George W Bush - with the full support of British Prime Minister Blair and Howard - to wage war on Saddam because he had weapons of mass destruction was a huge deception.
Pilger interviewed several leading US government figures in Washington but said he did not ask Powell or Rice to respond to his claims.
"I think it's very serious for Howard. Howard has followed the Americans and to a lesser degree Blair almost word for word," Pilger told AAP before his program was screened on ITV tonight.
"All Howard does is say `well it's not true' and never explains himself.
"I just don't believe you can be seen to be party to such a big lie, such a big deception and endure that politically.
"It simply can't be shrugged off and that's Howard's response.
"Blair has shrugged it off but Blair is deeply damaged. It's far from over here, there's a lot that is going to happen and much of it could wash onto Howard.
"And it's unravelling in America and Bush could lose the election next year.
"I've not seen political leaders survive when they've been complicit in such an open deception for so long."
Howard last week dismissed an accusation from Opposition Leader Simon Crean that he hid a warning from British intelligence that war against Iraq would heighten the terrorist threat to Australia.
In his report, Pilger interviews Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA officer and friend of Bush's father and ex-president, George Bush senior.
McGovern told Pilger that going to war because of weapons of mass destruction "was 95 per cent charade."
Pilger also claims that six hours after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he wanted to "hit" Iraq and allegedly said "Go Massive ... Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
He was allegedly talked down by Powell who said the American people would not accept an attack on Iraq without any evidence, so they opted to invade Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden had bases.
Pilger claimed war was set in train on September 17, 2001 when Bush signed a paper directing the Pentagon to explore the military options for an attack on Iraq.
I must defend the White House on this one though, well Powell more so than Condi.
Powell resigned during the first Clinton term. Had been out of the intelligence loop for a good 6 years, and just in office a month when he allegedly said this.
It still doesn't excuse him for saying it, if it wasn't true, but if we don't find WMD's, it is dreadful.
I don't see Powell going on tv saying he didn't know what he was talking about in Feb 2001, Saddam did have a robust program, one that we just can't find.
Obviously, the tape either exists or doesn't. We also need to see the context. I could construe his statement to saying that his technology is frozen. He isn't doing anything new, just some of the old crap. If this gets play here though, the White House will need to address this one.
Powell even boasted that it was the US policy of "containment" that had effectively disarmed the Iraqi dictator - again the very opposite of what Blair said time and again. On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box".
If he has these statements on tape, it is very very very bad.
ROTFLMAO. Ain't it the truth though?
It never ceases to amaze me what kind of patent nonsense the supposedly better educated "Europeans" will accept.
Somehow, I doubt this is going to bring anything down, except readers' opinions of Pilger.
Mooing and chewing isn't enough. Americans demand beef.
Not much to add, well said.
Interesting. This is what Powell had to say in March 2001:
Text: Powell on U.S. Policy toward Iraq
(U.N. sanctions, no-fly zone, support Iraqi opposition) (1540)
SEC. POWELL: There are several policies really. And let me answer your question by describing three baskets of things we do. First, we work within the UN system to make sure he has not developed and put into his inventory weapons of mass destruction. That is a result of the resolutions he agreed to at the end of the Gulf War. That has nothing to do with regime overthrow. That is not a UN objective, and it is not part of the oil-for-food program or the sanctions program. Link
Should I go look for Condi's "statement" as well?
Paul Mulvey claims that John Pilger claims he has evidence that will bring down the Bush Administration. Mulvey claims that Pilger has seen a video of a statement made by Powell on a video tape that Saddam capabilities have been deminished and pose no real threat, and after 9/11 Bush ordered the Pentagon to explore the possibility of an attack on Iraq?
Well geezy peezy, As if anyone didn't know that we knocked out 90% of Saddam's capabilities during the 90's and that the President should explore the possibility of attacking every middle eastern country after 9/11
What a crock of sh*t this article is, the author nor the 3rd party writer didn't even interview a single person in the Bush Administration. PISS POOR JOURNALISM at best