"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."
– Bush’s televised speech to the nation on the eve of war
After months of occupying Iraq, not a trace of Saddam’s deadly arsenal Bush spoke of has been found. Millions of people are increasingly asking: where are Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)?
Not one chemical or biological weapon was used during the war. Where are the “gallons” of Anthrax? The “tons” of chemical and biological weapons Powell spoke of? Where is the nuclear weapons program that Bush hyped?
What ever happened to the “imminent threat” Saddam posed, requiring a pre-emptive war that killed hundreds of US troops and thousands of Iraqis?
The corporate media has finally “discovered,” as Justice and the anti-war movement argued all along, that the Bush Administration exaggerated, distorted facts, and lied about the existence of WMDs and Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda in order to sell their war.
One official told the NY Times: “As an employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency, I know this administration had lied to the public to get support for its attack on Iraq.” A Senator also admitted: “Intelligence was manipulated.” (NY Times, Kristof, 5/6/03)
Take, for example, Bush’s claims that Iraq purchased uranium for nuclear weapons from Niger. The intelligence community and the State Department knew a year before the war that these claims were based on forged documents. The “Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade… The debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted – except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway.” (NY Times, Kristof, 5/6/03)
Last September, British Prime Minister Tony Blair produced a 173-page dossier full of “proof” of Saddam’s WMDs. However, it was later revealed Blair’s document was plagiarized from a graduate student’s thesis paper. BBC also reported that Blair’s government ordered British intelligence services against their wishes to “transform” the document to make it “sexier,” and to include the lie that Saddam was capable of deploying chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes.
Even Hans Blix, chief UN weapons, described the top-secret intelligence provided by the US as “fundamentally useless … I thought – my god, if this is the best intelligence they have and we found nothing, what about the rest?” (Guardian, 6/8/03)
The only supposed hard evidence has been two much-heralded “mobile labs,” but those were shown to be merely units designed for hydrogen production to fill artillery balloons, which Britain originally sold to Iraq in 1987. (Observer, 6/8/03)
Intelligence officials have claimed that “huge pressure was put on intelligence agencies, by Cheney himself, to come up with the goods required to start a war and who, sources claimed last week, made repeated visits to the CIA creating a culture of fear within the organization” (Guardian, 6/8/03). When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld grew dissatisfied with the CIA’s unwillingness to doctor “evidence,” he went around the CIA by creating a separate intelligence agency, the Office of Special Plans, and put his trusted aid Paul Wolfowitz in charge.
According to U.S. News and World Report, as Secretary of State Colin Powell was reading through the “evidence” of Iraq’s WMDs to prepare his February speech to the United Nations, Powell lost his temper, threw several pages in the air, and declared: “I’m not reading this. This is bullshit.” Powell told British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that he was worried the evidence would "blow up in their faces.”
Lies, Lies, and More Lies
Young working class men and women were sent to die for a lie. Thousands of Iraqis were murdered. Iraq has been destroyed and lies in ruins. All this for what? For US power, prestige, and oil.
If Bush really wanted to find weapons of mass destruction, he wouldn’t have to look far – the world’s greatest arsenal is right here at home. Horrific weapons, including depleted uranium, were used by the US in their slaughter in Iraq, killing and maiming thousands of innocent Iraqis. An estimated 10,000 unexploded cluster bombs lay scattered across the country, promising to take many more innocent lives.
The Bush gang’s promises of “liberating” Iraq and “democracy” have turned out to be yet more lies, as elections have been indefinitely postponed while the US occupation goes on.
And instead of fulfilling his promise to make Americans safer from terrorism, Bush’s war and occupation of Iraq is in fact fueling anger at the US, preparing the way for new terrorist atrocities.
Of course, politicians lie to working class people all the time. In Bush’s State of the Union address, he promised that his tax cuts would be “for everyone who pays income taxes,” yet the tax cut gave no break whatsoever to millions of low-income taxpayers.
As the search for WMDs continues, despite whatever may be found (or manufactured), there should be an immediate public inquiry into the Bush’s administration’s war drive propaganda. This should not be done by hand-picked ex-officials, Congress, or the CIA, but by elected representatives of working class people – from the ranks of the trade unions, community organizations, and the anti-war movement – with powers to investigate all related issues, with all proceedings open to public scrutiny and available on the Internet.
Liars, murders, and corporate crooks are running the government. It’s time we stand up and change this whole rotten system.