“WE BRING PEACE AND FREEDOM TO THE WORLD”

“WE BRING PEACE AND FREEDOM TO THE WORLD”

 George W. Bush’s “State of the Union” Address, January 28, 2003

 Part VI

 

The US’ Lies and Deception Exposed

There is growing evidence that God’s chosen country (US) was involved in deliberate lies and distortions of intelligence information to support a premeditated invasion of Iraq. Looking at American history discloses that this was not the first time that the US administration has fabricated “righteous intentions” to indulge in death and destruction on foreign land. The Gulf of Tonkin is a known story.   

The US allegations about Iraq’s possession of chemical and biological weapons, and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, were proved to be nothing but fabrications of the US to justify its “preventive war” against Iraq.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

According to Scott Ritter, former Marine Corps Intelligence Specialist and former Head of the United Nations Weapons Inspections in Iraq from 1991 until 1998, The United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) accounted for and dismantled 94% of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. He says, “As a former weapons inspector with the United Nations, I was intimately familiar with the fraudulent case made by the Bush administration before the 2003 invasion, and had quite publicly challenged the president’s allegations” Since the Bush administration knew all along that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, it did not allow the UN inspectors to have more time to verify the US allegations about these weapons in Iraq. This is evident in Bush’s State of the Union speech, where he demanded Saddam Hussein to disclose (nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction: “The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct — were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq’s regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed.”

The issue for Bush was NOT whether or not Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, BUT whether or not Iraq disarmed. The US president had reiterated that this was the issue with Saddam Hussein/Iraq (in the State of the Union speech, he used the term “disarm” at least five times in relation to Saddam Hussein/Iraq). Naturally Saddam Hussein was blamed for NOT DISARMING THE NONEXISTENT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

Mobile Labs

G.W. Bush, in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, referred to “mobile biological weapons labs”: “From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to place to evade inspectors.” A key source for this allegation was an Iraqi Chemical Engineer Rafid Ahmed Alwan, codenamed “Curveball”. In November of 1999 Alwan defected to Germany seeking political asylum. He told the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Federal Intelligence Service of Germany, that Saddam had developed mobile labs to produce biological weapons. However, by summer 2002 the BND officials realized that his testimony was nothing but “watercooler gossip”. Because Alwan never claimed to have been involved in the production of the biological weapons, nor did he see anyone else do so. The BND officials warned the CIA about the veracity of the testimony of the “Curveball”. But the CIA kept these doubts aside. This resulted in the mobile biological weapons labs becoming a central allegation both in G.W. Bush’s State of the Union speech on January 28, 2003, and Colin Powell’s presentation to the United Nations in February of 2003. Commenting on Powell’s presentation a senior BND officer, who supervised Curveball’s case, said, “We were shocked. We had always told them it was not proven.” Ironically, the American investigators, after the invasion of Iraq, found in the personal file of Alwan that he was a low-level trainee engineer. He was not a chief or site engineer as the CIA had claimed. Moreover, Alwan was dismissed in 1995, the year he claimed to have started working on the biological weapons mobile labs.

Uranium from Africa

G.W. Bush declared in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003 that “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” This was a reference to the alleged purchase of uranium by Iraq from Niger. This claim was based on intelligence documents that originated in Italy.

Carlo Bonini, an Italian reporter, broke the Niger story that the Italian documents were forged by the SISMI (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare), Military Intelligence and Security Service Agency of Italy. According to Peter Eisner, a veteran Correspondent and Co-Author of “The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq”, the CIA and other members of the intelligence community had heard from the SISMI in the first few days after September 11, 2001 about uranium purchases or attempts to buy uranium from Niger. By early 2002 they actually had a version of one document saying that this had taken place. He further says:

“Many parts of the CIA, from the outset, as early as September and October of 2001, did not believe that Iraq…was attempting to buy uranium or, in fact, trying to restart its nuclear program – did not need to buy uranium in Niger, because it already had uranium. Second of all, SISMI was not providing the source. It was not saying how it was getting the information. And third of all, they tended to doubt SISMI, in any case, because it’s got reliability problem among Western intelligence agencies. So well before, more than a year before President Bush’s State of the Union message, it was gravely doubted by key members of the intelligence community. ”   

