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White House Lied About Iraq Nuclear Programs 3201

An anonymous reader writes "This New York Times article reports that in 2002, the Bush Administration's assertions that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding his nuclear weapons program were based on evidence that was doubted by the government's foremost nuclear security experts. Specifically, aluminum tubes most likely meant for small artillery rockets were interpreted by the administration as parts for uranium centrifuges." In a nutshell: while Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld were announcing to the American public that these tubes were slam-dunk evidence of Iraq's nuclear ambitions, they already knew that there was completely overwhelming evidence that the tubes were just for artillery rockets (as Iraq said) and that the tubes were totally unsuitable for use in centrifuges.
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White House Lied About Iraq Nuclear Programs

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  • Whaaaa? (Score:5, Funny)

    by acxr is wasted ( 653126 ) * on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:02PM (#10424007)
    Politicians? Lying??

    • Re:Whaaaa? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by josh3736 ( 745265 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:13PM (#10424116) Homepage
      You're being sarcastic, but what I don't understand is how they straight-up lied about WMDs and whatnot (and knew about it), yet not a damned thing is happening about it. Clinton gets a BJ, and everyone starts screaming "won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?" So I have to ask, what's really more important?

      And yet people still want to vote for W. I just don't get it.

      • Re:Whaaaa? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gcaseye6677 ( 694805 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:35PM (#10424384)
        It has been proven many times: The American people don't mind violence, even extreme violence, but the moment you do something sexual, the American public will call for your head on a pike. Same concept here, really.
        • Re: Whaaaa? (Score:5, Funny)

          by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @12:01AM (#10424691)

          > It has been proven many times: The American people don't mind violence, even extreme violence, but the moment you do something sexual, the American public will call for your head on a pike.

          Like flashing a tit at the Superbowl. Oh, the humanity!

        • by freejung ( 624389 ) * <> on Monday October 04, 2004 @12:23AM (#10424895) Homepage Journal
          "We train our children to drop fire on people, but we won't let them write 'fuck' on the sides of their airplanes, because it's obscene." -- Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now
      • Re:Whaaaa? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kmahan ( 80459 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:42PM (#10424476)
        Because Republicans control the Legislative branch (Congress/House). Since these are the folks that would be the ones to start the investigation it's not going to happen. It's not about the law, it's about the politics.

        Clinton's BJ got investigated (along with impeachment) because the Republicans controlling the legislature had a chance to embarrass the Democrats (Clinton).

        A fascinating amendment would be that no person with a felony conviction would be allowed to hold public office. That would never happen. The thought of every candidate having to pass the equivalent of a DOD/DOE Secret background screening makes me laugh.

  • Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrentL ( 761772 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:04PM (#10424033) Homepage
    I keep reading stories like this, hoping the American public will finally "get it". But it never happens. Richard Clarke, the 9/11 commision, Abu Ghraib, whatever. If it's not there kid in Iraq, they don't care. We just need to face it: about 45% of this country is going to support Bush no matter what. I'm not saying people should switch to Kerry, but if you still support Bush at this point, you must have constructed a very elaborate little fantasy world in your head.
    • Re:Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:19PM (#10424184) Homepage Journal
      Indeed. Even if Bush loses I've been demoralized by the amount of support he still enjoys. It may be below 50% but in my mind that's far too high.

      I do not feel better off than I did four years ago. I don't even feel the same as I did four years ago.

    • Re:Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bricklets ( 703061 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:39PM (#10424439)
      if you still support Bush at this point, you must have constructed a very elaborate little fantasy world in your head.

      One could argue you're the one living in a fantasy if you truely believe every Bush supporter has "constructed a very elaborate little fantasy world in [their] head." I've met quite a few intelligent people who for one reason or another support Bush. I'm not going to argue one side or another, but I will say just because you may not understand someone else's political beliefs and reasoning does not automatically mean they're living in a "fantasy world." Politics is never black and white (or simple for that matter).

