Is Trump right to say that Bush lied about the Iraq war, and there were no WMDs?

There was a debate on Saturday night, and Donald Trump started screaming like an unhinged psychopath not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES.

Red State introduces the meltdowns:

In Saturday’s CBS Republican presidential debate Donald Trump was the biggest loser. It wasn’t even close. Worse, the Donald was whiney, uncivil and so very un-presidential. He threw Trumpertantrum after Trumpertantrum, interrupted again and again and was booed over and over.

Here they are:

You can listen to all three meltdowns and read the transcripts in the Red State article. Let’s look at them.

The third statement about Planned Parenthood has already been turned into an ad by Ted Cruz, who was called a liar by Trump in the debate. The new Cruz ad shows Trump saying exactly what Cruz said that he said about Planned Parenthood on the Sean Hannity show.

I’m going to cover the “George W. Bush lied us into war and there were no WMDs there” statement below, and then this afternoon, I’ll cover the “Putin is a leader and there’s no evidence that he assassinated anyone” statement.

Here’s the part of the transcript that’s relevant:

DICKERSON: … On Monday, George W. Bush will campaign in South Carolina for his brother. As you’ve said tonight, and you’ve often said, the Iraq war and your opposition to it was a sign of your good judgment. In 2008, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, talking about President George W. Bush’s conduct of the war, you said you were surprised that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t try to impeach him. You said, quote: “Which, personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing.” When you were asked what you meant by that and you said: “For the war, for the war, he lied, he got us into the war with lies.” Do you still believe President Bush should have been impeached?

[…]TRUMP: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Two points to make about this.

Chemical weapons found in Iraq
Chemical weapons found in Iraq

First, we did find WMDs in Iraq – lots of them. And this was reported in the radically leftist New York Times, of all places.

Read it:

Five years after President George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq, these soldiers had entered an expansive but largely secret chapter of America’s long and bitter involvement in Iraq.

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Second point, three different reports found that George W. Bush did not lie about the WMDs, nor did he pressure the intelligence agencies.


Everyone was convinced that Saddam had WMDs. It remains a fact Saddam used WMDs against and his own people. The intelligence and common wisdom that Iraq still possessed such weapons at the time we liberated Iraq proved to be wrong, but that doesn’t equate to a lie. So lets go over the facts again.

The Bipartisan Senate Select Committee Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments related to Iraq’s weapons programs. At pages 284-285 the report states:

Conclusion 83. The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities.


Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President’s visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.

Besides that report, two other independent investigations came to the same conclusion.

The Robb-Silberman Commission On The Intelligence Capabilities Of The United States Regarding Weapons Of Mass Destruction likewise found “no evidence of political pressure.” At pages 50-51 the Robb-Silberman report states: The Commission found no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community’s pre-war assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs. As we discuss in detail in the body of our report, analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments.

The British Butler Report, Review Of Intelligence On Weapons Of Mass Destruction similarly “found no evidence of deliberate distortion.”

Trump can say anything he wants, but the facts are what they are.

Trump supporters in denial

I know 3 Trump supporters, and I’ve tried to speak to them about things like eminent domain, support for bank bailouts, single payer health care, touchback amnesty, Planned Parenthood support, support for Vladimir Putinadultery and divorce, support for the gay rights agenda, four bankruptcies, etc. Their response has been do deny the evidence. Trump never did those things, all the news articles are lies, and all the videos of Trump saying those things are fake. I expect better than that from Trump supporters. This time, the stakes are as high as they could be: 4-5 Supreme Court picks.  This is the ballgame for America.

10 thoughts on “Is Trump right to say that Bush lied about the Iraq war, and there were no WMDs?”

  1. You’re not telling the whole story however:

    American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West….

    The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors. The government’s secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war’s most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition of their wounds.

    Aside from that, there is a big difference between an an ongoing program to create new WMDs – which is what created the urgency to invade, and finding old weapons that were largely the result of an earlier (1980’s) alliance with the US.


    1. No one ever claimed otherwise. The concern was that after kicking out the UN inspectors and violating UN resolutions, that Saddam could quickly reconstitute his WMD program. We know he was aggressive enough to invade Kuwait, we know he had WMDs from previous programs, we know he could reconstitute his WMD programs in the blink of an eye, we know he was paying the families of suicide bombers to attack Israel, and we know that he was harboring terrorists.

