HomeArticleOn The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

On the sixteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, as the US government threatens punitive action against International Criminal Court investigators for attempting to look into US war crimes, former George W Bush administration Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has decided to publish a Twitter thread claiming that Bush did not lie to the world about Iraq.

Here is a transcript of the full thread by Fleischer:

The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed “Bush lied. People died.” This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.

 

The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded. The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.

 

After the war, a bipartisan group was created to determine what went wrong, particularly why the intelligence community’s conclusions about Iraq were so different from what was found on the ground after the war. The group of experts was named the Robb-Silberman commission. It’s report was issued in March 2005. It can be found in full here. Its key finding was that that a “major intelligence failure” took place. It also stated that no intelligence service was pressured by the Bush Administration to conclude that Saddam had WMDs.

 

Here are the key quotes from their report:

 

“Overall Commission Finding: The Intelligence Community’s performance in assessing Iraq’s pre-war weapons of mass destruction programs was a major intelligence failure.

 

Nuclear Weapons Summary Finding: The Intelligence Community seriously misjudged the status of Iraq’s alleged nuclear weapons program in the 2002 NIE and other pre-Iraq war intelligence products. This misjudgment stemmed chiefly from the Community’s failure to analyze correctly Iraq’s reasons for attempting to procure high-strength aluminum tubes.

 

Biological Warfare Summary Finding: The Intelligence Community seriously misjudged the status of Iraq’s biological weapons program in the 2002 NIE and other pre-war intelligence products. The primary reason for this misjudgment was the Intelligence Community’s heavy reliance on a human source–codenamed ‘Curveball’–whose information later proved to be unreliable.

 

Chemical Warfare Summary Finding: The Intelligence Community erred in its 2002 NIE assessment of Iraq’s alleged chemical warfare program. The Community’s substantial overestimation of Iraq’s chemical warfare program was due chiefly to flaws in analysis and the paucity of quality information collected. In the case of Iraq, collectors of intelligence absorbed the prevailing analytic consensus and tended to reject or ignore contrary information. The result was ‘tunnel vision’ focusing on the Intelligence Community’s existing assumptions. The Intelligence Community did not make or change any analytic judgments in response to political pressure to reach a particular conclusion, but the pervasive conventional wisdom that Saddam retained WMD affected the analytic process. The CIA took too long to admit error in Iraq, and its Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center actively discouraged analysts from investigating errors.

 

Finally, we closely examined the possibility that intelligence analysts were pressured by policymakers to change their judgments about Iraq’s nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs. The analysts who worked Iraqi weapons issues universally agreed that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments.”

 

That is what the investigators reported, after been given full access to people throughout the intelligence community. Which leads me to conclude that there was a liar and his name was Saddam Hussein. He created an elaborate system of lies to fool western intelligence services and he succeeded. He wanted us to believe he had WMDs.

 

The allegaton that “Bush lied. People died” is a liberal myth created to politically target President Bush. I understand the anger that was felt after no WMDs were found. But that doesn’t justify calling the President a liar. I can only hope that serious historians and other experts do their homework and resist falling for this myth.

Ari Fleischer is lying. It is an absolute proven fact that George W Bush and his administration lied extensively about the degree of certainty in intelligence regarding Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction, having ties to Al Qaeda, and seeking nuclear weapons, all of which (along with Vice President Cheney’s claim that the US invaders would be “greeted as liberators“) proved false. The Bush administration did not know the things they claimed to know with any degree of certainty, but they claimed that they were certain in order to manufacture support for war. Claiming to know something you do not know is lying, especially when it’s to advance an ulterior motive.

“Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda,” Bush claimed in January 2003. “Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.”

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney claimed in August 2002. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

“The United States knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction,” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in December 2002. “Any country on the face of the earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.”

“We are absolutely sure they have continued to develop weapons of mass destruction, and we are sure they have in their possession weapons of mass destruction,” Secretary of State Colin Powell said in December 2002.

“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources,” Powell told the United Nations Security Council in his infamous Iraq presentation in February 2003. “These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”

“People will continue to debate this issue, but there is no doubt in my mind,” Powell said in the same presentation. “These illicit procurement efforts show that Saddam Hussein is very much focused on putting in place the key missing piece from his nuclear weapons program, the ability to produce fissile material.”