      It's quite obvious you're not trying to win over any opinions with statements like that.
  • michael's madness (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:15PM (#10424151)
    Michael: When you rip off posts from, The New Scientist and other well-read sites, make sure you follow the thread through to the point where they explain that the story was nothing more than a political hit piece.

    For instance, check out an earlier NY Times piece [] that actually reinforces the administration's position. Or you could review that this hit piece was to be joined by CBS News in another attempted effort to push fraudulant information and sucker all the sheep out there.

    Or should we expect a post from you about "critical national guard documents damage Bush" and experience a deja vu Slashdot experience?

    Slashdot readers - you too can read it before Michael (or some alleged anonymous reader, just like the CBS anonymous sources) reads it and makes up a libelous headline damaging Slashdot credibility and objectivity:

    Drudge Report []
    The New Scientist []

    and other excellent critical reads include:

    Power Line []
    Weekly Standard []
    Little Green Footballs []

    Oh... I should warn you - if you're determined to vote for Kerry in spite of everything, do NOT go to the any of the above sites. It'll destroy any opportunity for ignorance you might have.
    • by Phelan ( 30485 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:09AM (#10425303)
      Apparently they didn't teach you in school that Opinion Pieces (i.e. the Op-Ed piece you linked to above) are the opinion of the author of the piece and usually have a loose license to the truth. While on the other hand the article in the actual story is reporting which comes with a much higher burden of proof for facts.

      Don't use Op-Ed pieces as source for 'facts', also don't use an extremist site to get 'facts'. Examples of sites that do not qualify as reliable on facts are:
      http://www.drudgereport.c om/ (remember the Kerry Intern story he broke, and turned out to be a pile of...

  • Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by upsidedown_duck ( 788782 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:30PM (#10424328)

    GWB can rebut any statement by just saying the same simplistic catch phrases that cite only the successes in Iraq. For better or worse, Bush really knows his constituency. People can take "Saddam is in jail" to the polls, but not the three-paragraph (well reasoned or not) statements Kerry makes about why he thought Saddam was a threat but would have relied on inspectors using war as a last resort with a larger coalition of nations, etc.

  • by revscat ( 35618 ) on Sunday October 03, 2004 @11:49PM (#10424553) Journal
    I'd like to take this moment to remind everyone that Judicial Watch, that great thorn in the side of the Clinton administration, was able to get a FOIA request approved for the Cheney Energy Task force. This gives a LOT of credence to the "war for oil" thing:


    First three docs:

    Iraq Oil Map.PDF []

    Iraq Oil Foreign Suitors.2.PDF []

    Iraq Oil Foreign Suitors.1.PDF []

    So, before the war, the Vice President, like, has this task force thing, and they won't tell anybody what they talked about. But they had a map of the Iraqi oilfields AND lists of people who would be intersted in those fields. Oh, and the VIP himself? He's still pulling down mad money from Halliburton, to the tune of about half-a-mill a year.

    But "War for Oil"? Man, that's just CRAZY talk right there. CRAZY.

  • WMD Spin Machine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mulletproof ( 513805 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @12:08AM (#10424762) Homepage Journal
    "...according to four officials at the Central Intelligence Agency and two senior administration officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity."

    Oh yeah, there's credibility just oozing from this story. We're talking two years after the fact and these anonymous sources are only now growing a spine? On conditions of anominity??? Oh, and it just happens to be election year! What a coincidence!

    And while we're on the subject of amazing coincidences, where was this scandal coverage in 2002? I mean, you supposively had top CIA officals who knew, you had the Department of Energy who knew, America's leading nuclear scientists who knew as well as any number of intelligence experts and Martha Stewart who knew. No doubt the current administration put the screws to all of them to supress this damning story and loosened them just in time for the Primaries. I mean, what better time is there to shoot yourself in the foot by letting key sources blather away about political secrets that you'd managed to keep anybody from knowing for the last two years?

