Waterboarding got nod from White House
By Joby Warrick
The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency’s use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects — documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public.
The classified memos, which have not been previously disclosed, were requested by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet more than a year after the start of the secret interrogations, according to four administration and intelligence officials familiar with the documents. Although Justice Department lawyers, beginning in 2002, had signed off on the agency’s interrogation methods, senior CIA officials were troubled that White House policymakers had never endorsed the program in writing.
The memos were the first — and, for years, the only — tangible expressions of the administration’s consent for the CIA’s use of harsh measures to extract information from captured al-Qaeda leaders, the sources said. As early as the spring of 2002, several White House officials, including then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Cheney, were given individual briefings by Tenet and his deputies, the officials said. Rice, in a statement to congressional investigators last month, confirmed the briefings and acknowledged that the CIA director had pressed the White House for “policy approval.”
Worried about lack of paper trail
The repeated requests for a paper trail reflected growing worries within the CIA that the administration might later distance itself from key decisions about the handling of captured al-Qaeda leaders, former intelligence officials said. The concerns grew more pronounced after the revelations of mistreatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and further still as tensions grew between the administration and its intelligence advisers over the conduct of the Iraq war.
“It came up in the daily meetings. We heard it from our field officers,” said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the events. “We were already worried that we” were going to be blamed.
A. John Radsan, a lawyer in the CIA general counsel’s office until 2004, remembered the discussions but did not personally view the memos the agency received in response to its concerns. “The question was whether we had enough ‘top cover,’ ” Radsan said.
Tenet first pressed the White House for written approval in June 2003, during a meeting with members of the National Security Council, including Rice, the officials said. Days later, he got what he wanted: a brief memo conveying the administration’s approval for the CIA’s interrogation methods, the officials said.
Administration officials confirmed the existence of the memos, but neither they nor former intelligence officers would describe their contents in detail because they remain classified. The sources all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to discuss the events.
The second request from Tenet, in June 2004, reflected growing worries among agency officials who had just witnessed the public outcry over the Abu Ghraib scandal. Officials who held senior posts at the time also spoke of deteriorating relations between the CIA and the White House over the war in Iraq — a rift that prompted some to believe that the agency needed even more explicit proof of the administration’s support.
“The CIA by this time is using the word ‘insurgency’ to describe the Iraq conflict, so the White House is viewing the agency with suspicion,” said a second former senior intelligence official.
As recently as last month, the administration had never publicly acknowledged that its policymakers knew about the specific techniques, such as waterboarding, that the agency used against high-ranking terrorism suspects. In her unprecedented account to lawmakers last month, Rice, now secretary of state, portrayed the White House as initially uneasy about a controversial CIA plan for interrogating top al-Qaeda suspects.
After learning about waterboarding and similar tactics in early 2002, several White House officials questioned whether such harsh measures were “effective and necessary . . . and lawful,” Rice said. Her concerns led to an investigation by the Justice Department’s criminal division into whether the techniques were legal.
Misgivings apparently overcome
But whatever misgivings existed that spring were apparently overcome. Former and current CIA officials say no such reservations were voiced in their presence.
In interviews, the officials recounted a series of private briefings about the program with members of the administration’s security team, including Rice and Cheney, followed by more formal meetings before a larger group including then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, then-White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. None of the officials recalled President Bush being present at any of the discussions.
Several of the key meetings have been previously described in news articles and books, but Rice last month became the first Cabinet-level official to publicly confirm the White House’s awareness of the program in its earliest phases. In written responses to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, Rice said Tenet’s description of the agency’s interrogation methods prompted her to investigate further to see whether the program violated U.S. laws or international treaties, according to her written responses, dated Sept. 12 and released late last month.
“I asked that . . . Ashcroft personally advise the NSC principles whether the program was lawful,” Rice wrote.
‘CIA had the White House boxed in’
Current and former intelligence officials familiar with the briefings described Tenet as supportive of enhanced interrogation techniques, which the officials said were developed by CIA officers after the agency’s first high-level captive, al-Qaeda operative Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, better known as Abu Zubaida, refused to cooperate with interrogators.
