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Bush Admits WMD "Main Reason" for Iraq; Press Ignores Admission

By August 22, 2006

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In a press conference Monday, President Bush said that the "main reason" America "went into Iraq" was that "we thought he had weapons of mass destruction." In his next breath, in a stream-of-consciousness fashion, he links Saddam Hussein with 9-11, imagining him "stirring up even more trouble in a part of a world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens."

And we wonder why so many Americans associate Hussein with WMD, 9-11 and Al Qaeda? In September 2003, 70 percent of Americans believed there was a link between Saddam Hussein and 9-11. In February 2005, almost 50 percent believed "Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001 (up six percentage points from November)." And in July 2006, 64 percent believed Hussein had strong links with al Qaeda.

Traditional US media have no record of this admission -- or the President's continued rhetorical linkage of Hussein with the events of 9-11 -- in today's stories about Iraq, which focus on polling data. Surprise, the White House has not published the transcript. Fortunately, others have. (tip)

In this press conference, Bush asks us to imagine a world that did not exist: "a world in which you had a Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction... who had relations with (al Qaeda)." There has been no evidence found to support either claim.

QUESTION: A quick follow-up. A lot of the consequences you mention for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn't gone in. How do you square all of that?

BUSH: I square it because imagine a world in which you had a Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who would -- who had relations with Zarqawi. Imagine what the world would be like with him in power. The idea is to try to help change the Middle East.

Now, look, I -- part of the reason we went into Iraq: was -- the main reason we went into Iraq: at the time was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction.

But I also talked about the human suffering in Iraq, and I also talked the need to advance a freedom agenda. And so my question -- my answer to your question is, is that imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of a world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.

You know, I've heard this theory about, you know, everything was just fine until we arrived and, you know, kind of -- the "stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East. They were --

QUESTION: What did Iraq: have to do with that?

BUSH: What did Iraq: have to do with what?

QUESTION: The attack on the World Trade Center.

BUSH: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody's ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq: was a -- Iraq: -- the lesson of September the 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken.

Nobody's ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case. And one way to defeat that -- you know, defeat resentment, is with hope. And the best way to do hope is through a form of government.

Now, I said going into Iraq: we got to take these threats seriously before they fully materialized. I saw a threat. I fully believe it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein, and I fully believe the world was better off without him. Now, the question is, how do we succeed in Iraq? And you don't succeed by leaving before the mission is complete, like some in this political process are suggesting.

Comments

August 23, 2006 at 1:25 am
(1) Mark says:

If you don’t know about the links between Saddam’s regime and al Qaeda then you are either intentionally ignoring the information or you aren’t being totally honest about it.

al Qaeda had between 7-10,000 members at the time of the Iraq invasion. This means that Saddam didn’t have to have a link to the 9-11 hijackers to have supported some of the other thousands roaming around.

Are you not aware of the countless detainees/defectors from both al Qaeda and Saddam’s regime who have admitted cooperation?

Have you totally ignored the IIS agents detained by the Kurds?

Do you have a clue who Abu Zubair is? Abu Wael?

Abu Abdullah Rashid al Baghdadi?

I don’t mean to sound like a know-it-all but I am working on a book on this very topic and have been for three years. I’ve put thousands of hours into this subject and interview countless members of the press, the military, the intel community, politicians, authors, counterterrorism specialists, arab media outlets, Kurds, Shia, etc. and the answers are there if you want to know the truth.

If your only interest is hopping on the antiwar bandwagon, in which you cover your ears of anything that runs contrary to that notion, than you will remain willfully uninformed by the answers are there for those without emotional/ideologoical binders on.

http://www.regimeofterror.com will be updated every few days with all of the revelations via gov’t investigations, FOIA requests, Saddam Hussein’s trial, interviews with Kurds and foreign/domestic media reports if you have an open mind.

August 23, 2006 at 7:54 am
(2) Sam Pender says:

We know how and why the 911 attacks succeeded, but do you know why they were set in motion? It’s not like GWB invaded Iraq and caused attacks on the US homeland. The attacks were set in motion for a reason-what? (back to that in a moment)…Perhaps you could explain why Al Queda was revived after the Soviet’s pulled out of Afghanistan?

ok, look, the answer is Iraq-wait! Before anyone wigs out on leftist rants, please hear me out.

