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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Rumsfeld's flight of fancy on Iraq

By Glenn Kessler

Donald Rumsfeld, interviewed on Good Morning America. (abc.com)


George Stephanopoulos: "But you had inspectors in the country [Iraq]. Why was it necessary to invade--"
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld: Saddam Hussein "had thrown them out about the second or third or fourth time."

--An exchange during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Feb. 8, 2011


Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been hawking his autobiography "Known and Unknown." We will leave the book reviews to others, but his assertion that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had "thrown out" weapons inspectors is a common misperception, often repeated by former Bush administration officials. Let's correct the record.

The Facts

There are two key periods for weapons inspections in Iraq, from 1991 to 1998, after the Persian Gulf War, and then from 2002 to 2003, just before the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.

Hussein's government often was uncooperative, refused entry to certain facilities and sought to influence the makeup of the independent inspection teams. But at no time did Iraq throw out the inspectors. In both cases, inspectors voluntarily ended their mission because of the threat of military action by the United States and its allies.

1991-1998 inspections

The first set of inspections began in 1991 after the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, which mandated that Iraq eliminate all of its biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs, as well as all of its ballistic missiles capable of traveling more than 90 miles. The resolution created a special inspections regime, known as UNSCOM, to ensure biological, chemical and missile programs were disbanded. The International Atomic Energy Agency was tasked with probing Iraq's nuclear weapons program.

The process was not easy but ultimately was effective. By 1995, Iraq admitted it had an offensive biological weapons research and development program; its nuclear program was exposed by the defection of Hussein Kamel, Hussein's son-in-law. Facilities were destroyed and stocks of chemical and biological-related materials were eliminated. The Security Council, however, had to repeatedly revisit the issue, demanding unhindered access for inspectors.

In August 1998, Iraq said it was suspending cooperation with the inspectors, and U.S. and British officials prepared for a military strike. In November, Iraq reversed itself and said it would cooperate, but the cooperation was not forthcoming. The inspectors withdrew on their own.

As one of the inspectors, Charles Duelfer, wrote in his memoir, "Hide and Seek": "We began evacuating the UNSCOM monitoring facility as a result of a meeting we had with the U.S. Mission in New York, where we were informed, in essence, that military action was imminent." (The Arms Control Association has an excellent timeline of the period.)

One could argue that Iraq's behavior influenced the decision, although the nuances are often lost in public statements. In 2003, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell declared in his famous speech to the U.N. Security Council, "Saddam Hussein forced out the last inspectors in 1998."

2002-2003 inspections

The departure of the inspectors in 2003 is much more clear-cut: They wanted to keep looking for weapons of mass destruction and reported that Iraq was showing increasing cooperation. But the Bush administration clearly had its own timetable for military action.

From November 2002 through February 2003, the inspection teams conducted more than 760 inspections of 500 sites. Hans Blix, who headed what had been renamed UNMOVIC, reported there was no evidence of active chemical or biological weapons programs or stockpiles.

The IAEA reported no evidence of any kind of reconstituted nuclear weapons program. In a March 2003 appearance before the Security Council, then-IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei (now active in the Egyptian protests) went even further, directly disputing key pieces of evidence that the American administration had touted in its case for war.

Blix, in his memoir "Disarming Iraq," notes that in early March he began getting warnings from senior U.S. and British officials about the safety of the inspectors. Then the company that supplied helicopters for the teams withdrew its equipment from Iraq.

The inspections ended quickly. On March 17, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the inspectors would be withdrawn. A day later, they left the country. On March 19, the U.S.-led invasion began, without explicit authority from the Security Council. (The Arms Control Association has another timeline, while the Congressional Research Service has an excellent report on the inspections.)

No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. "There was another option for the states that wished to take armed action against Iraq in the spring of 2003," Blix wrote. "They could have heeded the [Security] Council's requests for more time for inspection."

The Pinocchio Test

Even if you grant the fact that the 1998 showdown with the inspectors was largely due to Saddam Hussein, there is no way one can claim, as Rumsfeld did, that Hussein threw the inspectors out in 2003 -- or that it was the "second or third and fourth time." Rumsfeld has either forgotten the circumstances under which he helped take the United States to war -- which is doubtful, since he just wrote a book about it -- or he is seriously misrepresenting the truth.

Four Pinocchios

(About our rating scale).

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By Glenn Kessler  | February 9, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  4 Pinocchios, Iraq  
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Comments

The fact that Politicians lie , is no revelation . The insistence of the Press to act so astonished when it happens and then earn a living by beating the story to death , is as criminal as the sin itself.

Posted by: puck-101 | February 9, 2011 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Suggest you apply the Pinocchio scale to leaders of large corporations, talking heads that pose as journalists, banks and the Federal Reserve as well and certain columnists that write for WAPO.

Posted by: wesatch | February 9, 2011 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Puck,

Unfortunately, the politicians who attempt to rewrite history to suit themselves are depending upon the fading of memory from their audience. To be reminded of the truth is no sin, and is certainly not criminal. To attack the truth teller as opposed to the one who has written a propaganda piece does not help our society in any way.

Posted by: driley | February 9, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Even worse than the weapons inspection lies; last night on ABC News, Rumsfeld was the lying liar of all time, and Dianne Sawyer did not challenge him. The discussion concerned the events at Abu Ghraib, and Rumsfeld pretended to have no part in it. There was no mention of his torture method memos which have been published in the press. Rumsfeld is truly attempting to rewrite history; but it won't work. We all remember that he was responsible and how badly he behaved.

Posted by: AnnsThought | February 9, 2011 7:20 AM | Report abuse

What do you expect? This guy was the original Sith Lord that taught Lord Cheney to lie.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 9, 2011 7:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure that George Stephanopoulos pointed this out to Rumsfeld, as any good journalist would.

Posted by: commspkmn | February 9, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

If, as YOU wrote, Iraq REFUSED to cooperate with the Inspectors, logically then how does that DIFFER in reality than if they physically threw the Inspectors out of the country?

Hint... it DOESN'T!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 9, 2011 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Donald Rumsfeld was an arrogant liar when he was Sec. of Defense. Donald Rumsfeld is an arrogant liar today. A leopard seldom changes it's spots.

Posted by: Lefty_ | February 9, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Yes at the time, in 2003, I never understood why we just had to invade Iraq on account of the inspections. They were going forward at the time, and if we really wanted better inspections we could have pressed for more inspections instead of invading. Could have even done inspections with the military. At that point Saddam was compliant, it was very clear. But we had those troops massed over there and were going in whatever the facts on the ground were.

Posted by: catherine3 | February 9, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

The rationale for the Iraq war was based on lies. The post-mission analysis of the war by Bush administration officials is more lies. The whole episode was one of the most egregious violations of the public trust. That those responsible continue to try to manipulate public opinion by disseminating more lies is no surprise...that has been their modus operandi throughout the whole sordid history of the Iraq war. If these people were honorable they would feel shame, but they have no honor.

Posted by: wireknob | February 9, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Hazmat77,

So, because Iraq refused to cooperate in 1998, we invaded in 2003. Holding a grudge?