“The CIA believed then, and now, that the program was useful and helped save lives,” said a former senior intelligence official knowledgeable about the events. “But in the agency’s view, it was like this: ‘We don’t want to continue unless you tell us in writing that it’s not only legal but is the policy of the administration.’ “
One administration official familiar with the meetings said the CIA made such a convincing case that no one questioned whether the methods were necessary to prevent further terrorist attacks.
“The CIA had the White House boxed in,” said the official. “They were saying, ‘It’s the only way to get the information we needed, and — by the way — we think there’s another attack coming up.’ It left the principals in an extremely difficult position and put the decision-making on a very fast track.”
But others who were present said Tenet seemed more interested in protecting his subordinates than in selling the administration on a policy that administration lawyers had already authorized.
“The suggestion that someone from CIA came in and browbeat everybody is ridiculous,” said one former agency official familiar with the meeting. “The CIA understood that it was controversial and would be widely criticized if it became public,” the official said of the interrogation program. “But given the tenor of the times and the belief that more attacks were coming, they felt they had to do what they could to stop the attack.”
The CIA’s anxiety was partly fueled by the lack of explicit presidential authorization for the interrogation program. A secret White House “memorandum of notification” signed by Bush on Sept. 15, 2001, gave the agency broad authority to wage war against al-Qaeda, including killing and capturing its members. But it did not spell out how captives should be handled during interrogation.
But by the time the CIA requested written approval of its policy, in June 2003, the population of its secret prisons had grown from one to nine, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged principal architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Three of the detainees had been subjected to waterboarding, which involves strapping a prisoner to a board, covering his face and pouring water over his nose and mouth to simulate drowning.
By the spring of 2004, the concerns among agency officials had multiplied, in part because of shifting views among administration lawyers about what acts might constitute torture, leading Tenet to ask a second time for written confirmation from the White House. This time the reaction was far more reserved, recalled two former intelligence officials.
“The Justice Department in particular was resistant,” said one former intelligence official who participated in the discussions. “They said it doesn’t need to be in writing.”
Tenet and his deputies made their case in yet another briefing before the White House national security team in June 2004. It was to be one of the last such meetings for Tenet, who had already announced plans to step down as CIA director. Author Jane Mayer, who described the briefing in her recent book, “The Dark Side,” said the graphic accounts of interrogation appeared to make some participants uncomfortable. “History will not judge us kindly,” Mayer quoted Ashcroft as saying.
Participants in the meeting did not recall whether a vote was taken. Several weeks passed, and Tenet left the agency without receiving a formal response.
Finally, in mid-July, a memo was forwarded to the CIA reaffirming the administration’s backing for the interrogation program. Tenet had acquired the statement of support he sought.
This was also Done.
Maher Arar is a 34-year-old wireless technology consultant. He was born in Syria and came to Canada with his family at the age of 17. He became a Canadian citizen in 1991. On Sept. 26, 2002, while in transit in New York’s JFK airport when returning home from a vacation, Arar was detained by US officials and interrogated about alleged links to al-Qaeda. Twelve days later, he was chained, shackled and flown to Syria, where he was held in a tiny “grave-like” cell for ten months and ten days before he was moved to a better cell in a different prison. In Syria, he was beaten, tortured and forced to make a false confession.
During his imprisonment, Arar’s wife, Monia Mazigh, campaigned relentlessly on his behalf until he was returned to Canada in October 2003. On Jan. 28, 2004, under pressure from Canadian human rights organizations and a growing number of citizens, the Government of Canada announced a Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.
On September 18, 2006, the Commissioner of the Inquiry, Justice Dennis O’Connor, cleared Arar of all terrorism allegations, stating he was “able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offence or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada.” To read the Commissioner’s report, including his findings on the actions of Canadian officials, please visit the Arar Commission’s website or click here.
You can read the chronolgy of events that led to Maher’s arrest, deportation and return in pdf format here.
You can read Maher’s statement during the press conference held on November 4, 2003 in pdf format here.
You can watch a short video about what happened to Maher here.
What happened to Maher Arar was horrifying.