    Are we stretching the bounds of credibility yet? No? Then it's a good thing for the NYT that investigators there have found no evidence of hidden centrifuges or a revived nuclear weapons program. [] I mean, you'd almost [] think [] this administration [] acted without [] cause []...
  • Scott Ritter (Score:5, Informative)

    by hankaholic ( 32239 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @12:22AM (#10424880)
    Google for Scott Ritter sometime.

    Scott Ritter was a U.S. Marine who served in the Gulf war and acted as chief inspector of the United Nations Special Commission to disarm Iraq (UNSCOM). He resigned his role as chief inspector after the CIA was caught trying to into the inspection teams in 1998.

    In an interview with Paula Zahn, one of the United States' leading experts on Iraqi weapons programs left no question as to his feelings on the justification for war:

    RITTER: What makes them convinced? What evidence do they have? We're talking about going to war here, Paula. [...] So frankly speaking, I'm going to need a hell of a lot more than some aluminum tubes before I'm convinced there's a case for war. The bottom line is in 1998 the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iraq had no nuclear weapons capability, none whatsoever, zero. So how suddenly are they now an emerging nuclear threat? We'd better have a heck of a lot more to go on than some aluminum pipes.

    ZAHN: Let's talk more about what some say is the only independent voice in this whole argument, and that is the International Institute for Strategic Studies. And you just cited the study. In this report, it suggests -- and this report is just out this morning -- that Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months if it had foreign help.

    Let me read to you what the conclusion was, that, "War sanctions and inspections have reversed and retarded but not eliminated Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and long range missile capabilities, nor removed Baghdad's enduring interest in developing these capabilities."

    RITTER: Paula, what do we have here? Rhetoric? Where's the facts? Enduring interest in weapons capability? What does that mean? What evidence do they cite for this enduring interest? You know, ballistic missiles, they say he has 12. What, did they grow? Where are they? They didn't have 12 when I was a weapons inspector.

    Chemical weapons? Biological weapons? They talk about bulk agent in terms of Iraq's biological weapons program. What bulk agent? Where did they make it? Bulk agent has a three year lifetime in terms of storage in ideal conditions. The last time Iraq was known to have produced bulk agent was in 1990. That stuff, even if they held onto it, is no longer viable. So to have bulk agent today, Iraq would have had to reconstitute a manufacturing base in biological weapons. Where is it?

    This report is absurd. It has zero factual basis. It's all rhetoric. It's all speculative and, frankly speaking, it's meaningless without, you know, with the sad exception that hawks in the Bush administration are going to point to this as justification for war.

    We need a heck of a lot more than this if we're going to talk about sending our forces off to fight in a war in Iraq.

    Scott Ritter was bashed by the media, who painted him as a traitor to the United States for failing to accept the White House's justifications. It's interesting how the media, often accused of being quite liberal, went out of their way to discredit Ritter and show loyalty to the White House in late 2002, yet reported of just which mouths had engulfed Clinton's penis could hardly be avoided during Monicagate.

    The real story here isn't that the White House lied -- if you pay attention, White House officials "flip-flop" so much over the supposed motivations for war that even their caricature of Kerry looks rock solid. The real story here is that the media fell for the Iraq justification (or lack thereof) hook, line, and sinker, while doing the dirty work of discrediting Scott Ritter and ignoring or discrediting any other voices asking for more investigation for military action against Iraq.

    You want links? Try these:

    Documentation of "flip-flops" by the "liberal" media -- reporting the truth [] (that UN inspectors voluntarily left in December 1998), then

  • by Bruha ( 412869 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @12:44AM (#10425078) Homepage Journal
    Lost my Job in 2002 spent 6 months getting new one at lower pay.

    My health care premiums have risen every year.

    The first Tax break was really a loan to be repaid the next year. Funny I had to pay it while I was on my unemployment.

    My friends are now fighting a war and have emailed me several times to never believe what their superiors have said. Believe the News.