      What we were looking for from Saddamwas a response like that of Qaddafi in Libya: hand over ALL your WMD, and allow inspectors to come in and make sure you aren’t making more. Saddam wouldn’t do it. He was in violation of many UN resolutions, and that’s why we built an international coalition to take him out.


      1. I was watching the whole thing very closely, because my wife was involved.


        * It was not evident that “Saddam could quickly reconstitute his WMD program”

        * Yes he was aggressive, but your phrase “blink of an eye” is challenged by the very fact that he never did so, despite his aggressiveness

        * “What we were looking for” mattered little to him. However,

        * There is a huge difference between the international coalition that “took him out” of Kuwait, and the one that “took him out” in 2003. While he was an ongoing problem, he wasn’t an ongoing problem that wasn’t being contained. He was just a big mouth by that point.

        It is generally agreed by virtually everyone except for the neo-conservatives that the 2003 invasion was wrong-headed. And if the most important result of that “war” effort was that we found 5000 WMDs that we (the US) helped him get, then that was a sore loss indeed.


        1. Here’s a declassified NIE briefing that makes the point I was making about quick reconstitution of WMD programs:


          How quickly Iraq will obtain its first nuclear weapon depends on when it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material.
          If Baghdad acquires sufficient fissile material from abroad it could make a nuclear weapon within several months to a year.
          Without such material from abroad, Iraq probably would not be able to make a weapon until 2007 to 2009, owing to inexperience in building and operating centrifuge facilities to produce highly enriched uranium and challenges in procuring the necessary equipment and expertise.
          Most agencies believe that Saddam’s personal interest in and Iraq’s aggressive attempts to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes for centrifuge rotors–as well as Iraq’s attempts to acquire magnets, high-speed balancing machines, and machine tools–provide compelling evidence that Saddam is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad’s nuclear weapons program. (DOE agrees that reconstitution of the nuclear program is underway but assesses that the tubes probably are not part of the program.)
          Iraq’s efforts to re-establish and enhance its cadre of weapons personnel as well as activities at several suspect nuclear sites further indicate that reconstitution is underway.
          All agencies agree that about 25,000 centrifuges based on tubes of the size Iraq is trying to acquire would be capable of producing approximately two weapons’ worth of highly enriched uranium per year.
          In a much less likely scenario, Baghdad could make enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon by 2005 to 2007 if it obtains suitable centrifuge tubes this year and has all the other materials and technological expertise necessary to build production-scale uranium enrichment facilities.

          And in particular, these efforts:

          Uranium Acquisition. Iraq retains approximately two-and-a-half tons of 2.5 percent enriched uranium oxide, which the IAEA permits. This low-enriched material could be used as feed material to produce enough HEU for about two nuclear weapons. The use of enriched feed material also would reduce the initial number of centrifuges that Baghdad would need by about half. Iraq could divert this material — the IAEA inspects it only once a year — and enrich it to weapons grade before a subsequent inspection discovered it was missing. The IAEA last inspected this material in late January 2002.

          Iraq has about 500 metric tons of yellowcake1 and low enriched uranium at Tuwaitha, which is inspected annually by the IAEA. Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake; acquiring either would shorten the time Baghdad needs to produce nuclear weapons.

          A foreign government service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons of “pure uranium” (probably yellowcake) to Iraq. As of early 2001, Niger and Iraq reportedly were still working out arrangements for this deal, which could be for up to 500 tons of yellowcake. We do not know the status of this arrangement.
          Reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
          We cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these sources. Reports suggest Iraq is shifting from domestic mining and milling of uranium to foreign acquisition. Iraq possesses significant phosphate deposits, from which uranium had been chemically extracted before Operation Desert Storm. Intelligence information on whether nuclear-related phosphate mining and/or processing has been reestablished is inconclusive, however.

          The Center for Security Policy (Frank Gaffney) says this:


          Of even greater concern, however, was the prospect that — left to his own devices — Saddam would quickly reconstitute his bid to build at least crude atomic weapons. If a report in the Sunday Times of London is accurate, however, Saddam already has as many as three such weapons and perhaps as many as three of the far more powerful thermonuclear ones.

