The US-Iraq War
- (a) that there was strong evidence of WMDs, when it seems clear that there was none and that this was well known to Bush and his closest advisors at the time the claims were made 11
- (a1) Circumstantial evidence: Bush was apparently determined to invade Iraq whether or not evidence was found, but although this indicates dishonesty it does not prove that he actually knew there was no evidence; it just proves that he didn't care whether the invasion was truly justified.
- "One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief... My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it... If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it." – George W. Bush2
- 2007-09-06 Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction "Salon exclusive: Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq." by Sidney Blumenthal
- (b) that Iraq had refused to allow UN inspectors (see 3, final paragraph) to confirm their claimed lack of WMDs, when in fact Iraq did allow the inspectors in and the inspectors had found nothing. ("In 2002, the commission began searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, ultimately finding none." [W] and "The Iraqi government did what it was required in the 1441 resolution and presented a report of its weapons. The US government claimed that the report was false for not recognizing having the WMDs. It announced the invasion in the Spring of 2003." [W])
- (c) that Iraq was connected to the 9/11 attacks (for which there is no evidence):
- 2003-03-21 Letter to Congress: "The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
- 2006-03-20 President Discusses War on Terror and Operation Iraqi Freedom: "First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don't think we ever said – at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein."
- 2001-09-12: Richard Clarke says that on September 12, 2001, President Bush "testily" asked him to try to find evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected to the terrorist attacks. After an initial denial, the White House has since conceded that the meeting took place. In response he wrote a report stating there was absolutely no evidence of Iraqi involvement and got it signed by all relevant agencies, including the FBI, and the CIA. The paper was quickly returned by a deputy with a note saying "Please update and resubmit," apparently unshown to the President. [W]
- 2007-03-04 The Seven War Memo: General Wesley Clark says he was told "We've made the decision we're going to war with Iraq." on or about 2001-09-20. This was soon followed by plans to invade Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finally, Iran.
Sources below have additional points.
- The Architects of War: Where Are They Now?: telling quotes from various Bush administration officials on the need to invade Iraq, likely costs and benefits of same, etc., as well as updates on their status
WMDs as justification?! WTF??
The claimed presence of WMDs in Iraq always seemed to me like an extremely good reason not to invade.
Picture the situation in 2002: you have a crazy dictator who has demonstrated that his only interest is power and that he is willing to sacrifice anything, including his own people, to keep it. Add to this an invasion by an incomparably strong foreign power, pushing that dictator back up against the wall: all of his genuine strategic options are used up, he knows he will either be killed or captured by an extremely unsympathetic enemy. If he had actually been in possession of WMDs, what are the odds that he would have taken the humane route and declined to use them?
So I have to ask the question: why did anyone buy the WMDs lie as a reason in favor of invasion in the first place? Oh, certainly, if Saddam had really had WMDs, or been in the process of making them, we couldn't have just stood around doing nothing about it – but bashing the hornets' nest has to be the worst possible way to go about dealing with that situation (unless you know that he hasn't actually got any of them ready yet; Bush did his best to convince us of the opposite, that Saddam was ready to use his WMDs at any time). When a mad bomber terrorist takes hostages, you tread delicately; going in with guns blazing is a recipe for disaster.
Well, we've managed to get our disaster even in spite of the lack of WMDs; we were just damn lucky that the WMDs were a figment of neoconservative ambition, because apparently we happily bash the hornet's nest when The Decider tells us to. The results could have been much, much worse if the WMDs had been anything more real than scrap tubing and twisted words. --Woozle 14:34, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
- Wikipedia: rationale for the Iraq War
- The vote on HJ res 114 "To Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq"
- 2002-10-10 15:05 FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 455
- 2002-10-11 12:50 U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 107th Congress - 2nd Session
- 2014-05-23 [L..T] Absolution By Punctuation "The administration to which Ms. Rice was unswervingly loyal -- and for which she fudged her testimony in front of the 9/11 commission, and for which she helped lie this country into a war that was the most fundamentally immoral act of foreign policy (perhaps) in its history -- did, in fact, torture people to those ends."
- 2009-06-02 [Talk|Index] Governor Bush told Houston Journalist: If Elected "I'm Going to Invade Iraq" § “(Bush) said he wanted to [invade Iraq], and the reason he wanted to do it is he had been led to understand that you could not really have a successful presidency unless you were seen as commander-in-chief, unless you were seen as waging a war.”
- 2008-03-21 [Talk|Index] How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? § “But my biggest misreading was not about competence. Wars are often marked by incompetence. It was a fatal misjudgment of Bush's sense of morality. I had no idea he was so complacent – even glib – about the evil that good intentions can enable. I truly did not believe that Bush would use 9/11 to tear up the Geneva Conventions. When I first heard of abuses at Gitmo, I dismissed them as enemy propaganda. I certainly never believed that a conservative would embrace torture as the central thrust of an anti-terror strategy and lie about it, and scapegoat underlings for it, and give us the indelible stain of Bagram and Camp Cropper and Abu Ghraib and all the other secret torture and interrogation sites that Bush and Cheney created and oversaw. I certainly never believed that a war I supported for the sake of freedom would actually use as its central weapon the deepest antithesis of freedom – the destruction of human autonomy and dignity and will that is torture. To distort this by shredding the English language, by engaging in newspeak that I had long associated with totalitarian regimes, was a further insult. And for me, it was yet another epiphany about what American conservatism had come to mean.”