Powell was not nearly as certain as he claimed to be. None of them were. Facts revealed after the invasion prove that for all their public claims of complete and total certainty that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, was aiding and abetting Al Qaida, and was developing nuclear weapons, behind the veil of government secrecy there was nothing like certainty at all.

For starters, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who was cited in Powell’s presentation and who Fleischer refers to by the code name “Curveball” in the above thread, was known to have been lying about bioweapons long before the invasion. Despite the confident assertions made by the Bush administration about Janabi’s claims to the public, no American personnel were present when he made those claims, and he told the Guardian in 2011 that the BND (the German intelligence agency who interrogated him) had known he was lying all along.

“The BND [German intelligence] knew in 2000 that I was lying after they talked to my former boss, Dr Bassil Latif, who told them there were no mobile bioweapons factories,” Janabi said. “For 18 months after that they left me alone because they knew I was telling lies even though I never admitted it. Believe me, back then, I thought the whole thing was over for me. Then all of a sudden [in the run up to the 2003 invasion] they came back to me and started asking for more details about what I had told them. I still don’t know why the BND then passed on my information to the CIA and it ended up in Powell’s speech.”

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson was Powell’s chief of staff and helped him prepare his UN presentation on Iraq. When asked on MSNBC if he believed he was lied to about Janabi following the 2011 revelation, Wilkerson told Cenk Uygur that “I cannot come to any other conclusion, especially when I have discovered that no US personnel were present when Curveball was interrogated by the BND, the German intelligence service. That we accepted that, that we even had a head of the European division for the CIA, Tyler Drumheller, who at the last minute during Powell’s preparation, during my preparation of the secretary, had told both Tenet and McLaughlin that Curveball might not be reliable. That information was never relayed to the Secretary of State, or to me. I have some serious doubts about it now. I think there was some manipulation of this material, and there was some outright lying.”

When asked by Uygur who he thought lied to him, Wilkerson said one of WINPAC’s two WMD experts at the time may have been answering directly to Dick Cheney’s office.

A declassified report from 2002 titled Iraq: Status of WMD Programs reveals that while the Bush administration was making its claims of absolute certainty regarding the dangers posed by the Iraqi government, behind the scenes it was damn near the opposite. Some choice excerpts:

“Our assessments rely heavily on analytic assumptions and judgment rather than hard evidence. The evidentiary base is particularly sparse for Iraqi nuclear programs.”

“We range from 0% to about 75% knowledge on various aspects of their program.”

“Our knowledge of the Iraqi (nuclear) weapons program is based largely—perhaps 90%—on analysis of imprecise intelligence.”

“We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi facilities that produce, test, fill, or store biological weapons.”

“Our knowledge of what biological weapons the Iraqis are able to produce is nearly complete. Our knowledge of how and where they are produced is nearly 90% incomplete.”

“We do not know the status of enrichment capabilities. We do not know with confidence the location of any nuclear-weapon-related facilities.”

“Please take a look at this material as to what we don’t know about WMD. It is big.” (That one was from Rumsfeld.)

“We don’t know with any precision how much we don’t know.”

This is not the language of certainty. Yet certainty was presented to the public to manufacture support for a war which murdered a million Iraqis.

The 2002 Downing Street memo, made public in 2005, reveals a secret meeting between senior officials of the British government, intelligence and defense agencies discussing what they knew about America’s plans for war. The text of the document contains an assertion by the head of MI6 that Bush had already determined that the invasion of Iraq would take place, and it was only a matter of fixing bits of intelligence around a narrative to make the case.

“Military action was now seen as inevitable,” the document reads. “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”

“It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided,” the document quotes Foreign Secretary Jack Straw as saying. “But the case was thin.”

In a 2008 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, attorney and author Vincent Bugliosi pointed out that the fact that Bush lied about Iraq could be proven by the difference between the classified 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and its declassified white paper which was made available to the public. The classified version contained dissents from the consensus and language which made it clear that the reader was reading assessments and opinions by the CIA and other intelligence agencies, whereas the unclassified version saw these things deleted, presenting the assessments as absolute fact.

