How The American People Were Sold The Iraq War — should be a reminder of how ‘offensive wars’ are created and launched… from the following statements provided by Michael Isikoff, David Corn, and Geoffrey Ingersoll:
On March 19, 2003, as troops packed gear into their trucks on the Iraq-Kuwait border and loaded weapons for combat, President George W. Bush told the American people he had given the order to attack.
“At this hour, American and coalition forces are at the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger,” he said.
However, it is clear that most of the reasons given for the second post-9/11 war were dubious at best.
It All Began With The 9/11 Attacks…
One day later, Pres. Bush ordered his counter-terrorism director to find an Iraq connection.
Richard Clarke told the President: “We’ve done it before… and the answer has always been no, and it’s likely to be no this time.”
“[The President] didn’t like that answer,” Clark later told MSNBC.
Also pushing the connection was Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who was convinced that “if we looked strongly enough… we’d find the hand of Saddam Hussein,” said Isikoff.
On the afternoon of 9/11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld penned notes asking for the best way to hit Iraq, and to ask Wolfowitz for a Saddam “connection with UBL [Osama Bin Laden]”
“We all looked at each other and thought Saddam Hussein?… Bin Laden hates him. He’s a heretic. There’s no connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.”
But the call went out to the intelligence services: Find the connection.
And while troops began the war on terror in Afghanistan…
Attention turned to Iraq. “I think the United States since Desert Storm has always had various planning with respect to Iraq,” said Rumsfeld.
His comments came from experience. In a 1998 letter to President Clinton, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and a number of others urge the President to remove Saddam from power.
It was Jan. 29, 2002 when Pres. Bush named Iraq as part of the “Axis of Evil” during his State of the Union address…
But declassified documents show Rumsfeld brainstorming the Iraq war with his top General in Nov. 2001.
“9/11 made it politically possible for the first time to persuade the American people to break a tradition of not launching offensive wars.”
The Bin Laden-Hussein trail started with a photograph from Czech intelligence of 9/11 Leader Mohammed Atta meeting an Iraqi intelligence officer.
The connection was weak. At the time, Agent Rossini thought, “that’s not Mohammed Atta in the photograph… and in my mind the matter was put to bed.”
But it was good enough for the White House: “It’s been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service,” said Vice President Dick Cheney.
“For the first time in my life, I actually threw something at the television, because I couldn’t believe what I had just heard.”
Natl. Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice took to a TV interview to say that “high-ranking detainees have said Iraq provided some training to al Qaeda in chemical weapons development.”
The key detainee was an AQ commander named Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. He didn’t mention anything under FBI questioning, but talked of chemical weapons when sent to Egypt for interrogation.
Even U.S. intelligence agencies doubted al-Libi’s claims. He would later recant all of them after the invasion of Iraq.
“We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making, and poisons, and deadly gases.”
Information on “mobile chemical weapons labs” came mainly from a single source: an Iraqi engineer code-named “Curveball.” He admitted he lied in 2011.
“In the intelligence community, Curveball was known to be a fabricator. He could not be relied upon, his intelligence had always been… stamped ‘do not disseminate, this is useless.'”
Aug. 26, 2002: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction… [and] no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, our allies, and against us.”
“It was a shock, a total shock. I couldn’t believe the Vice President was saying this… I never saw one piece of credible evidence there was an ongoing [weapons] program.”
Then there was a report of Saddam buying aluminum tubes that could be used to make a nuclear centrifuge. The Energy Dept. investigated.
“From the information they gave me it took about 15 minutes to come to the conclusion that the tubes could not be used for gas centrifuges.”
And after a questionable report of uranium enrichment, Rice took to CNN: “… we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
Congress authorized the President to take military action with an overwhelming majority.
Feb, 5, 2003: Sec. of State Colin Powell took his case to the world. “Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions.”
A slide referenced the mobile weapons labs from the very questionable ‘Curveball’.
“What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence,” Powell said in his opening. Over 90 minutes, he referenced claims from Ahmed Chalabi, ‘Curveball’, al-Libi, and the dubious intelligence of yellow cake uranium and aluminum tubes.
His testimony worked, with the invasion kicking off on Mar. 19, 2003. Military operations were “to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger,” said Pres. Bush.
But soon after liberation from the dictator, the country dissolved into carnage and chaos.
* The almost nine-year war resulted in 4,486 U.S. troops killed, and 32,226 wounded.
* An estimated 108,000 Iraqi civilians died, along with 15.4 million displaced.
* The USA spent $300 billion on waging its war in Iraq, that it attacked unprovoked under false pretenses — using weapons banned by the U.N., including napalm, cluster bombs, depleted uranium and white phosphorus — the same activity that they cited as the need for invasion.
You’ve seen the run-up to the Iraq war…
Now Will Our Leaders Make The Same Mistake In Syria —
By Following The Playbook That Took Us To War In Iraq?
WE THINK NOT…
NO MORE BLOOD —
FOR RICH MEN WARS!
“Hubris: Selling the Iraq War,”