.

C&P: More liberal media bias

ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
edited June 2005 in General Discussion
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM
Top Bush officials
amend war claims
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz admit previous statements in error

Posted: September 17, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern


By Paul Sperry
c 2003 WorldNetDaily.com


WASHINGTON - In the past week, three top Bush administration officials have backed off charges they made against Iraq, explaining they misspoke or overstated the facts.

Vice President Dick Cheney over the weekend withdrew an alarming assertion he made on national television, on the eve of war, about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

"We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons," Cheney said March 16 on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Since making the allegation, the administration has turned up no nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, nor has it been able to produce any hard evidence that Saddam even reconstituted a nuclear weapons program.

"Meet the Press" host Tim Russert gave Cheney a chance to clarify his prewar statement in a return appearance on his show Sunday.

"'Reconstituted nuclear weapons.' You misspoke?" Russert asked.

"Yeah, I did misspeak .... We never had any evidence that he had acquired a nuclear weapon," said Cheney, known for his careful choice of words.

The Pentagon's No. 2 official also backtracked from a recent nationally televised claim that "a great many of [Osama] bin Laden's key lieutenants are now trying to organize in cooperation with old loyalists from the Saddam regime to attack in Iraq." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made the remark Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Challenged the next day by a news wire to provide evidence to back the shocking revelation, Wolfowitz said he had misspoken.

He said he was actually referring only to bin Laden supporter Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is alleged to have set up a training camp in far northern Iraq, an area outside Saddam's control, after being flushed out of Afghanistan last year. He is also said to have sought medical attention in Baghdad last year, after President Bush targeted Iraq as part of the "axis of evil."

The administration has linked the terrorist to al-Qaida, and repeatedly cited him in asserting prewar links between al-Qaida and Iraq. U.S. intelligence officials, however, have not confirmed a link, and have noted he may have acted independently of bin Laden's network.

In fact, Wolfowitz in his clarification described al-Zarqawi as one of bin Laden's "associates."

"Zarqawi is actually the guy I was referring to - should have been more precise," Wolfowitz said Friday. "It's not a great many - it's one of bin Laden's key associates - probably better referred to that way than a key lieutenant."

The administration has produced no credible evidence of direct Iraqi sponsorship of al-Qaida attacks on America or its interests abroad - an alleged conspiracy the U.S. intelligence community dismissed before the war in a 90-page classified report to the president, though he still suggested otherwise in public speeches and remarks.

In arguing for war, Bush insisted the U.S. had to disarm Saddam's regime of alleged weapons of mass destruction before it could share them with al-Qaida terrorists and top the 9-11 attacks with possibly "a mushroom cloud." He said his regime posed a "direct and growing threat" to America, making preemptive invasion justified.

Wolfowitz's boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, also had to correct an inaccurate statement he made on national TV about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Eleven days after the U.S. invasion, Rumsfeld claimed to know exactly where Saddam was hiding alleged banned weapons.

"We know where they are," he flatly asserted in a March 30 interview with ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos.

But with still no discovery of weapons more than five months since then, National Press Club president Tammy Lytle quizzed Rumsfeld about his unequivocal claim at a luncheon here last Wednesday.

Lytle: "On March 30th you said, referring to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, quote, 'We know where they are.' Do you know where they are now? Will they be found?"

Rumsfeld: "In that instance, we had been in the country for about 15 seconds; sometimes I overstate for emphasis .... I should have said, 'I believe they're in that area'" around Tikrit and Baghdad.

Even some Republicans on Capitol Hill are not amused by the postwar revisionism.

"'Overstated for emphasis'? That sounds like something out of [former President] Clinton's mouth -- 'I didn't actually lie, I overstated for effect,'" said a senior GOP staffer, who added that Republican leaders fear the administration may be losing some of the reservoir of public credibility and trust it gained after the 9-11 attacks.

The White House did not return phone calls for this story.

It's not the first time the defense secretary has had to revise previous statements about prewar evidence against Iraq.

In congressional testimony in July, Rumsfeld swore repeatedly that he'd just "days" earlier learned that the uranium charge Bush made against Iraq six months earlier was based at least in part on fabricated reports.

A few days later, however, he had to correct the record twice, finally admitting he knew the allegation was false as early as March - less than two months after Bush trumpeted it in his State of the Union speech and just before the Iraq war started.

"When did you know that the reports about uranium coming out of Africa were bogus?" asked Sen. Mark Pryor, D.-Ark., at a July 9 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on "lessons learned" in Iraq.

"Oh, within recent days, since the information started becoming available," Rumsfeld replied.

"So right after the [State of the Union] speech, you didn't know that?" Pryor pressed.

"I've just answered the question," Rumsfeld snapped.

Asked about it again, the defense secretary insisted: "Do I recall hearing anything or reading anything like that? The answer is as I've given it - no."

But in a July 13 interview with NBC's Russert, Rumsfeld backpedaled from his testimony.

Russert: "When Sen. Pryor asked you when did you know that reports about uranium coming out of Africa were bogus, you said, 'Oh, within recent days.'"

Rumsfeld: "I should have said within recent weeks, meaning when ElBaradei came out" with the revelation that the allegation was baseless.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency, told the U.N. Security Council on March 7 that documents allegedly showing Iraqi officials shopping two years ago for uranium in Africa were forgeries - something the nuclear watchdog group was able to figure out just 10 days after receiving the documents from the Bush administration, which had them for months. Bush used them in his January speech to suggest Iraq had an active nuclear-weapons program and posed an imminent threat to U.S. security.

The faked evidence has been described as a series of letters between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of Niger. IAEA officials easily detected the counterfeiting through crude errors, such as the inclusion of names and titles that didn't match up with the officials who held office at the time the letters claimed to have been written.

In another Sunday show, ABC's "This Week," which aired later that morning, Rumsfeld further revised his story to say he learned "months," not weeks, ago of the false charge.

Rumsfeld insists he hasn't repeated the allegation since learning it was false in March.

At the same time, however, he never tried to publicly correct the record.

In fact, the White House, for its part, waited until July 8 to correct the president's own nationally televised statement - the day after a British parliamentary commission challenged the allegation. The White House quietly acknowledged the error in a prepared statement.

"We now know that documents alleging a transaction between Iraq and Niger had been forged. The other reporting that suggested Iraq had tried to obtain uranium from Africa is not detailed or specific enough for us to be certain that such attempts in fact were made," said National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton in a prepared White House statement delivered July 8. "Because of this lack of specificity, this reporting alone did not rise to the level of inclusion in a presidential speech."

Just goes to show you that you can't even trust the folks at WorldNews. Sad, so sad.

Comments

  • MercuryMercury Member Posts: 7,655 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    EMM,
    Notice that the longer the war drags on, and the body count goes up, and more and more lies come out, that there are fewer and fewer Bush cheerleaders?


    Merc

    "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. " - Al Capone, (1899-1947)

    "Tolerating things you may not necessarily like is part of being free" - Larry Flynt
  • ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
    edited November -1
    Merc,

    That there were any in the first place is proof positive that there are idiots born again every second.
Sign In or Register to comment.