“The evidence that he lied about weapons of mass destruction, by the way, which is not the basis for this book, are right in front of me,” Bugliosi said. “I have it right here. Here is the evidence. This document here is the National Intelligence Estimate. I didn’t name it before. I talked about a classified report. This is it right here. October 1st, 2002, classified NIE report. It is called Iraq’s Continuing Programs of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In this document right here, the CIA and 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies use words like this, ‘we assess that’ or ‘we judge that’ Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. This document here is the white paper that was given to you folks here in Congress and the American people. And the words ‘we assess that’ or ‘we judge that’ were removed, meaning that you folks here heard a fact, and in fact, it was only an opinion.

“Number two, on nuclear weapons, this document right here, the classified report has several important dissents. This document right here, the white paper that you folks were given and the American people, all of those dissents were deleted.”

Over and over and over again we saw the same thing: uncertainty presented as certainty. Guesses presented as fact. Opinions presented as proof. That’s a lie. Bush lied. We know this with as much certainty as his administration was pretending to have in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. There was a pre-existing agenda to invade Iraq, and justifications were advanced to provide an excuse for that invasion with such extreme aggression that now-National Security Advisor John Bolton literally threatened to murder an international official’s children for making diplomacy work with Saddam.

Here are a few more courtesy of Vox:

In October 2002, Bush said that Saddam Hussein had a “massive stockpile” of biological weapons. But as CIA Director George Tenet noted in early 2004, the CIA had informed policymakers it had “no specific information on the types or quantities of weapons agent or stockpiles at Baghdad’s disposal.” The “massive stockpile” was just literally made up.

 

In December 2002, Bush declared, “We do not know whether or not [Iraq] has a nuclear weapon.” That was not what the National Intelligence Estimate said. As Tenet would later testify, “We said that Saddam did not have a nuclear weapon and probably would have been unable to make one until 2007 to 2009.” Bush did know whether or not Iraq had a nuclear weapon — and lied and said he didn’t know to hype the threat.

 

On CNN in September 2002, Condoleezza Rice claimed that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs.” This was precisely the opposite of what nuclear experts at the Energy Department were saying; they argue that not only was it very possible the tubes were for nonnuclear purposes but that it was very likely they were too. Even more dire assessments about the tubes from other agencies were exaggerated by administration officials — and in any case, the claim that they’re “only really suited” for nuclear weapons is just false.

 

On numerous occasions, Dick Cheney cited a report that 9/11 conspirator Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer. He said this after the CIA and FBI concluded that this meeting never took place.

 

More generally on the question of Iraq and al-Qaeda, on September 18, 2001, Rice received a memo summarizing intelligence on the relationship, which concluded there was little evidence of links. Nonetheless Bush continued to claim that Hussein was “a threat because he’s dealing with al-Qaeda” more than a year later.

 

In August 2002, Dick Cheney declared, “Simply stated, there’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” But as Corn notes, at that time there was “no confirmed intelligence at this point establishing that Saddam had revived a major WMD operation.” Gen. Anthony Zinni, who had heard the same intelligence and attended Cheney’s speech, would later say in a documentary, “It was a total shock. I couldn’t believe the vice president was saying this, you know? In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD, through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.”

In 2007 General Wesley Clark told Democracy Now that he’d actually been informed of the decision to invade Iraq immediately after 9/11, while the crosshairs were turning on Afghanistan and well before the public narrative was being amped up in demand of an invasion of Iraq. His comments read as follows:

About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in.

 

He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

 

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. If you’ve been following the behaviors of the US war machine, Iraq won’t be the only painfully familiar name on that list.

Ari Fleischer is a liar. He was in the thick of the Bush administration’s campaign to sell the Iraq war to the American public, and to this day he continues trying to sell them on new acts of depraved US interventionism. He’s just as much a warmongering neocon inside as he was when he was behind a podium defending Bush’s wars in the press room, so it’s no wonder he wants to preserve the image of his insatiable death cult. Fleischer wants to preserve his legacy, yes, but he also wants to preserve support for the war machine whose feet he worships at, hence his ham-fisted attempt at narrative manipulation regarding the unforgivable Iraq invasion.

The responses to Fleischer’s Twitter thread have been overwhelmingly negative, though, so it doesn’t look like anyone’s buying it. In our new political landscape, where the image of George W Bush is being continually rehabilitated, that gives me a bit of hope.

