by Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith. The Center for Public Integrity.
Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.
It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda.
George W. Bush's closest circle stated falsehoods (lies) about WMD and Osama bin Laden's alleged connection with Saddam Hussein all before the Iraq War.
They lied, and they've done everything they can to cover up. They lied about having told the lies, but the public video record and transcripts prove they lied and then lied about their lies. Even when confronted by the evidence, they don't repent.
Now we've all learned that they destroyed some three years of emails that cover the time period of the study. They did that in an effort to further cover up illegal and unethical dealings. We know that Dick Cheney's office destroyed the emails surrounding the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent.
The Bush administration does the Nixonian (Machiavellian) thing of saying one thing publicly and doing another privately. It's standard operating procedure for presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat; however, the George W. Bush administration is the most blatant about it.