July 10, 2003
The Guardian (UK)

White House 'Lied About Saddam Threat'

by Julian Borger

A former US intelligence official who served under the Bush administration in the build-up to the Iraq war accused the White House yesterday of lying about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

. . . This was the first time an administration official has put his name to specific claims. The whistleblower, Gregory Thielmann, served as a director in the state department's bureau of intelligence until his retirement in September, and had access to the classified reports which formed the basis for the US case against Saddam, spelled out by President Bush and his aides.

. . . As Democrats demanded a congressional enquiry, the administration sharply changed tack. The defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, told the Senate the US had not gone to war against Iraq because of fresh evidence of weapons of mass destruction but because Washington saw what evidence there was prior to 2001 "in a dramatic new light" after September 11.


"No evidence UNSCOM found any WMD since 1991," The Wisdom Fund, November 16, 1998

[. . . it has become incontrovertibly clear that a key piece of evidence you and other Administration officials have cited regarding Iraq's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons is a hoax. --Rep Henry A. Waxman, Letter to President Bush, March 17, 2003]

[We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.--Sen Robert C. Byrd, The Arrogance of Power, March 19, 2003]

Andrew Gumbel, "Growing Evidence of Deception by Washington," Independent (UK), April 20, 2003

John Dean, "Could Make Watergate Pale by Comparison," FindLaw's Legal Commentary, June 6, 2003

Sen Robert C. Byrd, "The Road to Coverup Is the Road to Ruin," U.S. Senate, June 24, 2003

[Senior UK Whitehall sources no longer believe weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq, the BBC has learned. . . .

Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said the admissions were a "dramatic development" and ex-Prime Minister John Major has called for a full independent inquiry into the basis for war.--"Iraq weapons 'unlikely to be found'," BBC, Jul 10, 2003]

"Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False," CBS News, July 10, 2003

[THE career of America's chief intelligence officer appeared destroyed last night after he was forced by the White House to take the blame for a false claim about Iraqs weapons programme in President Bush's State of the Union address in January.

. . . After being effectively thrown to the wolves by Mr Bush and Dr Rice, Mr Tenet issued a statement in which he said that the CIA approved the bogus claim in the address.

. . . CIA officials insisted that the agency explicitly told the White House that the claim was false before the speech.--Tim Reid, "CIA chief takes blame for Iraq arms blunder," Times Online, July 12, 2003]

Walter Pincus and Mike Allen, "CIA Got Uranium Reference Cut in Oct.," Washington Post, July 13, 2003

Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker, "20 Lies About the War," Independent, July 13, 2003

[Of the nine main conclusions in the British government document "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction", not one has been shown to be conclusively true.--Paul Reynolds, "Core of weapons case crumbling," BBC News, July 13, 2003]

Andrew Buncombe and Marie Woolf, "Cheney under pressure to quit over false war evidence," Independent, July 16, 2003

Sen. Bob Graham, "The Dishonesty of the President," Newsday, July 17, 2003

[A conference of top-level military analysts was told Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks--Roger Ward, " Experts believed no Iraqi WMDs in 2001," Canadian Press, July 18, 2003]

[National Intelligence Estimate . . . included a pointed dissent by the State Department, which said the evidence did not "add up to a compelling case" that Iraq was making a comprehensive effort to get nuclear weapons.--Dana Milbank and Dana Priest, "Warning in Iraq Report Unread," Washington Post, July 19, 2003]

[The White House, in the run-up to war in Iraq, did not seek CIA approval before charging that Saddam Hussein could launch a biological or chemical attack within 45 minutes, administration officials now say.

The claim, which has since been discredited, was made twice by President Bush, in a September Rose Garden appearance after meeting with lawmakers and in a Saturday radio address the same week. Bush attributed the claim to the British government, but in a "Global Message" issued Sept. 26 and still on the White House Web site, the White House claimed, without attribution, that Iraq "could launch a biological or chemical attack 45 minutes after the order is given."-- Dana Milbank, "White House Didn't Gain CIA Nod for Claim On Iraqi Strikes," Washington Post, July 20, 2003]

Michael R. Gordon, "U.S. Air Raids in '02 Prepared for War in Iraq," New York Times, July 20, 2003

[Last fall, the administration repeatedly warned in public of the danger that an unprovoked Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might give chemical or biological weapons to terrorists. . . .

