Friday, November 04, 2005

Vietnam and Iraq: Intelligence Mistakes

Current debate over Iraq often centers over allegations that the Bush administration fixed intelligence to suit a pre-conceived policy.

Bush partisans disagree. They often suggest that errors about Iraq's WMD programs were just that, errors.

This brings to mind the now disputed "Tonkin Gulf incident" intelligence that LBJ used when he asked Congress for authorization to conduct American ground combat operations in Vietnam.

Our involvement in Vietnam ended tragically. Did it begin tragically? Who deserves blame? How much blame is shared? Was it fated to end tragically, because our involvement began in error? Ws it intentional error or accidental error? Did the beginning foreshadow the ending? Was it all inevitable?

From the Vietnamese perspective, just as with the different Iraqi factions, the whole debate differs, from all sides and all points of view.

Yet, when debating Vietnam or Iraq from an American perspective, which is the only one we can honestly try to speak to, the debate necessarily centers, for obvious reasons, on what reasons our President gives for war, how Congress responds, and what Consititions demands, requires, and allows.

Democrats now often note that our involvement in Vietnam began in earnest with with Eisenhower, following the French disaster at Dien Bien Phu. Further, they note that Vietnam had been part of French Colonial Indochina, much as Iraq was once occupied and carved out of the British Empire.

To over-simplify, many Dems suggest that LBJ inherited the problem, then he tried to improve what turned out to be incapable of American improvement. Thus, the tragedy of Vietnam.

Republicans point out that Ike never wanted to involve American ground troops in Indochina. Further, they note that it was Lyndon Johnson, who began America's ground combat role, after asking for and receiving authority from Congress via the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. (Which was based on disputed intel, as was the Iraq Res.)

To over-simplify, many Repubs believe Nixon inherited LBJ's tragedy, then tried to extricate "with honor."

(Incidentally, De Gaulle warned the U.S., from experience, not to go into Vietnam. Also, M. Chirac, an old Algerian war vet, warned President Bush not to invade Iraq. Whether or not M. De Gaulle or M.Chirac had the right motives will long be debated. Regardless, their advice now seems sound.)

According to the excepted story below, which we link to here, America's heavy combat involvement in Vietnam may have began by accidental intelligence errors.

If that is true, Vietnam's tragedy can now be blamed, in part, on a few errors made by a few guys in a some cubicle, rather than the Commander in Chief or the Congress.

(Incidentally, Bush has Halliburton in common with LBJ. LBJ's political career was funded primarily by a company (Brown & Root) that is now a subsidiary of Halliburton. The elder Bush worked with another company (Dresser) that is also a part of Halliburton.)

Why do Texas pols seem to be the victims of intel errors? Why was LBJ tricked? Why was Bush?

Are Texan President's fated to receive poor Intel that lead to war?

Scott Shane, New York Times, October 31, 2005:

"WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 - The National Security Agency has kept secret since 2001 a finding by an agency historian that during the Tonkin Gulf episode, which helped precipitate the Vietnam War, N.S.A. officers deliberately distorted critical intelligence to cover up their mistakes (italics and emphasis added by us)..."

"... first serious accusation that communications intercepted by the N.S.A., the secretive eavesdropping and code-breaking agency, were falsified so that they made it look as if North Vietnam had attacked American destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964, two days after a previous clash."

"... President Lyndon B. Johnson cited the supposed attack (Bush' "sixteen words," also accidental, inspired by the Niger yellowcake forgeries) to persuade Congress to authorize broad military action in Vietnam (Just like Bush's Iraq authorization) , but most historians have concluded in recent years that there was no second attack."

"The N.S.A. historian, Robert J. Hanyok, found a pattern of translation mistakes that went uncorrected, altered intercept times and selective citation of intelligence that persuaded him that midlevel agency officers had deliberately skewed the evidence." (LBJ was tricked! By accident?)

"Mr. Hanyok concluded that they had done it not out of any political motive but to cover up earlier errors, and that top N.S.A. and defense officials and Johnson neither knew about nor condoned the deception. (Whew, we were worried LBJ may have lied)"

"Mr. Hanyok's findings were published nearly five years ago in a classified in-house journal, and starting in 2002 he and other government historians argued that it should be made public. But their effort was rebuffed by higher-level agency policymakers, who by the next year were fearful that it might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in

"... Mr. Hanyok believed the initial misinterpretation of North Vietnamese intercepts was probably an honest mistake. But after months of detective work in N.S.A.'s archives, he concluded that midlevel agency officials discovered the error almost immediately but covered it up and doctored documents so that they appeared to provide evidence of an attack."

"Rather than come clean about their mistake, they helped launch the United States into a bloody war that would last for 10 years..." ( Mr. Aid, an independent historian of the NSA said)

"The intelligence official (Someone who spoke with Timesman Mr.Shane, and confimed Mr. Aid's revelation of Hanyok's work) ... said N.S.A. historians began pushing for public release in 2002, after Mr. Hanyok included his Tonkin Gulf findings in a 400-page, in-house history of the agency and Vietnam called "Spartans in Darkness." Though superiors initially expressed support for releasing it, the idea lost momentum as Iraq intelligence was being called into question, the official said."

