George W. Bush justified his invasion of Iraq with a 93-page classified document that supposedly contained key information against Saddam Hussein. However, the document was recently declassified, and it reveals a much different story than the official rhetoric.
According to the American government, the documents proved without a shadow of a doubt that Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons and concealing a massive artillery of chemical and biological weapons. George W. Bush maintained that due to this very information, Iraq posed an immediate threat to the U.S.
Of course, later, the U.S congress later decided that the government had over estimated the threat posed by Iraq. Furthermore, according to congress, the “weapons of mass destruction” narrative was not supported by the “underlying intelligence reporting.” Until now, the 93-page document that had been referred to was not available for the public.
While the CIA had previously made a version of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) available in 2004, much of it had been redacted. However, transparency advocate John Greenwald made a second FOIA request and in turn received a declassified version of the document.
Despite the Bush administration insisting that they new absolutely that Iraq was producing chemical and biological agents, as well as proving an interest in obtaining nuclear weapons, the documents tell a much different story. Furthermore, the administration claimed to have knowledge of an association between Al-Qaeda and Baghdad despite the CIA report showing that its information was based on “sources of varying reliability.”
“As with much of the information on the overall relationship, details on training and support are second-hand,” the document stated. “The presence of [Al-Qaeda]…militants in Iraq poses many questions. We do not know to what extent Baghdad may be actively complicit in this use of its territory for safe haven and transit.”
The NIE further reveals that much of the information that had been obtained regarding weapons of mass destruction had come from interrogations that had been executed by use of torture.
Former CIA analyst Paul Pillar told Vice News that the claims that had been alleged regarding Iraq and Biological weapons, including the antrax-laced envelopes that had been sent to senators weeks after 9/11, were based solely on such sources as Ahmad Chalabi who belonged to the U.S backed Iraqi National Congress.
“There was an insufficient critical skepticism about some of the source material,” Pillar said. “I think there should have been agnosticism expressed in the main judgments. It would have been a better paper if it were more carefully drafted in that sort of direction.”
Sadly, despite the Bush administration’s claims of having justifying documentation which supported his call for war, it is now obvious that he lied. On top of that, the war in Iraq has cost the U.S taxpayers of $800 billion dollars. Countless lives have been lost, money poured down the drain, and for what? Unfortunately, this is the case for the majority of military endeavors that have been made in the past twenty years. Until the American public wakes up to this fact, these endeavors will only continue. And the cost will only grow higher and higher.