The Liars War

Or the Case of the Vanishing WMDs

Revolutionary Worker #1228, February 8, 2004, posted at

NPR Interviewer: "What happened to the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to find in Iraq?"

Dr. David Kay:"I don't think they exist."

In May 2003, as the Iraqi army crumbled, David Kay was picked by the CIA to seize Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

For the last nine months of U.S. occupation, Kay headed up the Iraq Survey Group (ISG)--a mini- army of 1,400 army commandos, CIA agents, interrogators and weapons experts who searched Iraq for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

They checked hundreds of sites by June 2003, grilled Iraqi scientists for months, and poured over mountains of captured documents.

On January 23, David Kay resigned his post and went public: There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, he now says. And there weren't any for a long time.

Let's be precise: The U.S. teams have found no nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of any kind. No stockpiles. No facilities for producing them. No hidden SCUD missiles, or other means of launching them. No research labs developing prototypes. No mobile bio-labs. Not a barrel, not a functioning gas shell, not an ounce of uranium, not an incriminating document, not a statement from an intimidated Iraqi scientist. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

David Kay said to the Senate Armed Services Committee: "Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here."

Dr. Kay told Reuters in an interview that he now thought that Iraq "got rid of" such weapons sometime after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

Hours after Dr. Kay's first statements, White House spokesman Scott McClellan still insisted that Iraq's Saddam Hussein government had active WMDs: "Yes, we believe he had them, and yes we believe they will be found. We believe the truth will come out."

However, anonymously, "senior administration officials" were telling the press the chances of finding these weapons were "much diminished."

Clearly the big lie is falling apart and some shit is hitting the fan!

The Lie Used to Launch a War

In April 2003, The U.S. invaded a distant, sovereign, oil-rich country, bombed its cities, crushed its army, overthrew its government, occupied its territory, seized its resources, threatened its neighbors, killed unknown thousands of Iraqi people and soldiers--all in the name of finding and destroying stockpiled Iraqi weapons.

The U.S. government had insisted Iraq had war-ready biological and chemical weapons, numerous functioning delivery systems and even bigger weapons (including nukes) on the way.

They said their invasion was legal because Iraq was violating the UN resolution by holding on to such weapons.

Government spokespeople insisted that the U.S. faced a "grave and gathering danger" from Iraq and that "pre-emptive war" was the only option.

And, at the same time, the Bush administration announced the new "Bush Doctrine" of launching future pre-emptive wars of this kind, based solely on "intelligence estimates" that said someone was an emerging threat to the U.S.

Now, nine months later, their own loyal CIA agent David Kay bluntly says: There were no weapons, and hadn't been for a long time.

The credibility of the U.S. government and its president are shredded. Future U.S. accusations made against other countries will be even more widely doubted across the world.


John Dean, the Nixon aide who did prison time for covering up Watergate lies (June 6, 2003): "In the three decades since Watergate, this is the first potential scandal I have seen that could make Watergate pale by comparison... To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be `a high crime' under the Constitution's impeachment clause."

New York Times, June 8, 2003: "If such weapons are not found, some historians, politicians and others worry about what might happen if Mr. Bush or a successor tried to rally American or international backing for another war--say, with Iran or North Korea--using disputed evidence to buttress the case... What if, after a long and unsuccessful occupation, with American combat casualties taking a toll on the national psyche, the question `Why are we in Iraq?' becomes the modern equivalent of `Why are we in Vietnam?' "

Making Up a Flimsy New Lie

Now that Kay revealed that "the emperor has no clothes," there are two possibilities:

Possibility A: The Bush Administration lied about Iraqi threats. It needed an excuse to go to war and invented one.

Possibility B: The CIA (and other spy agencies) made a serious-but-honest mistake, and the top government officials honestly believed them. And everyone in power is therefore now shocked to discover there were no WMDs, and wants to know what happened.

Is anyone surprised that the emerging new White House fall-back position is "Possibility B"?

Under mounting pressure George Bush now says (Jan. 30, 2004): "I want the American people to know that I too want to know the facts. I want to be able to compare what the Iraq Survey Group has found with what we thought prior to going into Iraq."

In other words, Bush claims he didn't lie and is as surprised as anyone else that no WMDs were found.

David Kay is also a big promoter of "Possibility B." When asked if President Bush owed the nation an explanation, Kay answered: "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people.''

How did this big "mistake" supposedly happen? Kay has come up with a creative-but- bizarre theory: the U.S. government was taken in by a sneaky Saddam Hussein trick.

"Saddam wanted to enjoy the benefits of having chemical and biological weapons without having to pay the costs," Kay said.

Supposedly Saddam Hussein (Dr. Kay now speculates) destroyed all his WMDs in the 1990s, but tried to make it appear (to his own military, his neighbors, his people and to his U.S. adversaries) that these weapons still existed. And (we are supposed to believe) the U.S. government, naively, fell for this trick, invaded and destroyed Saddam Hussein's government.

