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Thursday, March 09, 2006

[Iraq War]

The Claims - Weapons of Mass Destruction.
"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."
--George W. Bush, "get out of Dodge" warning, March 17, 2003
The Bush administration didn't suggest that Iraq may have had WMD in the lead-up to the war, they asserted it beyond doubt and mocked anyone who wasn't convinced. Last November, I catalogued the times Bush cited a link between al Qaida and Iraq; in this post, I'll give some representative quotes of the administration making the WMD claims.

In the post-invasion spin, the administration has claimed 1) that it was only repeating intelligence, and 2) that it was the intelligence that was at fault. Look through these quotes and see what you think.

Conventional Weapons
We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States. And, of course, sophisticated delivery systems aren't required for a chemical or biological attack; all that might be required are a small container and one terrorist or Iraqi intelligence operative to deliver it.
--GWB, October 7, 2002 (the "Cincinnati speech")


"U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. "
--GWB, Jan 28, 2003 (SotU)


"The Iraqi regime has acquired and tested the means to deliver weapons of mass destruction. All the world has now seen the footage of an Iraqi Mirage aircraft with a fuel tank modified to spray biological agents over wide areas. Iraq has developed spray devices that could be used on unmanned aerial vehicles with ranges far beyond what is permitted by the Security Council."
--GWB, Feb 6, 2003

Chemical and Biological Weapons
Surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons. Every chemical and biological weapon that Iraq has or makes is a direct violation of the truce that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Yet, Saddam Hussein has chosen to build and keep these weapons despite international sanctions, U.N. demands, and isolation from the civilized world.
--GWB, October 7, 2002


"We have made that clear, that Iraq does possess chemical and biological weapons. And what we are doing is to -- what we are working to do right now with the international community, speaking with one voice, is to disarm Saddam Hussein of those weapons of mass destruction. We know that he possesses chemical and biological weapons. And we know that he seeks to acquire nuclear weapons."
--Scott McClellan, Nov 13, 2002


"It's no secret. We've said many times -- you've heard the President say repeatedly that he has chemical and biological weapons, and he has missiles that can reach an access of 150 kilometers, all three of which are violations of his sworn commitments to the United Nations."
--Ari Fleischer, Dec 2, 2002


"As you know, we have always been explicit on this topic. We have always said that we know that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction of a biological nature. We know they have weapons of mass destruction of a chemical nature."
--Ari Fleischer, Jan 9, 2002


"Indeed, the inspectors think that Iraq has manufactured two to four times the amount of biological agents it has admitted to and has failed to explain the whereabouts of more than two metric tons of raw material for the growth of biological agents. Despite 11 years of inspections and sanctions, containment and military response, Baghdad retains chemical and biological weapons and is producing more. And Saddam’s nuclear scientists are still hard at work."
--Paul Wolfowitz, January 23, 2003


"And Saddam Hussein becomes a prime suspect in that regard because of his past track record and because we know he has, in fact, developed these kinds of capabilities, chemical and biological weapons. We know he’s used chemical weapons. We know he’s reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War."
--Dick Cheney, "Meet the Press," March 16, 2003

Nuclear Weapons
The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
--GWB, October 7, 2002

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
--Condoleeza Rice, September 2002


"The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.* Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities."
--GWB, Jan 28, 2003 (SotU)


"[W]e found out after the Gulf War that he was within one or two years of having a nuclear weapon because he had a massive effort under way that involved four or five different technologies for enriching uranium to produce fissile material. We know that based on intelligence that he has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He’s had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
--Dick Cheney, "Meet the Press," March 16, 2003
*The famous "16 words" that the administration later recanted as "inaccurate."


Blogger Error 404 said...

Blaming faulty intelligence seems unwise, particularly in the wake of the restructuring of the CIA.

Letter carriers going postal is bad enough.

10:33 AM  

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