A survey commissioned by President George W. Bush officially confirmed Wednesday that Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction.
This is in line with statements that officials of the Bush administration made prior to the planning stages of the war, a fact that further undermines the credibility of the administration, as it proves they knew that Iraq likely did not have any WMDs, yet told the nation and the world it did.
The report states Iraq had destroyed all WMDs it possessed within the months following the Gulf War. In regard to Iraq’s nuclear capabilities, it states, “as with other WMD areas, Saddam’s ambitions in the nuclear area were secondary to his prime objective of ending the United Nations sanctions.”
It states further, “Saddam focused on one set of objectives: the survival of himself, his regime and his legacy” and states he had no “formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMDs after sanctions” ended.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said during a conference in Cairo on Feb. 24, 2001, “the sanctions exist not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein’s ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. … And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.”
On July 29, 2001, Condoleezza Rice said on CNN’s Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer, “(…) let’s remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt,” spelling out that even his conventional military was no threat.
But as soon as President Bush decided to go to war in Iraq — a decision numerous sources have confirmed was made within days of Sept. 11, 2001 — even though there was no connection between the terrorist attacks and Saddam, the administration suddenly was touting the threat Saddam supposedly posed.
Speaking to Blitzer, Rice said, “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
It is apparent that the Bush administration knew with certainty that there were at least doubts about Saddam’s WMD stockpiles and possibly even that he did not have any. Yet their inexplicable urge to take this nation to war with a country that did not pose a threat to the United States seems to have been reason enough to distort any such findings and mislead the public.