Don't Know - No Evidence - Can't Say - Not Credible

Alain St-Amour alainstamour at
Fri Sep 19 14:41:42 MDT 2003

The Daily Mislead for September 19, 2003

Bush Administration Spends Week Retracting Assertions about Saddam's Threat to the U.S.

The Bush administration this week backed away from three major
for going to war in Iraq last March, undermining its assertions that
Hussein's Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States and its

September 11th
As recently as Sunday, Vice President Cheney, claimed that on the
of Saddam Hussein's involvement in September 11th, "We just
don't know."[1]
But within days, both President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
admitted there was no evidence that Hussein had any connection.  On
Wednesday, Bush maintained there was "no evidence" that
Hussein was
involved.[2]  Two days later, Rumsfeld, said, "I've not seen any
that would lead me to believe that I could say that."[3]

Yet in March, Hussein's possible involvement  in the terrorist attacks
garnered support for the war from many Americans. At the time, the
reported meeting between 9/11 planner Mohammed Atta and Iraq's
chief in Prague a few months before the attack was found by the CIA
not to
be credible.[4]

'Reconstituted Nuclear Weapons Program'
Recently, Cheney backed away from the assertion he made three days
the war began, that the strongest reason for going to war was that
believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear
weapons."[5] But the
International Atomic Energy Agency reported two weeks before that ,
was no indication of resumed nuclear activities."[6]   And six
months later on
Meet the Press, Cheney said simply, "I misspoke."[7]

Weapons of Mass Destruction
This week, Rumsfeld reversed earlier statements claiming that the
U.S. knew
where Iraq's weapons of destruction were located.   When asked why the
weapons hadn't been found, this past Tuesday Rumsfeld said,
"What do you
mean?  You're talking about a country the size of
California."[8] Yet months
ago, just two weeks into the war, Rumsfeld said, "We know where
they are.
They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south
north somewhat."[9]

1. Meet the Press, NBC, 9/14/03.
2. Remarks by the President After Meeting with Members of the
Conference Committee on Energy Legislation, 9/17/03,

3. Defense Department News Briefing, Secretary Rumsfeld and General

4. "Bush Team Stands Firm on Iraq," Washington Post,
9/15/03, p. A1.
5. Meet the Press, NBC, 3/16/03.
6. The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update, 3/7/03,

7. Meet the Press, NBC, 9/14/03.
8. Defense Department News Briefing, Secretary Rumsfeld and General

9. This Week with George Stephanopolous, ABC, 3/30/03.

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