Al Queda’s post-Soviet pissing points were:
Presence of US forces in Saudi (waging air war on Iraq)
US-lead blockade/sanctions on Iraq
and of course the obligatory rant about the US supporting jews

Now, ask yourself again, why was the 911 attack set in motion?

First see when it was set in motion-that’ll help.
http://www.mediaresearch.org/rm/cyber/2004/binladen061704/segment1.ram
http://www.aim.org/aim_report/4425_0_4_0_C/

and what did Al Queda claim was the cause?
“On December 18, 1998, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Vanguards of Conquest had issued a new threat, stating in part that the group will not be “satisfied with the empty statements of condemnation that we are used to hearing from [Arab] regimes. We say it loud and clear that we will retaliate for what is happening to the sons of our nation in Iraq. For the crimes committed by the US against our Islamic nation will not pass without punishment.” The statement was signed by the Vanguards of Conquest’s secretary general, Abduallah Mansour [an alias for Al Queda’s #2 man and strategic planner, Dr Ayaman al Zawahiri]. It was published in the al-Hayat on December 19, 1998.”

Still doubt they’d work together? Ok. Read pg 61 of the 911 Commission report that clearly says UBL wanted to work with Saddam, and Saddam wanted to work with UBL.

Quote:
Bin Ladin was also willing to explore possibilities for cooperation with Iraq, even though Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, had never had an Islamist
agenda—save for his opportunistic pose as a defender of the faithful against “Crusaders” during the Gulf War of 1991. Moreover, Bin Ladin had in fact been sponsoring anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan, and sought to attract them into his Islamic army.53
-911 Comm pg61

Quote:
To protect his own ties with Iraq,Turabi reportedly brokered an agreement that Bin Ladin would stop supporting activities against Saddam. Bin Ladin apparently honored this pledge, at least for a time, although he continued to aid a group of Islamist extremists operating in part of Iraq (Kurdistan) outside of Baghdad’s control. In the late 1990s, these extremist groups suffered major defeats by Kurdish forces. In 2001, with Bin Ladin’s help they re-formed into an organization called Ansar al Islam.There are indications that by then the Iraqi regime tolerated and may even have helped Ansar al Islam against the common Kurdish enemy.54

With the Sudanese regime acting as intermediary, Bin Ladin himself met
with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in Khartoum in late 1994 or early 1995.
Bin Ladin is said to have asked for space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but there is no evidence that Iraq responded to this request.55 As described below, the ensuing years saw additional efforts to establish connections.
-911 Comm final report pg 61

Problem was there was no intel at all on Iraq between 1998 and 911, so the Sen Intel Com report said there needs to be more evidence researched. Since then, several 911 Commission members have said the new intel found in the invasion indicates a closer relationship than thought, and it should be re-examined.

Al Queda was revived after the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan because of the US war on Iraq-the war America ignores even today. Regardless, Saddam, Bin Laden, and the Arab Street believed and saw the US waging war on Iraq from 1991-2003.

August 23, 2006 at 8:04 am
(3) Sam Pender says:

By the way, you were grossly incorrect about there being no evidence that Saddam had a capability or intent to make fresh wmd.

…much of the same equipment used in making weapons of mass destruction is potentially dual-use; the same fermentor used to make anthrax could be rinse out to make beer, and the same equipment used to make the nerve agents sarin and tabun could be used to make aspirin tablets.

I apprised the Security Council, pointing out that movement of equipment without prior notification was prohibited under its monitoring plan. Such interference could indicate an immediate problem with Iraqi compliance. In the biological context, for example, it would take a mere hours to adapt fermenters, once moved out of [monitoring] camera range, to the production of seed stocks of biological warfare agents.
-Australian Ambassador Richard Butler, fmr head of UNSCOM, The Greatest Threat, Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Growing Crisis of Global Security

With regard to biological warfare activities, which has been one of our two initial areas of focus, ISG teams are uncovering significant information – including research and development of BW-applicable organisms, the involvement of Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) in possible BW activities, and deliberate concealment activities. All of this suggests Iraq after 1996 further compartmentalized its program and focused on maintaining smaller, covert capabilities that could be activated quickly to surge the production of BW agents.
-10/2/03 Iraqi Survey Group Interim Report (unclassified)-David Kay

In a similar vein, two key former BW scientists, confirmed that Iraq under the guise of legitimate activity developed refinements of processes and products relevant to BW agents. The scientists discussed the development of improved, simplified fermentation and spray drying capabilities for the simulant Bt that would have been directly applicable to anthrax, and one scientist confirmed that the production line for Bt could be switched to produce anthrax in one week if the seed stock were available.
-10/2/03 Iraqi Survey Group Interim Report (unclassified)-David Kay

