Was it all just a mistake?
The WMDs were destroyed in 1991 and no programs to develop them were restarted. That is the conclusion of the Pentagon, the CIA and the President’s Commission on WMD.
Congress relied on “dead wrong” WMD claims when it gave permission for the war. That’s what the President’s Commission concluded.
How could the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department, dozens of brilliant neocons, and the President all make such a gigantic mistake for 18 months?
… thousands of tons of … mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas… growing fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles … to disperse chemical or biological weapons … exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States. … smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. —President Bush, Cincinnati, Ohio Speech, Oct. 7, 2002.
“Dead wrong.” —The President’s Commission
The official explanation is “Oops, the CIA made a mistake.” Or, in the words of the President’s Commission: “What the intelligence professionals told you about Saddam Hussein’s programs was what they believed. They were simply wrong.”
That’s on page 1, but the next 600 pages tell us there were many in the CIA who did not believe what was being said and they put it in writing time and again. A lot of those disbeliefs made it into the White House, but not one made it out of the White House to the American public. Perhaps the clearest case is that of the 500 tons of uranium ore concentrate supposedly bought by Iraq from Niger.
This claim was based on documents so badly forged it took UN investigators only a few hours with the internet to figure it out. One obvious clue: the forgers got the President of Niger wrong. Our ambassador to Niger debunked this story in early 2002. Then the CIA, which did not believe it from the start, sent Wilson to check it out and he came back and debunked it, including a direct report to the State Dept. in March 2002. But, in January 2003, the President used this “fact” in his State of the Union address, and Powell used it indirectly in his February speech at the U.N..
Finally, in March 2003, Powell admitted there was a problem, “It was the information that we had. We provided it. If that information is inaccurate, fine.”
But maybe our whole government is not really this stupid. Maybe Paul Wolfowitz was right. Maybe … “for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but”
Now do you know what happend the instant he said that. Even before he could finish his sentence the government lawyer sitting beside him cuts him off with “– hold on one second”. The they go off mike and when they come back Wolfowitz can’t say any more about it.
Wolfowitz was trying to explain that the real reasons had a lot more to do with moving our troops out of Saudi Arabia (to Iraq) and some other things. The reason the “U.S. government bureaucracy” could settle on WMD is because that would get people riled up. It was real easy to explain.
In fact our goverment is not as stupid as they would like us to believe, but they’re not as smart as they think they are.