    No WMD's and I'm sure Saddam is still laughing inside about it.

    Our freedom is threatened by the Patriot Act.

    Bush wants to amend the constitution a document that has historically given rights to individuals. This time he wants to take away individual rights.

    Cuts money to the police while at the same time allowing the assault weapon ban to expire.

    Oh despite a 87billion dollar boost in money soldiers (I was one) are still getting raises that are lower than inflation and many make much less than poverty level with housing and food considered.

    That second tax break amounted to 15 dollars a month for me and I make 60k a year. However I'm paying more than 40 dollars extra a month in Gas for my veichle and nearly 50 dollars extra in energy costs for my house.

    Oil prices are high reguardless that there's no shortage and in fact Saudi Arabia has consistently said consumption is far below supply. Yet nobody is doing anything to stop the price runup's.

    Also I've learned something. Americans need to pay attention to who they're voting for. That senator or govenor you're voting in may have more ambitions than just helping your state or their constituents. Cheny is a grand example of who we may not of had to put up with if they didnt vote him into congress years ago. In fact he may never of joined up with any of the Bushes and Gore could be president today.
  • by MarkPNeyer ( 729607 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @12:55AM (#10425172)

    Can we please, just for a few minutes, remove our tinfoil bodysuits and think??

    So, Bush lied to the american public in order to get us to to go war. Why would he do that? For political advantage? That's maybe a plausible theory, so let's think about it. He got a rise in the polls after septh 11th, so maybe he wanted to take us to war in Iraq as a way to keep his approval numbers up, and maybe just line the pockets of his corporate cronies. At first glance, this sounds plausible. That's how you can explain the president's willingness to wage a war in Iraq - it's close to afghanistan, right? And those terrorists were arabs. He thinks that should be enough to convice the average shmuck american. Then when you consider that we know we could crush the Iraqi army easly, he can spew a bunch of feel-good rhetoric: we're ridding the world of a dangerous tyrant and liberating the iraqi people. As an added bonus, he can give the contracts for getting all of that iraqi oil to his corporate buddies. It sounds like a decent plan.

    Now, please, think critically about that for a second. The hypothesis is that bush's desire for going to war was based on purely political (and perhaps montary) reasons - so that he could get a boost in the poll numbers. A few big questions should present themselves:

    • Bin Laden: What about catching Bin Laden? Wouldn't catching him bring bush a massive boost in the polls? If you're after poll boosts, going into iraq is a decent way to do it, but why not put all of your effort into catching that guy alive? You could drag his trial out for months, and then hang him for 3,000 counts of murder during the democratic national convention.
    • Timing: If you're going to war in Iraq, when's the best time to do it? We know it'll be a relatively quick victory. The first gulf war only lasted a hundred days, so even if you guess it'll take you three times as long, you're still under a year. We went in march of 2003, so that means the war would be over in march of 2004, before the heat of the election season. Why would you want to go in then? If the war goes well and you get a quick victory, it's over before the election even matters and the boost in the polls could easily wear off. If it drags on longer, you're in an even worse situation, because you could be accused of mismanaging the war. That's the last thing you want - a rising body count as the election day creeps closer and closer, with no end to the war in sight. If you really want political advantage, you'd drag out the pre-war negotiation period untill july 2004, when you decide that we've had enough negotiations. That way, no one can acuse you of rushing to war - you can spend a year planning for all sorts of contingency scenarios, pleading for more help from allies, and sending in more 'inspections' just to claim that saddam wouldn't cooperate. When election time rolls around, you'll be in the thick of fighting, and hopefully there'll be footage on TV of the american forces kicking butt, interspersed with big ads featuing you standing in front of a flag.
    • WMD: Why would you make up a reason for going to war? It's not as if your republican supporters wouldn't back you all the way, regardless of your reasoning for going to war. All you've got to do is say that we've given saddam enough time to abide by his resolutions, and he's not cooperating. Your loyalists will support you no matter what, those damned liberals will oppose you no matter what, and anyone dumb enough to support the president just because we're currently at war isn't going to need much convincing. Inventing a reason to go to war only invites intense criticism when it's found out that the reason is completely false. When you consider this in tandem with the timing issue, it makes even less sense. If you know there is no threat posed by WMD, why do you invade 20+ months before the election, when there will have been plenty of time for you to find those WMD
  • by carlmenezes ( 204187 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:24AM (#10425426) Homepage
    Mod me down if you want, but this has to be said.