Saddam, at least as judged by those scientists and other insiders who worked in his military-industrial programs, had not given up his aspirations and intentions to continue to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
Even those senior officials we have interviewed who claim no direct knowledge of any on-going prohibited activities readily acknowledge that Saddam intended to resume these programs whenever the external restrictions were removed. Several of these officials acknowledge receiving inquiries since 2000 from Saddam or his sons about how long it would take to either restart CW production or make available chemical weapons.
In the delivery systems area there were already well advanced, but undeclared, on-going activities that, if OIF had not intervened, would have resulted in the production of missiles with ranges at least up to 1000 km, well in excess of the UN permitted range of 150 km. These missile activities were supported by a serious clandestine procurement program about which we have much still to learn.
In the chemical and biological weapons area we have confidence that there were at a minimum clandestine on-going research and development activities that were embedded in the Iraqi Intelligence Service. While we have much yet to learn about the exact work programs and capabilities of these activities, it is already apparent that these undeclared activities would have at a minimum facilitated chemical and biological weapons activities and provided a technically trained cadre.
-10/2/03 Iraqi Survey Group Interim Report (unclassified)-David Kay

—-
Breakout capability:
Knowledge, infrastructure, and materiel, which usually lie beneath the threshold of suspicion, but which can be rapidly adapted or reorganized to allow for weaponization processes to be undertaken. Such capabilities require pre-disposed resources and often employ dual-use technology, equipment, or knowledge.

While other WMD programs were strictly prohibited, the UN permitted Iraq to develop and possess delivery systems provided their range did not exceed 150 km. This freedom allowed Iraq to keep its scientists and technicians employed and to keep its infrastructure and manufacturing base largely intact by pursuing programs nominally in compliance with the UN limitations. This positioned Iraq for a potential breakout capability.
-Duelfer Report

UNSCR 687 prohibited chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs but permitted the development and possession of ballistic missiles with up to a 150 km range. Iraq kept its scientists and technicians employed and its missile infrastructure and manufacturing base largely intact by pursuing programs nominally in compliance with the UN limitations. This positioned Iraq with a breakout capability.
-Duelfer Report

—-

State of Chemical Industry at OIF—Limited Break-Out Capability
Definition. “Breakout Capability”: ISG considers a CW breakout capability to be the capacity of Iraq to de novo produce and fi eld militarily significant CW rapidly. ISG considered a range of break-out scenarios applicable to Iraq and its capabilities existing in 2002. An example of a breakout scenario would be wartime or imminent threat-precipitated production of dubious quality, low-stability agents for immediate use. A breakout capability could be deliberately developed during peacetime or improvised in response to a threat.
-Duelfer Report

According to Dr. Bilal, Iraq’s hypothetical breakout mustard production could be achieved by using equipment that could be sacrificed, instead of relying on specially lined vessels.
-Duelfer Report

ISG judges that Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) would likely be the agent of choice for breakout production.
• It represented the single strategic BW agent that Iraq had in its historical arsenal.
• Iraq has a previous track record in large-scale growth, processing, testing and weaponization of anthrax spores.
• Corn byproduct medium, indigenously manufactured for Bt production, would also be suitable for the growth of B. anthracis.
-Duelfer Report

ISG exploitation of Samarra Drug Insustries’ (SDI) location revealed industrial scale utilities and numerous, dual-use jacketed vessels, some of which had not been declared to the UN. ISG found no evidence that equipment at Samarra had been modified to serve as fermentors for BW production. ISG assesses, however, that the staff possessed the required expertise for bulk BW agent production and that Samarra potentially would have been capable of limited breakout production of BW agent within one month prior to OIF.
-Duelfer Report

The Duelfer Report also assessed that Saddam had the intent and had the ability to make fresh wmd. To summarize the 1000+ page report as “nowmd” is worse than a book report on Moby Dick that says only “whale”

The pictures in the report alone prove that
1) inspections were not going to prove Saddam had disarmed
2)Saddam was preparing to make fresh wmd en masse
3) Saddam’s Iraq was a wmd threat just not with vast stockpiles

August 23, 2006 at 8:07 am
(4) Sam Pender says:

RE: No ties to Al Queda

This is GROSSLY FALSE.

