The Bush administration used the fear of terrorism as a political tool to garner public and congressional support for the invasion of Afghanistan, the country where the infamous Al Qaeda architect Osama bin Laden was thought to be hiding. Bush quickly thereafter justified sending the bulk of the military to Iraq because it was also a terrorist threat because of its massive stockpiles of ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ Of the 13 terrorists linked with the 9-11 attacks, nine were from Saudi Arabia (none from Iraq) who obtained passports from Iran and took orders from an Afghanistan-based organization. No weapons, no link to terrorism and no legal reason to attack. However, Bush decided to invade Iraq for causes deemed unacceptable to the vast majority of other nations so he repeatedly relied on and used false information to justify it. He lied. This discussion will examine how the truth was a casualty early and often during the lead up to the war and outlines some of the consequences brought about by these far-reaching and deadly deceptions.
The U.S. justified its invasion and occupation of Iraq to the nations of the world by proclaiming, if not proving, that it was a mission to remove weapons of mass destruction which threatened not only the U.S. but all other nations as well. Secretary of State Colin Powell and other administration officials, particularly with the U.S. Department of State, eagerly endeavored to state their rationale for aggressive military actions and make it as palatable to as many other countries as they could. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is quoted in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine dated May 28, 2003, as saying “For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction” (Shovelan, 2003).