But declassified portions of a still-secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released Friday by the White House show that at the time of the president's speech the U.S. intelligence community judged that possibility to be unlikely.--Walter Pincus, "Oct. Report Said Defeated Hussein Would Be Threat," Washington Post, July 21, 2003]

Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus, "Bush Aides Disclose Warnings From CIA: Oct. Memos Raised Doubts on Iraq Bid," Washington Post, July 23, 2003

Sheldon Richman, "Even with Weapons, Hussein Was No Threat," Future of Freedom Foundation, July 23, 2003

Steve Perry, "The Bush administration's top 40 lies about war and terrorism," City Pages, July 30, 2003

Peter S. Canellos and Bryan Bender, "Questions grow over Iraq links to Qaeda," Boston Globe, August 3, 2003

Barton Gellman, "Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence," Washington Post, August 10, 2003

Paul Sperry, "$20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim,", August 3, 2003

Richard Norton-Taylor and Nicholas Watt, "No 10 knew: Iraq no threat," Guardian, August 19, 2003

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, "Insults to Intelligence: It's Not too Late to Speak Out," CounterPunch, August 23, 2003

[. . . weapons hunters have yet to find proof that any chemical or bio-warfare agents were produced after 1991.

. . . the evidence reviewed so far - including more than 30 million pages of documents - still doesn't support charges that Hussein secretly built chemical and biological weapons after U.N. inspectors were forced out of Iraq in 1998, as the Bush administration repeatedly warned.--Scott Ritter, "U.S. Suspects It Received False Iraq Arms Tips,,"Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2003]

Andy McSmith, Raymond Whitaker and Geoffrey Lean, "Britain and US will back down over WMDs," Independent, September 7, 2003

Charles J. Hanley (Pulitzer Prize winner), "AP Staffer Fact-Checks Powell's UN Speech: Key Claims Didn't Hold Up," Editor & Publisher Online, September 9, 2003

[Efforts by the Iraq Survey Group, an Anglo-American team of 1,400 scientists, military and intelligence experts, to scour Iraq for the past four months to uncover evidence of chemical or biological weapons have so far ended in failure.

British defence intelligence sources confirmed last week that the final report, which is to be submitted by David Kay, the survey group's leader, to George Tenet, head of the CIA, had been delayed and may not necessarily even be published.--David Leppard, "Iraq weapons report shelved," Times (UK), September 14, 2003]

John Pilger, "The Big Lie," Mirror (UK), September 22, 2003

David E. Sanger, "A Reckoning: Iraqi Arms Report Poses Political Test for Bush," New York Times, October 3, 2003

[According to records made available to The Washington Post and interviews with arms investigators from the United States, Britain and Australia, it did not require a comprehensive survey to find the central assertions of the Bush administration's prewar nuclear case to be insubstantial or untrue.--Barton Gellman, "Search in Iraq Fails to Find Nuclear Threat: No Evidence Uncovered Of Reconstituted Program," Washington Post, October 26, 2003]

Ken Fireman, "CIA report contradicts administration assessment," Newsday, October 26, 2003

David Corn, The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception, Crown Publishing Group, September 30, 2003

Andrew Gumbel, "Case for war confected, say top US officials," Independent, November 9, 2003

[Nelson, D-Tallahassee, said about 75 senators got that news during a classified briefing before last October's congressional vote authorizing the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power. --John McCarthy, "Senators Were Told Iraqi Weapons Could Hit U.S.," Florida Today, December 15, 2003]

[The United Nations Monitoring and Verification Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), successor to its more accomplished parent, the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), was found to be redundant by an act of the United Nations Security Council, which created its disarmament mandate over 16 years ago when it passed Security Council Resolution 1687 in April 1991.  The United States and Great Britain had been trying to close down the weapons inspection operation since the invasion of Iraq, citing the demise of Saddam Hussein and the occupation of Iraq by coalition forces as evidence that the U.N.-mandated inspection process was now moot.

. . . What really galled the U.S. and British officials were the inconvenient truths about Iraq's disarmed status, something a continued viable inspection operation would officially register in politically damaging fashion.--Scott Ritter, "A Farewell to Arms Control,", July 5, 2007]

Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark's Articles of impeachment of Bush and Cheney

VIDEO: "Uncovered: The Whole truth About the Iraq War"

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