The CIA, with the help of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, asked her husband Joseph Wilson, former Ambassador to Iraq during the Gulf War, to investigate the allegation about the Niger-Iraq uranium trade. One month after President Bush declared that major combat operations were over in Iraq, Wilson wrote a stinging op-ed piece in The New York Times in July of 2003 titled “What I Did Not Find in Africa.” In an interview with Democracynow in May of 2004 Wilson said:

“What it catalogued was a trip out to Niger at the request of the CIA, acting in response to a question by the Vice President to check out allegations that Iraq had attempted to purchase significant quantities of uranium from that country. Now, it was a very important question, because, after all, Iraq would have only one use for uranium, and that would be nuclear weapons programs. And that would have been the one piece of incontrovertible evidence that he was attempting to reconstitute nuclear weapons programs, which would have lent some credence to the notion that the smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud. I came back. I said there was nothing to this. Mine was one of three reports in the files of the US government that said there was nothing to this, which should have been reassuring to those who had sent us out, including the Vice President and the National Security Advisor (Stephen Hanley). Instead, of course, the President makes a statement in the State of the Union address, and as it turns out, he referred to British intelligence, which happened to be the same information. But he referred to British intelligence, because the CIA wouldn’t clear his making that claim unless it was caveated by going through a third intelligence service. So there was real active deception there. This was not just an accident. This was not a slip of the tongue. These were people who wanted to put something in there that was actually deceptive to the US Congress and to the American people.”

Moreover, in summer of 2001 the French Intelligence Agency checked the evidence about the alleged Niger-Iraq uranium trade. Again in the summer of 2002, honoring the request of the CIA, a group of the French intelligence officers in Africa checked and ruled out the credibility of the Italian documents. However, the Bush administration chose to consider these findings as one of the opinions on the Niger-Iraq uranium trade.

Anthrax Attacks

Bush in his State of the Union speech on January 28, 2003 alleged: “The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25000 liters of anthrax – enough to kill several million people.”

The allegation about anthrax must have reminded Americans of the anthrax-laced letters sent in September and October of 2001 to some media personnel and politicians, and the fear and fatality they caused in the US. These “anthrax letters” dated September 11, 2001 were accompanied by letters, “Death to America. Death to Israel. Allah is great.”  Due to these letters five Americans died from anthrax inhalation and seventeen were injured. The Hart Senate Office Building and various postal facilities were shut down for months for clean-up.

Both the US government and the corporate media initially blamed al-Qaeda for the anthrax letters. On October 15, 2001 Bush declared that there might be “some possible link” between Osama bin Laden and the anthrax attacks. According to the New York Daily News, Robert Mueller, the FBI Director, was pressured by the Bush administration to connect these attacks to al-Qaeda. Soon the question was raised about who supplied anthrax to al-Qaeda and trained the Muslim terrorists in using it. Dick Cheney said that the al-Qaeda terrorists were trained “how to deploy and use these kinds of substances, so you start to piece it all together.” Both the US government and the corporate media worked together aggressively to scapegoat Saddam Hussein as the culprit. In late 2001 the press quoted that the deputy lab director of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) said that the anthrax found with the letters contained a mix of aluminum and silica “previously…found in anthrax produced by Iraq.” Richard Butler, Australian former UN Weapons Inspector, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in the mid-October of 2001 saying, “If the scientific path leads to Iraq as the supporter of the anthrax used by the terrorist mailers, no one should be surprised.” On October 18, 2001 the Wall Street Journal categorically declared, “By far the likeliest supplier is Saddam Hussein.” Brian Ross of ABC News spread the lie that the anthrax used in the letters was made in Iraq. According to a Lexis-Nexis search, between October 4, 2001 and December 4, 2001 there were 389 stories in The New York Times and 238 stories in The Washington Post related to the anthrax. This “unending, high-pitched scream of horror” and scapegoating Saddam Hussein as the perpetrator of violence on Americans increased the public fear of and vengeance against Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Making Saddam the supplier of anthrax to the al-Qaeda served several purposes of the Bush administration: a brutal dictator with weapons of mass destruction was determined to cause greater harm to Americans, a link between Saddam and the al-Qaeda, and Saddam’s involvement in the bombings on September 11, 2001. 

