We have known about the President and Vice President’s web of lies which led up the war in Iraq for some time. The book Hubris, by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, does an excellent job of documenting what was wrong and why we knew them to be wrong. The Los Angeles Times runs a story today about the findings of the Senate intelligence committee. The article had to do with the difference between what the president and vice president said and what was actually known. These facts are in Hubris but it is the first time that a government committee has come to the same conclusion.
From LAT: Statements in dozens of prewar speeches and interviews created the impression that Baghdad and Al Qaeda had forged a partnership. But the report concludes that such assertions “were not substantiated by the intelligence” being shown to senior officials at the time.
Claims that Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta had met with an Iraqi agent in Prague, for example, were dubious from the beginning and subsequently discounted. The idea that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had provided chemical and biological weapons training to Al Qaeda hinged on intelligence from a source who soon was discredited.
Bush officials strayed even further from the evidence in suggesting that Hussein was prepared to provide weapons of mass destruction to Al Qaeda terrorist groups — a linchpin in the case for war.
In October 2002, for example, Bush warned in a key speech in Cincinnati that “secretly, and without fingerprints, [Hussein] could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.” The threat was repeated frequently in the run-up to war but was “contradicted by available intelligence information,” the committee says.
On post-war prospects, the report contrasts the rosy scenarios conjured by Cheney and others with more sober intelligence warnings that were being presented to senior officials.
Cheney’s prediction that U.S. forces would “be greeted as liberators” was at odds with reports from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which warned nearly a year earlier that invading U.S. forces would face serious resistance from “the Baathists, the jihadists and Arab nationalists who oppose any U.S. occupation of Iraq.”