A new study by two journalism nonprofits, the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism, found that President Bush and top administration officials made hundreds of false statements about the national security threat posed by Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks. The study confirms that our nation was misled from the beginning into war, and that the time has come for the United States to begin a strategic reset and redployment of troops from Iraq and reclaim control of our security in the Middle East.
Here are the study’s findings about administration falsehoods by the numbers:
"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."
That military action based on false pretenses has so far cost 3,926 U.S. military deaths in Iraq. The total cost of the war through Fiscal Year 2008 is projected to be $616.3 billion.
The United States cannot afford to continue with this ill-conceived war that continues to drain our financial and national security resources. Political reconciliation is nowhere in sight in Iraq, and President Bush and Gen. David Petraus have indicated a willingness to keep American troops in Iraq for at least 10 years without regard to the costs in human lives, precious dollars, and our overall national security.
It is time to stop recklessly endangering the lives of our brave men and women serving in Iraq as well as the national security of this country and begin a strategic reset in the region and a strategic redeployment of our forces from Iraq over the next 10 to 12 months.
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