- 2008-01-23 [Talk|Index] Study: Bush led U.S. to war on 'false pretenses' § “The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.” See 2008-01-22 study of Bush Iraq lies for further discussion.
- 2008-01-23 [Talk|Index] Study: Falsehoods Preceded Iraq War § “A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top Administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks. .. The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses." .. The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.” See 2008-01-22 study of Bush Iraq lies for further discussion.
- 2006-02-14 [Talk|Index] Interview with General Michael DeLong § “In this interview, DeLong offers inside stories about those campaigns and CIA-Pentagon relations during the Afghan war, and explains why the invasion of Iraq was necessary. He also talks about why the DoD worked with Ahmad Chalabi and his own experience dealing with Doug Feith.”
- 2006-02-12 [Talk|Index] All Roads Lead to Dick Cheney § Accumulated evidence points to Dick Cheney having laid the groundwork for 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq.
- 2004-02-20 [Talk|Index] Soldier for the Truth: Exposing Bush's talking-points war § The neocons had three reasons for the US to invade Iraq: (1) sanctions were working, not leaving US companies in a favored position for doing business in Iraq; (2) the US needed a location for military bases; (3) the US needed to ensure that oil would continue to be traded in dollars.
- 2002-10-02 [Talk|Index] Barack Obama's Iraq Speech § “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda. .. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.”
- 2002-09-04 [Talk|Index] Heading for Trouble § “Do we really want to occupy Iraq for the next 30 years?”
- 2001-09-25 [Talk|Index] Machiavelli on Our War § Two weeks after 9/11, The resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at AEI expounds a philosophy rife with false dilemma – good versus evil, us versus them, winning versus losing – and advocates this thinking as the best possible guidance for our leaders.
- 2006-12-20 Diplomat's suppressed document lays bare the lies behind Iraq war: The UK had no reasons to believe Iraq possessed significant chemical, bio, or nuclear warfare weapons. Also, "British officials warned US diplomats that bringing down the Iraqi dictator would lead to the chaos the world has since witnessed."
- 2006-12-09 Smith's war critique cracks wall of support: Republican Senator Gordon Smith's switch from passive support for the war may signal the beginning of a fall-off in GOP support
- 2006-11-18 Spy says al-Qaeda tricked US into war (please make a note here if you get redirected when trying to access this site)
- 2006-09-15 The Rest of the Story: Iraq's Links to Al Qaeda: may cast new light on some of the accusations above
- 2005-12-01 Lying about the War
- 2003-04-01 Prewar predictions coming back to bite by Susan Page, USA TODAY
- 2003-01-19 Saddam will not be deposed by sweet reason or sanctions: pre-invasion opinions from a number of prominent Britons
- 2003-01-12 U.S. Decision On Iraq Has Puzzling Past: "Opponents of War Wonder When, How Policy Was Set"
- 2002-08-26 MoveOn petition against invading Iraq
- 2005-12-01 Lying about the War: "truth became the first casualty in their campaign to whip up support."
- 2003-03-18 Why I Oppose An Iraq War by Russ Daggatt: exposes several blatant misstatements by the administration which do not seem like they could possibly be innocent errors
- 2003-01-21 One of the More Nauseating Images by Harold Pinter [W]
- 2007-08-02 video Rep. Kucinich: V.P. Dick Cheney "Fabricated" the Intel (see also Dennis Kucinich, Dick Cheney)
- "I thought they were out of their minds, once I realised that they weren't kidding. The most inappropriate, the most counterproductive thing we could've done would've been to invade Iraq and I rather thought that was self-evident." – Richard A. Clarke, former US Counter-Terrorism Advisor 
- "In 2003, Republicans refused to allow a vote on a bill introduced by Waxman that would have established an independent commission to review the false claims Bush made in asking Congress to declare war on Iraq. That same year, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Porter Goss, refused to hold hearings on whether the administration had forged evidence of the nuclear threat allegedly posed by Iraq. A year later the chair of the Government Reform Committee, Tom Davis, refused to hold hearings on new evidence casting doubt on the "nuclear tubes" cited by the Bush administration before the war. Sen. Pat Roberts, who pledged to issue a Senate Intelligence Committee report after the 2004 election on whether the Bush administration had misled the public before the invasion, changed his mind after the president won re-election. 'I think it would be a monumental waste of time to re-plow this ground any further,' Roberts said." 
1. 2004-10-03 $Disputed Intelligence on Iraq ($ for full article) abstract reads: "The Bush administration was made aware as early as 2001 that the aluminum tubes used as critical evidence against Iraq were most likely not for nuclear weapons, but White House officials continued to embrace the theory as they led the nation to war."
Another source 2 cites the article as stating that "The CIA inform[ed] the Bush administration that the "aluminum tubes," later to be used as evidence of a nuclear WMD program, were probably not intended for that purpose. In the article, CIA officials and a senior administration official say that Rice's staff had been told in 2001 that Energy Department experts believed the tubes were most likely intended for small artillery rockets, and not a nuclear program."
3. 2003-07-14 President Reaffirms Strong Position on Liberia
- final paragraph: "The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region."