Think of this,
We know how and why the 911 attacks succeeded, but do you know why they were set in motion? It’s not like GWB invaded Iraq and caused attacks on the US homeland. The attacks were set in motion for a reason-what? (back to that in a moment)…Perhaps you could explain why Al Queda was revived after the Soviet’s pulled out of Afghanistan?

ok, look, the answer is Iraq-wait! Before anyone wigs out on leftist rants, please hear me out.

Al Queda’s post-Soviet pissing points were:
Presence of US forces in Saudi (waging air war on Iraq)
US-lead blockade/sanctions on Iraq
and of course the obligatory rant about the US supporting jews

Now, ask yourself again, why was the 911 attack set in motion?

First see when it was set in motion-that’ll help.
http://www.mediaresearch.org/rm/cyber/2004/binladen061704/segment1.ram
http://www.aim.org/aim_report/4425_0_4_0_C/

and what did Al Queda claim was the cause?
“On December 18, 1998, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Vanguards of Conquest had issued a new threat, stating in part that the group will not be “satisfied with the empty statements of condemnation that we are used to hearing from [Arab] regimes. We say it loud and clear that we will retaliate for what is happening to the sons of our nation in Iraq. For the crimes committed by the US against our Islamic nation will not pass without punishment.” The statement was signed by the Vanguards of Conquest’s secretary general, Abduallah Mansour [an alias for Al Queda’s #2 man and strategic planner, Dr Ayaman al Zawahiri]. It was published in the al-Hayat on December 19, 1998.”

Still doubt they’d work together? Ok. Read pg 61 of the 911 Commission report that clearly says UBL wanted to work with Saddam, and Saddam wanted to work with UBL. Problem was there was no intel at all on Iraq between 1998 and 911, so the Sen Intel Com report said there needs to be more evidence researched. Since then, several 911 Commission members have said the new intel found in the invasion indicates a closer relationship than thought, and it should be re-examined.

August 23, 2006 at 8:11 am
(5) Sam Pender says:

I can’t believe intelligent people still don’t see the connection between the war in Iraq and the war on terror

http://www.securitywatchtower.com/archives/war_on_terrorism_iraq/index.html

August 23, 2006 at 8:12 am
(6) Sam Pender says:

Think of it like this,
We know how and why the 911 attacks succeeded, but do you know why they were set in motion? It’s not like GWB invaded Iraq and caused attacks on the US homeland. The attacks were set in motion for a reason-what? (back to that in a moment)…Perhaps you could explain why Al Queda was revived after the Soviet’s pulled out of Afghanistan?

ok, look, the answer is Iraq-wait! Before anyone wigs out on leftist rants, please hear me out.

Al Queda’s post-Soviet pissing points were:
Presence of US forces in Saudi (waging air war on Iraq)
US-lead blockade/sanctions on Iraq
and of course the obligatory rant about the US supporting jews

Now, ask yourself again, why was the 911 attack set in motion?

First see when it was set in motion-that’ll help.
http://www.mediaresearch.org/rm/cyber/2004/binladen061704/segment1.ram
http://www.aim.org/aim_report/4425_0_4_0_C/

and what did Al Queda claim was the cause?
“On December 18, 1998, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Vanguards of Conquest had issued a new threat, stating in part that the group will not be “satisfied with the empty statements of condemnation that we are used to hearing from [Arab] regimes. We say it loud and clear that we will retaliate for what is happening to the sons of our nation in Iraq. For the crimes committed by the US against our Islamic nation will not pass without punishment.” The statement was signed by the Vanguards of Conquest’s secretary general, Abduallah Mansour [an alias for Al Queda’s #2 man and strategic planner, Dr Ayaman al Zawahiri]. It was published in the al-Hayat on December 19, 1998.”

Still doubt they’d work together? Ok. Read pg 61 of the 911 Commission report that clearly says UBL wanted to work with Saddam, and Saddam wanted to work with UBL. Problem was there was no intel at all on Iraq between 1998 and 911, so the Sen Intel Com report said there needs to be more evidence researched. Since then, several 911 Commission members have said the new intel found in the invasion indicates a closer relationship than thought, and it should be re-examined.

August 23, 2006 at 9:10 am
(7) Sam Pender says:

It’s ironic that when people say “no ties” and they refer to GWB’s comments about Iraq not being part of 911, or when they refer to Colin Powell saying he saw no evidence of collaboration, or the 911 Commision saying no ties, or the Sen Intel Com saying no evidence of ties…all of those comments rely on HALF the quote.

