The Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism determined, through a collective study and breakdown of Bush administration speeches, press briefings and interviews, that Bush and other top officials "led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information."
According to the report, Bush alone lied more than 259 times, including 232 false statements "about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" and "28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida." Quoting Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism, "It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida." Furthermore, the shared study noted, "the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
Among the seven top officials cited, Colin Powell was the most egregious in the dispersal of dissembling and mendacious language regarding the requisite call for war against Iraq. Powell is attributed to having made 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in a two-year period beginning on September 11, 2001 and through the commencement of military action in Iraq on March 18, 2003.
As a microcosm example of at least 935 lies cataloged by the exhaustive study, Vice President Dick Cheney declared on August 26, 2002 that "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Bush's patently false proclamation, made on May 29, 2003, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction," has now been completed discredited. Of course, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found and George Bush, on NBC's Meet the Press in 2004 conceded, "No weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq."
In a never-ending stream of fuzzy rationales to justify war, beginning as early as November of 2001, the Bush administration began making disingenuous statements attempting to tie Saddam to the attackers of 9/11. Quoting Bush, "They're both risks, they're both dangerous. The difference, of course, is that Al Qaeda likes to hijack governments. Saddam Hussein is a dictator of a government. Al Qaeda hides, Saddam doesn't, but the danger is, is that they work in concert." However, in stark contrast, the 9/11 Commission Report was unable to establish any "evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with Al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States."
The comprehensive study also touches on and illuminates the vast failures of the mainstream media; mainly their failure to offer critical scrutiny, while chiefly operating as Bush's surrogate and disseminator in the misleading rhetoric of the dire need to take the country to war. During that critical, seminal juncture in the run up to the war, the media "creating an almost impenetrable din" that forced out nearly all dissenting views, the report revealed.
In what may be the first true, categorical "War Report Card" that separates fact from fiction, fine tunes mass distortion into utter clarity, the Center for Public Integrity makes a compelling case that "Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
To learn more and read the full report, visit on the web:
Center For Public Integrity: http://www.publicintegrity.org/default.aspx