These monsters lied to start a war which snuffed out a million human lives and destabilized an entire region, and they did it right in front of our faces. The fact that they’re now trying to lie about the thing we all watched them do is as insulting as it is infuriating. Never let them pull the wool over your eyes, and never forget what they did. Forgiveness is highly overrated.

_______________________

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Latest comments

  • The Conspiratorial Idiots Anonymous (CIA) can’t tell the truth about anything. The way they have operated since 1989 is disgusting. The day before the Berlin Wall started to be dismantled, their “intelligence assessment” stated that there was absolutely “zero likelihood” of German reunification. We all know how that worked!

    At the same time, they also asserted that the Soviet Union was not in danger of imminent collapse, even though anyone that knew anything about the interior functioning of the Soviet Union was certain that collapse was imminent and inevitable.

    Fast forward to 2001. It is as obvious to anyone with more than two brain cells that there was a plan to attack Iraq that was set in motion before 9/11. The facts stated in the post establish this to any detractors. The seven countries identified by Gen. Wesley Clark had one other factor in common: At the time, they were all active in plans to dethrone the United States Dollar as the world reserve currency, either individually or in cooperation. And the United States Empire does not like the idea of competition for their currency units.

  • You forgot, just has everybody, to mention Hans Blix.
    He lead a team of scientists, including some from the USA, in a search of Iraq for any signs of WMD’s from late 2002 until a month or so before the attack began.
    They found nothing.
    Their final report was nor ready by then because of their analysis on Iraqui the sloppy record keeping by scientists who had been responsible for the WMD programs and their destruction in the late 1990’s.
    In all the proofs I have seen that Bush lied, none have mentioned Blix, his team and their findings. Why not?
    I have the book Blix wrote after the war started, so please read that first.

  • You forgot, just has everybody, to mention Hans Blix.
    He lead a team of scientists, including some from the USA, in a search of Iraq for any signs of WMD’s from late 2002 until a month or so before the attack began.
    They found nothing.
    Their final report was nor ready by then because of their analysis on Iraqui the sloppy record keeping by scientists who had been responsible for the WMD programs and their destruction in the late 1990’s.
    In all the proofs I have seen that Bush lied, none have mentioned Blix, his team and their findings. Why not?
    I have the book Blix wrote after the war started.

  • To be honest I’m not in the least concerned about this. Why? Because to me the issues now are Syria and Venezuela.

    Barack Obama literally used the same kinds of lies to try to justify military action against Syria that Bush used to justify it against Iraq.

    The fact they lied about Iraq is useful against idiots like Stephen Colbert and others who want to smear the few willing to question the narrative of the warmongers. When they say “So do you think the generals and intelligence people are lying to us?” you say “Yes, just like they did in Iraq, and it should be obvious to anyone that the lies are out of the same playbook”.

  • Everything stated in this article is absolutely true and on point. Even without all the inside info leaked later, it was obvious to any non-idiotic and non-brainwashed observer already at the time that the US government had simply decided that it wanted war at any price and that it was refusing to give peace any chance. It ignored both the Iraqi government’s many desperate concessions – refusing to take yes for an answer, so to speak – and the UN inspection’s assessment. Needless to say, it also ignored the fact that its actions were in direct violation of basic principles of international law.
    .
    The falsity of the pretexts was multilayered. Even if Iraq had really had WMD, that still would have been no reason to attack it. That wasn’t necessary for the security of the US, since Saddam, not being suicidal, wouldn’t have used his putative WMD to attack the US, unless in self-defence. And even if the US had really believed Iraq had WMD, that still wouldn’t have given it any right to attack Iraq under international law – attacking a country without explicit UNSC approval is a crime. The so-called ‘failures’ of the US intelligence community, intentional or not, should not become a problem for the rest of the world. Of course, I also believe that the report cited by Fleischer is itself a lie and that the ‘failures’ were, in fact, intentional, which is made practically certain already by the facts adduced in the Mother Jones article linked in CJ’s text. The mendacity of the ‘bipartisan’ report is unsurprising, since the criminality and imperialism of the US political class are also, unfortunately, bipartisan.

  • These government liars will continue to lie, and never ever admit they were wrong about anything. They come to believe that their lies are the truth, and the real truth is a lie. They have lost their moral compass, their conscience. They have become demonic beings incapable of truth.