Bush said repeatedly they didn’t torture people. They also new where to send someone to, to get the torturing done for them as well. Of course we now, know the Bush administration did torture people.
Bush lied. If he lied about that. One has to wonder what else he lied about?
There is a bit of a list at the bottom.
Steering Committee To Seek Prosecution of Bush For War Crimes
October 14 2008
Massachusetts law school Dean Lawrence Velvel will chair a Steering Committee to pursue the prosecution for war crimes of President Bush and culpable high-ranking aides after they leave office Jan. 20th.
The Steering Committee was organized following a conference of leading legal authorities and scholars from the U.S. and abroad convened by Velvel on Sept. 13-14 in Andover, Mass., titled “The Justice Robert Jackson Conference On Planning For The Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals.”
“If Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and others are not prosecuted,” Velvel said, “the future could be threatened by additional examples of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences for their actions, including more illegal wars such as Iraq.”
Besides Velvel, members of the Steering Committee include:
Ben Davis, a law Professor at the University of Toledo College of Law, where he teaches Public International Law and International Business Transactions. He is the author of numerous articles on international and related domestic law.
Marjorie Cohn, a law Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif., and President of the National Lawyers Guild.
Chris Pyle, a Professor at Mount Holyoke College, where he teaches Constitutional law, Civil Liberties, Rights of Privacy, American Politics and American Political Thought, and is the author of many books and articles.
Elaine Scarry, the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University, and winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism.
Peter Weiss, vice president of the Center For Constitutional Rights, of New York City, which was recently involved with war crimes complaints filed in Germany and Japan against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others.
David Swanson, author, activist and founder of AfterDowningStreet.org/CensureBush.org coalition, of Charlottesville, Va.
Kristina Borjesson, an award-winning print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years and editor of two recent books on the media.
Colleen Costello, Staff Attorney of Human Rights, USA, of Washington, D.C., and coordinator of its efforts involving torture by the American government.
Valeria Gheorghiu, attorney for Workers’ Rights Law Center.
Andy Worthington of Redress, a British historian and journalist and author of books dealing with human rights violations.
Initial actions considered by the Steering Committee, Velvel said, are as follows:
# Seeking prosecutions of high level officials, including George Bush, for the crimes they committed.
# Seeking disbarment of lawyers who were complicitous in facilitating torture.
# Seeking termination from faculty positions of high officials who were complicitous in torture.
# Issuing a recent statement saying any attempt by Bush to pardon himself and aides for war crimes prior to leaving office will result in efforts to obtain impeachment even after they leave office.
# Convening a major conference on the state secret and executive privilege doctrines, which have been pushed to record levels during the Bush administration.
# Designation of an Information Repository Coordinator to gather in one place all available information involving the Bush Administration’s war crimes.
# Possible impeachment of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee for co-authoring the infamous “torture memo.”
List of a few Lies:
1. Bush: “We went into Russia, we said, ‘Here’s some IMF money,’ and it ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin’s pocket and others.”
Fact: “Bush appears to have tangled up whispers about possible wrongdoing by Chernomyrdin — who co-chaired a commission with Gore on U.S.-Russian relations — with other unrelated allegations concerning the diversion of International Monetary Fund money. While there has been speculation that Chernomyrdin profited from his relationship with Gazprom, a big Russian energy concern, there have been no allegations that he stole IMF money.” Washingon Post, 10/12/00
2. Bush: “We got one [a hate crime law] in Texas, and guess what? The three men who murdered James Byrd, guess what’s going to happen to them? They’re going to be put to death … It’s going to be hard to punish them any worse after they get put to death….We’re happy with our laws on our books.”
Fact: “The three were convicted under Texas’ capital murder statute…The state has a hate crime statute, but it is vague.” LA Times, 10/12/00.
“The original Texas hate-crimes bill, signed into law by Democrat Ann Richards, boosted penalties for crimes motivated by bigotry. As Gore correctly noted, Bush maneuvered to make sure a new hate-crimes law related to the Byrd killing did not make it to his desk. The new bill would have included homosexuals among the groups covered, which would have been anathema to social conservatives in the state.” Washington Post, 10/12/00
3. Bush: bragged that in Texas he was signing up children for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as “fast as any other state.”