The problems with this theory (aside from its absurdity) are (a) that the U.S. government claimed it had real hard evidence of WMDs, evidence that didn't exist, and (b) the Iraqi government was clearly saying, throughout this period, that they had no WMDs, and they let UN inspectors in to prove just that.

They Were Lying and Knew It

There was always lots of evidence that the White House, Pentagon and State Department were simply lying. And more is sure to come out in the months ahead.

Bush's own former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil says that a coming war with Iraq was discussed within days of the Bush administration's arrival in the White House.

Paul O'Neil on CBS News: "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying, `Go find me a way to do this.'"

September 11, 2001 gave them an opening.

CBS News, Sept. 4, 2002: "Barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq--even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks."

Washington Post , June 7, 2003: "During the weeks last fall before critical votes in Congress and the United Nations on going to war in Iraq, senior administration officials, including President Bush, expressed certainty in public that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons, even though U.S. intelligence agencies were reporting they had no direct evidence that such weapons existed."

New York Times, Oct. 2002: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created a Pentagon operation "to search for information on Iraq's hostile intentions or links to terrorists"--despite CIA reports saying there were none.

New York Times, June 5, 2003: "Douglas J. Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy, acknowledged that he created a small intelligence team inside his office shortly after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to search for terrorist links with Iraq and other countries that he suggested the nation's spy agencies may have overlooked.... Among the team's most prominent findings were suspected linkages between Iraq and Al Qaeda, a conclusion doubted by the CIA and DIA."

While Feith's team invented pretexts for war at the Pentagon, Vice President Cheney personally went to the CIA headquarters in Langley, in a series of highly unusual visits.

Washington Post , June 6, 2003: "Multiple visits to the CIA by Vice-President Dick Cheney created an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments on Iraq fit with Bush administration policy objectives, intelligence officials said... The visits `sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here,' one agency official said."

Major experts on weapons were arguing, long before the war started, that U.S. accusations were a lie. And they were attacked by U.S. government supporters for saying so.

Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector, G uardian, Oct. 19, 2001: "Under the most stringent on-site inspection regime in the history of arms control, Iraq's biological weapons programs were dismantled, destroyed or rendered harmless during the course of hundreds of no-notice inspections. The major biological weapons production facility-- al Hakum, which was responsible for producing Iraq's anthrax--was blown up by high explosive charges and all its equipment destroyed. Other biological facilities met the same fate if it was found that they had, at any time, been used for research and development of biological weapons... No evidence of anthrax or any other biological agent was discovered.

Vincent Cannistrano, former head of CIA counter- intelligence, Guardian , Oct. 9, 2002: "Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements."

On the Revolutionary Press

John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper's Magazine, pointed out that the mainstream press simply reported what they were told. "The success of `Bush's PR War' was largely dependent on a compliant press that uncritically repeated almost every fraudulent administration claim about the threat posed to America by Saddam Hussein."

At the same time, week after week, the Revolutionary Worker has been exposing and dissecting the lies coming from the government, and systematically digging up the true motives behind the U.S. attack on Iraq.

(See the articles gathered online at

Revolutionary Worker , Nov. 10, 2002: "The White House claims that the U.S. is vulnerable and Iraq is threatening--but it has a very hard time making the case. The facts are clearly the other way around."

Revolutionary Worker , after Powell's speech to the UN, Feb. 16, 2003: "Iraq (unlike General Powell) does not have any means of bombing a country halfway around the world. So to create fear of `threat,' Powell must suggest that Iraq may give biological poisons to al-Qaida operatives to deliver in some U.S. city. The problem is that there is no evidence of such `links'... This speech was a smokescreen--not a `smoking gun'--it was designed to hide the real reasons and motive of this war.... As the U.S. government ruthlessly prepares to start this war, people need to cut through this smoke, and expose the lies that portray this imperialist conquest as a way to make people safer."

Revolutionary Worker , Feb. 9, 2003: "Powell's attempt to make a long list of indictments against Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq--to somehow paint this poor besieged country, with its battered military and primitive weapons, as a threat to the world--is nothing but a pretext for a war of empire, in the tradition of the fabricated incident at Gulf of Tonkin that started the Vietnam War. We are told to swallow ridiculous and self-serving double-think: The U.S. threatens Iraq with nuclear attack--but uses as its excuse that Iraq may be trying to develop some primitive nuclear device. The U.S. accuses Saddam Hussein of murdering opposition, of killing people in their own country, of using vicious weapons, of invading neighbors--while they have done all that, and more, on a scale Hussein can't dream of. To borrow a well-known biblical passage: `Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but not the log in your own eye.' (Matthew 7:3)"

This RW article (from one year ago) closes with sentiments that ring especially true today:

"We have a special responsibility , here within the U.S., within the very `homeland' of the empire, exactly because our safety and interests are used to justify this madness. We owe it to the people of the world to expose the truth and oppose, with all our strength and creativity, this shameful and bloody conquest."