  • The attempted rehabilitation of a horrible person is a sad thing to watch

  • Caitlin, since you are one of the best and most consistent voices pointing out how narrative control is central to what’s going on in the world today, I thought folks here might be interested in this public admission by a US official of how skillful Trump is at distracting the public from what the government is really up to:
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/14/offshore-drilling-trump-official-reveals-plan-and-distractions-delight

  • I was teaching in Japan – nearly two decades most of the 1990s/2000s. In August of 2002 in England during the summer – I visited the widow of Ian Serraillier (the author of the classic 1956 anti-war children’s novel: The Silver Sword. The lies emanating from the White House and from the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush mob clearly pointed to their intent to go to war. I had taught that novel in Australia in the late 1980s and my students had then written to the author – so impressed were we all with his story. After visiting Anne Serraillier I decided I would teach it the following school year with my senior university prep. high school class in Japan (starting early April) and so from September of 2002 I informed that class of my intent to study it with them. I ordered a set of books from the UK and then the US attacked and basically destroyed Baghdad. Nevertheless the reading of that novel became even more important. The rear room of the classroom wall was covered in the lies of the US (supported by various US allies – all clearly in arm-twisted thrall to the US military intention to grab Iraqi oil) including a set of photographs sent to me by a US cousin involved in the on-ground invasion of Iraq – once he had got out to neutral territory. I wrote a report of our class study and sent it to Anne and her daughter Jane in England. And it was passed on to the playwright Christopher FRY – a fellow Quaker in the same village. Ari FLEISCHER whose name I recall from those ugly “precision” bombing days – the destruction of Old Baghdad, the National Museum – and so much more – the fostering of Islamic sect differences – and the money made by Halliburton (Cheney’s company) – no wonder that company underwent a “cleansing” name change later – was a front-of-house liar for the liars. If an unsophisticated classroom teacher could see through the lies – and I spoke to that at a major rally in western Japan – while there still seemed a glimmer of hope before George “Dubya” sent in his warplanes/bombing strikes. Alas – the perspectives of the citizens of our world count for nothing against the lying “right-is-might” or “might is the right to do what one pleases” of the US militarists. And it continues still – the lying and deceit re Iran, Syria, Venezuela, NKorea. So bloody and ugly!

  • A Fox News producer who was caught up in the sex scandal that felled Roger Ailes said it was her job to create a “product” to sell the War to Americans for the Bush Administration. She happily declared that she is proud of her “product”. It was Fox News who more than any major media who coned and manipulated Americans. With much success.

  • COULD NOT AGREE MORE!

  • L.O.L. Hung with their own petard. It’s totally comical. Now that the I.C.C. is sniffing around, the CRIMINALS are already wetting their pants, ducking for cover and seeking deep bolt holes, because no one knows better, then they themselves what they have done. Trying their hardest now, to cover their tracks won’t cut any ice, there’s far too much evidence to sustain any idea of innocence. Consider too, the sudden attack on the I.C.C. why, if there’s nothing wrong, and no one’s been in breach of any Laws, why the knee jerk response to neutralise the Authority that America themselves have used to prosecute people ???
    America’s own TIME magazine published interviews with Saddam’s son in law, who at the time, was in charge of their W.M.D. program, said article included pictures and snippets of said interviews wherein he stated CLEARLY and CATEGORICLY, his job as instructed by none other than Saddam himself, was to destroy all their W.M.D. which he proceeded to do until there was nothing left.
    If my ancient memory serves me correctly, this article was published about FOUR YEARS before the U.S. set their TARGET sights on Iraq. Should we desire to dig a little deeper, I’m pretty confidant much more of such EVIDENCE will surface.
    In the case of Mr Fliesher, may I suggest he partake of his DUAL nationality, find himself a bolt hole in that cesspit they call Israel, as I’ve never heard of anyone being extradited from there. He MIGHT be safe there.

    • I appreciate your calling to mind the interview with Husayn Kemal, Saddam’s son-in-law, who defected to the West in 1994.

