They Knew…

Despite the whitewash, we now know that the Bush administration was warned before the war that its Iraq claims were weak



By David Sirota and Christy Harvey


In These Times

August 3, 2004




If desperation is ugly, then Washington, D.C. today is downright hideous.




As the 9/11 Commission recently reported, there was “
no credible evidence of a collaborative relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Similarly, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. With U.S. casualties mounting in an election year, the White House is grasping at straws to avoid being held accountable for its dishonesty.



The whitewash already has started: In July, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a controversial report blaming the CIA for the mess. The panel conveniently refuses to evaluate what the White House did with the information it was given or how the White House set up its own special team of Pentagon political appointees (called the
Office of Special Plans) to circumvent well-established intelligence channels. And Vice President Dick Cheney continues to say without a shred of proof that there is “overwhelming evidence” justifying the administration’s pre-war charges.



But as author Flannery O’Conner noted, “Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” That means no matter how much defensive spin spews from the White House, the Bush administration cannot escape the documented fact that it was clearly warned before the war that its rationale for invading Iraq was weak.

Top administration officials repeatedly ignored warnings that their assertions about Iraq’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and connections to al Qaeda were overstated. In some cases, they were told their claims were wholly without merit, yet they went ahead and made them anyway. Even the Senate report admits that the White House “misrepresented” classified intelligence by eliminating references to contradictory assertions.



In short, they knew they were misleading America.




And they did not care.




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