'A war sold on deception'

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The war on terrorism being waged by a U.S.-led coalition in Iraq was the subject of the June 18, 2004, Seattle Times editorial "A war sold on deception".

"Two crucial rationales used" by President George W. Bush to "justify a pre-emptive strike against Saddam Hussein have crumbled," it stated. "Now it falls to the American people to judge whether the war was sold on falsehoods or wishful exaggeration. ... One goes to the credibility and veracity of the White House and the other to fundamental competence to manage the might of a superpower."

  • June 14, 2004: Vice President Dick Cheney continued an established pattern when he "told an audience of Saddam's long-established ties with al-Qaida."
  • June 16, 2004: The 9-11 Commission investigating the September 11, 2001, "terrorist attacks said it had found no credible evidence of cooperation between Iraq and al-Qaida in the specific assault, or broader collaboration between Saddam Hussein and terrorist networks."
  • June 17, 2004: The Times wrote that, "in the face of substantial findings by the 9-11 commission, the White House was [still] trying to parse words about Saddam and terrorists. The public relations, or self-deception, are part of the history of this war."
  • June 18, 2004: CNN reported that "Cheney blasts media on al Qaeda-Iraq link. Says media not 'doing their homework' in reporting ties."

Previously, . . .

  • "Bush pressed for Saddam's removal with a case built on imminent danger, lethal capacity and a willingness to supply terrifying weapons to enemies of the United States and its allies. Doubters were ignored and international relationships -- those forged in world war and nurtured for half a century -- were sacrificed. Iraq has been turned inside out, but no weapons of mass destruction have yet been found. Saddam may have indeed destroyed them as ordered by the United Nations. Something may yet turn up, but a device buried deep in a cave does not suggest imminent danger to the U.S.
  • "Bush gave his war cause immediacy and psychological impact by linking Saddam to al-Qaida, whose demonstrated hatred of America was well-established. The White House and civilian leadership of the Pentagon said they had evidence of terrifying weapons and ties to groups that wanted to use them against us."

In the past, the editorial states, "arguments represented a powerful, one-two punch for opponents to overcome in their own minds, let alone convince a shell-shocked public of their improbability."

The editorial points out, however, that "None of the justifications invoked by the administration before and after the war, ... has survived bipartisan scrutiny."

No Evidence of Collaboration

"The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks has finally spelled it out for President George W. Bush, vice president Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his colleagues at the Pentagon, Secretary of State Colin Powell and his buds at the State department and the American public: [1]

There was no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Kucinich Calls for Docs on Iraq War 'Sell Job'

In February 2006, Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced a Resolution of Inquiry, demanding from the White House, Defense and State Departments "certain documents ... relating to any entity with which the U.S. has contracted for public relations purposes concerning Iraq." In a statement, the Congressman notes reports about the Rendon Group's and Lincoln Group's Iraq activities. Kucinich affirms the public's "right to know" about attempts "to manipulate the news, falsify intelligence or mislead the public." He adds, "Congress has a Constitutional responsibility to provide oversight." The House international relations committee must vote on the resolution by the end of February. The resolution comes after a Government Accountability Office report on federal media contracts, which lists $1.1 billion in Defense Department spending on PR, advertising and other media firms from fiscal year 2003 through mid-fiscal year 2005. [2]

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