Posted by: pathfinder12 | February 9, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld deserves to be tarred and feathered, given the bastinado, and whipped screaming down Pennsylvania Avenue. What a despicable man. Almost as despicable as his evil lords, Bush and Cheney.

Where are the prosecutions? Why is this stain allowed to persist on the national conscience?

Posted by: Chagasman | February 9, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

It is a given that all politicians play loose with the facts to suit their own agendas. The problem is when war is involved, it should always be the LAST option! And even then, it should be viewed with extreme caution and planning before execution. War should never involve "playing with the facts" as any reasonable person would acknowledge that it is serious business when this option is used. In all of the reading that I have done regarding Iraq, I just don't see where the war supporters heeded the foregoing.

Posted by: thinkfirst1 | February 9, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The question I would have asked is "Secretary of State Powell told reporters that the US had intelligence information showing that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, which served as the rationale for the war. He was then asked why the US was not sharing that intelligence information with the inspectors, who were finding no such weapons. Secretary Powell replied that the US was indeed sharing the intelligence information with the inspectors. Therefore, if the US was providing weapons inspectors with intelligence information on the alleged locations of WMD and the UN inspectors were finding no such WMD at those locations, why did the Bush administration not question the reliability of that intelligence information?"

Posted by: adifferentpointofview | February 9, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Why let facts get in the way of a perfectly good war?

Posted by: Krazijoe | February 9, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

If, as YOU wrote, Iraq REFUSED to cooperate with the Inspectors, logically then how does that DIFFER in reality than if they physically threw the Inspectors out of the country?

Hint... it DOESN'T!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 9, 2011 7:52 AM
___________________________
NEWSFLASH - There is a WORLD of difference between not cooperating with the inspectors, who nonetheless remain in the country and apply pressure, and kicking the inspectors out. To claim that there is no difference either is being an apologist for one of the most bald-faced liars ever, or is being unable to think logically at all.

And to relate the non-cooperation in 1998 to the invasion in 2003, when Iraq irrefutably WAS cooperating, albeit reluctantly, is a complete non-sequitor.

Rumsfeld is a protege of Nixon and Cheney, and a mentor of Bush. He's a pathological liar. I doubt if he even knows how to tell the truth anymore.

Posted by: luridone | February 9, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

puck-101 wrote: "The fact that Politicians lie , is no revelation . The insistence of the Press to act so astonished when it happens and then earn a living by beating the story to death , is as criminal as the sin itself."

===========================

What the real crime is, puck-101, is that rumsfeld, cheney, yoo, addington, and to some extent bush himself, sent over 4,000 men and women to die for their lies. Isn't that the astonishing thing here? Is this beating a story to death?

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 9, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Iraq has an interesting history before Bush invaded:

Iraq USED chemical weapons against Iran in their war.

Iraq invaded Kuwait.

World had to come together and defeat Iraq and then inspect them afterwards for illegal programs.

Inspections started in 1991 and went to 2003 (12 years!)

In 1995 Iraq still has offensive biological and nuclear programs (after 4 years of inspections!)

1998 (under Clinton) US and British believed to be preparing military strikes – inspectors out then.

2002-2003 Inspector briefly return (after 4 years of NO inspections) before invasion under Bush.


Summary:

Saddam was a pain in the rear and killed LOTS of people (Iraqi and others)!

4 years after losing first gulf war Saddam still had illegal programs in operation WITH inspections going on.

In 2002 after 4 years of NO inspections it is not surprising Bush administration believed programs were ongoing in Iraq.

In hind sight it’s sad we went to war, there were no weapons, but it is not as unbelievable we invaded as some make it sound now!

Posted by: bcarte1 | February 9, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The problem is that the Secretary of Defense (or Secretary of State, or an like position) is NOT supposed to be a politician.

Posted by: steve1231 | February 9, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

For the sake of argument, let's pretend that Iraq did have WMDs. My question is "So what?" Lot's of countries have WMDs, and we don't invade them. There is no way that Iraq would have used WMDs against us, as we would have nuked them into oblivion, and they knew that.

Posted by: steve1231 | February 9, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

The GOP has been fact free since 1980. Mr. R has blood on his hands.

Posted by: sufi66 | February 9, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell's Speech at the UN was plagiarized from a College Students paper about the 1991 Invasion. Plagiarized all the way with misspellings etc. That Paper was on the Internet for the world to see.

It was reported in British News papers but not in the US.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | February 9, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld lied? Why is anyone surprised?

Rumsfeld, like many in the Bush administration, is a scoundrel and liar. That was patently obvious.

What is sad that these liars, even when fired as was done to Rumsfeld, get to live out their lives on fat pensions, fully paid Federal healthcare and lucrative speaker fees.

We have gotten soft. There is something to be said for the old days when rogues were publicly whipped or were ridden out of town on a rail after a tarring and feathering.

Posted by: DarrylScott | February 9, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse


For the sake of argument let’s pretend somebody (a dictator or fundamentalist state) gets control of the majority of oil production and distribution for the ME.

Would that be GOOD or BAD for the US and world?


Posted by: bcarte1 | February 9, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

This is the worst job I've seen the Fact Checker ever do. The rating is belied by facts provided in Fact Checker's own column.

In 1998:

"In August 1998, Iraq said it was suspending cooperation with the inspectors...In November, Iraq reversed itself and said it would cooperate, but the cooperation was not forthcoming." [ellipsis added]

So there you have it, on two separate occasions, Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate with weapons inspectors present in his country. How does that not support Rumsfeld's claim? The fact that the inspectors were allowed to stay in the country and watch movies in their hotel rooms while not searching for weapons is not materially different from literally throwing them out of the country. Sure, they could have resumed inspections once Saddam changed his mind again, but that would apply to throw-out inspectors too, as they would only have to fly back to Baghdad.

And there were two separate instances mentioned - August and November - within Rummy's 2-3-4 range. So already, at most one pinocchio is appropriate, and that's only for the figures 3 and 4 and not distinguishing between inspectors who are "thrown out" versus "refused required access but allowing to remain in Iraq." One's pretty steep punishment at that.

In 2003:

"Iraq was showing increasing cooperation"

Increasing from what? And why?

Iraq was uncooperative in 2003, on and off at least, despite its treaty obligations. This was widely reported at the time, even in anti-war papers like the Post. Saddam would act nice for a bit, inspections would proceed, then he'd restrict access, Bush would threaten, and the cycle would continue.

Hans Blix was not supposed to negotiate with Saddam's Iraq for access, as the UN had already determined in the treaty to end the 1991 war. But negotiate he did.

So 2003 is good for at least one more instance of refusing inspectors access, pushing up the number to 3 at the very least, in the heart of the Rumsfeld's 2-3-4 range. We can stop talking about numbers now.

The argument for any pinocchios rests soley on the argument that throwing out inspectors is meaningfully different than allowing them to stay in the country while preventing them from working.

Thus, one pinocchio is steep punishment, barely justifiable. And four is outrageous.

