Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.
“Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction,” said George W. Bush in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003.
Illustration by Kenny Cole - kennycole.com
About six months earlier, Dick Cheney had made a similar declaration, and in March, 2003, a few days after the U.S. invaded Iraq, General Tommy Franks and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld echoed the unfounded allegation. After that, during the early days of the war against Iraq, government officials made the same assertion over and over again — but, in fact, there never existed any evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. A June 2008 report on intelligence manipulation from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that administration officials exhibited a “higher level of certainty than the intelligence judgments” on which they based their claims, and that statements by Bush and Cheney prior to the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities “did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.” In his memoir earlier this year, former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he made a “mistake” in claiming Iraq had such weapons, (while the Bush Administration’s primary informant admitted that he lied when he said Iraq had a secret biological weapons program). But Rumsfeld did not admit that when the established intelligence agencies could not find any evidence linking Iraq to al-Qaida or weapons of mass destruction, he set up a separate, shadowy agency called the Office of Special Plans to manufacture such intelligence and steer the United States into war. All in all, thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and an untold number of human rights have been sacrificed as a result of the weapons-of-mass-destruction lie.