Remember

Friday, 20 March 2009 07:02 By William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Columnist | name.

Remember
A man looks at a cross set up for a soldier killed in Iraq. The cross is set up every Sunday at the beach in Santa Monica by Veterans for Peace as part of what they call "Arlington West." (Photo: Margaret Molloy Photography)

    Six years ago, the United States of America began the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since then, 4,259 American soldiers have been killed and tens of thousands more have been wounded. There is no accurate accounting of Iraqi dead and wounded, because as we were told, we do not do body counts. Because the Bush administration left its Iraq expenditures off the budget, and because of the tremendous amount of war-profiteering, graft and theft that has been involved, we do not know exactly how much we have spent.

    For the record, 2,192 days later, this is how we got here:

    "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

    - Dick Cheney, Vice President
     Speech to VFW National Convention
     8/26/2002

    "There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Response to Question From the Press
     9/6/2002

    "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

    - Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
     CNN Late Edition
     9/8/2002

    "Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Speech to the UN General Assembly
     9/12/2002

    "Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Radio Address
     10/5/2002

    "The Iraqi regime ... possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
     10/7/2002

    "And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
     10/7/2002

    "After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
     10/7/2002

    "We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
     10/7/2002

    "Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq's procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand."

    - John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
     Speech to the Hudson Institute
     11/1/2002

    "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or to individual terrorists ... The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction."

    - Dick Cheney, Vice President
     Denver, Address to the Air National Guard
     12/1/2002

    "If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Press Briefing
     12/2/2002

    "The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Response to Question From the Press
     12/4/2002

    "We know for a fact that there are weapons there."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Press Briefing
     1/9/2003

    "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."

    - George W. Bush, President
     State of the Union Address
     1/28/2003

    "Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."

    - George W. Bush, President
     State of the Union Address
     1/28/2003

    "We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Remarks to the UN Security Council
     2/5/2003

    "There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Address to the UN Security Council
     2/5/2003

    "In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world - and we will not allow it."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Speech to the American Enterprise Institute
     2/26/2003

    "If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us ... But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Interview With Radio France International
     2/28/2003

    "So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Remarks to the UN Security Council
     3/7/2003

    "Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that based on intelligence, that has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

    - Dick Cheney, Vice President
     "Meet the Press"
     3/16/2003

    "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Address to the Nation
     3/17/2003

    "Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly ... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Press Briefing
     3/21/2003

    "One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites."

    - Victoria Clark, Pentagon Spokeswoman
     Press Briefing
     3/22/2003

    "I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction."

    - Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board Member
     Washington Post, p. A27
     3/23/2003

    "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     ABC Interview
     3/30/2003

    "We still need to find and secure Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq's borders so we can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime officials out of the country."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Press Conference
     4/9/2003

    "You bet we're concerned about it. And one of the reasons it's important is because the nexus between terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction ... and terrorist groups - networks - is a critical link. And the thought that ... some of those materials could leave the country and in the hands of terrorist networks would be a very unhappy prospect. So it is important to us to see that that doesn't happen."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Press Conference
     4/9/2003

    "I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Press Briefing
     4/10/2003

    "But make no mistake - as I said earlier - we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Press Briefing
     4/10/2003

    "Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     "Meet the Press"
     4/13/2003

    "We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them."

    - George W. Bush, President
     NBC Interview
     4/24/2003

    "There are people who in large measure have information that we need ... so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Press Briefing
     4/25/2003

    "We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Remarks to Reporters
     5/3/2003

    "I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Remarks to Reporters
     5/4/2003

    "We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Fox News Interview
     5/4/2003

    "I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein - because he had a weapons program."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Remarks to Reporters
     5/6/2003

    "U.S. officials never expected that 'we were going to open garages and find' weapons of mass destruction."

    - Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
     Reuters Interview
     5/12/2003

    "We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites, that you'd have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you."

    - Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
     Interview With Australian Broadcasting
     5/13/2003

    "It's going to take time to find them, but we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we're going to find out the truth. One thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Speech at a Weapons Factory in Ohio
     5/25/2003

    "They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations
     5/27/2003

    "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."

    - Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
     Vanity Fair Interview
     5/28/2003

    "The President is indeed satisfied with the intelligence that he received. And I think that's borne out by the fact that, just as Secretary Powell described at the United Nations, we have found the bio trucks that can be used only for the purpose of producing biological weapons. That's proof-perfect that the intelligence in that regard was right on target."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Press Briefing
     5/29/2003

    "We have teams of people that are out looking. They've investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Infinity Radio Interview
     5/30/2003

    "But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Interview With TVP Poland
     5/30/2003

    "You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons ... They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two ... And we'll find more weapons as time goes on."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Press Briefing
     5/30/2003

    "This wasn't material I was making up, it came from the intelligence community."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Press Briefing
     6/2/2003

    "We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents. This is the man who spent decades hiding tools of mass murder. He knew the inspectors were looking for them. You know better than me he's got a big country in which to hide them. We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Camp Sayliya, Qatar
     6/5/2003

    "I would put before you Exhibit A, the mobile biological labs that we have found. People are saying, 'Well, are they truly mobile biological labs?' Yes, they are. And the DCI, George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, stands behind that assessment."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Fox News Interview
     6/8/2003

    "No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored."

    - Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
     "Meet the Press"
     6/8/2003

    "What the president has said is because it's been the long-standing view of numerous people, not only in this country, not only in this administration, but around the world, including at the United Nations, who came to those conclusions ... And the president is not going to engage in the rewriting of history that others may be trying to engage in."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Response to Question From the Press
     6/9/2003

    "Iraq had a weapons program ... Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program."

    - George W. Bush, President
     Comment to Reporters
     6/9/2003

    "The biological weapons labs that we believe strongly are biological weapons labs, we didn't find any biological weapons with those labs. But should that give us any comfort? Not at all. Those were labs that could produce biological weapons whenever Saddam Hussein might have wanted to have a biological weapons inventory."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     Associated Press Interview
     6/12/2003

    "My personal view is that their intelligence has been, I'm sure, imperfect, but good. In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general, and that you always will find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it, and I think that will happen."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Press Briefing
     6/18/2003

    "I have reason, every reason, to believe that the intelligence that we were operating off was correct and that we will, in fact, find weapons or evidence of weapons, programs, that are conclusive. But that's just a matter of time ... It's now less than eight weeks since the end of major combat in Iraq and I believe that patience will prove to be a virtue."

    - Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
     Pentagon Media Briefing
     6/24/2003

    MS. BLOCK: There were no toxins found in those trailers.

    SECRETARY POWELL: Which could mean one of several things: one, they hadn't been used yet to develop toxins; or, secondly, they had been sterilized so thoroughly that there is no residual left. It may well be that they hadn't been used yet.

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     "All Things Considered" Interview
     6/27/2003

    "That was the concern we had with Saddam Hussein. Not only did he have weapons - and we'll uncover not only his weapons but all of his weapons programs - he never lost the intent to have these kinds of weapons."

    - Colin Powell, Secretary of State
     "All Things Considered" Interview
     6/27/2003

    "I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."

    - Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
     Press Briefing
     7/9/2003

Last modified on Friday, 20 March 2009 16:23