Friday, August 29, 2003

Deception: Iraq War Quagmire: "The Washington Post published an exhaustive analysis based on interviews with U.S. analysts and policy-makers inside and outside of government, that reveals a consistent pattern of distorted intelligence. White House officials, “in public and behind the scenes, made allegations depicting Iraq’s nuclear weapons program as more active, more certain and more imminent in its threat than the data they had would support,” reporters Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus wrote. “The possibility of a nuclear-armed Iraq loomed large in the Bush administration’s efforts to convince the American public of the need for a pre-emptive strike.”

"Earlier, in the New Yorker, reporter Seymour Hersh shot down the White House claim that dictator Saddam Hussein had attempted to order uranium from Africa. Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency told Hersh the documents about nuclear material from Niger were crude fakes that could have been easily exposed by a high school kid using Google. A new book, Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq, by Sheldon Rampton and John Strauber, contends that the president’s team systematically exaggerated allegations to mislead Americans into thinking that Iraq was connected to 9/11, and that it was preparing to give horror weapons to terrorists to use on Americans."

These are the issues that Blair should be forced to address, not the circus of the Hutton inquiry. But of course it was Blair who initiated the inquiry, so naturally he will prefer it be on ground of his choosing. Parliamentary government is nobbled when the executive controls a majority of the house.

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