I am so sick of talk show hosts who say things like “everyone thought that there were WMDs in Iraq at the time of the invasion.” That is just not true! And I am frustrated at Democrats for not refuting this claim more forcefully. On April 13, 2006, a moderator on CNN said that no one could have known there were no WMDs in Iraq before going to war. But we did know. There were people in high ranking positions who seriously questioned our intelligence before Bush invaded Iraq.
Scott Ritter, a senior UN’s weapons inspector in Iraq until 1998, loudly stated in the media and in front of congress that we were being led astray. In 2002 he stated, “Saddam Hussein had no WMDs — at least none of any consequence or that posed an imminent danger to the United States. Certainly nothing that would warrant a rushed invasion. We can’t go to war based on rhetoric and speculation … We’d better make sure there is a threat out there worth fighting.”
I remember hearing Ritter speak saying even if Saddam had biological weapons at one time, they had a very short shelf life.
Ritter further went on to say after the invasion, that the Bush Administration and the CIA knew all along that the Iraqis had no WMDs and were lying to the Congress and the American people.
Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson attacked Bush’s claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq sought uranium in Africa. Wilson stated that the Administration had “twisted” intelligence to “exaggerate” the Iraqi threat.
And the French vociferously shared their belief that the intelligence regarding the threat of WMDs in Iraq was very weak. Based on French intelligence, leaders of the French government were not supportive of the claim that Iraq posed a serious threat to international security.
While they came in later in the conversation, former Chief UN Inspector David Kay and Director General of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency Hans Blix agreed with these earlier assumptions. Regardless of whether they vocalized these sentiments before the invasion or years after, both Kay and Blix knew that the Administration was rushing to war and that there was no evidence of WMDs in Iraq at the time of invasion.
David Kay has said that there was “nothing that would indicate large-scale production” of WMDs in Iraq. He claimed on NPR’s weekend edition, “my summary view, based on what I’ve seen, is we’re very unlikely to find large stockpiles of weapons…I don’t think they exist.”
From 1981 to 1997, Hans Blix was in charge of overseeing inspections of Iraq’s nuclear program. Blix has stated how willing the Administration was to quickly ride over allies, the U.N., and, to a large degree, the truth of what was really known about Iraqi WMDs in pursuit of its goals.
We can’t let moderators frame questions that give false impressions. Millions of people are watching and listening. The US intelligence community could not and did not provide sufficient evidence of the existence of a developed weapons program in Iraq, nor did the international intelligence agencies, thus resulting in a lack of support from the international community in waging this war. However, the Bush Administration was set on invading Iraq regardless. Bush knew the information he was putting forth to Congress and the American public was false at the time he used it to justify invading Iraq. It is important that these facts are told.