When is a Lie Not a Lie?

The left never seems to tire of reminding us that “Bush lied about Iraq having WMDs!” But was it really a lie? If so, how so? It is an established fact that Iraq had developed and used WMDs previously, against its own citizens, though the left seems to have conveniently forgotten this. In his 1998 State of the Union address, President William J. Clinton said:

Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation’s wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and the missiles to deliver them.

The only real question was, did Iraq still have stockpiles of WMDs immediately prior to the beginning of the Iraq war? At the time, every major power in the world believed that it did. Even the U.N. believed it. Yet one never hears anybody saying the U.N. lied, or Tony Blair lied, or Jacques Chirac lied. It’s always Bush, and Bush alone, who “lied.”

Even assuming there were no WMDs, if President Bush, like all the other world leaders at the time, given the best evidence available, believed there were WMDs in Iraq, was it a lie for him to say what he believed? If not, the claim that he lied must be based on an assumption that he didn’t actually believe there were WMDs in Iraq. But why would he not have believed it, considering that everybody else did? It’s generally accepted today that the reason Saddam Hussein didn’t allow the U.N. inspections was because he wanted his neighbors to believe that Iraq still had WMDs. Was there ever any reason to conclude that Bush knew the “truth” when everybody else was taken in by Hussein’s bluff? If not, Bush did not lie. He was, at worst, mistaken.

But it’s always easier to predict the past than the future. As history unfolds, it’s starting to look like, not only did Bush not lie, neither was he mistaken. There is new evidence that Iraq did, in fact, have WMDs, which it was systematically transferring to Syria all the while it was stalling the U.N. inspectors. This new evidence corroborates older evidence that was dismissed by the left at the time as too “convenient.” Yet the evidence continues to grow. What will the left say if confronted with incontrovertible evidence that there actually were WMDs in Iraq? Will they apologize to President Bush for the “lies” they’ve been telling about him for the past five years? Or will they flat out refuse to acknowledge the evidence because it doesn’t support their worldview? (My money is on the latter.)

On April 7, 2008, The Jerusalem Post reported:

An upcoming joint US-Israel report on the September 6 IAF strike on a Syrian facility will claim that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein transferred weapons of mass destruction to the country, Channel 2 stated Monday.

In January of 2006, The New York Sun wrote:

The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein’s air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, “Saddam’s Secrets,” released this week.

Even prior to that, in the Fall of 2005, The Middle East Quarterly reported:

Several different intelligence sources raised red flags about suspicious truck convoys from Iraq to Syria in the days, weeks, and months prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

These concerns first became public when, on December 23, 2002, Ariel Sharon stated on Israeli television, “Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria.” About three weeks later, Israel’s foreign minister repeated the accusation. The U.S., British, and Australian governments issued similar statements.

Two former United Nations weapon inspectors in Iraq reinforced concerns about illicit transfer of weapon components into Syria in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s fall. Richard Butler viewed overhead imagery and other intelligence suggesting that Iraqis transported some weapons components into Syria. Butler did not think “the Iraqis wanted to give them to Syria, but … just wanted to get them out of the territory, out of the range of our inspections. Syria was prepared to be the custodian of them.” Former Iraq Survey Group head David Kay obtained corroborating information from the interrogation of former Iraqi officials.

The Daily Telegraph reported prior to the 2003 Iraq war that Iraq’s former special security organization and Shawqat arranged for the transfer into Syria of twelve mid-level Iraqi weapons specialists, along with their families and compact disks full of research material on their country’s nuclear initiatives. According to unnamed Western intelligence officials cited in the report, Assad turned around and offered to relocate the scientists to Iran, on the condition that Tehran would share the fruits of their research with Damascus.

So, when is a lie not a lie?

    a) When it’s an honest mistake.
    b) When it’s the truth.

At this point, we don’t know which of the above is the case. But we do know that there is absolutely no evidence that Bush ever actually lied about WMDs in Iraq. So when will the left stop braying that?


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Published in: on April 10, 2008 at 12:07 am  Comments (21)  
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  1. And now the real facts, Iraq was successfully disarmed through the efforts of the first Gulf War and the UN inspections thereafter. It was the USA that sabotaged the inspection effort late in the game by using the process to try and spy on Iraq.

