Wednesday, January 23, 2008

MORE ASSORTED LIES: Courtesy of the Public Integrity database

"As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens they represent in Europe know, Zarqawi's terrorism is not confined to the Middle East," said Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, the above slide on-screen. "Zarqawi and his network have plotted terrorist actions against countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia."

Readers now know there never was a 'UK poison cell' linked to Zarqawi in Iraq. For reasons known only to itself, the Bush administration took news of ricin found in a flat in a Wood Green apartment above a pharmacy in London, later shown by UK scientists to be a false positive, and inflated it into a spidery terror plot linking all the way back to Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. (What was found: A handful of castor beans in a jewelry tin, dubbed fairly inconsequential in a London terror trial, belonging to a man named Kamel Bourgass. Bourgass was convicted of murder of a policeman during his arrest in an earlier trial and the lesser charge of conspiracy to cause a nuisance with poisons in a second trial in which other defendants, alleged to be part of the 'UK poison cell', were cleared.)

The original slide is still on a Whitehouse server, here. And more slides on the same topic, used for deadening emphasis here, here, and here.

Utterly disgraceful. Actually, well beyond disgrace. Disgrace just isn't up to it.

Using the Center for Public Integrity's search function, it was simple to pull up a few more lies and staged frauds in which familiars in the Bush administration peddled the so-called UK poison cell in exhortations, among hundreds of others, used to start the Iraq war.

January 10, 2003

Vice President Dick Cheney, Remarks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

The gravity of the threat we face was underscored in recent days when British police arrested seven suspected terrorists in London and discovered a small quantity of ricin, one of the world's deadliest poisons, for which no cure exists. Make no mistake, America is at war. And the front lines are our centers of work, of transportation, of commerce, and entertainment ... We will also continue our efforts to stop the grave danger presented by Al Qaeda or other terrorists joining with outlaw regimes that have developed weapons of mass destruction to attack their common enemies—the United States and our allies. That is why confronting the threat posed by Iraq is not a distraction from the war on terror. It is absolutely crucial to winning the war on terror. As the president has said, "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group, or individual terrorists"—which is why the war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction."

Paul Wolfowitz, in a television interview with WJW, February 6, 2003

Question: I want to talk about that for just a minute. How close is the tie that people need to see between Al Qaeda and Iraq? And what specifically is Saddam Hussein and Iraq doing to support Al Qaeda?

Wolfowitz: I think it's important to understand that when we talk about terrorist networks, we probably see the tip of the iceberg. I suspect we know 10 percent of what there is to know. And if you just sort of think retrospectively how relatively little we knew before September 11th of what those terrorists were doing, and even if we had known that some of them were taking flight lessons, it wouldn't have told us what they had in mind.

So we're talking about people who hide their plans very carefully, and the connection to a government like that would be hidden even more carefully. And yet, in spite of that, we see, for example, close connections between Iraqi intelligence, and even the Iraqi leadership, and this network that is actively working to do attacks with ricin and other deadly toxins. Some of them have been arrested in London. Some have been arrested in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. We're working on finding as many of them as we can. The problem is, some of them are hiding, probably effectively.

February 19, 2003

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Interview on BBC

BBC: What some people in the demonstrations I would guess are concerned about is if it does come to a conflict as you say, is the issue that the risk of the conflict. I think it's been reported recently that Secretary [Donald] Rumsfeld has in his drawer a list of risks which include the possibility that Saddam Hussein could actually use his suspected weapons of mass destruction, that the war itself would be protracted and enormously destabilizing. What's your response to that?

Wolfowitz: First of all the risk is there, but the risk grows the longer we wait. If that means let's just keep waiting until he has more and more weapons and more and more connections to terrorists. The [Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi network which was involved in the operation in London has multiplied by many other networks and tentacles. It seems to me it's a formula for just having a bigger conflagration later.

Search the Public Integrity database.


Post a Comment

<< Home