Dave Ruppe at _Global Security Newswire_ has a “great article on how Bush and Rice are spinning”:http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2005_1_25.html#FC33CA97 the “Duelfer Report”:http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/. At least one media outlet decided the fact that the Bush Administration keeps blatantly lying is news.
As an aside, I hope that some with influence in the journalism profession are reconsidering just how they cover events in an age where an administration engages in straight-up propaganda – “staying on message” regardless of the facts. The administration has played the press and something needs to be done about it. Actually, the _press_ needs to do something.
Anyway, things I would add to Dave’s article:
1. The Bush administration line that “Iraq had no weapons, but they had programs” implies that Saddam was on the verge of churning out weapons. Dan Bartlett “told Wolf Blitzer”:http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0501/16/le.01.html that Saddam “had the capabilities to produce weapons of mass destruction on a moment’s notice.”
Read Dave’s summary of “the Duelfer Report”:http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/ (or my modest contribution “in ACT a few months back”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2004_11/Duelfer.asp ). Suffice to say, the report states that, in the case of nuclear and biological weapons, Iraq had neither weapons nor programs.
2. Little has been written about the ongoing monitoring and verification mechanisms that would have remained on Iraq even if sanctions were lifted. The idea that lifting sanctions would force us to trust Saddam is another lie. (We asked super-dove David Kay about this in an “interview”:http://www.armscontrol.org/aca/midmonth/2004/March/Kay.asp.)
3. Bush et al do not get to say that the war was justified for any reason other than WMD without also admitting that they initially lied to the public about the justification for war. Why? Because the decision to go the UN meant that Saddam would stay in power if he complied with the resolution, tyranny and all. Therefore, regime change and disarmament through the UN were *mutually exclusive.* Simple, but I have yet to see anyone make this argument.
4. This is a bit off-topic, but I think Bartlett should be forced to repeat this gem to every wounded U.S. soldier:
CNN, 16 January 2005
BLITZER: But Europeans, other critics have suggested that he [Saddam Hussein] was contained, he was in a box. The U.S. had a no-fly zone in the north, a no-fly zone in the south. Sanctions were being imposed. He represented very marginally, at that moment in time, a threat to anyone other than his own people.
BARTLETT: Well, that might be easy to say for people who are not actually putting young lives at risk every day flying those no-fly zones. They’re being shot at almost on a daily basis, U.S. pilots.
Bartlett obviously meant they _were_ being shot at. I think the rest speaks for itself.