    “did Iraq still have stockpiles of WMDs immediately prior to the beginning of the Iraq war?”

    No, and the U.S. knew that. Anyone that knows (or knew at the time in 2002-2003) anything about chemical and biological weapons knew that they are not like pens & pencils that you can just bury in the ground somewhere and then dig them up at a much later date & use…they are like milk…they have an *expiration date* after which they become inert (like some of the inert chemical artillery rounds that have been found in Iraq since our unnecessary invasion). Did Iraq *want* to re-develop WMDs? Sure, but they were denied the means to do so by the international community, which is why they were no real threat to anyone before we invaded, and our govt. KNEW THAT, period. Did Iraq use WMDs in the past? Absolutely, and they did so with our help and compliance, period.

    I would further say that our country, unfortunately, DID defy “the will of the world” by invading a country that posed no threat to us, which is a crying shame IMO.

    Tony Blair was never criticized in his own country (and this one as well) for the lies that he and his govt. made? I think he was…check the record again.

  2. Will they apologize to President Bush for the “lies” they’ve been telling about him for the past five years? Or will they flat out refuse to acknowledge the evidence because it doesn’t support their worldview? (My money is on the latter.)

    Thanks for settling the bet, Mr. Guy. :)

  3. This was an excellent post, five stars. I would like to see this on the front page of Time magazine…of course, that would not happen.

  4. How does one distinguish inspecting from spying?

  5. Why don’t you ask Scott Ritter, and he’ll tell you, since he was actually there.

  6. When a liberal speaks, he speaks only truth and never lies…

    You forgot that one.

    As far as the WMDs go, I always had a feeling that they had been shipped out of Iraq to another country that hates us. Syria was tops on the list. As far as the unnecessary war goes, I’m assuming that Mr. Guy liked the idea of all those Iraqis that got tortured, raped, gassed and executed while the French, Russians Germans and the UN got rich off the Oil for WMDs er food scandal. Only a heartless warmongering neocon would actually want to free those Iraqis and make Saddam face justice for his crimes.

    Oh, and I’m adding this blog to my blogroll…

  7. Yea, because Mr. Ritter is a real, bed-wetting, limp-wristed, pink-pantied, flaming liberal…like most ex-Marines…give…me…a…break…

    “I always had a feeling that they had been shipped out of Iraq to another country that hates us”

    Let’s not get quite so in touch with our “feelings” on this issue…that’s how we got into the mess in Iraq in the first place…ole Bushy Boy paying attention to that “higher father” and all.

    “the idea of all those Iraqis that got tortured, raped, gassed and executed while the French, Russians Germans and the UN got rich off the Oil for WMDs er food scandal.”

    Well, no one was gassed by Iraq without our prior consent and knowledge unfortunately, but that was mostly back in the 1980s when Saddam was our buddy still. Was Saddam a brutal dictator? Sure he was, but that’s not why we were told that we were invading his country, period. You can’t switch reasons mid-way through the exercise IMO. Iraq has no WMDs or active WMD program when we invaded in 2003, period. The truth matters…

  8. Yes, the truth does matter. And the evidence shows that they transferred all their WMDs to Syria in the weeks and months prior to our “invasion,” along with the WMD specialists who were developing them and all the research data used for their development. So the fact that the WMDs and the WMD development program had been relocated outside of Iraq’s borders just prior to our arrival makes it OK with you that they had been developing them up until that point?

  9. And why were we allied with Iraq? Oh, yea because Carter allowed Iran to become our enemy. Smooth move that one, didn’t work out so well now did it?

    And the other 22 reasons? Where did they vanish to?

    Or simply because 1 is incorrect according to you they all are?

  10. “the evidence shows that they transferred all their WMDs to Syria in the weeks and months prior to our ‘invasion,’ along with the WMD specialists who were developing them and all the research data used for their development.”

