It took only a few months after the United States invasion in Iraq for the world to know that Saddam Hussein had long abandoned his nuclear program and was not holding training camps for terrorist groups on his soil. He had no relationship with Al – Qaeda, and the only threat he was posing was to his own countrymen.
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It took 5 years finally to come close to the reckoning over how much the Bush Administration knowingly twisted and hyped intelligence to justify the invasion in Iraq. The Senate intelligence committee report gives us important details on how poorly the Bush Administration managed the entire episode of the Iraqi war.
The report clearly shows that President Bush had very little idea about what there was in Iraq and the claims he made about Iraq were out of sync with the intelligence report. At the same time, we can safely say that he could have learned the truth if he had asked better questions and had encouraged better answers.
The report confirms one serious intelligence failure. President Bush ,Vice President Dick Cheney and other Administration officials were told that Iraq still had chemical and biological weapons, but they were wrong and they did not come to know about it even after the invasion. The report also suggested that there was no intelligence information to support the two most frightening claims that President Bush and his Administration made that Iraq was actively developing chemical and biological weapons, and that it was also active with terrorist groups and had longstanding ties with the latter.
With all this happening in and outside the war, it was quite clear (if we consider the report) that the top officials, especially President Bush, Mr. Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, knew that they were not giving honest answers and full account to the public and were twisting the truth to justify the war against Iraq.
The report also documents how President Bush and his administration took vague and dubious intelligence report on Iraq’s weapons program and made them sound like a hard and incontrovertible fact.
“They continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago,” Mr. Cheney said on Aug. 26, 2002, adding that “we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.”
On Oct. 7, 2002, Mr. Bush told the audience in Cincinnati that Iraq “is seeking nuclear weapons” and that “the evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.” Saddam Hussein, he said, “is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.”
Later, both politicians talked about how Iraq was planning to buy uranium in Africa, and how it was about to purchase Aluminium tubes that they said could only be used for nuclear weapon program.
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use them against our friends, against our allies and against us,” Mr. Cheney said on Aug. 29, 2002.
In fact, there was plenty of doubt about this second statement: according to the Senate report, there was no intelligence evidence that Saddam Hussein intended to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, and the intelligence community never said there was.
We can not say with certainty that invasion in Iraq was justified with what Bush Administration declared to the public or whether they lied about the Iraqi invasion. But when the President of the country lies or hides any detail of this importance from the public to justify an invasion in another country, this is wrong.