Fact: “As governor he fought to unsuccessfully to limit access to the program. He would have limited its coverage to children with family incomes up to 150 percent of the poverty level, though federal law permitted up to 200 percent. The practical effect of Bush’s efforts would have been to exclude 200,000 of the 500,000 possible enrollees.” Washington Post, 10/12/00
4. Bush: “He [Gore] is for registration of guns.”
Fact: “Gore actually favors licensing for new handgun purchasers but nothing as vast as registering all guns.” Salon, 10/12/00
5. Bush: Said he found Gore’s tendency to exaggerate “an issue in trying to defend my tax relief package. There was some exaggeration about the numbers” in the first debate.
Fact: “No, there wasn’t, and Bush himself acknowledged that the next day on ABC’s Good Morning America when Charlie Gibson pinned him on it.” Salon, 10/12/00
6. Bush: “I felt during his debate with Senator [Bill] Bradley saying he [Gore] authored the EITC [earned-income tax credit] when it didn’t happen.”
Fact: “Actually, Gore had claimed to have authored an ‘expansion of the earned-income tax credit,’ which he did in 1991.” Salon, 10/12/00
7. Fact: Gore noted that Texas “ranks 49th out of the 50 states in healthcare in children with healthcare, 49th for women with healthcare and 50th for families with healthcare”
Bush: “You can quote all the numbers you want but I’m telling you we care about our people in Texas. We spent a lot of money to make sure people get healthcare in the state of Texas.”
8. Fact: Gore said, “I’m no expert on the Texas procedures, but what my friends there tell me is that the governor opposed a measure put forward by Democrats in the Legislature to expand the number of children that would be covered … And instead [he] directed the money toward a tax cut, a significant part of which went to wealthy interests.”
Bush: “If he’s trying to allege I’m a hardhearted person and don’t care about children, he’s absolutely wrong.”
9. Bush: “The three men who murdered James Byrd, guess what’s going to happen to them? They’ll be put to death. A jury found them guilty.”
Fact: Two of the three are being put to death. The other was given life. Bush Watch, 10/12/00
10. Bush: said he favored “equal” rights for gays and lesbians, but not “special” rights.
Fact: “Bush has supported a Texas law that allows the state to take adopted children from gay and lesbian couples to place the kids with straight couples.” Salon, 10/12/00.
“Bush supports hate crime protections for other minorities! So Bush doesn’t believe that gays should have the same ‘special’ rights in this regard as blacks, Jews, Wiccans and others. Employment discrimination? Again, Bush supports those rights for other Americans, but not gays. Military service? Bush again supports the right to military service for all qualified people–as long as they don’t tell anyone they’re gay. Marriage? How on earth is that a special right when every heterosexual in America already has it? But again, Bush thinks it should be out-of-bounds for gays. What else is there? The right to privacy? Nuh-huh. Bush supports a gays-only sodomy law in his own state that criminalizes consensual sex in private between two homosexuals.” New Republic, 10/13/00
11. Bush. “We ought to do everything we can to end racial profiling.”
Fact: The Texas Department of Public Safety has just this year begun keeping detailed information about the race and sex of all people stopped by its troopers, the sixth year Bush has been in office. Salon, 10/12/00
12. Bush got caught not giving the full story on Texas air pollution laws. He was correct in saying the 1999 utility deregulation bill he signed into law had mandatory emissions standards.
Fact: “What was missing, as Gore’s campaign pointed out, was that many more non-utility industrial plants are not mandated to reduce air quality. The issue is an important one because Texas ranks near the bottom in air-quality standards. Bush instead approved a voluntary program allowing grandfathered oil, coal, and other industrial plants to cut down on pollution.” Boston Globe, 10/12/00
13. Bush: About the Balkans, “I think it ought to be one of our priorities to work with our European friends to convince them to put troops on the ground.”
Fact: “European forces already make up a large majority of the peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Kosovo.” Washington Post, 10/12/00
14. Bush: “One of the problems we have in the military is we’re in a lot of places around the world” and cited Haiti as an example.