However, by the end of 2001, it became clear that, despite the accompanying letters, the anthrax in those letters was produced in a US military laboratory. The Bush administration first framed Steven J. Hatfill, an American scientist, as the prime suspect. However, a US District Court declared him innocent. On July 29, 2008 Dr. Bruce Ivins, who worked at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, committed suicide by taking Tylenol. The FBI and the corporate media readily blamed him for the anthrax attacks in 2001. Now it is clear that the origin of the anthrax attacks in 2001 was within the US, not without, and the architect of the terrorist anthrax attacks was an American terrorist, not Saddam Hussein or a Muslim terrorist.  

The corporate media that blamed Dr. Ivins, focused its attention completely on the accused. It completely ignored the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, where Ivins worked, except for a single sentence in The Washington Post: “At home to the Army Biological Warfare Laboratories, the facility ran a top-secret program producing offensive biological weapons from 1943 until 1969.” When an American terrorist had access to this weapon of mass destruction and used it on his/her own people, then he/she would not desist from using it on peoples of other nations. G.W. Bush in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003 characterized Saddam Hussein as a threat to the US and the world, because this “cruel dictator” had used “the world’s most dangerous weapons” on his own people. So the inference is that he would not desist from using these weapons of mass destruction on others. The other accusation that the US President made was: “Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why?” However, if the same question were posed to Bush about the weapons of mass destruction produced by the US, what would his answer be? It would have to be his inference about Saddam Hussein: “The only possible explanation, the only possible use…for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.”

Forged Letter

Ron Suskind, an investigative reporter, in his book The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism mentions startling revelations about the “forged letter” which the White House ordered the CIA to produce to justify the “preventive war” against Iraq. Suskind alleges that the need for this letter arose as the US weapons inspectors found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The needed evidence that confirmed the Bush administration’s pre-war allegations about Saddam’s link to al-Qaeda and Iraq-Niger uranium trade, brought forth the letter.   

Suskind interviewed Rob Richer, Head of CIA’s Near East Division, and John Maguire, Chief of the CIA Iraq Operations Group. Their on-the-record statements about the reasons for the creation of the letter justify Suskind’s charges. According to Suskind, in late 2003 the White House ordered the CIA to forge a document that confirmed the administrations pre-war allegations. The CIA created a false letter, which were to have been written on July 1, 2001 by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, Saddam Hussein’s Director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, to Saddam Hussein. According to the letter, Mohammed Atta, one of those who participated in the bombings on September 11, 2001, was trained for his upcoming mission in Iraq (no mention of details about the mission, but obvious reference to the New York and Washington bombings). The letter also mentioned that Iraq received a shipment from Niger with the assistance of al-Qaeda. Thus, the letter “proved” Saddam’s link not only to the al-Qaeda, but also to the bombings on September 11, 2001. 

Suskind’s claims received support from Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer. In an article in the American Conservative magazine (August 8, 2008) Giraldi said that the bulk of Suskind’s claim about the forged letter was correct.

Suskind also reports in his book that Habbush was a pre-war intelligence “source” reporting to the British M16 Intelligence Service. In early 2003, according to Suskind, Habbush told Michael Shipster, MI6 official, in Jordan that Saddam had ended his nuclear program in 1991 and his biological weapons program in 1996. With this information Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, went to Washington and presented it to George Tenet, then Director of the CIA. Tenet, in turn, reported to Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Adviser. However, the Bush administration chose to ignore the information from Habbush and other Iraqi “sources” who reported about the lack of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The US’ Premeditated War against Iraq

The US was bent on invading Iraq and so weaved its propaganda of lies and distorted intelligence is further evidenced by the Minutes of the Australian Wheat Board (AWB). On February 27, 2002 Trevor Flugge, then Chairman of the AWB, told the Board that John Dauth, then Ambassador of Australia to the United Nations, informed him about the plans of the US and Australia for war against Iraq. According to the Australian Associated Press:

Mr. Dauth briefed Mr. Flugge in New York in February 2002 – 13 months before invasion – and the details appear in minutes of AWB’s February 27 board meeting tendered to the inquiry…The ambassador stated that he believed that US military action to depose Saddam Hussein was inevitable and that at this time the Australian government would support and participate in such action,’ the minutes say.

The Downing Street Minutes also confirmed the US’ premeditated war: “Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

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