There seems of late to be a concerted attempt to perpetuate the lie that Bush and his administration did not know that Saddam Hussein did not have WMDs prior to the US and allied invasion of Iraq.
The evidence that shows this to be a lie is overwhelming.
In the latest burst of support for Bush’s lie, his mentor and close advisor, Karl Rove, told an audience that Bush would not have ordered the invasion of Iraq if the intelligence had shown that Saddam did not possess WMDs. This is a lie on two counts; one, Bush did know that Saddam had no WMDs and, two, despite knowing Saddam had no WMDs, Bush was determined to invade Iraq regardless of the intelligence.
Much of Bush’s push for war in the run up to the invasion of Iraq was based on evidence that was provided by Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, who in 1991, just after the end of the first Gulf War, was a senior general in the Iraqi army and in charge of all of Iraq’s WMDs. In 1995 when Hussein Kamel defected, he told his IAEA de-briefers in great detail all about the weapons that Saddam had and all about his plans to extend his WMD stockpiles prior to the Gulf War of 1991 and it was this information that Bush and the administration used directly to talk-up Saddam’s ‘threat to the world’ and his stockpile of WMDs prior to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. What Bush and the administration neglected to mention when directly quoting the defectors list of Saddam’s WMDs was that Hussein Kamel had also told his de-briefers that he himself had personally gave the order and supervised the destruction of those same weapons just after the first Gulf War in 1991. Bush could not possibly have quoted the defector without also knowing that this same defector had also told of the destruction of those weapons. And if Bush didn’t know it was because those who were in a position to know failed to tell him because they knew that it was not what Bush would have wanted to hear.
However, even if Bush wasn’t told that Kamel had also ordered destroyed the weapons that he had had said Saddam did have, Bush was, according to two senior ex-CIA officials that were present, told personally about the destruction of the weapons from CIA chief George Tenet on 18 September 2002 during one of the briefings Tenet regularly gave the President. In this case the source of Tenet’s information wasn’t from Kamel but from Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri who, at the time, was considering defecting if his family’s safety could be guaranteed, but instead provided documentary evidence that Saddam had destroyed his WMDs but Bush rejected the evidence out of hand determined instead to invade rather than accept the evidence.
Bush and his minions continue to lie and are determined to perpetuate the myth of Saddam’s WMDs as the casus belli for a war they knew was illegal and morally wrong but were determined to have nonetheless. Once the Bush Presidency is over their must be an inquiry into his role in the war and if crimes are found to have been committed then Bush and his accomplices, including Britain’s Tony Blair and Australia’s John Howard, should be made to face charges in the appropriate international court.