Fact: “Though approximately 20,000 U.S. troops went to Haiti in 1994, as of late August this year, there were only 109 U.S. troops in Haiti and most were rotating through as part of an exercise.” Washington Post, 10/12/00
15. Bush: “I don’t think we ought to be selling guns to people who shouldn’t have them. That’s why I support instant background checks at gun shows. One of the reasons we have an instant background check is so that we instantly know whether or not someone should have a gun or not.”
Fact: “Bush overstates the effectiveness of instant background checks for people trying to buy guns … The Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 3 that during Bush’s term as governor, Texas granted licenses for carrying concealed guns to hundreds of people with criminal records and histories of drug problems, violence or psychological disorders.” Washington Post, 10/12/00
“He didn’t mention that Texas failed to perform full background checks on 407 people who had prior criminal convictions but were granted concealed handgun licenses under a law he signed in 1995. Of those, 71 had convictions that should have excluded them from having a concealed gun permit, the Texas Department of Public Safety acknowledged.” AP, 10/12/00
16. Bush:”Said the number of Texans without health insurance had declined while the number in the United States had risen.”
Fact: ” A new Census Bureau report says the number of uninsured Americans declined last year for the first time since statistics were kept in 1987. About 42.5 million people, or 15.5 percent of the population, lacked insurance in 1999, compared with 44.2 million, or 16.3 percent, in 1998, the agency reported. Texas ranked next-to-last in the nation last year with 23.3 percent of its residents uninsured. But that was an improvement from 1998, when it ranked 50th at 24.5 percent.” AP, 10/12/00
17. Bush: “Some of the scientists, I believe, Mr. Vice President, haven’t they been changing their opinion a little bit on global warming?”
Fact: “Bush’s dismissive comments about global warming could bolster the charge that he and fellow oilman Dick Cheney are in the pocket of the oil industry, which likewise pooh-poohs the issue. [While] there is no consensus about the impact of global warming, … most scientists agree that humans are contributing to the rising global temperature. ‘Most climate experts are certain that global warming is real and that it threatens ecology and human prosperity, and a growing number say it is well under way,’ wrote New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin.” Salon, 10/13/00
18. Bush: When Jim Lehrer asked Bush if he approved of the U.S. intervention in Lebanon during the Reagan years, Bush answered a quick “yes” and moved on.
Fact: “Lebanon was a disaster in the history of American foreign affairs. Next to Iran-Contra, it was the Reagan administration’s greatest overseas fiasco. Quoting from the Encyclopedia of the American Presidency: ‘[In 1983] Reagan stumbled into a disastrous intervention in the Middle East when he sent U.S. Marines into Lebanon on an ill-defined mission as part of an international peacekeeping force.’ In December, according to Reagan biographer Edmund Morris, ‘two days before Christmas, a Pentagon commission of inquiry into the Beirut barracks bombing humiliated [Secretary of State] Shultz [who had backed the intervention], and embarrassed Reagan, by concluding that the dead Marines had been victims of a myopic Middle Eastern policy.'” tompaine.com, 10/11/00
19. Bush: “I thought the president made the right decision in joining NATO and bombing Serbia. I supported him when they did so.”
Fact: The bombing of Serbia began on March 24, 1999, and Bush did not express even measured support until April 8, 1999 — nearly two weeks later. Prior to April 8, 1999, every comment by Bush about the bombing was non-committal. Finally, he offered a measured endorsement: “It’s important for the United States to be slow to engage the military, but once the military is engaged, it must be engaged with one thing in mind, and that is victory,” he said after being pressed by reporters. A Houston Chronicle story documented the Governor’s statements on the crisis and reported that “Bush has been widely criticized for being slow to adopt a position on Kosovo and then for making vague statements on the subject.” Houston Chronicle, 4/9/99
20. Bush: Discussing International Loans: “And there’s some pretty egregious examples recently, one being Russia where we had IMF loans that ended up in the pockets of a lot of powerful people and didn’t help the nation.”