A claim and its exact opposite claim should get a total of four pinocchios, right? Well, how many pinocchios would you give someone like, say, Michael Moore, if he said "Saddam Hussein gave UN inspectors full access to his country and never ordered them out of the country?" I'd say at least three.

Mr. Kessler has a personal agenda, which has colored his column, which is billed as objective and neutral.

Reasonable people can oppose the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But only unreasonable people can say Rumsfeld's quote is a whopper.

Posted by: angrydoug1 | February 9, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Who is kidding who. The decision to invade Iraq was made in February 2000, a few weeks after Dubya took the throne.

Posted by: DrFish | February 9, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

bcarte1, So by your thiinking why didn't Bush invade Pakistan? They definitely have WMD's and they definitely harbor terrorists. So, what's up?

Bush and the boys were salivating to finish what Daddy bush started. It was set up on a lie and young men and women died for that lie.

Posted by: tre793 | February 9, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Debate the details as you will, but the strategy was correct. The world is measurably better off with Saddam gone.

Posted by: Illini | February 9, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Iraq has an interesting history before Bush invaded:

Iraq USED chemical weapons against Iran in their war.

Iraq invaded Kuwait.

World had to come together and defeat Iraq and then inspect them afterwards for illegal programs.

Inspections started in 1991 and went to 2003 (12 years!)

In 1995 Iraq still has offensive biological and nuclear programs (after 4 years of inspections!)

1998 (under Clinton) US and British believed to be preparing military strikes – inspectors out then.

2002-2003 Inspector briefly return (after 4 years of NO inspections) before invasion under Bush.


Summary:

Saddam was a pain in the rear and killed LOTS of people (Iraqi and others)!

4 years after losing first gulf war Saddam still had illegal programs in operation WITH inspections going on.

In 2002 after 4 years of NO inspections it is not surprising Bush administration believed programs were ongoing in Iraq.


In hind sight it’s sad we went to war, there were no weapons, but it is not as unbelievable we invaded as some make it sound now!

Posted by: bcarte1 | February 9, 2011 9:01 AM
__________________________
The problem with your argument is that the inspections were ongoing in 2002 and 2003, the inspectors were reporting no WMD and no evidence of WMD programs. Whatever the administration believed, the EVIDENCE did not support those beliefs. Which is why many, many people opposed the invasion AT THE TIME, because of a lack of evidence for the administration's primary justification. You don't invade another sovreign nation that has not attacked you without more than baseless, unsubstantiated "beliefs."

Posted by: luridone | February 9, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

To DrFish:
1. The Presidency is not a throne.
2. Bush took office in 2001, not 2000.

Posted by: sgerber639 | February 9, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Wow.

That Puck sure has a severe cranial-sphincter inversion.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | February 9, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

bcarte1 @ February 9, 2011 9:19 AM asked "For the sake of argument let’s pretend somebody (a dictator or fundamentalist state) gets control of the majority of oil production and distribution for the ME.

Would that be GOOD or BAD for the US and world?"

It would be IRRELEVANT! Whoever controls the oil will benefit only by selling it at a reasonable price: if they do not sell it, they will be out before they know it; if they make it too expensive, alternate sources will be found.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 9, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

bcarte1 @ February 9, 2011 9:01 AM:

To be sure Saddam Hussein was ruthless. But consider that by invading Iraq, Bush/Cheney, and the US:

1. Killed almost 1 million people;
2. Created 5 million refugees;
3. Destroyed communitied that have existed for 2,000 years;
4. Used chemical weapons and other such things (read up on conditions in Fallujah now if you question that);
5. Permitted wholesale theft of ancient artifacts and treasures.

As bad as Saddam Hussein was, we proved to be much worse.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 9, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

angrydoug1 @ February 9, 2011 9:22 AM wrote "Reasonable people can oppose the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But only unreasonable people can say Rumsfeld's quote is a whopper."

Yes, reasonable people, such as I, can (and did) oppose the invasion of Iraq. And Rumsfeld, along with the entire Bush/Cheney administration, lied and are still lying.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 9, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

@angrydoug
You are wrong. The inspections were ongoing in 2002 and 2003. While reluctant and at times recalcitrant, Saddam generally allowed the inspectors access. Blix wasn't negotiating, he and his teams were conducting inspections, and finding no evidence of chemical or biological weapons or programs. The IAEA was finding no nukes and no evidence of a nuclear program. The inspectors left only when it became clear that, in spite of all the evidence pointing to NO WMD in Iraq, the U.S. and Britain were going to invade. Rumsfeld's claim that Saddam kicked the inspectors out is patently and completely false, a whopper of the highest order, fully deserving of 4 pinocchios.

Posted by: luridone | February 9, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Give us a break, Angrydoug! Contrary to your ludicrous claim, the Post has been a consistent cheerleader for invading Iraq ever since 2002. As recently as last year the paper ran an editorial strongly defending the decision to invade--not to mention all the neocon op-eds along those lines it continues to publish.

If you actually read the Post regularly, which I seriously doubt, then you urgently need a remedial reading course. In any case, Don Rumsfeld richly deserves all four Pinocchios Mr. Kessler awarded him. And so do you for your blatant distortions here.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 9, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The sickening aspect of the hawking of fables by people like Rumsfeld is that the network interviewers let them get away with anything. The interviewers are never prepared to follow up when people like Rumsfeld lie. Fox News people not only don't ask about lies and disinformation, they actively try to cover up the lies. Hannity's "interview" of Rumsfeld last night was nothing but dual propaganda presentations.

The network people only have 90 seconds to let Rumsfeld, or Bush, or whomever, sell their book then its three minutes of commercials followed by a 5 minute special on how to cook broccoli, three minutes of commercials, and then 8 minutes yaking with some movie starlet.

Disgusting.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 9, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse


Reading some of the above reply’s to my comments I can only say the following:

With NO WMD’s in Iraq, we should not have invaded. But to answer why Iraq with WMD’s is different than say Pakistan?

Who has one of the largest populations in the ME?

Who has most of the fresh water in the ME?

Who has most of the arable land in the ME?

Who has an incredible abundance of mineral resources in the ME (beside massive deposits of oil)?

Who (because of all the above) is a vital linchpin for the ME?

The answer to ALL the above is Iraq and the last administration believed that trying Democracy in Iraq might create a good future for the region and world.

All the above came into play for why Saddam was removed (and ALL are beyond the moronic ‘Bush just wanted to steal oil’ simpleton logic of some).


The past is the past however.

What is now to be done with Iran and nuclear weapons? If Iran gets Nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them, will the ME and world be better off?

Or should actions be taken (and I have no idea what can really be done to stop them) to make sure that doesn’t happen?

Those are current questions about the future.


Posted by: bcarte1 | February 9, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The rationale for the Iraq war was based on lies. The post-mission analysis of the war by Bush administration officials is more lies. The whole episode was one of the most egregious violations of the public trust. That those responsible continue to try to manipulate public opinion by disseminating more lies is no surprise...that has been their modus operandi throughout the whole sordid history of the Iraq war. If these people were honorable they would feel shame, but they have no honor.

