Quotes that Kill..or..The Definitive 'Bush Lied People Died' Smackdown
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Promoted by absentee
Among the many misrepresentations and distortions that have been repeated about the debate over Iraq, one stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively smacked down.
This charge has had amazing success in getting established as a self-evident truth even though it has been refuted and discredited over and over again by irrefutable facts and evidence. I want to expose it for the lie that it really is. I hope to refresh memories that have grown dim.
Another "lie" that George W. Bush is accused of telling us is that Saddam Hussein possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
We were informed of the possibility that Saddam himself would use these weapons against us or our allies...and there was the still more dangerous possibility that he would supply them to terrorists like those who had already attacked us on 9/11 and to whom he was linked.
Lets say, for the sake of argument, that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq in the period leading up to the invasion. It defies all reason to think that Bush was lying when he asserted that they did. To lie means to say something one knows to be false.
Mr. Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.
George Tenet, his own CIA director and hold over from the Clinton administration, assured him that the case was "a slam dunk." Mr. Tenet had the backing of all 15 agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States.
The National Intelligence Estimate of 2002 offered with "high confidence" that "Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions."
The consensus of the intelligence community was overwhelming in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam definitely had an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, and that he was also well on the way to rebuilding the nuclear capability that the Israelis had damaged by bombing the Osirak reactor in 1981.
Additional confirmation of this latter point comes from Kenneth Pollack, who served in the National Security Council under Clinton. "In the late spring of 2002," Pollack has written...
"I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly twenty former inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the force established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did. Three people added that they believed Iraq was also operating a secret calutron plant (a facility for separating uranium isotopes)."
But the unanimity on which Bush relied was not created by his own administration. In fact, it was created in the Clinton administration. Here is Bill Clinton himself, speaking in 1998...
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction program."
Here is his Secretary of State Madeline Albright, also speaking in 1998...
"Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Here is Sandy Berger, Clinton's National Security Adviser...He makes no bones about it...
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Mr. Clinton's secretary of defense, William Cohen, was so sure Saddam had WMD that he remained "absolutely convinced" of it even after the invasion and search turned up nothing in March 2003.
Leading Democrats in Congress did not have any doubts about it. Soon after Mr. Clinton and the Dems made the statements above, a group of Democratic senators, including Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry, urged the President "to take necessary actions, including if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites.
Nancy Pelosi, then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added her voice to the chorus...
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons-of-mass-destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
The Democrats WMD drumbeat intensified when Mr. Bush succeeded Mr. Clinton in 2001. Many later pretended to have been deceived by the Bush White House.
In a letter to the new president, a group of senators led by Bob Graham declared...
"There is no doubt that . . . Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical, and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf war status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Sen. Carl Levin also reaffirmed what he had told Clinton years earlier...
"Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed, speaking in October 2002...
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical- and biological-weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members."
Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed as well...
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
How about Bush's opponents in his two campaigns for the presidency.
Al Gore in September 2002...
"We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Mr. Gore again, in that same year...
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
John Kerry speaking in 2002...
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force--if necessary--to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Statements made by Sens. Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, also in 2002...
Kennedy: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Byrd: "The last U.N. weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons."
I remember the mainstream media could not get enough of these two very liberal politicians.
During the last two years of the Clinton administration, editorials in the New York Times repeatedly insisted that...
"without further outside intervention, Iraq should be able to rebuild weapons and missile plants within a year and future military attacks may be required to diminish the arsenal again."
The Times also pointed out that it was...
"hard to negotiate with a tyrant who has no intention of honoring his commitments and who sees nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons as his country's salvation."
The Washington Post, greeted George W. Bush in January 2001 with this...
"Of all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous--or more urgent--than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade's efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf [where] intelligence photos show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons."
HELLO...Can you hear me Now?
Mr. Bush did not lie or exaggerate or hype the intelligence presented to him. The intelligence itself was so compelling that it convinced everyone who had direct access to it.
Nobody in the world believed that Saddam had, as he claimed, complied with the 16 resolutions of the Security Council demanding that he get rid of his weapons of mass destruction.
Another charge is that Bush and Cheney somehow forced the CIA to lie. In its report of 2004, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee stated that it...
"did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities."
The March 2005 Robb-Silberman commission report, which investigated intelligence failures on Iraq, reached the same conclusion...
"no evidence of political pressure to influence the intelligence community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. . . . Analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments."
Many others accused Bush of telling a different sort of lie, Bush characterized the risk as "imminent." But this is false. Bush consistently rejected imminence as a justification for war.
State of the Union address in 2003 (three months before the invasion), to bring up the word "imminent", in order to repudiate it...
"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option."
How about the links to terrorists?
Was it really a "lie" to suggest, as Mr. Bush and his people did, that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorists who had attacked us on 9/11? The Senate Intelligence Committee, contrary to the mainstream media, explicitly concluded that al Qaeda did in fact have a cooperative, if informal, relationship with Iraqi agents working under Saddam. The report of the bipartisan 9/11 commission came to the same conclusion, as did a comparably independent British investigation which pointed to meetings between senior Iraqi representatives and senior al-Qaeda operatives.
And so long as we are talking about liars, how about the Democrats now proclaiming that they were duped. And how about all those, who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger mission in Iraq, have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation and selective perception to vilify what is proving itself more and more every day to be a victory of American arms and a vindication of American ideals.
Well then...if your going to claim that the Bush administration lied to get us into war, then there sure are a lot of other people, including quite a few prominent Democrats, who have told the same "lies". Here are just a few more examples that prove that the Bush administration didn't lie about weapons of mass destruction...
"We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."...Letter Signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998
"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."...December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others
"Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities"...From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002
"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement."...Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002
"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability."...Robert Byrd in October 2002
"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we."...Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002
"What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs."...Jacques Chirac on October 16, 2002
"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow."...Bill Clinton in 1998
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security."...Hillary Clinton on October 10, 2002
"Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people."...Tom Daschle in 1998
"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal."...John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002
"The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."...John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002
"I share the administration's goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction."...Dick Gephardt in September of 2002
"Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."...Al Gore, 2002
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."...Bob Graham, December 2002
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."...Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002
"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed."...Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002
"I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."...John F. Kerry, Oct 2002
"We need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War." -- John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."...Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002
"Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States."...Joe Lieberman, August, 2002
"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."...Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998
"Saddam's existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq?s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East."...John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002
"Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administration's policy towards Iraq, I don't think there can be any question about Saddam's conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts."...Henry Waxman, Oct 10, 2002
What was that?...You need more?......OK Lets go WAY back...
"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed."...Madeline Albright, 1998
"Saddam will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983"...National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."... President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."...President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998
"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."...Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998
"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."...Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999
People that claim 'Bush Lied People Died' think in their minds they have proven something and yet in my mind I cannot figure out what that is. I think that a reasoned mind that sustains itself on facts will never figure out the insane mind that sustains itself on emotion.
All New Trol...New commenters that blame the War on Bush will be directed here before Engagement...Open Thread.