Bush lied to me, and I’m mad as hell

Bush lied to the world and refuses to apologize.

Steven Snyder

Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq.”

I’m not sure if anyone caught it, but President George W. Bush implicitly admitted there are no illicit weapons in Iraq. Adding to one of the greatest scandals in U.S. history, a president admitted he led us to war for fictional reasons, and it barely even made the news.

Some may claim this has happened often over the course of U.S. history. I have heard revisionist opinions on Pearl Harbor, and of Roosevelt’s supposed knowledge of the attack. And I’m sure everyone has heard of the controversial Gulf of Tonkin incident that plunged us into Vietnam. But these revelations and debates occurred years later, as historians pored over documents and accounts.

Today, 16 months after the war on Iraq began, we have learned the Bush administration fed incorrect information to the U.S. public, U.S. troops and world about why we toppled Saddam Hussein. At best, they misinformed; at worst, they misled.

I wrote a number of columns in 2002 and 2003 defending Bush’s arguments for entering Iraq, citing the threat Hussein posed and the United States’ need to defend itself.

On March 26, 2003, I wrote: “Some are claiming Bush failed at diplomacy. How exactly, may I ask, did he fail at the United Nations? He went in, presented evidence, formed a coalition and approached other U.N. Security Council nations about a resolution. “

On September 16, 2002, I wrote: “Our president has told both reporters and Congress of actions within Iraq that make it a critical target. New stockpiles of weapons, movement of chemical and biological agents and the absence of U.N. weapons inspectors lead many to the conclusion that Iraq is a growing threat.”

Perosonally, I am offended I was lied to.

There was no reason to go into Iraq other than a preemptive strike against a future threat, and even once we establish that, we open a Pandora’s Box of new power wielded by the president of the United States.

Bush has converted our country from a proactive defender of its safety to an aggressive, imperialistic regime. He has given the Arab world, the U.N. and terrorist ranks more than enough reason to hate our country. He has damaged our reputation and reliability more than anyone has fully appreciated.

Yet still, he defended the Iraq mission on entirely new grounds last week, saying “We removed a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them. In the world after September 11th, that was a risk we could not afford to take.”

Please, take a moment and reread those lines. The same argument can be made about Iran, North Korea and China. It is a shocking thing for a president to say, and shows just how far this administration will bend their rhetoric to defend indefensible actions.

Hussein was indeed a despicable person, and his regime horrific. But short of defending ourselves, we had no right to bypass all avenues of international cooperation.

The buck is being passed around the federal government like a hot potato. Depending on who you listen to, it was the fault of the CIA, FBI, Senate Intelligence Committee or foreign intelligence. And granted, it was probably a mixture of all those things that led an eager president and secretary of defense to hear what they wanted to hear.

But my outrage concerns Bush’s continued lack of accountability. Not only does he not recognize the slip up, but he says it never mattered in the first place. The very reasons I cited in so many earlier columns, that so many Congressmen took as fact and that this country presented to the U.N., were simply not true. Bush stubbornly refuses to even say he’s sorry. Our president has lied to the world on our behalf and refuses to even apologize.

Come election time, however, I will not forget I was lied to, nor should you.

Steven Snyder welcomes feedback at [email protected]