On Monday, the Bush administration admitted for the first time that evidence used during the State of the Union address last January — used to bolster the case against Iraq and eventually leading to war — has turned out to be false. This is the first step in what should be a larger investigation of all information about the, by now infamous, alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction Iraq had, but it also leaves yet another former ally in the rain.
The Bush administration had originally claimed that the Iraqi government had tried to buy uranium in Africa to help their nuclear weapon program, a claim that had to be retracted as a British commission had proven it wrong. It casts even further doubt on the information used to justify going to war.
Because the U.S. government retracted the statement it will also be very hard for British Prime Minister Tony Blair to stand his ground against this opposition claiming the information used as pretense to go to war was not reliable.
With major items like this one being retracted, it begs the question whether there were others that also relied on equally questionable information.
The U.S. government seems to have forgotten about the system of “checks and balances” that should question and investigate such issues in the same manner the British government does.
Instilling fear in the American public that the United States could be attacked by Iraq’s arsenal of nuclear and biological weapons was a major selling point in the quest to go to war with Iraq. It should now be investigated if there are possibly other pieces of information that were false or exaggerated.
Our government does not only owe us, the people that they are supposed to represent, but also the people of the other nations, such as the United Kingdom, that could have been misled.
Hopefully, this can be cleared up before the next presidential election in a satisfactory fashion, but if the speed and effectiveness of the still undergoing investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks almost two years ago is any indication, this will probably not happen in time.
President George W. Bush might be facing his very own Watergate, with the exception that not only does he stand to lose face, but this time the credibility of the nation could be at stake for crying “wolf” one too many times in order to get what it wants.