Bush uses spin to obscure Iraqi intelligence issues

Joshua Horton

Joshua Horton

Politicians from local to national levels use spin. Spin is the chocolate frosting on a week-old doughnut. And although it’s obviously stale, the frosting seems to make it look edible. There is a lot of similarity between that week-old doughnut and the Bush Administration’s story on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction; they’re both full of holes.

In August of 2002, Vice President Cheney said “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” The spin campaign continued into October when the Bush Administration claimed that Hussein had “massive stockpiles of biological weapons.” In January of 2003, Ari Fleisher, White House Spokesman said “We know for a fact there are weapons there.” And in the few weeks before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration was making claims that Iraq was “dealing with al Qaeda” and that on any day Iraq could give WMDs to al Qaeda.

Enter Dr. David Kay, former top U.S. Weapons Inspector and friend of Bush, who led the search for WMDs in Iraq after the recent war. Kay has publicly said that he believes that there were “never any weapon stockpiles in Iraq.” Just as fast as lightning, the Bush Administration said that it was the fault of the CIA, that the intelligence information was wrong. Blocking any backlash during the campaign season, the Administration quickly said they would appoint an “independent commission” to investigate the “intelligence failures that caused us to go to war.” Quick note; Representative Henry Waxman called for a commission for exactly the same reasons Bush is now, only last June.

It should be noted that previous administrations have left the appointment of similar commissions up to lawmakers on both sides, especially when dealing with delicate political issues like this. Democratic leaders have expressed their discontent for this action not only for its lack of regard for precedent, but because it does not inspire confidence in the impartiality of the commission. By setting up the commission himself, Bush has already set the due date of the report until after the election. The obvious benefit of this is that it takes away one reason for voters to be angry with him during his re-election campaign. Just a quick note; in 1983, after the terrorist attacks on U.S. troops in Beirut, a commission was appointed. It finished its work within three months.

So who did Bush appoint? The commission includes Laurence Silberman, former judge and one of the co-chairs of the commission, Chuck Robb, former Democratic senator and the other co-chair of the commission, Senator John McCain, Lloyd Cutler, former White House Counsel, Richard Levin, President of Yale University, William Studeman, former CIA Deputy Director, and Patrica Wald, former U.S. Appeals Court Judge.

Although several of the members are Democrats, the true independence of the commission is hard to determine since they were all hand-picked by a Bush Administration that was misleading America already.

That’s Bush’s America for you.

Reach Joshua Horton at [email protected].