For example,
When Pres Bush said Iraq was not involved in 911, the first half of that sentence has him saying that “we know there was a relationship, but…” Ok, so back in 04 there was no evidence of involvement in the attacks, but there was a relationship. Why’s this important…because it’s “lack of evidence”(more on that later)

When Colin Powell said he saw no evidence of collaboration, he continued on to say that he believed there was a relationship and that the intel supports that idea.

When the 911 Comm and Sen Intel Com both said there was a lack of evidence, they BOTH continued on to say that the reason for the lack of evidence was a lack of intel(evidence) gathering from 98-01. In fact, we know from both that monitoring of AQ prior to 911 never numbered more than 40 people and averaged only 4! As bad is the comment from the Sen Intel Com that after 98 there were ZERO human intel assets reporting on Iraq. No one collecting evidence=no evidence.

HOWEVER, both the Sen Intel Com and the 911 Commission specifically say that the lack of evidence means that the issue should remain OPEN-not closed, and that it was not the final word, and since then several 911 Comm members and Senate as well as House members have said that new evidence should be re-examined as the depth of the relationship is now showing itself to have been more than just tacit ties.

Whether one believes that Iraq asked AQ to conduct the attacks or that the attacks were set off in response/sympathy for the US war on Iraq…the fact is that Iraq was the problem, and if Saddam had been removed in 91 or between 91 and 01…Al Queda never would have been revived, and 911 never would’ve happened-let alone the entire GWOT. Without Saddam’s Iraq and the war on him…the attacks and the war never would have happened.

August 24, 2006 at 11:30 am
(8) Fred says:

Wow, Bush was concerned about humanity as he stated “I also talked about the human suffering in Iraq, and I also talked the need to advance a freedom agenda.”

So his little social experiment of toppling a sovereign nation for his “agenda” has ended the “suffering” for over 40,000 Iraqi civilians by killing them.

August 28, 2006 at 4:13 am
(9) Albanaich says:

The US media also don’t tell the US public that the USA has the worst infant and child mortality rates in the developed world – and the most expensive health care.

They also omit to mention that the US is near the bottom in education and has the worst poverty rates in the developed world.

Americans are told – and believe – the USA is the one place in the world where if you are poor and you work hard you can make,

It is an outright lie.

The USA has the worst social mobility in the developed world. If you born poor you stay poor. Socialist Sweden is the country with the lowest poverty and highest social mobility.

The US does not have a ‘free media’ it has a ‘Propaganda Corps’

In fact, from now on, I will refer to the US media as the US Propaganda Corp

Albanaich

April 14, 2007 at 4:41 am
(10) Bob says:

Just found this ridiculous hit piece…Why don’t we ask Senator Roosevelt why no WMD was found in Iraq at the time of the invasion?

But I digress, let’s examine you’re inability to keep statements in their proper timeline…

You say; “In this press conference, Bush asks us to imagine a world that did not exist: “a world in which you had a Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction… who had relations with (al Qaeda).” There has been no evidence found to support either claim.”

Ask yourself, how did he know, before going into Iraq, that there would be no evidence found of either claim?

He comment was not one made in hindsight, he was explaining what they were thinking beforehand.

Anyway, I think you know that and you don’t care as long as you score partisan points.

This post amounts to trash. “You got nothing.”

May 15, 2007 at 4:48 am
(11) Cassus Belli says:

Unbelievable: In a press conference, Der leader himself clearly states there was no link between 911 and Iraq — and yet, still, you moronic Neo-cons don’t believe it. What is it like, livinig in a persistant vegitative state?

August 3, 2007 at 11:54 pm
(12) lisa says:

Everytime time I read direct quotes from George Bush, I can’t believe how stupid he is. And he speaks for America!

September 28, 2007 at 10:53 pm
(13) Radical Moderate says:

If there were WMDs in Iraq and Iraq had ties to Al Queda and/or a connection to 9/11, no one would be happier to promote this than the Bush Administration with its billions of dollars and media lackeys to help it. But even, for once, the Bush Administration realizes it has to accept the facts. Yet still these conspiracy theorists persist in their false beliefs. Never mind arguing about the actual facts of the case, just explain why even the Bush administration is longer on side? They more than anyone want this to be true, they prayed for it to be true.

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