    The problem is that this “evidence” doesn’t exist! What does exist is rumor and insinuation from Israel (as if *they* are a neutral source for Mid-East info…not), the Middle East Forum (a Right-wing think tank), and this Sada guy (who doesn’t even claim to be an eyewitness to any of this…just that he was told of the transfer by others) about what “might” have happened. Remember when the USA relied on the likes Ahmed Chalabi for info on Iraq? That didn’t work out too well…

    Let’s say for a second that this story about Syria is true. Why have we not heard the Bush Regime touting this as evidence that Iraq had WMD? Why no severe confrontation with Syria about the WMD that they supposively “posess” now? Why go after Iran when Syria would obviously pose the same “threat” NOW that Iraq did in 2003? This whole affair doesn’t pass the laugh test IMO…nice try though…

    BTW, what we did to Iraq wasn’t an invasion in your opinion??

  11. Mr Guy asks “Why go after Iran when Syria would obviously pose the same “threat” NOW that Iraq did in 2003?”

    According to the article quoted:

    Assad turned around and offered to relocate the scientists to Iran, on the condition that Tehran would share the fruits of their research with Damascus.

    I expect that Syria’s day will come, too. But Iran also has nuclear capabilities.

  12. Or, more precisely, the Right-wing think tank sez that “according to unnamed Western intelligence officials” that’s supposively what Syria wanted to do…again, nice try…

    What are “the other 22 reasons” BTW?

  13. Since when is the Daily Telegraph a right-wing think tank? Here’s a link to the original article in the Daily Telegraph to which the Middle East Quarterly was referring. It’s an interesting read, and I think it may answer some of your other questions.

    Under the terms of the deal President Asad offered the Iranians, the Iraqi scientists and their families would be transferred to Teheran together with a small amount of essential materials. The Iraqi team would then assist Iranian scientists to develop a nuclear weapon.

    It’s interesting how, since that time, Iran has made so much progress in their nuclear “energy” program. — But I’m sure it’s just a coincidence…

  14. Again, the “source” of this nonesense is unnamed “Western intelligence officials”, period. You may be willing to believe a fairy tale like this based on unnamed sources, but some of the rest of us aren’t…especially after all the many lies that Bushy Boy and his clan have told us before.

    Apparently Syria has chemical weapons…so do around half a dozen other countries in the region.

    I’ll agree with one thing from that article though…”The attack against Iraq was illegal.”

    And now for some more real facts:
    -the Iraq Survey Group found no evidence that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had produced & stockpiled any WMD since 1991, when UN sanctions were imposed, and the ISG also said about the Syrian accusation, that the “ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place.”
    -the U.S. abandoned its search for WMDs in Iraq on January 12, 2005.
    -Condy Rice sez about the Syrian accusation, “There hasn’t been any hard evidence that such a thing happened.”
    -Lawrence Di Rita, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs said of the Syrian allegations, that they were “absurd and without any foundation.”

    It’s funny how when you run down all these theories about where the WMDs (that Iraq NEVER had in the first place) went…that you always end up at some Right-wing organization that’s blatantly trying to spin more lies to justify the mess that Bush has gotten us into in Iraq. It’s sad…

  15. Since someone’s google finger seems to be broken…

    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ243.107

  16. Ah, the baloney Congressional “authorization” against Iraq…or the “let’s skip the part where we have to declare war” thing…sure. Let’s take them in order if I can:

    -so, because we fought one baloney war against Iraq in the early 1990s, it’s OK to fight another one in the 21st century…nope.
    -“Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them”…which it turns out that it did do…nope.
    -“the efforts of international weapons inspectors, U.S. intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated”…which was all completely false…nope.
    -“Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq’s WMD stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998″…like we’ve discussed before, the inspectors were pulled out of Iraq by the West after Iraq complained that they had strayed into spying on Saddam’s security apparatus…after there wasn’t much left for them to do on the WMD front…nope.
    -“Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing WMD programs threatened vital U.S. interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations’ and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the U.S., to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations'”…ah, the “regime change” vote from 1998…but it turns out that they had no WMD and the Constitution sez that the U.S. needs to declare war in order to militarily overthrow another country…nope.
    -“Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the U.S. and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations”…none of this was true either…Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11…nope.

    -“Iraq persists in violating resolution of the UN Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait”…you know what…this one might actually be true, but it’s also true of a whole lot of other countries too…we went to war over the fictitious “threat” that Iraq posed…not over this secondary concern IMO.

