The Independent (UK)
April 20, 2003

Growing Evidence of Deception by Washington

by Andrew Gumbel

If US and British forces are scratching their heads at their inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, perhaps they should talk to Scott Ritter, . . .

For months, Mr Ritter has said Iraq's capability of producing or deploying chemical or biological weapons was 90-95 per cent destroyed on his watch and was very unlikely to have been built up again under international sanctions and the constant surveillance of spy satellites and US and British war planes.

Iraq's nuclear programme was dismantled at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, . . .


Enver Masud, "Deadly Deception, Pretexts for War," Wisdom Fund, July 30, 2001

Robert Fisk, "Saddam Statue Scene Staged," The Independent, April 11, 2003

"Iraq War Over, Questions Remain," The Independent, April 16, 2003

["A month has passed since American and British troops entered Iraq, more than a week since the fall of Baghdad. But thus far not even a sniff. Not a drum of VX or mustard gas, not a phial of botulin or anthrax, not a shred of evidence that Iraq was assembling a nuclear weapons programme."--"So where are they Mr. Blair?," Independent, April 20, 2003]

["Cynics suspect the U.S. will shortly 'discover' a smoking gun to justify the invasion, even if one must be created. Otherwise, why would the U.S. refuse to allow UN inspectors to join the hunt? Doing so would authenticate any future U.S. claims."--Eric Margolis, "Bush and Blair and the Big Lie," Canoe, April 20, 2003]

Robert Scheer, "Did Bush Deceive Us in His Rush to War?," Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2003

"Case for war built on fake reports, claims Blix," Reuters, April 23, 2003

Bronwen Maddox, "Reports of weapons 'greatly exaggerated'," Times (UK), April 25, 2003

["Ansar al Islam's bases show that the Al Qaeda surrogate posed no serious threat beyond its mountain borders, despite what Powell asserted before the war. ."--Jeffrey Fleishman, "Militants' Crude Camp Casts Doubt on U.S. Claims," Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2003

Raymond Whitaker, "Revealed: How the road to war was paved with lies," Independent (UK), April 27, 2003

["Does it matter that we were misled into war? Some people say that it doesn't: we won, and the Iraqi people have been freed. But we ought to ask some hard questions - not just about Iraq, but about ourselves.

". . . aren't the leaders of a democratic nation supposed to tell their citizens the truth?

"One wonders whether most of the public will ever learn that the original case for war has turned out to be false."--Paul Krugman, "Matters of Emphasis," New York Times, April 29, 2003]

Andrea Mitchell, "Where is the feared Iraqi arsenal?," NBC News, May 1, 2003

["The C.I.A. was terribly damaged when William Casey, its director in the Reagan era, manipulated intelligence to exaggerate the Soviet threat in Central America to whip up support for Ronald Reagan's policies. Now something is again rotten in the state of Spookdom."--Nicholas D. Kristof, "Missing in Action: Truth," New York Times, May 6, 2003]

["The group directing all known U.S. search efforts for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms, according to participants."--Barton Gellman, "Frustrated, U.S. Arms Team to Leave Iraq," Washington Post, May 11, 2003]

Seymour M. Hersh, "Selective Intelligence," New Yorker, May 12, 2003

["The Bush administration has changed its tune on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the reason it went to war there. Instead of looking for vast stocks of banned materials, it is now pinning its hopes on finding documentary evidence.

"In his March 17 speech giving Iraqi President Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave the country, Bush said: '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.'

"Earlier, in a speech last Oct. 7, Bush said: '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 . . . ,'-- "Bush Officials Change Tune on Iraqi Weapons," New York Times, May 14, 2003]

[Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for - and doctors had already tried to free her.--John Kampfner, "The truth about Jessica," Guardian, May 15, 2003]

Julian Borger, "US finds evidence of WMD at last - buried in a field near Maryland," Guardian, May 28, 2003

Michael Evans, Philip Webster and Roland Watson, "Inquiry into Saddam arms dossier claims," Times, May 29, 2003

Ben Russell and Andy McSmith, "The case for war is blown apart," Independent, May 29, 2003

["There was no bunker under the Baghdad compound the United States bombed on the opening night of the Iraq war in an effort to kill Saddam Hussein, . . ."--"No Bunker Found Under Bomb Site," New York Times, May 29, 2003]

David Usborne, "WMD just a convenient excuse for war, admits Wolfowitz," Independent, May 30, 2003

Nicholas Watt, Richard Norton-Taylor and Michael White, "Ministers 'distorted' UN weapons report," Guardian, May 30, 2003

