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[casi] The Dog Ate My WMDs

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
Subject: The Dog Ate My WMDs
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 22:35:03 -0400
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[Congressman Dennis Kucinich has introduced a Resolution
of Inquiry into the House of Representatives to force
the Bush Administration to turn over the intelligence
data, underpinning its pre-war claims that Iraq
possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction.

This Resolution (H.Res. 260) is a procedural motion
which must be voted on in Committee within 14
legislative days after it has been introduced. The
Republican Congressional leadership seems intent on
cutting off investigation into the question of whether
the Bush Administration deliberately misled the American
public on the threat posed by Hussein regime. For this
reason, support for the Kucinich resolution is vitally

At present there are 36 sponsors. Readers may phone or
e-mail congressional offices and urge for support H.
Res. 260. -- moderator]


The Dog Ate My WMDs
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 13 June 2003

After several years teaching high school, I've heard all
the excuses. I didn't get my homework done because my
computer crashed, because my project partner didn't do
their part, because I feel sick, because I left it on
the bus, because I had a dance recital, because I was
abducted by aliens and viciously probed. Houdini doesn't
have as many tricks. No one on earth is more inventive
than a high school sophomore backed into a corner and
faced with a zero on an assignment.

No one, perhaps, except Bush administration officials
forced now to account for their astounding claims made
since September 2002 regarding Iraq's alleged weapons

After roughly 280 days worth of fearful descriptions of
the formidable Iraqi arsenal, coming on the heels of
seven years of UNSCOM weapons inspections, four years of
surveillance, months of UNMOVIC weapons inspections, the
investiture of an entire nation by American and British
forces, after which said forces searched "everywhere"
per the words of the Marine commander over there and
"found nothing," after interrogating dozens of the
scientists and officers who have nothing to hide anymore
because Hussein is gone, after finding out that the
dreaded 'mobile labs' were weather balloon platforms
sold to Iraq by the British, George W. Bush and his
people suddenly have a few things to answer for.

You may recall this instance where a bombastic claim was
made by Bush. During his constitutionally-mandated State
of the Union address on January 28, 2003, Mr. Bush said,
"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein
had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of
sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." Nearly five months
later, those 500 tons are nowhere to be found. A few
seconds with a calculator can help us understand exactly
what this means.

500 tons of gas equals one million pounds. After UNSCOM,
after UNMOVIC, after the war, after the US Army
inspectors, after all the satellite surveillance, it is
difficult in the extreme to imagine how one million
pounds of anything could refuse to be located. Bear in
mind, also, that this one million pounds is but a part
of the Iraqi weapons arsenal described by Bush and his

Maybe the dog ate it. Or maybe it was never there to
begin with, having been destroyed years ago by the first
UN inspectors and by the Iraqis themselves. Maybe we
went to war on a big lie, one that killed over 3,500
Iraqi civilians to date, one that killed some 170
American soldiers, one that has been costing us one
American soldier's life per day thus far.

If you listen to the Republicans on Capitol Hill,
however, this is all just about "politics." An in-depth
investigation into how exactly we came to go to war on
the WMD word of the Bush administration has been quashed
by the Republican majority in the House of
Representatives. Closed-door hearings by the
Intelligence Committee are planned next week, but an
open investigation has been shunted aside by Bush allies
who control the gavel and the agenda. If there is
nothing to hide, as the administration insists, if
nothing was done wrong, one must wonder why they fear to
have these questions asked in public.

The questions are being asked anyway. Thirty five
Representatives have signed House Resolution 260, which
demands with specificity that the administration back up
it's oft-repeated claims about the Iraqi weapons arsenal
with evidence and fact. The guts of the Resolution are
as follows:

  Resolved, That the President is requested to transmit
  to the House of Representatives not later than 4 days
  after the date of the adoption of this resolution
  documents or other materials in the President's
  possession that provides specific evidence for the
  following claims relating to Iraq's weapons of mass

  (1) On August 26, 2002, the Vice President in a speech
  stated: 'Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam
  Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction . . . What
  he wants is time, and more time to husband his
  resources to invest in his ongoing chemical and
  biological weapons program, and to gain possession of
  nuclear weapons.'

  (2) On September 12, 2002, in a speech to the United
  Nations General Assembly, the President stated: 'Right
  now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that
  were used for the production of biological
  weapons.Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-
  strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a
  nuclear weapon.'

  (3) On October 7, 2002, in a speech in Cincinnati,
  Ohio, the President stated: 'It possesses and produces
  chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear
  weapons.And surveillance photos reveal that the regime
  is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce
  chemical and biological weapons.'

  (4) On January 7, 2003, the Secretary of Defense at a
  press briefing stated: 'There is no doubt in my mind
  but that they currently have chemical and biological

  (5) On January 9, 2003, in his daily press briefing,
  the White House spokesperson stated: 'We know for a
  fact that there are weapons there Iraq.'