Posted by: wireknob
___________________
I could not have written this better myself. I remember distinctly the Powell speech that one February; it was so uncharacteristic of Powell's usual sense of integrity that it was palpable; the discomfort in his body language during that speech did not lie. That Cheney, Rumseld and Bush are now writing dueling memoirs that point fingers at eachother and attempt to rewrite history in a way most flattering to the writer irrespective of fact is both transparent and pathetic. It assumes that those who choose to read these tomes have poor memories or a similar penchant for tunnel vision.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | February 9, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld will burn in hell, rest assured.

Posted by: ExConservative | February 9, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

bcarte1 - you're right -- Iraq has an interesting history before Bush invaded -- they were our allies, friends who did our bidding for us in the region until we no longer had use for them. No one doubts any of the things you pointed out about Saddam's ultimate evil during his rein of Iraq. But I ask, how is that different from North Korea or Iran or Pakistan or the many other dictatorships out there who are neither friends of human rights or foes of WMD? Why Iraq? Why then? The war on terror was launched in Iraq on the premise that most americans wouldn't know the difference between one middle eastern country or another; between one muslim country or another. By going after the low hanging fruit, we are led to think that our government has done something aggressive on the war on terror. Really? It really is pathetic. And I agree with other commenters that these were poorly executed decisions at best and lies at worst, either of which doesn't seem to phase the politicians who have put thousands of our own in harms way, killed at least 4,000 and destroyed the families of many more Americans. They seem more concerned with massaging how history will view them long after they are gone.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | February 9, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Please get this war criminal and crook off the pages...he along with bush, cheney, tenet, rove, rice et al should be in guantanamo for the rest of their sick lives.....

Not only did they authorize and are responsible for the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands since 9/11 but they and their banksters and wall streeters trashed the whole American economy while enriching themselves and their filthy corporations and left us with the bill as well as a legacy of 100,000+ mercenaries....

Do Not Give THESE CRIMINALS PRESS.....GIVE THEM A SENTENCE!

Posted by: ticked | February 9, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

But can he explain his shaking hands or hugging Saddam in the 1980s!

Did he also cancel his trip to Switzerland like his boss?

These folks better not leave the compound or the underground bunker at the undisclosed location for the rest of their lives!

Posted by: kishorgala | February 9, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

You mean Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, Rice, and all their minions are liars???
Say it ain't sooo.....

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 9, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

bcarte wrote:

Iraq has an interesting history before Bush invaded:

Iraq USED chemical weapons against Iran in their war.

Iraq invaded Kuwait.

World had to come together and defeat Iraq and then inspect them afterwards for illegal programs.

Inspections started in 1991 and went to 2003 (12 years!)

In 1995 Iraq still has offensive biological and nuclear programs (after 4 years of inspections!)

1998 (under Clinton) US and British believed to be preparing military strikes – inspectors out then.

2002-2003 Inspector briefly return (after 4 years of NO inspections) before invasion under Bush.


Summary:

Saddam was a pain in the rear and killed LOTS of people (Iraqi and others)!

4 years after losing first gulf war Saddam still had illegal programs in operation WITH inspections going on.

In 2002 after 4 years of NO inspections it is not surprising Bush administration believed programs were ongoing in Iraq.

In hind sight it’s sad we went to war, there were no weapons, but it is not as unbelievable we invaded as some make it sound now!
----------------------------------------------
Your summary (opinion) is based on a predisposition you already came to this thread with. There is NO justifiable reason to pursue a course of action that will inevitably (i.e. always) kill innocents en masse when your premise for said course of action is currently not holding up to the light of day PERIOD. The inspectors were continuing to NOT find WMD when Bush (because he didn't want to have to maintain an army in the desert past the window of optimum opportunity to invade) invaded. Any semblence of justice would demand that the inspection be concluded and the results determined before a decision on whether or not to invade was made if only for the sake of the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost. The process of concluding investigations prior to coming to determinations is enshrined in all institutions of most civilizations. Rumsfeld can lie all he wants, but we were here when it happened and remember the lies "we know where they [the weapons] are. They are in Tikrit and surrounding areas..". Furthermore all of the "meet the press" footage is available for future generations to see said lies with their own eye.
Rumsfeld has innocent blood on his hands plain and simple - no different from Hitler who showed the same wanton disregard for lives he didn't care much for.

Posted by: eastlander | February 9, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Lets go back to the first invasion and the scenario of events that lend up to it. First you have Reagan and the Pan Am bombings. Then comes the invasion of Libya and mass slaughter in Tripoli and Benghazi. The evidence for the invasion was a piece of fabric found at the Pan Am crash sight. America, still reeling from the Beirut bombings that killed 250 soldiers and 250 CIA hostages that were held in Iran until Reagan showed up cheered him onto a second term with the whole country. Then Bush takes over. Near the end of his first term things aren't looking that good, mainly because of the Iran and Iraq special interest war thats going on. Its well known across the world that Saddam gassed 5000 of his own people that are known to be Iranian immigrants. Where did he get the gas? Ask Rumsfeld? We were their main weapons supplier. So why then did Bush Sr. a few years earlier sell Iran 500 million dollars worth of weapons while we were an ally to Iraq? And why was Exxon shipping oil loaded barges out of Iran while the country was under embargo and in a war that we sponsored Iraq? And last but not least, WHO told Saddam that Kuwait had no strategic advantage to the U.S.? Seeing that some idiot told Saddam that Kuwait was drilling at an angle to steal Iraqi oil, Would an invitation to invade been any clearer?
The bottom line is Bush Sr. lined Iraq's military up from one end of their desert to the other and cherry picked it with the best air force in the world. All for his second term in office!
There isn't anybody in the Bush regimes other than Collin Powell that has a particle of Honor. Big oil and the military industrial complex disguised as the new world order would be a better description. The second invasion was a total lie done to kill Saddam before any of the real truth got out. The Bush regimes lies and excuses get better with time. Until these war criminals are brought to justice America has no honor! W admitted that his invasion was a total mistake. If that doesn't make him, Rumsfeld and Cheney war criminals I wouldn't know what would! Then you have the world trade center bombings and the in-stints patriot act. Other big questions like building five that would or could lead to people in high places getting tared and feathered. But not so long as big brothers in charge, one wrong word and they'll be at your door!

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | February 9, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Here's an idea for your next think piece, Glenn:
How did it come to pass that my own newspaper let the parade for the Rumsfeld-led Iraq invasion?

Take your time.

Posted by: tojby_2000 | February 9, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq."

None. Zero. Not to quibble, but a few were found and the uranium was there. But weapons are usually discussed as "weapons systems." One ought to discuss the experts who could have made more weapons and the multi purpose facilities that they would have used if the war was not on the way. Had the USA turned to peace and the Russian efforts to end the sanctions succeeded, the weapons would have been quickly re made.

That is also significant.

Also the use of communications intelligence has been over looked. Most Humint reports were used because they supported some fact supported by an intercept. The fact that the intercepts were fabrications was not explored. But an important side bar to the story.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | February 9, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld et al are getting away with lying largely because their crimes have not been prosecuted. Such an omission undermines the nation's credibility in many ways.

