In a message dated 6/5/03 11:17:48 AM, dredelstein@...
Bush Lied and Soldiers Died
by Wayne Francis
t r u t h o u t | Opinion >>
So, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz allegedly "revealed," in an
interview with writer Sam Tanenhaus for Vanity Fair, that the Bush administration's
asserted casus belli for war against Saddam Hussein--the dictator's
weapons-of-mass-destruction program--was little more than a propaganda device, a piece
of self-conscious and insincere political manipulation.
Pentagon staffers were wise enough to tape-record the Tanenhaus-Wolfowitz
interview. Prior to publication of the Vanity Fair piece, they made that
transcript available to its author. And they have since posted the transcript on the
Defense Department's website (www.defenselink.mil). Tanenhaus's assertion that
Wolfowitz "admitted" that "Iraq's WMD had never been the most important casus
belli" turns out to be, not to put too fine a point on it, false.
People of good will are entitled to disagree, even in retrospect, about the
wisdom and probable effects of Saddam's forcible removal. But distorting an
on-the-record interview with a Bush administration official in order to create a
quasi-conspiratorial narrative of deceit and deception at the highest levels
of the U.S. government is a disgrace.
Here's a paragraph from the article:
When we spoke in May, as U.S. inspectors were failing to find weapons of mass
destruction, Wolfowitz admitted that from the outset, contrary to so many
claims from the White House, Iraq's supposed cache of WMD had never been the most
important casus belli. It was simply one of several reasons: "For
bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was
the one reason everyone could agree on." Everyone meaning, presumably, Powell
and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Almost unnoticed but huge," he said, is
another reason: removing Saddam will allow the U.S. to take its troops out of Saudi
Arabia, where their presence has been one of al-Qaeda's biggest grievances.
Here's what was actually said in the interview:
TANENHAUS: Was that one of the arguments that was raised early on by you and
others that Iraq actually does connect, not to connect the dots too much, but
the relationship between Saudi Arabia, our troops being there, and bin Laden's
rage about that, which he's built on so many years, also connects the World
Trade Center attacks, that there's a logic of motive or something like that? Or
does that read too much into--
WOLFOWITZ: No, I think it happens to be correct. The truth is that for
reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the
one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction
as the core reason, but . . . there have always been three fundamental
concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism,
the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you
could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the
first two. . . . The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason
to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk,
certainly not on the scale we did it. That second issue about links to
terrorism is the one about which there's the most disagreement within the
bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda
group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we've arrested that al
Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke
about in his U.N. presentation.
OK...I'm waiting for the conspiracy gang to accuse the DOD to trickery!!
Come, I dare you!
Live free or die, Michael S.
Michael R. Sawyer
1761 Kelly Street
San Mateo, CA 94403