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January 16, 2005 - Nothing to see here folks, move along...

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The White House on Wednesday said the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has ended without any evidence of the banned weapons.

The facts are here.

Matthew Yglesias:

Then the inspectors came back to Iraq and went searching around. They didn't find any WMD stockpiles or evidence of advanced WMD programs. They did find some banned missiles with ranges beyond what was permitted by the Gulf War cease-fire. Those missiles were duly destroyed. At that point, rational people began to think that the intelligence consensus was, perhaps, mistaken. It already became clear that several of the specific charges the Bush administration had raised were false, and that despite repeated statements from administration officials that they were sure Saddam had WMD, they couldn't provide the inspectors with any useful clues to their whereabouts. But the United States wasn't being governed by rational people, so they, along with their cheerleaders in the press, proclaimed that if inspections weren't finding the weapons, that wasn't because the weapons weren't there but because the inspectors were corrupt, incompetent, or something like that. Therefore, an invasion was necessary.

This judgment - the judgment that took us to war, the judgment that's led to all the many American casualties and the many more Iraqi casualties, didn't reflect any sort of international consensus whatsoever. If people aren't aware of that fact (which they largely aren't) it's because the "liberal media" was so busy gearing up to "embed" reporters and put on a show of patriotic pomp when the shooting started that they couldn't be bothered to tell anyone what was going on.

Needless to say… no one has been held accountable for this and no one ever will be.

From Editor and Publisher

At this moment, on Wednesday evening, it is too early to tell whether today's official announcement that really, for sure--no kidding--there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, will get as much play in the media as the report on the "60 Minutes" fiasco released on Monday. The two news stories share one element: neither was exactly a whopping surprise, after months of revelations.

Actually, there’s something else: neither scandal would have ever happened if journalists had done a better job.

It’s a little late to go back and grow a press that inquires and reports. Such a press did not seem patriotic at the time. Now we have one, or are developing one.

It’s a little late.

The upshot of this is we have lost whatever credibility we had around the world. The next time we proclaim a crisis where we urge everyone to join us, even if we have the goods, as we might one day on Iran, no one is inclined now to believe us. Domestically? Now the administration is saying there is a crisis with Social Security. A financial mushroom cloud looms. Yeah, yeah. Fewer and fewer folks are buying that.

These folks gambled. They lost.

A trip down memory lane here:

We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. - Condoleeza Rice, US National Security Advisor CNN Late Edition 9/8/2002

But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.   
- George W. Bush, President, Interview with TVP Poland 5/30/2003

We are greatly concerned about any possible linkup between terrorists and regimes that have or seek weapons of mass destruction... In the case of Saddam Hussein, we've got a dictator who is clearly pursuing and already possesses some of these weapons. A regime that hates America and everything we stand for must never be permitted to threaten America with weapons of mass destruction.  - Dick Cheney, Vice President, Detroit, Fund-Raiser 6/20/2002

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.    
- Dick Cheney, Vice President, Speech to VFW National Convention 8/26/2002

There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest.   
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary, Response to Question From Press 9/6/2002

After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.   
- George W. Bush, President, Cincinnati, Ohio Speech, 10/7/2002

We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas.
- George W. Bush, President, Cincinnati, Ohio Speech 10/7/2002

Click on the link. The list is deep. This just a sample.



No one has been held accountable for this and no one ever will be?

Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy - Jim VandeHei and Michael A. Fletcher - The Washington Post - Sunday, January 16, 2005; Page A01

President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me." …

We forgive him, he thinks.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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This issue updated and published on...

Paris readers add nine hours....