Posted by: vmax02rider | February 9, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The worst thing about the war in Iraq is that Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and all the other scu..bags used 911 as an excuse to invade.

Bush Sr. wanted revenge, Bush Jr. the puppet was talked into invading. They fabricated evidence, lied to the American public, and are responsible for the murder of thousands of US military personnel and innocent civilans.
And what has came of it all?
Trillions in debt for the war, loss of respect by even our best allies, a whole new generation of U.S. haters willing to blow themselves up, trillions of dollars in homeland and related expenses, Iran now in a better position then ever, and the like.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld collecting fat taxpayer funded pensions, living in luxury.

We must come to realize that our Gov't is as corrupt in many as say Eygyt's - we hjust hide it better, the lawyers make it look OK.

Posted by: JJH1 | February 9, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The worst thing about the war in Iraq is that Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and all the other scu..bags used 911 as an excuse to invade.

Bush Sr. wanted revenge, Bush Jr. the puppet was talked into invading. They fabricated evidence, lied to the American public, and are responsible for the murder of thousands of US military personnel and innocent civilans.
And what has came of it all?
Trillions in debt for the war, loss of respect by even our best allies, a whole new generation of U.S. haters willing to blow themselves up, trillions of dollars in homeland and related expenses, Iran now in a better position then ever, and the like.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld collecting fat taxpayer funded pensions, living in luxury.

We must come to realize that our Gov't is as corrupt in many as say Eygyt's - we hjust hide it better, the lawyers make it look OK.

Posted by: JJH1 | February 9, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

If, as YOU wrote, Iraq REFUSED to cooperate with the Inspectors, logically then how does that DIFFER in reality than if they physically threw the Inspectors out of the country?

In each and every case the inspectors were eventually able to gain access to the places they wanted to inspect. Because, after all, what the Iraqis were hiding was that they didn't have the weapons.

Posted by: markfromark | February 9, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Washington, D.C., 25 February 2003 - The National Security Archive at George Washington University today published on the Web a series of declassified U.S. documents detailing the U.S. embrace of Saddam Hussein in the early 1980's, including the renewal of diplomatic relations that had been suspended since 1967. The documents show that during this period of renewed U.S. support for Saddam, he had invaded his neighbor (Iran), had long-range nuclear aspirations that would "probably" include "an eventual nuclear weapon capability," harbored known terrorists in Baghdad, abused the human rights of his citizens, and possessed and used chemical weapons on Iranians and his own people. The U.S. response was to renew ties, to provide intelligence and aid to ensure Iraq would not be defeated by Iran, and to send a high-level presidential envoy named Donald Rumsfeld to shake hands with Saddam (20 December 1983).

The declassified documents posted today include the briefing materials and diplomatic reporting on two Rumsfeld trips to Baghdad, reports on Iraqi chemical weapons use concurrent with the Reagan administration's decision to support Iraq, and decision directives signed by President Reagan that reveal the specific U.S. priorities for the region: preserving access to oil, expanding U.S. ability to project military power in the region, and protecting local allies from internal and external threats. The documents include:


A U.S. cable recording the December 20, 1983 conversation between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein. Although Rumsfeld said during a September 21, 2002 CNN interview, "In that visit, I cautioned him about the use of chemical weapons, as a matter of fact, and discussed a host of other things," the document indicates there was no mention of chemical weapons. Rumsfeld did raise the issue in his subsequent meeting with Iraqi official Tariq Aziz.
National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 114 of November 26, 1983, "U.S. Policy toward the Iran-Iraq War," delineating U.S. priorities: the ability to project military force in the Persian Gulf and to protect oil supplies, without reference to chemical weapons or human rights concerns.
National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 139 of April 5, 1984, "Measures to Improve U.S. Posture and Readiness to Respond to Developments in the Iran-Iraq War," focusing again on increased access for U.S. military forces in the Persian Gulf and enhanced intelligence-gathering capabilities. The directive calls for "unambiguous" condemnation of chemical weapons use, without naming Iraq, but places "equal stress" on protecting Iraq from Iran's "ruthless and inhumane tactics." The directive orders preparation of "a plan of action designed to avert an Iraqi collapse."
U.S. and Iraqi consultations about Iran's 1984 draft resolution seeking United Nations Security Council condemnation of Iraq's chemical weapons use. Iraq conveyed several requests to the U.S. about the resolution, including its preference

Posted by: JJH1 | February 9, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The network people only have 90 seconds to let Rumsfeld, or Bush, or whomever, sell their book then its three minutes of commercials followed by a 5 minute special on how to cook broccoli, three minutes of commercials, and then 8 minutes yaking with some movie starlet.

Disgusting.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 9, 2011 10:33 AM
================================

Brilliant!

Absolutely right on the money (which is all they care about)!!!

Posted by: Misty630 | February 9, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I supposed we'll have to live with the ex-Sec of Defense that we have instead of what we wish we had. Unfortunately for Donald, the facts speak for themselves. His daffy spin won't hold up.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | February 9, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Powell was fooled into lying by the Nazi like neocons in Dubya's cabinet. Darth Vader was the leader getting analysis changed after daily trips to Langley, Rummy played along probsbly buying some Halliburton stock while Bolton fooled Powell into thinking Saddam had a viable nuclear program destroyed when the cabal committed treason outing Plame to retaliate against Powell's friend Joseph Wilson.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 9, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

puck opined:
"The fact that Politicians lie , is no revelation."

There's no logic in this as a mere substitution of the collective noun "little children" shows:

"The fact that little children lie, is no revelation."

I would still reprimand my child for lying. What Rumsfeld is doing is called in the ten commandments "Bearing false witness." Something a good sight worse than a mere fib. That he publilshed his lies makes it a legal offence. CB

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | February 9, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Pat Tillman story over the weekend. Donald Rumsfeld sent Pat a personal letter congratulating him on joining the Army. When Pat was killed in friendly fire Rumsfeld appeared in front of a Senate Sub and was asked when he learned of Pat's death. Rumsfeld could not recall. This guy is one of the all time best DC liers.

Posted by: psinvegas | February 9, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

When are you going to fact-check a Democrat? How about analyzing the President's claim that he has never raised taxes since taking office?

Posted by: JM80 | February 9, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

A memory of convenience , just like the rich multi-national REpublicans to re-write history to attempt to put a positive spin on their greedy , "profit before country" behavior , without conscience ! Without Truth , can their be Justice and the American Way ? . Rich REpublicans seem to think so .

Posted by: beenliedto | February 9, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Pat Tillman story over the weekend. Donald Rumsfeld sent Pat a personal letter congratulating him on joining the Army. When Pat was killed in friendly fire Rumsfeld appeared in front of a Senate Sub and was asked when he learned of Pat's death. Rumsfeld could not recall. This guy is one of the all time best DC liers.

Posted by: psinvegas | February 9, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, he lied to get the nation into war, why wouldn't he lie in his stupid delusional book.