["Australian intelligence agencies made it clear to the Government all along that Iraq did not have a massive WMD program (that dubious honour remains restricted to at least China, France, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Britain and the US). Nor was Saddam Hussein co-operating actively with al-Qaeda. And there was no indication Iraq was intending to pass WMDs to terrorists."--Andrew Wilkie, "A lack of intelligence," Sydney Morning Herald, May 30, 2003]

Dan Plesch and Richard Norton-Taylor, "Straw, Powell had serious doubts over their Iraqi weapons claims: Secret transcript revealed," Guardian, May 31, 2003

Raymond Whitaker, Paul Lashmar and Andy McSmith, "Revealed: How Blair used discredited WMD 'evidence'," Independent, June 1, 2003

Glen Rangwala, "The lies that led us into war: the UK and the US manipulated UN reports," Independent, June 1, 2003

Dana Milbank, "Bush Remarks Confirm Shift in Justifying War," Washington Post, June 1, 2003

[Mr Cook said it now appeared that the Government had made a "monumental blunder" over Iraq. "In the real world, governments make mistakes but what they must never do is try to deny and cover up these mistakes," he said. "The Government should admit it was wrong and it needs to set up a thorough independent inquiry into how it got it wrong, so it never happens again and we never again send British troops into action on the basis of a mistake."--Nigel Morris and Andy McSmith, "Blair puts credibility on line as weapons row builds," Independent, June 2, 2003]

[The problem lay not with intelligence professionals, but with the Bush and Blair administrations. They wanted a war, so they demanded reports supporting their case, while dismissing contrary evidence.--Paul Krugman, "Standard Operating Procedure," New York Times, June 3, 2003]

[the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) formally concluded that "there is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons" in September 2002, just as Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld was telling Congress that the Baghdad "regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas".--Jim Lobe, "The truth, the whole truth and nothing but ...," Asia Times, June 4, 2003]

Andrew Grice and David Usborne, "The Niger connection: Tony Blair, forged documents and the case for war," Independent, June 5, 2003

[American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence are disputing claims that the mysterious trailers found in Iraq were for making deadly germs.--Judith Miller and William J. Broad, "Some Analysts of Iraq Trailers Reject Germ Use," New York Times, June 7, 2003]

Andrew Buncombe, "Pentagon report found 'no reliable evidence' of WMD in Iraq," Independent, June 7, 2003

Dana Priest and Walter Pincus, "Bush Certainty On Iraq Arms Went Beyond Analysts' Views," Washington Post, June 7, 2003

Peter Beaumont and Antony Barnett, "Blow to Blair over 'mobile labs'," Independent, June 8, 2003

[The top-secret report by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) last September concluded that it could find no evidence of chemical weapons activity in Iraq. 'There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, in its one-page summary said.--Marion McKeone, "Why America is waking up to the truth about WMD," Sunday Herald, June 8, 2003]

[Had FOX and other news outlets adequately reported on what both Powell had already conceded was a forgery, the American people might have a better appreciation as to why they should care.--Ray McGovern, "Deceived into War," CounterPunch, June 12, 2003]

Peter Beaumont, Antony Barnett and Gaby Hinsliff, "Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare, report finds," Observer, June 15, 2003

Matthew Tempest, "Cook doubts Saddam threat,," Guardian, June 17, 2003

[Khidir Hamza, the scientist claimed by the Sunday Times as the source of the fake documents, was sent by the Pentagon to Iraq last month to oversee the country's nuclear industry.--Solomon Hughes, "The Pentagon has sent the man at the heart of a 'fake documents' scandal to Iraq," Tribune, June 23, 2003]

Christopher Scheer, "10 Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq," AlterNet, June 27, 2003

Joseph C. Wilson, "What I didn't find in Africa," New York Times, July 6, 2003

Ewen MacAskill and Richard Norton-Taylor, "Experts grow more sceptical about extent of threat posed by Saddam before war,," Guardian, July 7, 2003

[The former head of the UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix has told a British newspaper that Tony Blair made a "fundamental mistake" in claiming that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes.--"Blair made WMD mistake says Blix," BBC News, July 13, 2003]

Scott Ritter, "A Weapons Cache We'll Never See," New York Times, August 25, 2003

"CIA admits lack of specifics on Iraqi weapons before invasion," AFP, November 30, 2003

Patrick Cockburn, " America quietly sacks its prize witness against Saddam," Independent, April 17, 2004

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