    -“the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use WMD against other nations and its own people”…like was discussed before…what’s missing from this statement is the fact that Saddam did all this “with our prior consent of aid”…nope.
    -“the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the U.S., including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on U.S. and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the UN Security Council”…so, Bush sez “he tried to kill my daddy & now were gonna git him”…come on now…nope.
    -“members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the U.S., its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq”…a complete and total lie…nope.
    -“Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of U.S. citizens”…another lie…nope.
    -“the attacks on the U.S. of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of WMD by international terrorist organizations”…except for the fact that Iraq didn’t have any WMD…nope.
    -“Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use WMD, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the U.S. or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the U.S. and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the U.S. to defend itself”…a pre-emptive war based on lies…Iraq had no WMD…nope.
    -“UN Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of WMD and refusal or obstruction of UN weapons inspections in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or UN operations in Iraq in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 949 (1994)”…the UN never authorized a war against Iraq, period…Iraq had no WMD…nope.
    -“the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President `to use U.S. Armed Forces pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677′”…again, so, because we fought one baloney war against Iraq in the early 1990s, it’s OK to fight another one in the 21st century…nope.
    -“in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of UN Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),’ that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates UN Security Council Resolution 688 and `constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,’ and that Congress, `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of UN Security Council Resolution 688′”…how many times are they going to mention the first baloney war against Iraq…nope.
    -“the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the U.S. to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime”…again with the “regime change” law from 1998…nope.
    -“on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the U.S. to `work with the UN Security Council to meet our common challenge’ posed by Iraq and to `work for the necessary resolutions,’ while also making clear that `the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable'”…except for the fact that the UN never authorized the War in Iraq, period…nope.
    -“the U.S. is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of WMD in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other UN Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the U.S. and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant UN Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary”…Iraq had no WMD & had nothing to do with the baloney “War on Terror” (a war which can never be won in the first place)…the UN never authorized the war against Iraq…man, this is becoming a broken record…nope.
    -“Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations”…Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11…nope.
    -“the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations”…Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11…this is a broken record now…nope.
    -“the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the U.S., as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40)” and “it is in the national security interests of the U.S. to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region”…only Congress can declare war, period…Iraq posed no threat to us, our allies, or the region…nope.

    And so much for those “DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS” that were supposed to be fully explored before starting the war, eh? This was a very interesting exercise…lies, lies, falsehoods, etc., etc….that’s why we went to war in Iraq…it’s so sad that I try not to think about it much these days. But guess what? Come this fall, I have confidence that the American people we finally set all this nonsense straight!

  17. So many conspiracy theories, so little evidence.

    UN Weapons Inspectors were in Iraq and had to leave because the U.S. was about to attack. The inspectors had NOTHING to report and your daddy GW needed to get his war on.

    “But…but..but…EVERYONE thought they had WMD.” Yeah? If EVERYONE jumped off a bridge would you?

    Let us not forget that Saddam had nothing to do with Al Qaeda.

    Most of the 911 hijackers were Saudis, but your daddy Bush is friends with their dictator. Hell, Osama’s half brother was one of the first investors in young GW’s first oil company. Needless to say, GW was a failure of an oil man. Until now of course. 2000 average per barrel: $27.40. Today: $117.21.

    Which branch of the military are YOUR children in?

  18. This debate was settled long ago, unfortunately everyone seems to believe the exact opposite of the truth.
    General Sada wrote his book and did several interviews about the smuggling of those weapons into Syria. But, due to the fact that he was telling a truth that vindicated GW Bush, it was mostly ignored.
    The Israeli bombing of the Syrian facility has been kept hush hush since it happened, but the stories coming out suggest that the facility stored North Korean and Iraqi technology. This will be kept as quiet as possible of course.

  19. […] presents When is a Lie Not a Lie? posted at Government is not your Daddy., saying, “As history unfolds, it’s starting to look […]

  20. Good Research. Thanks for posting. I’ve been wondering about this for a long time myself and had been leaning towards the idea that Hussein had WMD’s but smuggled them out before the war. This is some good evidence to support that.

    I’ll be watching out for the U.S.-Israeli report in September.

  21. Welcome, Jason. I hope you’ll be a regular visitor. I haven’t had a chance to check out your blog yet, but I will.


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