THE DAILY MIS-LEAD
< http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1222592&l=17046 >
TENET EXPOSES BUSH'S MISLEADING ON WMD
In a stunning blow to the president's credibility, CIA Director George Tenet
said this morning that intelligence "analysts never said there was an
imminent threat" from Iraq before the war. His comments are consistent with
various warnings sent to the White House from the intelligence community
that specifically told the president his claims that Iraq definitely had
chemical/biological and nuclear weapons were unsubstantiated. Tenet's
comments call into question whether the Bush Administration was knowingly
ignoring intelligence and misleading the country by claiming definitively
that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was therefore an "imminent,"
"immediate," "urgent" and "mortal" threat to the American people.
Though the White House has claimed it never said Iraq was an imminent
threat, the record proves otherwise. When White House communications
director Dan Bartlett was asked before the war whether Saddam Hussein was an
imminent threat, he responded, "Of course he is." When White House spokesman
Scott McClellan was asked why NATO (and thus the United States) should
support Turkey's request for defensive troops, he responded, "This is about
an imminent threat." When White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was asked
whether the invasion of Iraq was because Iraq was an imminent threat, he
The president also used other language aimed at misleading Americans into
thinking that U.S. intelligence definitively knew Iraq had weapons of mass
destruction that threatened America - even though the intelligence community
told the president it had no such evidence. The president said before the
war that Iraq was an "urgent threat" and a "grave threat" to "any American."
In his speech informing Americans that the invasion had started, the
President said Iraq "threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder."
These comments were echoed by other top Administration officials. Secretary
of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said on September 19, 2002 that "no terrorist
state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people
and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."
And Vice President Cheney called Iraq a "mortal threat," and said "there is
no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction...to use
against our friends, against our allies, and against us." And Secretary of
State Colin Powell, in pressing for U.N. support, said definitively that
Iraq possessed "deadly weapons programs" that "are real and present dangers
to the region and to the world."
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