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THEN & NOW: Heeding & Ignoring Intel Warnings On Weak WMD Evidence

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Despite the Administration’s best efforts to blame the intelligence community for the failure to find WMD, the intelligence community repeatedly warned the White House that the President’s WMD case for war was weak. In fact, an analysis of previous comments by top Administration officials prove there was a time when the White House was listening to those warnings. Unfortunately, that time passed and the Administration set up an “Office of Special Plans” in the Pentagon to circumvent established intelligence agencies. The result was that the intelligence community’s warnings were ignored.

CHENEY heeds intel warnings on weak WMD case:

“Saddam Hussein’s bottled up.”

CHENEY then ignores intel warnings on weak WMD case:

Iraq poses “terrible threats to the civilized world,” is a “serious threat to our country” and “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction…to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

  • Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/03, 1/31/03, 8/29/02

RUMSFELD heeds intel warnings on weak WMD case:

“Donald Rumsfeld led a congressionally appointed commission [before the war] that reviewed current intelligence about the WMD…His commission’s findings on Iraq’s WMD didn’t materially differ from” a previous commission that found “the CIA’s intel on Iraqi WMD was largely speculative,” and an “absence of hard evidence so striking that panelists recall discussing a theory ‘that the whole Iraq WMD program was smoke-and-mirrors, and Saddam was just a little guy behind a curtain.'”

RUMSFELD then ignores intel warnings on weak WMD case:

“Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons. Iraq poses a threat to the security of our people and to the stability of the world that is distinct from any other. Iraq has demonstrated that it is seeking the means to strike the United States and our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.”

  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/20/03

RICE heeds intel warnings on weak WMD case:

“We are able to keep arms from [Saddam]. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”

RICE then ignores intel warnings on weak WMD case:

“[Iraq is] armed with weapons of mass destruction.”

  • Condoleezza Rice, 11/21/02

POWELL heeds intel warnings on weak WMD case:

Iraq is “contained” and “threatens not the United States.”

POWELL then ignores intel warnings on weak WMD case:

Iraq’s WMD pose a “real and present danger to the region and to the world.”

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