May 05, 2006

Rumsfeld's Lies

When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke in Atlanta on Wednesday, he was publicly challenged by former CIA veteran, Ray McGovern, about why he lied about the Weapons of Mass Destruction. Not surprisingly, Rumsfeld denied McGovern's accusation. Yet it is quite easy as well as necessary to rebut Rumsfeld's lies.

First, Rumsfeld denied his own words from 2003:

QUESTION: So I would like to ask you to be up front with the American people, why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary, that has caused these kinds of casualties? why?

RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven’t lied. I did not lie then. Colin Powell didn’t lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate, and he presented that to the United Nations. the president spent weeks and weeks with the central intelligence people and he went to the american people and made a presentation. i’m not in the intelligence business. they gave the world their honest opinion. it appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

QUESTION: You said you knew where they were.

RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and –

QUESTION: You said you knew where they were Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words.

Indeed, the always excellent Thinkprogress provides us a link that shows Rumsfeld did say that on May 5, 2003:

STEPHANOPOULOS: And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven’t found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: …We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

So much for that lie. Next, Rumsfeld shifted the argument to say that, of course, everyone believed that Saddam had WMD.

RUMSFELD: Let me give you an example.

It’s easy for you to make a charge, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform every day, when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq, put on chemical weapon protective suits? Because they liked the style?


They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons.


Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own people previously. He’d used them on his neighbor (AUDIO GAP) the Iranians, and they believed he had those weapons.

We believed he had those weapons.

QUESTION: That’s what we call a non sequitur. It doesn’t matter what the troops believe; it matters what you believe.

That's exactly right. What did Rumsfeld believe in early 2003? Perhaps one thing to ask is what was the Bush administration doing in the early days of the war? Well, it was pretty clear to me that they weren't very worried about WMD.

On April 25, 2003, I noted that the Bush administration was already admitting that they overstated the threat from WMD.

Today ABC news reports that the Bush Administration officials are now admitting they overstated the threat of Iraqi WMDs, and invaded Iraq simply to "make a point" as Kos so aptly put it.

So what did that ABC News report (via Kos) say just weeks after we invaded?

To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war — a global show of American power and democracy. Officials inside government and advisers outside told ABCNEWS the administration emphasized the danger of Saddam's weapons to gain the legal justification for war from the United Nations and to stress the danger at home to Americans.

"We were not lying," said one official. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

Officials now say they may not find hundreds of tons of mustard and nerve agents and maybe not thousands of liters of anthrax and other toxins. But U.S. forces will find some, they say. On Thursday, President Bush raised the possibility for the first time that any such Iraqi weapons were destroyed before or during the war.

Okay. Obviously, back then Rumsfeld was really, really worried about the chemical weapons. And so this week he declared that EVERYBODY BELIEVED that Saddam had WMD back then. At least some WMD. Of course, we would find some. Except, we didn't.

Even back in April 2003, I knew we wouldn't find anything very serious because the administration didn't act like they were really concerned.

And by October 2004, we had proof positive that at the very beginning of the war they didn't believe the lies they were telling us. See how concerned they were by considering the April 18, 2003 news report which showed that they had left al Qaqaa totally unprotected. When the Bush administation had a choice of what locations to protect in the initial invasion, they chose to protect the Oil Ministry and not al Qaqaa. So, which site would you expect to find dangerous weapons at?

And it needs to be repeated, the extremely dangerous explosives at al Qaqaa are the most likely source for most of the IEDs and nasty car bombs that are killing our troops and the Iraqis who are having to live in the hell Bush created.

Just by looking at what were the top concerns for the Pentagon when our troops entered into Iraq tells you that Rumsfeld is lying. No way he believed there were WMD that could have endangered the US. Kudos to Ray McGovern for calling him on his lies.

[One of news reports I heard tonight noted that Rumsfeld was heckled by Ray McGovern who as they said "identified himself as a former CIA veteran". Well, yeah, George Bush identifies himself as President too. I guess the reporter couldn't do enough homework to figure out if the "alleged" CIA veteran had really been with the CIA. It's nice to see how the media can belittle anyone who confronts the administration because they can't bother to do their job before reporting it on air.]

Posted by Mary at May 5, 2006 06:39 AM | US Politics | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

"It's nice to see how the media can belittle anyone who confronts the administration..."

The media is framing McGovern’s tough questioning as the act of a “hostile war critic.” CNN’s Paula Zahn took that approach, posing leading questions that criticized McGovern while defending Rumsfeld. Salon’s War Room points us to some of the ‘fair and balanced’ questions Zahn had for McGovern:

Did you go to this speech today with the intent of challenging Secretary Rumsfeld?

How much of an ax do you have to grind with Secretary Rumsfeld?

Donald Rumsfeld encouraged whoever I think had their hands on you at the time to let you stay there. Does he get any credit for that today?

McGovern ably defended himself, educating Zahn that this was “not a matter of axes to grind. It’s a matter of telling the truth. And we pledged, in my day at the CIA, to tell it without fear or favor, to tell it like it is. And, when I see that corrupted, that is the real tragedy of this whole business.”

Posted by: frowning furiously at May 7, 2006 12:21 AM