Posted by: drew | April 12, 2006

White House pushed Iraq bioweapons claim despite evidence to contrary

Washington Post reports.

Yet another lie goes down in history. The evidence that this administration took us to war and continued to justify that war on lies that our own intelligence refuted. Blaming our own intelligence, and that of our allies, failed to hold water long ago.

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq — not made public until now — had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

 We don't have to wait long for history to judge this administration an unmitigated failure bereft of integrity and honor.

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