Posted by: vztownes | February 9, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld is a liar and the RepubliCons shafted America and walked away untouched. Except now they can't travel outside the country without risking arrest for war crimes. Let's see how long before they're held to account. Their arrogance knows no bounds.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 9, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The war is now deeply unpopular with, and regretted by, most Americans. The sad truth is that the executive branch played fast and loose with the truth, played on the post-911 fears of the American public and that politicians of both parties did virtually nothing to stop it or slow it down. At the time we decided to go to war, we knew that the inspections were underway, that the inspectors were anxious to continue their work, that we would not have the support of a coalition the way we had in the Persian Gulf war and that there was nothing imminent about the need to go to war. Even if we accept, as I largely do, that Bush and many on his team thought the threat from Sadam was real, they owed it to the American public to level with us about the fact that the intelligence was conflicted (instead of presenting us with a whitewash) and to think hard and plan vigorously for the aftermath of any military operation we would undertake.

Posted by: wswest | February 9, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Do any of the "journalists" who interview these criminals challenge them at all? Another case of the nexus within the communications empires...books, tv, movies etc...might his publishing company be owned/part of a conglomerate owning ABC or the Post etc? And we are discussing about democracy in Egypt?

Posted by: mendonsa | February 9, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Invading Iraq took away the resources to finish the job in Afghanistan (getting bin Laden - the guy who masterminded 911). It was the most disastrous foreign policy mistake since WW II. It has cost us 1.5 Trillion dollars, weakened our military and our economy, and has been a recruiting boon to Al Qaeda. Yeah, Saddam was an SOB and he's dead - big deal, now we've strengthened a much more dangerous Iran. And we did it based on downright lies and distortions from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Posted by: humbleandfree | February 9, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

So basically, the Iraq War is to George Bush what the health care legislation is to Barry Obama: both men lied, twisted facts and manipulated the truth to achieve their goal. Makes sense to me.

Posted by: CubsFan | February 9, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

We, as in the the voters, specifically voted to put DEMOCRATS in control in the 2006 election.

We GAVE the Dem's the House and Senate.

They had complete control.

We, the voters, did this because we wanted an end to the lies and and end to the erosion of our civil liberties.

Where were the hearings? The prosecutions?

Well?

For the MainStateMedia to now come out and call Rummy a liar is just comical.

Hades! WaPO please go there.

Posted by: mdsinc | February 9, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

If you had the unnecessary deaths of 4,400 US servicemen and over 115,000 innocent Iraqi civilians on your conscience would you also not try to deny you made a mistake, a very tragic one at that?

Posted by: logcabin1836 | February 9, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

If you had the unnecessary deaths of 4,400 US servicemen and over 115,000 innocent Iraqi civilians on your conscience would you also not try to deny you made a mistake,and a very tragic one at that?

Posted by: logcabin1836 | February 9, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

War criminal. Period.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 9, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Donald Rumsfeld is a joke (a bad one) and one day when he decides he needs a vacation overseas and is caught and brought before the law, he will get his due and we will all be happy to see justice done.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | February 9, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

There were 4 allegations about WMD. Each one was never credible, and each one was refuted before the invasion.
1. Rocket tubes. CIA and Chaney denied these were rocket tubes and claimed they were to enrich uranium. Both State and DOE, which makes our nukes, said they were not suitable for enrichment and were in fact rocket tupes.
2. Yellowcake. Before invasion CIA sent Wilson to confirm Iraq did not seek yellowcake. This allegation came from Italian spy agency. US never talked to the source. The documentation was internally inconsistent -- African officials were not in office at the times claimed. State NEVER believed this story, which is why Powell did not use it at UN. CIA tried to tell NSC to not include claim in State of the Union. NSC (which oversees CIA) browbeat CIA to back off, then Rice, head of NSC, blamed CIA for not preventing her people from including claim. This ranks with Idi Amin in "Last King of Scotland" blaming his Dr. for not preventing him from expelling the Indian merchant class -- Dr. "I told you not to." Amin, "Yes, but you failed to persuade me."
3. The aptly named "Curveball" told German spy agency that he had helped build mobile WMD labs cited by Powell in UN speech, and described in great detail the building they operated out of. US spy photos showed the building was long surrounded by a wall that prevented the labs from using the building. UN inspectors went to that building before the invasion and confirmed that the wall prevented its use and that WMD had never been in that building, which did not have the doors Curveball claimed. US never interviewed Curveball (except one psychologist, who concluded he was unreliable at best.) These facts were ignored.
4. Claim that Iraq produced no documentation on the destruction of chemical and biological stockpiles it claimed in mid-1990s. First, these weapons would degrade in that time. Second, Iraq's goal to have a nuclear program, not an actual nuclear program, was exposed by the defection of Hussein Kamel, Hussein's son-in-law. If he was a credible source on this issue, then he also should have been a credible source when he said that Iraq had in fact destroyed its WMD stockpiles in mid-1990s.

Bush administration credibility on all reasons for war is undermined by their instance Iraq was involved in 911 even after it was proved that secular Iraq did not support ben Laden or al Qeda.

Denial is too kind an excuse. Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that permits you to avoid facing reality. Bush Rumsfeld Chaney Rice and their minions just outright lied start to finish.

Posted by: tidelandermdva | February 9, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The GWB/Rumsfeld credo' I hear you but don,t confuse the issue with facts" The facts better lie on websites like "the cost of the war in Iraq" As of 4pm yesterday the counter is over $772 768 020 978 It moves so fast it can,t be written down.Up to then the total for both wars was over $ 1 148 156 875 767 American taxpayer dollars. That is one fact. Other websites cite facts about the number of American casulties and wounded.Other websites show the number of Iraq casulties and wounded.Another cites the monitary destruction of Iraqi interstructure( which the U S must restore)I doubt those facts are in Rumsfelds flight of fancy.

Posted by: cliffc1 | February 9, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld lied America to a war for oil. Where were the Tea Baggers when we needed them?

Posted by: chucky-el | February 9, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld et al. lied, and they continue trying to cover their tracks by claiming to "set the record straight.
They gutted the legal system then justified it; same with the Geneva conventions, the reasons for going to war with Iraq, and the reasons their plans went so far askew and the war failed so miserably.
just accept that these guys always operated by acting first and explaining it away later.

Posted by: kbtoledo | February 9, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

With Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush/Cheney gang, hindsight is always 20/200.

Posted by: djmolter | February 9, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been hawking his autobiography "

Hawking?

Clearly you have a very hostile attitude and thus your article is biased and untrustworthy. I simply don't trust you are impartial and that your spin are the actual facts.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | February 9, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

AnotherContrarian--where have u been, madame? Any publisher or author will agree that "hawking" is an apt term for a book tour. They do whatever they need to do to get attention. Hawking is a fine and acceptable colloquialism for selling or marketing. Would you have objected if those words were used? Don't let the language deflect you: Bush, and Rummy, lied, and many people died, and we spent a few hundred billion dollars. Why dontcha pat Rummy on the back, eh?

Posted by: axolotl | February 9, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been hawking his autobiography "

Hawking?