      A few more details: He was debriefed separately by MI6, the CIA, and the United Nations’ military group, and all three found him completely credible. He told them that Saddam Hussein was worried that if his armies had any WMDs, they might use them in the heat of battle or even pre-emptively, and if they were used — and remember, these are C and B weapons, not nukes, which after the Israelis destroyed his reactor [one month after it had passed inspection by the UN’s weapons inspection team, and had been determined to have no military or weaponization capabilities nor ongoing work or preparations to convert it to such, unlike the Israelis’ Dimona plant, which had between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads along with missile delivery systems that could reach Moscow, according to Mordechai Vanunu’s revelations to the London Sunday Times [a whistle blowing that caused him to be kidnapped by Mossad in Italy, threatened with a death sentence for treason, and eventually sentenced to 18 years in mostly solitary confinement]] ] — the West would retaliate by blowing up Baghdad with nuclear missiles, and he and his sons would be vaporized, needless to say a primary concern of his.

      Husayn, being part of his inner family dynastic structure and therefore implicitly trustworthy, was assigned the task of overseeing the destruction of all such weapons, and his Western handlers were convinced he was telling the truth when he stated that he had personally carried out Saddam’s instructions in that regard, and that there were no WMDs left in Iraq.

      In 1996, iirc, missing his family back home, he returned to Iraq, and was promptly executed by order of his father-in-law — hardly what one would expect if he had secretly been carrying out orders to “fool the West” about WMDs, and had successfully done so.

      Like so many other aspects of the relationship with Iraq, many of which are listed below, if the whoreporate media report them at all, it’s as a one-day wonder, often, when it comes to the New York Times, buried deep in the bowels near the obits in the Early “Edition, and subsequently banished into the archives. All the better to control the narrative, in which the U.S. government is flawed but fundamentally well intentioned, adorably or amusingly ignorant of the results of its activities.

      As a countervailing tonic, here are some of the more stomach-turning details, confining myself only to Iraq, the topic that Ari “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire” Fleisher chose to defend:

      — the role of the CIA and its murder squads in accomplishing his rise, through the killing of the more leftist Baaths, in the first place;

      — the passing on by Saudi Arabia of the message, purportedly from Jimmy Carter’s Whhite House, that attacking Iran following the overthrow of the Shah was okay;

      — Rumsfeld’s presenting him with a birthday cake and a pair of golden spurs as a gift from Ronald Reagan in 1984, helping to cement the U.S.’s secret alliance, by which the techies of the Pentagon helped in the selection of Iranian targets and provision of the exact locations for him to gas;

      — the selling to Iraq of the precursor elements for biological weapons by the George H.W. Bush administration, right up until the Kuwait invasion;

      — the reassurances that were being given to the Bush family business partner, the Emir of Kuwait, that the U.S. would come to his defense if he were attacked, and that he should therefore stand firm and refuse to treat with the Iraqi diplomats who were trying to resolve the dispute between the two countries, at the exact same time that April Glaspie in Baghdad and Secretary of State James Baker in Washington before Congress, were stating that the U.S. “understood” his frustration at the stealing of Iraqi oil by slant drilling by Kuwait under their mutual border, as well as the Kuwaitis’ sudden demand for full and immediate repayment of the “loans” that had bee originally described as payments for Iraq’s taking on the enormous task of trying to defeat Iran, a country several times its size in both area and population, and moreover with a fanatical government and populace that fought much harder than Iraq’s mercenaries and conscripts, and that the U.S. had no official position on these local disputes;

      — the refusal by the White House to agree to a diplomatic solution to the hostilities between Iraq and Kuwait, as the former grew more and more desperate to negotiate a way out of the quagmire it had been tricked into; the launching of Operation Desert Storm on Martin Luther King’s birthday, a significant-day symbolism that the Reicht often uses for its depredations;

      — the deliberate destruction of a civilian air raid shelter, with around 800 to 900 dead, in Baghdad, by a guided missile that aimed for its target;

      — the burial alive of thousands of Iraqi conscripts using Rome plows; the “highway of death,” in which Iraqi conscripts retreating from Kuwait were blocked at both ends of a stretch of the road by U.S. military vehicles, and the disarmed troops strafed and bombed from the air in what a participant described as a “turkey shoot” [for which an NBC stringer on the ground, who photographed the carnage close-up and personal, was fired by the network and his pictures confiscated];

