247. Administration tries to mislead on Iraq

Are President Bush and his administration trustworthy when they tell us that Iraq is a threat to us? That a country under sanctions for more than a decade poses a threat to the only superpower is, on the face of it, the mother of all jokes.

More seriously, Back in September, Bush has cited a report from 1998 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as evidence that Iraq is six months away from nuclear weapons. However, Mark Gwozdecky, IAEA spokesman stated: ''There's never been a report like that issued from this agency'' (Washington Times, Sept. 27, 2002).

Second, members of the administration keep repeating that in 1998 Iraq expelled the UN inspectors. The truth is that Richard Butler, Executive Chairman of UNSCOM withdrew the inspectors in anticipation of a military attack (Washington Post, Dec. 17, 1998).

Third, Bush in his speech before the UN General Assembly, and Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice in other forums, repeated that Iraq tried to buy thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes that are only suitable for nuclear weapons programs. IAEA experts in a Jan. 8 report said that “the tubes were not directly suitable for uranium enrichment but were consistent with making ordinary artillery rocket.” Commenting on such disinformation, David Albright, a former inspector, said: “I fear that the information was put out there for a short-term political goal: to convince people that Saddam Hussein is close to acquiring nuclear weapons." (Washington Post, Jan. 24, 2003).

When will Bush administration stop lying and start telling the truth?

January 28, 2003