Clearly you have a very hostile attitude and thus your article is biased and untrustworthy. I simply don't trust you are impartial and that your spin are the actual facts.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian
*********************************

This isn't Fox News; no one is asking you to "trust" the FactChecker.

This column presents facts that are easily verifiable if you'd only turn off your TV and look/remember.

Bottom line: even Bush gave up on the lie that we went for WMD. By 2005, he changed our "rationale" to "bringing democracy to Iraqis."

Posted by: abqcleve | February 9, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

It was a War About Nothing, started by liars and fought by fools.

Posted by: DJ_Spanky | February 9, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Donald Dumsfeld was without doubt the dumbest of evil people ever to serve in US politics.

Even more stupid than George Bush Jnr. and that is saying something

Dick Cheney gets the prize for the most evil man in US politics.

It is now common in schools for children to refer to the less abled kid in schools as a bit of a Donald.

Posted by: walker1 | February 9, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Everyone knows that the 2nd Iraq War was and is being waged based on false rationales. The problem is that Busb, who is probably psychotic, and Rumsfeld continue to delude themselves about the crimes against humanity that they perpetrated. In the end, all we are likely to have to remind us of this war are self-serving books written by the guilty parties that distort the reality of that war. I will never forget how truly evil the Bush administration was.

Posted by: ptgrunner | February 9, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The best part is that the man who started all this, Osama bin Laden, is still at large and all but forgotten by Rumsfeld.

That's the clearest evidence there is that Donald Rumsfeld is a clueless fool.

Posted by: DJ_Spanky | February 9, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

does Glenn Kessler speak and write Arabic? Has he ever ever lived longer than 1 year in any countries he traveled for das Secretary of State????

Posted by: Rockvillers | February 9, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

After expulsion from Kuwait, Iraq was denied the right to export oil until full revelation and destruction of WMD, but because of Saddam tricks of frequent evasive tactics to impede UN WMD inspections and because of the huge discrepancy between the earlier revelation of Iraq WMD stockpile and what was located and destroyed and between what Iraq claimed it had and evidence discovered by weapons inspectors, the UN was forced numerous times to issue resolutions demanding Iraq full compliance whereas the central focal point was that Iraq cooperate with UNSCOM and allow inspection teams immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to facilities for inspection and access to Iraqi officials for interviews. During the first half of the 90s, Saddam successfully manipulated the media in linking the sanction with Iraqis suffering which in turn caused a great fissure in the European stand and thus the infamous oil-for-food program which started in December 1996. This watering down of UN resolutions tremendously encouraged Saddam to take more defiant stand believing in what we called in Iraq “Altakhadum” meaning UN resolutions would become nil and void after some time. That dramatic change caused the UN to endorse the following resolutions: Res. 1060 (12 June 1996) and Resolutions 1115, 1134, 1137, 1154, 1194, and 1205 - Res. 1154 (2 March 1998) demands that Iraq comply with UNSCOM and IAEA inspections; Res. 1194 (9 September 1998) condemns Iraq's decision to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA; Res. 1205 (5 November 1998) condemns Iraq's decision to cease cooperation with UNSCOM. And when all these resolutions failed to bring any positive change in Saddam attitude, the U.S. insisted that inspectors leave Iraq in 1998, in anticipation of the pending Operation Desert Fox air strike campaign. After the campaign, Saddam refused to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq under the pretext that Iraq had met its end of the bargain. On September 12, 2002 and amid increasing speculation that the United States was preparing to invade Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, Baghdad announced that it would allow arms inspectors to return without conditions on September 16, 2002. And because Saddam followed his old evasive tactics in keeping the unaccounted for WMD in the dark, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1441 in November 2002 giving Iraq a “final opportunity” to comply with its disarmament requirements under previous Security Council resolutions. Hans Blix work was very slow, time consuming and failed to address the most persistent issues of pressuring Saddam to reveal his unaccounted for WMD-a situation that expedited the military action against Iraq.

Posted by: hadiali201178 | February 9, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

/If these people were honorable they would feel shame, but they have no honor/

Much worse, they have no conscience and behave in a manner best defined by the word "psychopath."

Posted by: Diogenes_Lamp | February 9, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The idea that the Americans killed a million Iraqis and that the U.S. was even worse than Saddam Hussein's regime is astonishing.

No,Iraq had no WMD's when the U.S. invaded, but that doesn't mean the U.S. intervention was built on lies.

Itis a FACT that all allied intelligence agencies believed Iraq did have WMD's.

Further, CIA Director George Tenet, a Democrat who had worked for Bill Clinton, told President Bush that it was a "slam dunk" that Iraq had WMD's.

It's also true that the international sanctions against Saddam were slipping and that international aid for Iraqi civilians was being blocked by Saddam - who claimed the sanctions were hurting civilians.

None of this makes Rumsfeld look good, though. The US military strategy at the beginning was short-sighted and should have been revised much sooner.

It's true, as Kessler says, that the American invasion did not have explicit United Nations authority.

But, President Clinton also did not have UN authorization to bomb the Serbs in ex-Yugoslavia.

Posted by: vrytix | February 9, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The only thing more despicable than the lying, self-serving, and for personal profit administration of George W. Bush and Co., is the current administration who refuses to prosecute these criminals.

Posted by: masonxhamilton | February 9, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

puck-101 writes: The fact that Politicians lie , is no revelation . The insistence of the Press to act so astonished when it happens and then earn a living by beating the story to death , is as criminal as the sin itself.

-------------------------------------

This isn't an ordinary political lie. This is a lie that killed hundreds of thousands, and left many more maimed or orphaned or widowed.

And the same kind of lies are being told to us in order to rationalize an unprovoked attack on Iran. The Washington Post editorial pages are telling some of them.

So this is a lie we need to reminded of for the rest of our lives.

Posted by: ContinentalOp | February 9, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

You think this war is ill-begotten you should read up on the Vietnam fiasco vs. Afghanistan/Iraq: Johnson vs. Bush, McNamara vs. Rumsfeld.

It seems even when we read history, we are still condemned to repeating it.

Maybe we are indeed a nation of idiots. Guilty of repeating the same exercise and expecting a different result.

Posted by: AmericanInterestsFirstandLast | February 9, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

You think this war is ill-begotten you should read up on the Vietnam fiasco vs. Afghanistan/Iraq diaster: Johnson vs. Bush, McNamara vs. Rumsfeld, etc.

It seems even when we read history, we are still condemned to repeating it.

Maybe we are indeed a nation of idiots. Guilty of repeating the same exercise and expecting different results.

Posted by: AmericanInterestsFirstandLast | February 9, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

And will anyone ever forget the moment in the UN General Assembly when the Iraqi delegate did his best (with tears of frustration in his eyes) to get the UN to inspect the contents of at least two suitcases of documents made available detailing military activities in Iraq. The US and the UN were deaf. Bush and Israel were determined to end Saddam's rule however the transparent weakness of the arguments for a Causus Belli.

And so here we are almost ten years later still a spending and a killing.

