In an op-ed piece published by the New York Times on July 6, 2003, former US diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV blew the whistle on the Bush administration: “I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”
Under pressure from Vice President Dick Cheney, the CIA sent Wilson to Niger in February 2002 to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein’s government had attempted to obtain uranium from a source in Niger. After eight days, Wilson concluded that too many factors made the possibility of such a transaction “highly doubtful” – yet the Bush Administration continued to use the claim advantageously.
A few days after Wilson’s statement appeared, Greg Thielman, a member of the State Department’s intelligence office until September 2002, publicly criticized the blatant dismissal of intelligence reports by the administration. “This administration has had a faith-based intelligence attitude – we know the answers, give us the intelligence to support those answers” (Minneapolis City Pages, 7/30/2003).
Bush’s war on Iraq – which killed and maimed thousands – was never about WMDs or the safety of Americans. The administration used its authority to manipulate support for a war that was really about profits, power, and the prestige of US imperialism.
As Justice goes to press, the US government has yet to find any credible trace of WMDs in Iraq. To boot, no credible evidence has been produced proving Hussein was an “ally” of Al Qeada. In fact, the only evidence of a Bin Laden connection in this whole affair is a $10 million investment in Bechtel by members of Osama’s estranged family (The New Yorker, 5/5/2003).
However, it can’t be ruled out that the US will find some WMDs (or even plant some). But if the WMDs did exist and haven’t been found after months of occupation, then a chilling chord has been struck. “If such stocks exist, a hotly debated proposition, this is precisely the kind of dangerous situation the CIA and other intelligence services warned about last fall.” (Washington Post, 7/20/03)