Friday, November 11, 2005

Bush officials deliberately lied about Saddam's WMD

I'm watching The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, with syndicated columnist Mark Shields facing off against Rich Lowry from The National Review.

Lowry says, "The case [for invading Iraq in 2003] may have been wrong, but it wasn't baseless. ... The idea that Bush officials deliberately lied about Saddam's WMD, I think is totally off base."

Well, Rich, I disagree. The baseless accusation is the current claim by the administration that the opposition is somehow being dishonest in debating the course of the war.

We were rushed into war because we "knew for a certainty" that Saddam had stockpiles of chemical weapons, stockpiles of biological weapons, active nuclear weapons programs, and active collaboration with al Qaeda. In reality, none of those claims was true. Furthermore, it beggars belief to claim that the intelligence community was united behind those claims. Voices of dissent were silenced, and the intelligence was fixed around the policy decision that had already been made.

We are telling the troops that they have been sent to Iraq based on a pack of lies because they were sent to Iraq based on a pack of lies.

Dick Cheney lied repeatedly when he told the American people that there were connections between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. That fact is beyond question. He knew that Saddam was not involved, and he continued to claim it, purely for the political purpose of selling a war of choice as a war of defensive necessity.