      — the deliberate destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure in an attempt to produce a pandemic that would wipe out a significant part of the Iraqi civilian population, for which the internal notes in DC said the primary and in fact only problem was that Saddam might gain a propaganda coup by pointing out the depravity of the U.S. plan for genocide;

      — the refusal to allow pencils for school children, or chlorine to disinfect the water supply, through the illegal boycott and unilateral no-fly zones that the U.S. and UK set up in sovereign Iraqi territory;

      — the salting of the UN weapons inspection team in 1999 with CIA personnel who sent back to Warshington a list of the most appropriate targets for the planned bombing of Iraq by the Clintons;

      — the withdrawal of the U.S.team when it was discovered by Saddam, described instead as their “expulsion” by the Iraqi government, when in reality Saddam had only refused to cooperate further with the U.S. CIA-infested part of the team;

      — the planning at the very first meeting of the Bush Jr. National Security Council, eight months *prior* to 911, for an attack on Iraq and the projected overthrow of its government;

      — the careful indictment of Saddam for only one atrocity, namely the gassing by mistake of one of his own village, rather than for the gassing of thousands and tens of thousands of Iranians, since the latter would, in the process of the trial, expose the role of the U.S. as an instigator, enabler, and helper in these crimes against humanity;

      … and all this still does not exhaust the fundamental atrocities of the US.-led aggressive attack on, and willful destruction of , the area that encompassed the cradle of civilization.

      When the Iraqi national museum was deliberately left unprotected, and looted of its 3000-year-old legacies fro sale to private collectors in the West, Secretary of Genocide Donald Rumsfeld contemptuously and publicly dismissed that omnicidal violent crime against humanity’s heritage as the loss of “a couple of dozen vases.” [Although the remark was captured on videotape, he quite typically denied he had ever said it, and the mainscream tedia chose not to pursue the matter.]

      In short, the Iraqi blitzkrieg alone, complete with imported death squads, would if exposed to the light of day provide proof beyond question that our rulers, of both parties, are genocidal, sociopathic monsters, who quite deliberately plotted the destruction of whole peoples.

      Estimates of the global death toll ascribable to this uniquely evil bipartisan cabal since World War II range from 25 to 30 *million* mostly innocent souls. That is on a par with the number of Russians killed by Hitler in WWII, and in its sheer ferocity and ruthlessness, akin to the depredations of Genghiz Khan, Tamerlane, Attila, and other such truly vile grand-scale terrorists of the past. Don’t ever let them claim ignorance or “good intentions”; in terms of the evil they deliberately carry out, they are in a class by themselves.

      • Re: Ron Reed on March 22
        There is much to commend in your abbreviated narrative, and what few historical misconceptions or opinions included do not call into question your voracity or honest intentions. There is a growing interest around the world, by informed people who want to understand the historical factual underpinnings of the current international conflicts they are tasked with resolving; regardless of who or what consortium or society has caused the problems.
        Thank you for taking the time to make your comment!
        As Usual,
        EA

  • Bush managed to surround himself with people who had grandiose plans, so much so that it is in no way certain what Bush knew and what he specifically lied about. When someone is lied to by people they trust, they often draw conclusions based upon lies passed to them as reasonable beliefs. Bush’s father and mother both lied to him on repeated occasions and were most likely lying to him while he was POTUS as well. Dick Cheney was a consummate liar who probably never told the President anything truthful about anything of significance. Bush himself was the type of individual that didn’t want to know too much for fear that in doing so he might screw it up. Your article presents many of the reasons why Bush may have been lying, but the article is based upon the facts, not the inside information about what was happening in the White House. If I tell you that thousands of UFO fly through our skies every day, you have no way to know if it is true or if any UFO story is true. Being POTUS is very much like that, it is almost impossible to determine the truth of many things presented as truth.

  • What is a lie? “American reality” is an already accomplished lie while being forced upon every individual and nation on earth. Anybody or any country, sovereign or not, is either part of this lie or will be a declared and accused enemy, prone to be accused of hatred for democracy and is ready for extinction or to accept the force fed freedom as all other world citizens that already are liberalised and set free from all hidden truth.
    Worlds reality is completely based on the mother of all lies – the human condition – while the herd without any rights discusses fractions and puzzle pieces and gets emotionally upset, ready to dispose of any opponent that is convinced otherwise from another different puzzle piece of lies.
    The multitude constantly rebels about the beauty and art of their prison wall enclosures while forgetting that the whole detention centre of surreality in the world of free democratic people is projected as truth. Humanity will always be free unless it believes otherwise and quarrels all along their “short human life’s” in support of mirage and illusion.

