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Monday, March 10, 2003
Top 30 Bush - Iraq Lies: A Reference For Seekers of Truth
So many lies have been spread by the Administration and their minions that it is hard to keep track. I suppose that’s part of their strategy. Overwhelm the opposition and the public with so much misinformation that the truth will never be clear. They can then press forward in an ambiguous cloud of fear and “what if?” scenarios. Thus, we should take pains to document the trail of deceit. As our part, we have created this list, sort of a handy tip-sheet to refute the arguments of the tin-pot, would-be murderers who insist on seizing Iraqi oil in exchange for the blood of our military men and women and the Iraqi citizenry..
So here we go.
1) It is only appropriate that we start the list with the most recent fabrication:
“A key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program appears to have been fabricated, the United Nations' chief nuclear inspector said [March 6] in a report that called into question U.S. and British claims about Iraq's secret nuclear ambitions.”
“Documents that purportedly showed Iraqi officials shopping for uranium in Africa two years ago were deemed "not authentic" after careful scrutiny by U.N. and independent experts, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the U.N. Security Council.”
And the Administration’s response?
"’We fell for it,’ said one U.S. official who reviewed the documents."
Yeah right! As though the Administration had absolutely nothing to do with this "mysterious" fabrication.
Anyway, in no particular order, here are the other top lies currently being circulated by the Administration and the right-wing propaganda machine.
2) The Bush Administration insists Iraq is developing an 800-mile-plus range missile. A prior UN resolution made it illegal for Iraq to build missiles that had a range in excess of 93 miles.
In fact, The al-Samoud 2, the missile to which the administration refers, has indeed been flying too far in tests… …by about 15 miles and that is because it isn't yet loaded down with its guidance system.
3) The administration claimed they had satellite photographs that showed new research buildings at Iraqi nuclear sites. However, when the U.N. went into the new buildings they found "nothing".
4) The administration asserted that specific presidential palaces were places the inspectors would find incriminating evidence. Again, they found "nothing".
5) It was reported that an al Qaeda informant claimed that terrorists had found a way of smuggling radioactive material through airports without being detected.
Unfortunately, the “informant” then failed a polygraph test.
"'This piece of that puzzle turns out to be fabricated and therefore the reason for a lot of the alarm, particularly in Washington this week, has been dissipated after they found out that this information was not true,' Vince Cannistraro, former CIA counter-terrorism chief, told the news network."
Even so, the “Orange” alert status, which was activated when the Administration made these claims public, remained. But wait, if the reason for the heightened alert status was proven false, then why keep it? Good Question. Let’s see…if I were Bush and I wanted to paralyze the populace with fear in order to force them behind me in all my criminal dealings, I would certainly take advantage of this miscue by allowing the alert to remain. Nothing like a little orange to make people see red. Besides, how many people could have possibly even heard about the whole “Hoax” thing?
True to form, Tom Ridge made no mention of the “Hoax” to anyone so why should Bush.
"We have not received any additional intelligence that would lead us to either raise or lower the threat level at this time."
6) Rupert Murdoch helped the Administration by spreading this lie (as though Fox News and the NY Post wasn't enough):
"Saddam Hussein's senior bodyguard has fled with details of Iraq's secret arsenal. His revelations have supported US President George W. Bush's claim [that] there is enough evidence from UN inspectors to justify going to war. [The bodyguard] has provided Israeli intelligence with a list of sites that the inspectors have not visited."
~ An underground chemical weapons facility at the southern end of the Jadray Peninsula in Baghdad.
~ A SCUD assembly area near Ramadi. The missiles come from North Korea.
~ Two underground bunkers in Iraq's Western Desert. These contain biological weapons.
"William Tierney, a former UN weapons inspector who has continued to gather information on Saddam's arsenal, said Mahmoud's information is 'the smoking gun'."
Needless to say, all of these have proven to be 100% false.
7) As a centerpiece to it's argument for invading Iraq, the Administration has boldly pursued the idea that Saddam and al Qaeda are in cahoots. The CIA and the FBI disagree:
"…analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency have complained that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war, government officials said."
"At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network. "We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said."
