Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bush? A Liar?

Earlier this week, A long-delayed Senate committee report concluded that President Bush and his aides built the public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and by ignoring disagreements among spy agencies about Iraq’s weapons programs and Saddam Hussein’s links to Al Qaeda. You can read the report here (PDF), and public statements here (PDF). (Unfortunately, these files contain scanned images of the report, and are therefore not searchable.)

This Senate report is important because the committee analyzed major policy speeches that were central to the decision to go to war. The speeches examined included:

Then the committee examined whether these public statements were substantiated by intelligence information. For example, Bush said this:
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." - President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, January 29, 2003.
But not all intelligence sources agreed. The Department of Energy (DOE) disagreed with the CIA's conclusions regarding the aluminum tubes, and assessed that it was more likely that the tubes were intended for a different use, such as a conventional rocket program. The Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research also disagreed with the CIA.

Bush, Cheney, and Powell made similar deceiving statements regarding biological and chemical weapons programs. They lead the public and the international community to believe that intelligence was conclusive when it was not. The mainstream media can describe Bush's prewar claims as exaggerated, overstated, inflated, unsupported, or oversimplified, but I say he lied.

I'm not alone in my assessment: [video below or click here if it doesn't show.]

I agree with Richard Clarke's sentiments regarding Bush, Cheney and company: "I just don’t think we can let these people back into polite society and give them jobs on university boards and corporate boards and just let them pretend that nothing ever happened when there are 4,000 Americans dead and 25,000 Americans grievously wounded, and they’ll carry those wounds and suffer all the rest of their lives."

This article marks my 101st blog post this year. I've decided to republish my news blog from 2001 - 2002. Many of the links are no longer available, but some of the titles demonstrate the prewar hysteria as well as some early signs of sanity.

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