We were misled

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, July 18, 2005

In an op-ed piece from the Boston Globe (May 31), Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese argued why President Bush should be impeached. They cited the following:

"The CIA told the White House in February, 2001: "We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has ... reconstituted its weapons of mass destruction programs."

"The CIA told the White House in two Fall 2002 memos not to make claims of Iraq uranium purchases. CIA Director George Tenet personally called top national security officials imploring them not to use that claim as proof of an Iraq nuclear threat." These claims were made, anyway, at the U.N. by then Secretary of State Colin Powell and, confirming the CIA's caveats, found fraudulent.

"When discussing WMD the CIA used words like "might" and "could." The case was always circumstantial with equivocations, unlike the president and vice president, e.g., Cheney said on Aug. 26, 2002: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

"The UN, IAEA, the State and Energy departments, the Air Force's National Air and Space Intelligence Center, US inspectors, and even the CIA concluded there was no basis for the Bush-Cheney public assertions. Yet, President Bush told the public in September 2002 Iraq "could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given." And, just before the invasion, President Bush said "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."

As reported in The Times of London (May 1) in the so-called "Downing Street Memo," as early as July 2002, "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."

Since these events, President Bush has blamed not finding WMD in Iraq on faulty intelligence from the CIA, creating a smokescreen to cover his own mendacity or, more kindly, blundering. This used to be called passing the buck, but most reporters for the corporate media have relayed the administration's distractions to the public, unchallenged, papering over one lie with another.

We continue to waste Iraqi and American lives, plus billions of tax dollars no longer available for domestic needs, on a war into which we were misled. Why?

Lisle Hebert


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