  (6) On March 16, 2003, in an appearance on NBC's 'Meet
  The Press', the Vice President stated: 'We believe he
  has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think
  Mr. El Baradei frankly is wrong.'

  (7) On March 17, 2003, in an Address to the Nation,
  the President stated: 'Intelligence gathered by this
  and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq
  regime continues to possess and conceal some of the
  most lethal weapons ever devised.'

  (8) On March 21, 2003, in his daily press briefing the
  White House spokesperson stated: 'Well, there is no
  question that we have evidence and information that
  Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and
  chemical particularly.all this will be made clear in
  the course of the operation, for whatever duration it

  (9) On March 24, 2003, in an appearance on CBS's 'Face
  the Nation', the Secretary of Defense stated: 'We have
  seen intelligence over many months that they have
  chemical and biological weapons, and that they have
  dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that,
  in one case at least, the command and control
  arrangements have been established.'

  (10) On March 30, 2003, in an appearance on ABC's
  'This Week', the Secretary of Defense stated: 'We know
  where they are, they are in the area around Tikrit and

On June 10, 2003, Representative Henry Waxman
transmitted a letter to Condoleezza Rice demanding
answers to a specific area of concern in this whole
mess. His letter goes on to repeat, in scathing detail,
the multifaceted claims made by the Bush administration
regarding an Iraqi nuclear weapons program, and
deconstructs those claims with a fine scalpel. "What I
want to know is the answer to a simple question: Why did
the President use forged evidence in the State of the
Union address?" the letter concludes. "This is a
question that bears directly on the credibility of the
United States, and it should be answered in a prompt and
forthright manner, with full disclosure of all the
relevant facts."

It is this aspect, the nuclear claims, that has led the
Bush administration to do what many observers expected
them to do for a while now: They have blamed it all on
the CIA. A report in the June 12, 2003 edition of the
Washington Post cites an unnamed Bush administration
official who claims that the CIA knew the evidence of
Iraqi nuclear plans had been forged, but that CIA failed
to give this information to Bush. The Post story states,
"A senior intelligence official said the CIA's action
was the result of 'extremely sloppy' handling of a
central piece of evidence in the administration's case
against then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein."

Ergo, it wasn't the dog who ate the WMDs. It was the
CIA. Unfortunately for Bush and his people, this blame
game will not hold water.

Early in October of 2002, Bush went before the American
people and delivered yet another vat of nightmarish
descriptions of what Saddam Hussein could do to America
and the world with his vast array of weaponry. One week
before this speech, however, the CIA had publicly stated
that Hussein and Iraq were less of a threat than they
had been for the last ten years.

Columnist Robert Scheer reported on October 9, 2002,
that, "In its report, the CIA concludes that years of
U.N. inspections combined with U.S. and British bombing
of selected targets have left Iraq far weaker militarily
than in the 1980s, when it was supported in its war
against Iran by the United States. The CIA report also
concedes that the agency has no evidence that Iraq
possesses nuclear weapons."

Certainly, if citizen Scheer was able to read and
understand the CIA report on Iraq's nuclear
capabilities, the President of the United States could
easily do so as well.

The scandal which laid Bill Clinton low centered around
his lying under oath about sex. The scandal which took
down Richard Nixon was certainly more profound, as he
was accused of misusing the CIA and FBI to spy on
political opponents while paying off people to lie about
his actions. Lying under oath and misusing the
intelligence community are both serious transgressions,
to be sure. The matter of Iraq's weapons program,
however, leaves both of these in deep shade.

George W. Bush and his people used the fear and terror
that still roils within the American people in the
aftermath of September 11 to fob off an unnerving
fiction about a faraway nation, and then used that
fiction to justify a war that killed thousands and
thousands of people.

Latter-day justifications about 'liberating' the Iraqi
people or demonstrating the strength of America to the
world do not obscure this fact. They lied us into a war
that, beyond the death toll, served as the greatest Al
Qaeda recruiting drive in the history of the world. They
lied about a war that cost billions of dollars which
could have been better used to bolster America's
amazingly substandard anti-terror defenses. They are
attempting, in the aftermath, to misuse the CIA by
blaming them for all of it.

Blaming the CIA will not solve this problem, for the CIA
is well able to defend itself. Quashing investigations
in the House will not stem the questions that come now
at a fast and furious clip.

They lied. Period. Trust a teacher on this. We can spot
liars who have not done their homework a mile away.


William Rivers Pitt is a
New York Times best-selling author of two books - "War
On Iraq" available now from Context Books, and "The
Greatest Sedition is Silence," now available from Pluto
Press at Scott Lowery
contributed research to this report.

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