This is consistent with what they were saying back in October:
"They are politicizing intelligence, no question about it," said Vincent M. Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief. "And they are undertaking a campaign to get George Tenet [the director of central intelligence] fired because they can't get him to say what they want on Iraq."
In addition, in a January 30, interview, Blix revealed that:
“ …he had seen no persuasive indications of Iraqi ties to al Qaeda, which Mr. Bush also mentioned in his speech.”
Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice alleged that al-Qaeda operatives have had a direct relationship with the Iraqi government:
"There clearly are contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented,"
She did not document them and a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated the evidence for linkage is tenuous, based on sources of varying reliability.
8) Central to the Saddam - al Qaeda connection claim is the assertion that Czech authorities had evidence of a meeting between one of the September 11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi agent in Prague in April 2001.
Both Czech President Vaclav Havel and Czech intelligence refuted this report. To this day, members of the Administration cite the Prague report as evidence of an Iraq - al Qaeda connection.
9) The Administration latched onto the idea that Ramzi Yousef, who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, escaped from New York on a false passport provided by Iraqi intelligence. The reasoning for this speculation is so far-fetched as to be laughable.
10) Bush and Co. claimed that al-Qaeda refugees from the war in Afghanistan have found refuge in Iraq. Some of this relates to a group called Ansar al, which has taken over a small area near the Iranian border. This part of Iraq, however, is in Kurdish hands and outside the direct control of the Iraqi Government.
11) Rafed Ibrahim Fatah, an Ansar member now in Kurdish hands spoke of meetings between [Ansar] and al-Qaeda leaders, though not Osama Bin Laden himself. Although the implication was that the Iraqi's did indeed have ties to Iraq, as explained above, this in no way implicated the Iraqi government.
12) Rafed Fatah and a senior al-Qaeda operative captured in Morocco, Abu Zubair, supposedly underwent training in Iraq. This "evidence" was touted to be a feature in the British Government's dossier against Iraq. In fact, They were not mentioned in the report. Nor was any alleged link between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
13) Blix touted a discrepancy in reported Chemical weapons as potential proof that Iraq has 1000 tons of chemical weapons stashed away. He reported that a document given to UN inspectors by the Iraqis:
“...gives an account of the expenditure of bombs, including chemical bombs by Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War... The document indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi air force between 1983 and 1998; while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in these bombs would be in the order of about 1000 tons.”
The implication was clear: There are probably 1000 tons of chemical agent hidden from us, waiting to be used.
But Scott Ritter, former top UN weapons inspector, points out that the viable existence of these agents is impossible:
“Through its inspection activities, UNSCOM [the precursor to the current weapons inspection body UNIMOVIC] obtained reasonable information concerning Iraq's chemical weapons (CW) activities from 1981 to 1987, with the exception of data on the use of CW against Iran. Iraq consistently refused to provide details to UNSCOM regarding such use, probably because of the political fallout that such an admission would cause.”
“While this refusal prevented a full accounting of Iraqi CW, Iraq could not still have viable CW from that period because the chemical agent would have long since deteriorated... As an internal UNSCOM working paper noted, an Iraqi declaration of CW use during the war with Iran was not required for any meaningful verification: `Taking into consideration the conditions and the quality of CW-agents and munitions produced by Iraq at that time, there is no possibility of weapons remaining from the mid-1980s'.”
“What was overlooked in 1998 [when UNSCOM inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq] was the extent to which UNSCOM had actually eliminated Iraq's CW capability. The Muthanna State Establishment and most of Iraq's associated production equipment had been destroyed, either through aerial bombardment during Operation Desert Storm [the US military's operational designation for the 1991 Gulf War] or under the supervision of UNSCOM inspectors. Iraq's stockpiles of CW agent had either been destroyed in the same manner or could be assumed to have deteriorated.”
Blix made no mention of this in either his December 19, 2002 or January 27, 2003 report.
14) Bush, in his speech to the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 12, said Iraq had made "several attempts to buy-high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons."
In his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, Bush said Iraq had "attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."