  • Re: Caitlin Johnstone
    Thanks for this succinct and cogent reminder of one of the more depraved criminal actions committed by multiple branches, departments, and agencies of the U.S. government, in the name of its intentionally misinformed citizens.
    Hopefully your closing with Wesley Clark’s statements will serve as a “Wake-up Call” for a better future.
    As Usual,
    EA
    PS How do I sign up for comments, and enable the use of my avatar? This “CAPTCHA” security thingy is a hassle!!

  • Re: Caitlin Johnstone
    Thanks for this succinct and cogent reminder of one of the more depraved criminal actions committed by multiple branches, departments, and agencies of the U.S. government, in the name of its intentionally misinformed citizens.
    Hopefully your closing with Wesley Clark’s statements will serve as a “Wake-up Call” for a better future.
    As Usual,
    EA
    PS How do I sign up for comments, and enable the use of my avatar?

  • Avoid the msm,all of them, they have long since become nothing but stenographers for the power elite(political and business). Read Medialens, OffGuardian, FAIR, RT News, watch alternate on line stuff-those that haven’t been “de platformed”. I like Jimmy Dore, ok he rants a bit but has informed guests and exposes ACTUAL truths(as opposed to received truths or lies). Disseminate widely via social media.

    • Antipropo – I agree with your list and would add Global Research, Sputnik, Greanville Post – and more – it’s possible to read decent journalism and analysis by informed honest people all day if you have the inclination and the time. For people with limited time to sit and read, I recommend keeping up with what’s really happening by listening to podcasts. FAIR has an excellent one, also The Real News and the unmissable John Kiriakou and Brian Bennett with Loud and Clear. Boycott the lying war-mongering MSM and spread the word, it’s the only way to beat them.

  • They persist in repeating the same thing with the nation of Venezuela

  • Once again Caitlin, you show us the control and power if the narrative! Even when the narrative is patently a lie, those who control it are still prepared to lie. Time we replaced the lies with the truth – thank you for doing that!

  • Yes Caitlyn, forgiveness is overrated. In order to be forgiven, the transgressor must confess and atone. Fleischer and all involved have done nothing to be granted forgiveness.

    • The Chosen do not have to apologize or seek forgiveness from goyim. Didn’t you know that?

  • Sort of ironic now. The very intelligence agencies that were supposedly inept about Iraq, are now the heroic figures and agencies that we should trust in their anonymous proclamations about the Russians since 2016. Well, at least so says the democratic party and mass media outlets.

    • People have such short memories!

      • Blessthebeasts, That’s why the World is in the position it’s currently in. People do not CONSIDER information given to them, dismiss it out of hand, and continue their daily lives catching up on the latest posting of the Kardashians and their favorite sports. The REALITY that governs their lives, is to them, of no consequence.

  • It is no surprise at all the the US will not allow ICC investigators into the US. God forbid the world should learn what we really did (and continue to do) to other human beings. We are the barbarians of the 21st century. I am ashamed that I was born in the US and wish I had left long ago. When I travel, I am forced to lie to other s about where am I from in order to avoid the humiliation.

    • Left long ago? Where to Random Castagna? Venezuela or Iran? They will also be liberated from semi independence. There is nowhere to run unless you leave Earth.

  • Five minutes later, I have had a creative idea about what to do with the neocons.

    Decimation.

    If it was good enough for the Roman army, it’s good enough for us.

    Just kill one in ten, chosen at random. No excuses. No exceptions.

    Pour decourager les autres.

  • Great article, packed with solid facts – unlike the “intelligence community”‘s lies about Iraq.

    But I’m afraid I see it as kicking a dead horse. It’s actually very simple: if those people’s lips are moving, they are lying.

    • That’s what I tell people. Whatever you see, hear or read in the mainstream media, don’t believe it. If there happens to be a kernel of truth in it, it’s purely by accident. They are a bunch of stinking murderous liars and most of the population falls for it.

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