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Monday, November 14, 2005

The administration's deceptions

In the wake of President Bush's Veteran's Day speech and the Senate Intelligence Committee decision (finally) to begin "Phase 2" of their investigation of the use of pre-war Iraq intelligence, Kevin Drum, Josh Marshall, and other prominent bloggers are revisiting this question: "Did the Bush administration mislead the country during the runup to the Iraq war?"

During the discussion of this issue, a number of related questions always recur, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to compile my answers.

1. Did Congress vote to go to war in October 2002?

On October 13, 2004, I wrote "Keeping Track of One Lie."

Also relevant, July 26, 2004 entry: "Kerry's Iraq Vote."

And, September 23, 2004: "Did Kerry Vote for War or Leverage?"

2. Did Congress vote "to remove Saddam Hussein from power" (as the President claimed) -- or were they voting for disarmament?

On January 15, 2004, I wrote "The Disarmament Mission."

See also, my January 10, 2004 entry "A Better Case?"

3. Was the question of political manipulation of intelligence already investigated, either by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence or the so-called Robb/Silberman Commission?

On July 9, 2004, I examined the new "Senate Intelligence Report."

April 2, 2005, I looked at Robb/Silberman: "Presidential Intell Commission."

4. Did "everyone" believe that Iraq had WMD?

January 25, 2004, I blogged "Which analysts said "no WMD" before the war?"

On July 16, 2004, I wrote "Powell's 'Ad - Lie' Presentation."

This is also relevant: February 3, 2004: "Blair too calls for WMD inquiry."

5. Did Congress have access to the same intelligence?

January 19, 2004, I blogged about the administration's efforts to cherry-pick worst-case intelligence: "Good Read: The Lie Factory."

After making the worst-case, they stripped away the caveats. See my reports of February 20, 2004, "Working Group Publicity," and January 27, 2004, "New Spin on Iraq."

See also January 28, 2004: "David Kay Visits Congress."

6. Did the Duelfer Report prove that Iraq actually had a threatening WMD program?

My most extensive remarks are in this November 9, 2004 report on the "Oil for Food Scandal."

7. Would the US have gone to war if Iraq merely had chemical and biological arms, rather than nuclear weapons?

See my October 10, 2004 entry "War fever?"

And check these out: December 9, 2003, "His Gift from the Wizard: A Spine!" and October 25, 2003, "Imminent threat?"

This is related, from August 19, 2005: "New Report: Iraq WMD intell was willfully distorted."

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