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4,000 Americans Had to Die for What?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kevin Gosztola       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   5 comments

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The Obama transition team and the Bush Administration should have every progressive and liberal blogger beat right now. There is plenty of fodder for editorials and news writing.

Due to the overwhelming need for commentary on the incoming Obama Administration and the outgoing Bush Administration, two editorials were written for today---this one and a piece on Obama including Rick Warren in the Inauguration.


The world can expect to see more and more engineers of this phony and illegal “war on terror” appear in the public sphere and justify the Iraq War as Bush spends the last month defining what his legacy will be. And, this is because a key component of the Bush Administration’s legacy will be how members sum up the illegal war and occupation of Iraq, which more than three quarters of America want an end to now.

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The founder and president of the Center for Security Policy (which has strong ties to the Reagan and Bush II administrations), Frank Gaffney Jr., who was one of the 25 original signatories of the Project for the New American Century’s credo “peace through strength”, appeared on Hardball w/ Chris Matthews on Tuesday and asserted that 4,000 Americans “had to die.”

GAFFNEY: My position is, it is regrettable that any Americans died. It is regrettable that they had to die, but I believe they did have to die. The threat we did know about was the chemical capability that Saddam Hussein had used against his own people.

This remark was made during a heated discussion between Chris Matthews and Mother Jones’ David Corn.

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The discussion focused on a remark made by Dick Cheney in an interview with ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl on ABC News.

KARL: You probably saw Karl Rove last week said that if the intelligence had been correct, we probably would not have gone to war.

CHENEY: I disagree with that.

Cheney’s assertion led to David Corn further debunking the case for war, which was based on a trumped up threat.

Despite Corn’s debunking, Gaffney clung to his strategic narrow-minded thinking and claimed to be surprised that Matthews was surprised at Cheney’s answer to Karl.

Gaffney said:

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“The truth of the matter is, we went through in the run-up to the war a variety of different and compelling reasons why Saddam Hussein had to be put out of business, one of which was we believed he had the capability to marry up terrorism, which he actively supported, with weaponry of mass destruction, which he had.

And to the extent that we knew or we thought we knew exactly where he had stockpiles of the stuff was I think secondary to the danger, in particular in the aftermath of 9/11, where we had seen thousands of Americans killed by terrorists using a kind of weapon of mass destruction…This was the kind of thing that I think the president had an obligation to put out of business. And let me just add one point. The Iraq Survey Group -- you mentioned the inspections that were done... the inspections that we [did] after we liberated the place found not only those feed stocks that Dick Cheney talked about but found plans to put the product, after sanctions were lifted, which was in perfume sprayers and aerosol cans for shipment to the United States and Europe, a clear act of terrorism that would have catastrophic consequences. And I, for one, am glad they took the action that they did on the basis of the information they had."

The clip and/or transcript shows a man clinging to the idea---the fallacy that America went to war and 4,000 Americans had to die because Saddam had the capability to develop WMDs and he also had perfume sprayers and aerosol cans that could be shipped to the U.S. and Europe. (Forget the Iraqis; they don’t matter to people like Mr. Gaffney.)

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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