Bush Lied, People Died

That’s what this study shows.

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.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration’s position that the world community viewed Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

“The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world,” Stanzel said.

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.

“It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida,” according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. “In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.”

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell’s 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.


  1. 1
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    You know, of course, none of this matters: we’re NEVER leaving Iraq.

    In his final State of the Union address, President Bush predictably made the case for an open-ended military presence in Iraq, probably for decades. Bush has previously invoked Korea as a model and his administration hopes to conclude a formal status of forces agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that would effectively tie his successor’s hands in ever getting us out of Iraq.


  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    I’ve long suspected you are right about NEVER leaving. However there is one major difference between Iraq and the Korea analogy. It is possible for Iraq to fall under the control of people who want us out, and make it too costly for the US to try to remain.

    If we look into the far future, maybe some day there will be a more comprehensive middle east settlement which involves getting the US out of the region as many in the region would sure support that idea.

  3. 3
    Wayne says:

    The huge difference between Korea and Iraq is that in Korea the conflict is between 2 governments, while in Iraq, the battle is against insurgents, some that are Iraqi natives, many who are from outside of Iraq who are determined to win this battle at all costs, by any means neccesary. They refuse to abide by Geneva Convention protocols, yet scream if the opposition does the same.

  4. 4
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    “It is possible for Iraq to fall under the control of people who want us out, and make it too costly for the US to try to remain.”

    That’s a very good point — optimistically, forces outside of our control may just end the whole mess for us. On the other hand, those same forces, if they kick us out, may grow to point that the U.S could get sucked back into even larger most costly intervention in the future, i.e., a similar precipitating event that lead us into Afghanistan.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is a possible scenario for an end point to US involvement, but not a very desirable one.

    The most desirable end point would be if Iraq developed a stable democratic government. Unfortunately that is not very realistic in the foreseeable future.

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