    The rest of the world knew that Iraq had no WMDs. Everyone knew it was a "war to boost the economy". Nobody did anything. Why didn't America know? Ask your media that question and ask yourselves how much international news you actually listen to? Ask yourselves why.

    Then you'll see why it isn't surprising. It is always easier for a government to go in for the wrong reasons and explain later, just like it's easier for us to do something we've set our minds on and explain later.

    Look at the U.S's foreign policy from the outside (try some independent and known-to-be-unbiased news agencies for a change) and you'll see the difference.
  • by Jollyeugene ( 230857 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:48AM (#10425628)

    The WMD fiasco is nothing but a sideshow to keep you from seeing the real underlying issues here.

    Ever since Vietnam the Presidents have totally pissed on the Constitution they swore to uphold. The President has NEVER had power to declare war, that was granted to the Congress. I don't recall Congress declaring war against Iraq, for whatever reason.

    The Congress does not want the political heat of declaring war. So they attempt to push that over to Bush by signing a letter of "support for our troops". They can then blame the President for whatever goes wrong, or take credit for whatever goes right. This way, they keep their offices relatively unspotted in the view of the people. Offices which in reality consist largely of shoveling money towards corporate interests.

    All this reeks of the same corruption that occurred when the Senators of the Roman Republic shoveled all their power over to Octavian... making him Caesar. Those Senators did not want to risk alienating the people by taking stands on issues, they would rather let Augustus do it, and then blame him when things went sour. Thus, those Senators could hide their incompetency and accountability from the people, while continuing their corrupt business dealings.

    We read in Article I Section 8 that Congress has power...:

    Article I Section 8 (Powers granted to Congress):
    "...To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;...."

    In Section 1 or Article II we read: Article II Section 1 (Executive branch, office of President):
    "...Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    Now that Congress has no gumption and represents corporations instead of the people-- the President does whatever he wants. So we go to war at his say so, over whatever he wants us to fight and die for. The leaders of our country swore to uphold the Constitution, yet they piss on the balance of power that was built into it for their own political and personal gain.

    And these people are going to bring "freedom" to Iraq. Physicians... heal thy selves.

    "I'll liberate you peoples' fate
    Spoke the Burnin' Bush
    But the song of beasts
    Growl with oil soaked teeth
    Their dollar is mighty and true
    Now the eagle soars the sky
    Over refugee and child
    And to all there is no end
    Another day in perfect Hell"-- Flogging Molly

  • Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trickster Coyote ( 34740 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @02:29AM (#10425891) Homepage
    I remember reading this story when it was happening more that 2 years ago. At that time it was reported that experts were highly doubtful that the tubes were for nuclear refinement.

    Why does it seem that nobody listens to what anybody else says if the president claims something contrary. Do you think the guy in the Oval Office is some kind of God handing down holy truth and his word is to be trusted above anyone else's -- even if they are experts on the issue?

    Grow up, Americans! It's time you got over your infantile fixation on hero figures and giving them divine, infallable status.

    I don't know what it is like in other countries, but here in Canada, even people who generally like the Prime Minister will treat things he says with a measure of healthy scepticism. And if a bunch of experts line up saying the PM is full of shit, people will listen to the experts, not the PM.

    When this was in the news 2 years ago, it was easy enough to conclude that the White House was off base in its assertions. Why is it just now that people are thinking "Hey! Maybe the experts were right and the president was wrong"?

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