Posted by: AmericanInterestsFirstandLast | February 9, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Debate the details as you will, but the strategy was correct. The world is measurably better off with Saddam gone.

Posted by: Illini
---------------------------------------------

And just how is the world much better off, my small brained fool?

Because some 250,000 Iraqis, virtually all of them innocent civilians -- are dead or maimed???

Or maybe you find the world a better place because some 35,000 young American men are lying maimed, disfigured and/or brain damaged in our hospitals and hospices? Or is it because we have buried upwards of 5,000 American military personnel?

Are you really saying any, ANY of the above was moral, legal or necessary to do away with a third-rate punk thug like Saddam, who posed no threat to ANYONE???????

If you are then you'd better prepare to invade North Korea, Sudan, Venezuela and a whole host of countries run by tyrants.

The larger truth about out Iraq debacle has already been stated in these files: The Bush-thugs' decision to invade was made within weeks of GWB taking office. The only thing the goons had to hatch was a pretext, and they did. And an entire nation of fools fell for it.

Posted by: loulor | February 9, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Where were these easy dissections of Rumsfeld's lies 8 years ago from you pompous Washington reporters? That sure would have been nice.

Maybe we wouldn't have spent a trillion dollars and destroyed a nation.

Posted by: mickT | February 9, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Only Rummy's Dummies would be so intellectually bankrupt as to call something that was 100% wrong "intelligence". Out here in the real world when something is 100% bogus it's a lie.

Posted by: DJ_Spanky | February 10, 2011 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld has never let reality get in the way of his fantasies. And this book shows that he is still living in his special bubble.

Posted by: rebecca81 | February 10, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The case has been settled for years; Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld intentionally lied to the American people so they could launch their war of choice. The blood of over 5,000 Americans and 100,000 innocent Iraqis will forever be borne by their souls

Posted by: maurban | February 10, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Debate the details as you will, but the strategy was correct. The world is measurably better off with Saddam gone.

Posted by: Illini
******************************************
What measurements would those be?

Posted by: st50taw | February 10, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Debate the details as you will, but the strategy was correct. The world is measurably better off with Saddam gone.

Posted by: Illini
******************************************
What measurements would those be?
******************************************
Israel

Posted by: pppp1 | February 10, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfeld lied and people died.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | February 10, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Rumsfelt, Bush and Cheney will absolutely attempt to "bend" history with a slant towards their collective misgivings..or lies. For those who really don't know the truth...what they said...may equate to the "truth". Historians, authors and columnists must keep these guys "honest"..if that is possible.

SOMEONE HAS YET TO ANSWER .."WHO GAVE THE ORDER TO DISBAND THE IRAQI MILITARY AND THE CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE"...

These two horrific decision..of which..absolutely, no doubt Rumsfelt had a concerted action in this decision directly resulted in the daeaths of several thousand or more of the 4300 American KIA's and over 30,000 severely wounded with life sustaining wounds.

These guys...seem to be proud of their life's dedication to public service. But, rather, they all made millions from public service...and disgraced themselves and the American people.

Iraq/2005;Afghanistan/2003

Posted by: LTC11A | February 10, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Not enough Pinocchios.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 10, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"The fact that Politicians lie , is no revelation . The insistence of the Press to act so astonished when it happens and then earn a living by beating the story to death , is as criminal as the sin itself.

Posted by: puck-101 | February 9, 2011 6:37 AM"
==========================

Beat the story to death? Because of this lie, thousands of US troops have been killed, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have also been either killed or severely wounded.

What's criminal here is that this story wasn't beaten to death enough by the media during the run-up to the war. What's criminal here is that people like you choose to become apologists for those in the government who deliberately lie, sending young soldiers to a battleground and making lives of ordinary citizens of a foreign country a living nightmare.

What's that saying about those who forget history?

Posted by: ClandestineBlaze | February 10, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

To luridone,

>@angrydoug
You are wrong. The inspections were ongoing in 2002 and 2003. While reluctant and at times recalcitrant, Saddam generally allowed the inspectors access.

But that reluctance and recalcitrance violated the letter and spirit of the agreement Saddam was bound by. By preventing, if only intermittently, inspectors to access sites and documents as required, Saddam Hussein for all practical purposes was kicking inspectors out. Rumsfeld shouldn't have said Saddam kicked them out of the country - and maybe he didn't, Kessler doesn't quote him - but "denied full access" and "kicked out" are practically the same. Hence one pinocchio was plenty of punishment.

Don't forget you have the 1998 controversies to explain too. News reports at the time back what Kessler says above:

"In August 1998, Iraq said it was suspending cooperation with the inspectors..."

A four pinocchio grade rests entirely on distinguishing between "suspending cooperation" and "kicked out".

Rumsfeld's claim that Saddam kicked the inspectors out is patently and completely false, a whopper of the highest order, fully deserving of 4 pinocchios.

DCSteve1, you said:

>Give us a break, Angrydoug! Contrary to your ludicrous claim, the Post has been a consistent cheerleader for invading Iraq ever since 2002. As recently as last year the paper ran an editorial strongly defending the decision to invade--not to mention all the neocon op-eds along those lines it continues to publish.

>If you actually read the Post regularly, which I seriously doubt, then you urgently need a remedial reading course. In any case, Don Rumsfeld richly deserves all four Pinocchios Mr. Kessler awarded him. And so do you for your blatant distortions here.

I do read the Post regularly and believe I understand it better than you. For every pro-war op-ed writer you care to name (Hiatt, Krauthammer, and...?) I can match you and continue. E.J. Dionne, George Will, William Raspberry, I can go on.

The collective opinion of the op-ed writers could not possibly have been construed as pro-war. The doves clearly outnumbered the hawks.

The editorial board supported the war; that's true.

Opinion pieces aside, news coverage was consistently slanted to the anti-war position. Vernon Loeb, for one, opposed the war, not because he thought Saddam had no weapons, but because he thought he'd use them against our troops. Many news stories covered that storyline as well as another curious anti-war opinion: It's stupid for Bush to invade, because that might provoke Hussein to use his weapons against us.

You should do some remedial reading of your own, particularly the column you are supposed to be discussing. See if you can tell everyone the distinction between Saddam having "refused entry to certain facilities" as Kessler says and "kicked out" like Rumsfeld says. Ranting off-subject is not an argument.

Posted by: angrydoug1 | February 11, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Weather Saddam had mass weapons of destruction or not the point is would he of used them if he would of had them. The answer is YES there fore he was a clear and present danger to America

Posted by: SavedGirl | February 14, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Weather Saddam had mass weapons of destruction or not the point is would he of used them if he would of had them. The answer is YES there fore he was a clear and present danger to America

Posted by: SavedGirl | February 14, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

To correct something I said 3 posts ago:

Kessler doesn't quote Rumsfeld saying the inspectors were thrown out OF THE COUNTRY. I had left out that last part.

The point is, if Saddam threw inspectors out of a site they want to inspect, that's no better than throwing them out of the country altogether. And Rumsfeld says just "thrown out" in the quote, which could refer to either. ABC's transcript would likely give the context.

Posted by: angrydoug1 | February 15, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

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