By early January, the IAEA had reached a preliminary conclusion:
"The 81mm tubes sought by Iraq were 'not directly suitable' for centrifuges, but appeared intended for use as conventional artillery rockets, as Iraq had claimed. The Bush administration, meanwhile, stuck to its original position while acknowledging disagreement among U.S. officials who had reviewed the evidence."
Last month, Powell likewise dismissed the IAEA's conclusions, telling U.N. leaders that Iraq would not have ordered tubes at such high prices and with such exacting performance ratings if intended for use as ordinary rockets. Powell specifically noted that Iraq had sought tubes that had been "anodized," or coated with a thin outer film -- a procedure that Powell said was required if the tubes were to be used in centrifuges.
"A number of independent experts on uranium enrichment have sided with IAEA's conclusion that the tubes were at best ill suited for centrifuges. Several have said that the "anodized" features mentioned by Powell are actually a strong argument for use in rockets, not centrifuges, contrary to the administration's statement."
"[An IAEA] report yesterday all but ruled out the use of the tubes in a nuclear program. The IAEA chief said investigators had unearthed extensive records that backed up Iraq's explanation. The documents, which included blueprints, invoices and notes from meetings, detailed a 14-year struggle by Iraq to make 81mm conventional rockets that would perform well and resist corrosion. Successive failures led Iraqi officials to revise their standards and request increasingly higher and more expensive metals."
15) Last September, the United States and Britain issued reports accusing Iraq of renewing its quest for nuclear weapons. In Britain's assessment, Iraq reportedly had "sought significant amounts of uranium from Africa, despite having no active civil nuclear program that could require it."
The IAEA reported finding no evidence of banned weapons or nuclear material in an extensive sweep of Iraq using advanced radiation detectors.
16) In a January 30 interview, Blix:
“...took issue with what he said were US Secretary of State Colin Powell's claims that the inspectors had found that Iraqi officials were hiding and moving illicit materials within and outside of Iraq to prevent their discovery. He said that the inspectors had reported no such incidents."
17) In that same interview, Blix said:
" …he had not seen convincing evidence that Iraq was sending weapons scientists to Syria, Jordan or any other country to prevent them from being interviewed. Nor had he any reason to believe, as President Bush charged in his State of the Union speech, that Iraqi agents were posing as scientists..."
18) Bush cited a satellite photograph and a report by the U.N. atomic energy agency as evidence of Iraq's impending [nuclear] rearmament. But in response to a report by NBC News, a senior administration official acknowledged that the U.N. report drew no such conclusion, and a spokesman for the U.N. agency said "the photograph had been misinterpreted".
19) [Bush] has consistently lied about Iraq's nuclear capabilities as well as its missile-delivery capabilities...Bush tried to frighten Americans by claiming that Iraq possesses a fleet of unmanned aircraft that could be used 'for missions targeting the US'. "[This statement is] false"
20) "Bush's case against Saddam Hussein, outlined in a televised address to the nation, relied on a slanted and sometimes entirely false reading of the available US intelligence, government officials and analysts claimed. Officials in the CIA, FBI and energy department are being put under intense pressure to produce reports that back the administration's line…
"Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA," said Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's former head of counter-intelligence."
21) Publicly, President Bush's officials are touting reports that al-Qaeda operatives have found refuge in Baghdad and that Iraq once helped them develop chemical weapons. Privately, government intelligence sources are hedging on that subject, suggesting there might be "less than meets the eye".
22) Contrary to the assertion by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that Iraq kicked out U.N. weapons inspectors in 1998, Charles Duelfer, who was deputy chairman of the U.N. inspection agency at the time asserts, "We made the decision to evacuate."
23) Vice President Dick Cheney alleged that Iraq will have nuclear weapons "fairly soon." In reality, no one outside Iraq really knows how close Baghdad is to that point.
24) Bush warned the United Nations that Saddam could have nuclear weapons within a year of acquiring fissionable material. Cheney said:
"On the nuclear question, many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire such weapons fairly soon."
The CIA's own forecasts do not support these assertions.
