Journalist John Pilger claims proof of WMD lies

Raymond Chase r_chase at
Tue Sep 30 20:52:27 MDT 2003,4057,7350504%5E2,00.html

  Journo claims proof of WMD lies
  By Paul Mulvey in London
  September 23, 2003

  AUSTRALIAN investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence the
  war against Iraq was based on a lie that could cost George W. Bush and
  Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard down with
  A television report by Pilger aired on British screens overnight said US
  Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza
  Rice confirmed in early 2001 that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been
  disarmed and was no threat.
  But after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September
  11 that year, Pilger claimed Rice said the US "must move to take
  advantage of these new opportunities" to attack Iraq and claim control
  of its oil.
  Pilger uncovered video footage of Powell in Cairo on February 24, 2001
  saying, "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant
  capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to
  project conventional power against his neighbours."
  Two months later, Rice reportedly said, "We are able to keep his arms
  from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
  Powell boasted this was because America's policy of containment and its
  sanctions had effectively disarmed Saddam.
  Pilger claims this confirms that the decision of US President George W
  Bush - with the full support of British Prime Minister Blair and Howard
  - to wage war on Saddam because he had weapons of mass destruction was a
  huge deception.
  Pilger interviewed several leading US government figures in Washington
  but said he did not ask Powell or Rice to respond to his claims.
  "I think it's very serious for Howard. Howard has followed the Americans
  and to a lesser degree Blair almost word for word," Pilger told AAP
  before his program was screened on ITV tonight.
  "All Howard does is say `well it´s not true´ and never explains
  "I just don't believe you can be seen to be party to such a big lie,
  such a big deception and endure that politically.
  "It simply can't be shrugged off and that's Howard's response.
  "Blair has shrugged it off but Blair is deeply damaged. It's far from
  over here, there's a lot that is going to happen and much of it could
  wash onto Howard.
  "And it's unravelling in America and Bush could lose the election next
  "I've not seen political leaders survive when they've been complicit in
  such an open deception for so long."
  Howard last week dismissed an accusation from Opposition Leader Simon
  Crean that he hid a warning from British intelligence that war against
  Iraq would heighten the terrorist threat to Australia.
  In his report, Pilger interviews Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA
  officer and friend of Bush's father and ex-president, George Bush
  McGovern told Pilger that going to war because of weapons of mass
  destruction "was 95 per cent charade."
  Pilger also claims that six hours after the September 11 attacks on the
  World Trade Centre, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he wanted
  to "hit" Iraq and allegedly said "Go Massive ... Sweep it all up. Things
  related and not."
  He was allegedly talked down by Powell who said the American people
  would not accept an attack on Iraq without any evidence, so they opted
  to invade Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden had bases.
  Pilger claimed war was set in train on September 17, 2001 when Bush
  signed a paper directing the Pentagon to explore the military options
  for an attack on Iraq.

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