Friday, September 7, 2007
Bush Knew Before Invasion That Saddam Had No WMD
Two former CIA officers have confirmed to Salon that President Bush was told in Sept. 2002 that Saddam Hussein did not possess any weapons of mass destruction. According to the officer, CIA director George Tenet provided Bush with top-secret information that "detailed that Saddam may have wished to have a program, that his engineers had told him they could build a nuclear weapon within two years if they had fissible material, which they didn't, and that they had no chemical or biological weapons." Bush reportedly dismissed the warning immediately. According to one of the officers, "Bush didn't give a f*ck about the intelligence. He had his mind made up." Tenet never brought up the information again; in fact, only a few months later he infamously referred to the case that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction as a "slam dunk." The intelligence about the lack of weapons of mass destruction was never provided to Congress before their vote to authorize military operations in March 2003, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair depended on this faulty information to make his decision to support the Iraq war. "Blair was duped," said one of the CIA officers. "He was shown the altered report." Even though Bush finally publicly admitted in 2004 that "Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there," he continued to believe that they were. In his new book on Bush, Robert Draper writes that the President repeated conviction that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction "to Andy Card all the way up until Card's departure in April 2006."