Bush’s Iraq Lies, Uncontested, Will Haunt Us Under Trump

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The CODEPINK Tribunal taking place December 1 and 2, and live streamed by The Real News, is a historic collection of testimonies about the lies and costs of the Iraq war. It takes on new meaning with the incoming Trump administration, and the hawks who are flocking to join that administration with their sights set on starting yet another war in the Middle East, this time in Iran.

My testimony started with the first CODEPINK action against the war that took place in Congress. It was September 18, 2002, the day Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified before the House Armed Services Committee about why the US military should invade Iraq. He accused Saddam Hussein of having and hiding weapons of mass destruction, raised the specter of an Iraqi-initiated September 11-style attack and told the Committee that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a global threat.

The fact that no one was held accountable means that today, many of the very same architects of the Iraq invasion, from General David Petraeus to John Bolton, may join the Trump administration and take us into a new war with Iran. My colleague Diane Wilson and I were in the audience, just behind Rumsfeld and a row of generals. It was the first time we had ever attended a Congressional hearing. Shaking, I got up and belted out: “Mr. Rumsfeld, we need weapons inspections, not war. Why are you obstructing the inspections? Isn’t this really about oil? How many civilians will be killed? How many Iraqis will be killed?” We unfurled banners that said: UN Weapons Inspection, Not US War” and repeated that chant over and over until the police came to forcibly remove us.

Once we were out of the room, Rumsfeld joked about us and said: “Of course, the country that threw the inspectors out was not the United States. It was not the United Nations. It was Iraq that threw the inspectors out.”

That was a lie. Iraq did not expel the inspectors. In December 1998, the weapons inspectors withdrew for their safety in anticipation of a US-British bombing campaign. But this was just one of so many lies about Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and his unwillingness to yield to weapons inspections.

In February 2003, just weeks before the US invasion, CODEPINK led a delegation to Iraq. We wanted to see for ourselves what the Iraqis were thinking, particularly the women. We found them terrified at the prospect of a US invasion. Some said to us, in hushed voices, “Yes, Saddam is a dictator, but we don’t want the U.S. military to liberate us. That is something we must do ourselves.”

We also wanted to meet with the UN weapons inspectors, and we did. They told us there were no weapons of mass destruction and that even if there were, the very presence of so many inspectors in the country guaranteed that they would not be used.

Two weeks after we returned, on March 7, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported to the UN Security Council. Based on more than a hundred…

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  • CanYouHandleTheTruth?

    Until Israel is brought to justice for masterminding and perpetrating 9/11, this will haunt every presidency. I can appreciate bringing everybody together, but not letting criminals off for mass murder, fraud, theft, war crimes, treason, genocide, geez, what crime didn’t Israel commit in the commission of their 9/11 offenses and war crimes and acts of war against the US?

    • Hank

      Israel has morally compromised the United States in varying degrees since its statehood was accepted by the UN(1949). At first it was easy to get mileage out of the “protecting Jews” excuse to helping it. As time has passed and more Americans see the duplicity and criminality of the Israeli AND Americans regimes, there will be more pressure on US “leaders” to put “America first”instead of raining “aid” money down at every Israeli request for it at the expense of the hard-working tax-paying American! If Trump wants to REALLY make American great again, he will have to tell Israel that “the buck stops here!”

      • CanYouHandleTheTruth?

        Trump should demand Israel surrender and the international community should begin inspections and start the process of dismantling Israel’s military and government, then…the region of Palestine should be given back to Palestine, the criminals in Israel brought to justice for their land theft, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and genocide of Palestine. The bible is a plagiarism of the ancient Sumerian story meaning Judaism is a fraud and those in “Israel” have zero claim to Palestine.

    • NobodysaysBOO

      You are right the RE-building of the USA can’t get any traction until some JUSTICE is given to the VICTIMS of 911 , HANGING Bush and his DANCING JEWS that DID 911 on NATIONAL TV is the only way forward.

  • Tom

    The new Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, is widely hailed as one of our greatest generals. But how can you be a great military leader when you don’t know who the enemy is? Until Mattis and Trump come clean on 9/11 we are doomed to continue lashing out at everyone except who we need to take down: Israel, the Zionists, and the central bankers. We can do all that without a single soldier leaving our shores.

  • Darkwing

    Bush 2 lied, millions died, trillions spent and everyone of you sheeple are pissed off about emails of Clinton. But the great, wonderful bush 2 was, what, a republican, that is the difference. Ass wipes