          The Times article, entitled “Was this Saddam’s Bomb?” draws upon a wealth of circumstantial evidence and debriefings of Iraqi defectors by investigative reporter Gwynne Roberts. It features heretofore unpublished — and alarming — revelations by a man going under the alias of “Leone” who is described as “a military engineer who was a member of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission. Simultaneously…he worked for the Republican Palace in Baghdad.”

          According to Leone, the Iraqi despot had more than one nuclear program. As the Times put it: “After [Iraq’s] defeat in the ensuing Gulf war, UN arms inspectors discovered an Iraqi crash program to build a nuclear bomb, known as PC3. But, according to Leone, they missed the most successful part of the programe. [Leone said,] They thought they had stopped the Iraqis from building the bomb, but they overlooked the military organization code-named Group Four. This department is a comprehensive section that was involved in assembling the bomb from the beginning to the end. It was also involved in developing launching systems, missile programs, preparing uranium, purchasing it on the black market, smuggling it back into Iraq.’”

          Roberts was able to get confirmation of key parts of Leone’s story from other sources — including scientists who had also been involved in Saddam’s closely guarded WMD programs who managed to escape with their lives from Iraq. They validated his claim that in the years prior to the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein acquired perhaps as much as 50 kilograms of highly enriched uranium from South Africa via Brazil. His cadre of Western-trained physicists then secretly used some of this material to fashion a relatively unsophisticated Hiroshima-style “gun-type” atomic device. It was placed in a natural tunnel near Lake Rezazza some 150 kilometers southwest of Baghdad and, on September 19, 1989, it was exploded, unleashing a force equivalent to approximately ten thousand tons of TNT.

          The Iraqis went to extraordinary lengths to conceal preparations for and evidence of this underground test. For example, the sorts of above-ground activity that might have been detected by spy satellites were masked as part of an agricultural project. The explosion itself was “decoupled” so as to reduce the chances that even nearby seismic monitoring stations would pick up and recognize the resulting tremor, which registered 2.7 on the Richter scale. And political prisoners were given the deadly job of cleaning up the radioactive residue of the test; they were subsequently liquidated by Saddam’s security forces as were all external signs of and access to the tunnel.

          You’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m citing actual intelligence briefings and intelligence reports, here. This is what Bush was looking at after 9/11.


          1. I don’t really have time to argue this, but the “actual intelligence briefing” turned out to be wrong, insofar as Saddam was importing the wrong kind of aluminum tubes for centrifuges. No matter what the alarmists were saying, there was no danger that he was going to be able to develop weapons-grade uranium any time, if ever.


    1. It says that we care more about feelings and charisma and mockery than about substance, record, and proven ability. We’ve been entertained into imbecility, in short.


  2. Maybe after this latest meltdown people will finally, FINALLY begin to see this guy for what he is: a carny barker, a bloated egomaniac who’s never even been elected dogcatcher, a Democrat in wolf’s clothing, and the shortest path to a Hillary presidency I can think of. For heaven’s sake, conservatives, WAKE UP!!! WK is absolutely right about this guy. He is NO conservative, NO Christian, and NO Republican. Nominate Trump, and we lose the Presidency, probably lose the Senate, maybe even lose the House, and now even lose our conservative majority on the SUPREME COURT for the next 30+ years. You thought the last eight years of Obama have been bad? Just wait until Comrade Clinton takes the reins for the next eight.


  3. Interestingly, in the Hannity interview the Cruz ad clips, Hannity actually persuades Trump to defund Planned Parenthood if they don’t stop providing abortions. The full interview, shows a Trump of weak convictions who doesn’t really care about the lives of babies and is hence uneducated on the issue, changing his position on the fly to say what he thinks people want to hear. Full interview queued to the Planned Parenthood section:

    Trump 1999: even partial birth abortion should be legal, but I’m personally against it, bc back then it was popular to be personally against it

    Trump 2015: My pro-partial-birth-abortion judicial activist sister (Judge Maryanne Trump Berry) would make a phenomenal Supreme Court Justice:

    Maryanne Trump’s pro-partial-abortion views:
    Sure maybe he was just praising his sister and didn’t mean what he said- or more likely, Trump sees grandstanding both ways on baby’s lives as a useful tactic to get things Trump cares about.


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