25) The administration characterizes Saddam as a supporter of terrorism generally. "Iraq's ties to terrorist networks are long-standing," Rumsfeld told Congress. Those ties are complex. In fact, one group the U.S. government brands as a terrorist outfit has been favored not only by Iraq but by many members of the U.S. Congress. That group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, advocates the violent overthrow of the religious government of Iran. It recently held a news conference two blocks from the White House.
26) The administration alleges al-Qaeda operatives, including senior figures, have been in Iraq. But AP reporter, Calvin Woodward notes that U.S. intelligence sources have said al-Qaeda members are believed to be simply moving through Iraq en route to their home countries. They have not offered evidence these sojourners are putting down roots in Iraq, setting up camps or making contact with Saddam's government.
27) The administration, as evidence of Saddam's venality, has repeatedly noted he used chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s -- an event that barely elicited a response from Washington at the time. And one that, although known to US authorities, failed to shake US support for Iraq at the time. The lie in this instance would be the feigned Administration outrage toward the use of chemical weapons.
28) Regarding the alleged Iraqi-ordered assassination attempt on George H. W. Bush: "A senior White House official recently told me that one of the seemingly most persuasive elements of the report had been overstated and was essentially incorrect," said Seymour Hersh in a 1993 article. "And none of the Clinton Administration officials have claimed that there was any empirical evidence - a 'smoking gun' -directly linking Saddam or any of his senior advisers to the alleged assassination attempt. The case against Iraq was, and remains, circumstantial."
29) And let's not forget this little classic: "The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was 'six months away' from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist. 'There's never been a report like that issued from this agency,' said Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA's chief spokesman."
30) And finally there is my favorite, the British Dossier, a highly anticipated document, touted as the piece of the puzzle that would unconditionally convince the world that Saddam is the greatest threat to humanity since...well... since George W. Bush.
That's right. it was revealed that the UK dossier on Iraq is a sham:
"Downing Street was last night plunged into acute international embarrassment after it emerged that large parts of the British government's latest dossier on Iraq - allegedly based on "intelligence material" - were taken from published academic articles, some of them several years old."
So did "Downing Street" apologize for deceiving the world and presenting heavily plagiarized, years-old information put together by post-graduate students in California? Not on your life. Even after being caught red-handed, they brazenly and unapologetically retorted:
"Dismissing the gathering controversy as the latest example of media obsession with spin, officials insisted it in no way undermines the underlying truth of the dossier, whose contents had been re-checked with British intelligence sources. 'The important thing is that it is accurate,' said one source."
It was not accurate.
So, in summary, remember that you will always be closer to the truth if you simply disbelieve whatever the Administration says. As a rule of thumb, you should remember what the UN inspectors said about the information that they regularly receive from the Bush Administration:
“U.N. sources have told CBS News that American tips have lead to one dead end after another…. So frustrated have the inspectors become that one source has referred to the U.S. intelligence they've been getting as "garbage after garbage after garbage."
For the complete stories on these lies, check out these past politicalstrategy.org articles:
“The Biggest Catch Yet? Or the Biggest Lie Yet?”
"Bush Undermines UN Inspectors"
"Hoaxes and Demonstrations"
"The First Attack Made Bush. Would a Second Attack Unmake Him?"
"It's the Credibility, Stupid"
"Bush, Iraq, al Qaeda and the Art of Lying"
"If Blix n' Bush Were Under Oath"
"Blix n' Bush: Guilty Until Proven Innocent"
"Seeds of Destruction: What Keeps Bush From Planting Evidence of WMD in Iraq?"
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posted by Thomas Ball 11:00 AM
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Bush Undermines UN Inspectors (02/22/03)
Conversations with Conservatives V (02/19/03)
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Refuting a Myth About US Military Spending (02/13/03)
The First Attack Made Bush. Would a Second Attack Unmake Him? (02/12/03)
Tokenism, It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore (02/10/03)
It's the Credibility, Stupid (02/05/03)
Bush, Iraq, al Qaeda and the Art of Lying (02/04/03)
If Blix n' Bush Were Under Oath (02/03/03)
Hypocrisy: A Proud GOP Tradition (02/02/03)
Don't Believe the Hype! Europe Rejects Bush! (01/30/03)
Iraq, Guilty Until Proven Innocent (01/28/03)
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