Fact: Bush’s own vice presidential candidate, Dick Cheney, lobbied for U.S.-backed loan to Russia that helped his own company. “Halliburton Co. lobbied for and received $ 292 million in loan guarantees to develop one of the world’s largest oil fields in Russia. Cheney said: ‘This is exactly the type of project we should be encouraging if Russia is to succeed in reforming its economy … We at Halliburton appreciate the support of the Export-Import Bank and look forward to beginning work on this important project..” PR Newswire 4/6/2000.
The State Department, armed with a CIA report detailing corruption by Halliburton’s Russian partner, invoked a seldom-used prerogative and ordered suspension of the loan. The loan guarantee “ran counter to America’s ‘national interest,” the State Department ruled. New Republic, 8/7/00
21. Bush “There’s a lot of talk about trigger locks being on guns sold in the future. I support that.”
Fact: When asked in 1999, if he was in support of mandatory safety locks, Bush said, ” No, I’m not, I’m for voluntary safety locks on guns.” In March of 2000, Bush said he would not push for trigger lock legislation, but would sign it if it passed [Washington Post, 3/3/00;ABC, Good Morning America, 5/10/99]. When Bush was asked, “when two bills were introduced in the Texas legislature to require the sale of child safety locks with newly purchased handguns, and you never addressed the issue with the legislature, and both bills died. If you support it, why did that happen?” Bush said, “Because those bills had no votes in committee.” When asked again if he supported the bills, Bush said, “I wasn’t even aware of those bills because they never even got out of committee.” NBC, Today Show, 5/12/00
22. Bush: “Africa is important and we’ve got to do a lot of work in Africa to promote democracy and trade.” Fact “While Africa may be important, it doesn’t fit into the national strategic interests, as far as I can see them,” Bush said earlier. When he was asked for his vision of the U.S. national interests, he named every continent except Africa. According to Time magazine, “[Bush] focused exclusively on big ticket issues … Huge chunks of the globe — Africa and Latin America, for example — were not addressed at all.” Time, 12/6/99; PBS News Hour, 2/16/00; Toronto Star, 2/16/00
23. Bush: “There’s only been one governor ever elected to back-to-back four year terms and that was me.”
Fact: The governors who served two consecutive four-year terms (meeting Bush’s statement criteria are): Coke R. Stevenson (2 consecutive 4-year terms) August 4, 1941-January 21, 1947. Allan Shivers (2 consecutive four-year terms) July 11, 1949-January 15, 1957. Price Daniel (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 15, 1957-January 15, 1963. John Connally (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 15, 1963-January 21, 1969. Dolph Briscoe (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 16, 1973-January 16, 1979. George W. Bush (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 17, 1995 to present. Source: Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission.
24. Bush: “We spend $4.7 billion a year on the uninsured in the state of Texas.”
Fact: The state of Texas came up with less than $1B for this purpose. $3.5 came from local governments, private providers, and charities, $198M from the federal government, and just less than $1B from Texas state agencies. Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Bush-Cheney Administration Lies About Iraq
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”
– Dick Cheney, August 26 2002
“Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.”
– George W. Bush, September 12 2002
“If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.”
– Ari Fleischer, December 2 2002
“We know for a fact that there are weapons there.”
– Ari Fleischer, January 9 2003
“Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.”
– George W. Bush, State of the Union address, January 28 2003
“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.”
– Colin Powell, February 5 2003
“We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons.”
– George Bush, February 8 2003
“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”
– George Bush, March 17 2003
“Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.”
– Ari Fleischer, March 21 2003
“There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.”
– Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22 2003
“We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.”
– Donald Rumsfeld, March 30 2003.
“Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.”
– Bush in October 2002.
“Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda.”
– Bush in January 2003 State of the Union address.
“Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.”
– Bush in February 2003.
“sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.”
Powell in his U.N. speech prior to the Iraq War.
“We have removed an ally of Al Qaeda.”
Bush in May 2003.
Stated that the Iraqis were “providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the Al Qaeda organization.”
– Cheney in September 2003.
“Saddam had an established relationship with Al Qaeda, providing training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional weapons.”
– Cheney in October 2003.
Cheney said Saddam “had long established ties with Al Qaeda.”
– June 14, 2004.
Bush said, “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.”
– June 17, 2004.