"Many historians believe that even without the Tonkin Gulf episode, Johnson might have found a reason to escalate military action against North Vietnam. (Sounds like Bush cleverly attributing Yellowcake to impossible to verify British reports, when the forgeries were busted)"

"They note that Johnson apparently had his own doubts about the Aug. 4 attack and that a few days later told George W. Ball, the under secretary of state, "Hell, those dumb, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish!"" (Sounds like something Bush would say.)

"But Robert S. McNamara, who as defense secretary played a central role in the Tonkin Gulf affair, said in an interview last week that he believed the intelligence reports had played a decisive role in the war's expansion.
"I think it's wrong to believe that Johnson wanted war," Mr. McNamara said. "But we thought we had evidence that North Vietnam was escalating." (What evidence? Cheney said he had evidence...yada, yada, yada)

Mr. McNamara, 89, said he had never been told that the intelligence might have been altered to shore up the scant evidence of a North Vietnamese attack." (Whiz kid?)

"That really is surprising to me," said Mr. McNamara, who Mr. Hanyok found had unknowingly used the altered intercepts in 1964 and 1968 in testimony before Congress. "I think they ought to make all the material public, period."

(McNamara is easily gulled. So much for being a whiz kid.)

"The supposed second North Vietnamese attack, on the American destroyers Maddox and C. Turner Joy, played an outsize role in history. Johnson responded by ordering retaliatory air strikes on North Vietnamese targets and used the event to persuade Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution on Aug. 7, 1964.
It authorized the president "to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force," to defend South Vietnam and its neighbors and was used both by Johnson and President Richard M. Nixon to justify escalating the war, in which 58,226 Americans and more than 1 million Vietnamese died."

(Very similar to the Iraq authorization, which is often falsely called a vote for war, by people who never read the authorization.)

"... the phrase, "we sacrificed two comrades" - an apparent reference to casualties during the clash with American ships on Aug. 2 - was incorrectly translated as "we sacrificed two ships." That phrase was used to suggest that the North Vietnamese were reporting the loss of ships in a new battle Aug. 4, the intelligence official said.
The original Vietnamese version of that intercept, unlike many other intercepts from the same period, is missing from the agency's archives, the official said." (Big mistake!!)

(N.B. Commenting to the reporter, an intelligence official said this mistake was like a smoking gun (no musroom cloud, though), that illustrated a deliberate falsehood. Later, Mr. Prados, from the National Security Archive, pointed out the tragedy of treating intel like the Holy Grail. Maybe that was uninteded irony on Mr. Prados part. We have never read the Da Vinci code, nor do we intend to, but some conspiracy theorists think the Holy Grail story contains errors too, maybe intentionally, maybe not.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Historical Quotes: Freedom Related

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.
~General Smedley Butler

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
~George Washington

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all.

Military glory--that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood--that serpent's eye, that charms to destroy...
~Abraham Lincoln

Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
~James Madison

The dangerous patriot...drifts into chauvinism and exhibits blind enthusiasm for military actions.
~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps

It is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.
~Theodore Roosevelt

Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificually induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear.
~General Douglas MacArthur

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.
~George Orwell

What an immense mass of evil must result...from allowing men to assume the right of anticipating what may happen.
~Leo Tolstoy

It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood...War is hell.
~General William Tecumseh Sherman

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
~James Madison

Look at you in war...There has never been a just one, never an honorable one, on the part of the instigator of the war.
~Mark Twain

The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.
~James Madison

The dangerous a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory.
~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
~Theodore Roosevelt

War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
~General Smedley Butler

We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.
~Stephen Vincent Benét

Chauvinism is a proud and bellicose form of patriotism...which identifies numerous enemies who can only be dealt with through military power...
~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
~James Madison

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.
~General Smedley Butler

May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

To announce that there must be no criticism of the morally treasonable to the American public.
~Theodore Roosevelt

To declare that the end justifies the means, to declare that the government may commit crimes, would bring terrible retribution.
~Justice Louis D. Brandeis

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
~Thomas Jefferson

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
~James Madison

Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
~George Orwell

Our enemies...never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
~George W. Bush

Together we must learn how to compose difference, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose...
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Old men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.
~Herbert C. Hoover

The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded.
~Leo Tolstoy

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
~James Madison

All men having power ought to be mistrusted.
~James Madison

All war is based on deception.
~Sun Tzu

We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.
~Benjamin Harrison

The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.
~James Madison

Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
~Abraham Lincoln

Our nation is somewhat sad, but we’re angry. There’s a certain level of blood lust, but we won’t let it drive our reaction. We’re steady, clear-eyed and patient, but pretty soon we’ll have to start displaying scalps.
~George W. Bush

Force always attracts men of low morality.
~Albert Einstein

War is just a racket...I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else.
~General Smedley Butler

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
~General Smedley Butler

If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
~George W. Bush

We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other's children.
~Jimmy Carter

Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men.
~Pope John Paul II

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.
~George Washington

We must recognize the chief characteristic of the modern era--a permanent state of what I call violent peace.
~Admiral James D. Watkins

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.
~Thomas Jefferson

No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or ensure it of victory in time of war.
~Calvin Coolidge

Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man has a right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has quarrel with mine, although I have none with him?
~Blaise Pascal

An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war.

It is the youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow...that are the aftermath of war.
~Herbert C. Hoover

There's no difference between one's killing and making decisions that will send others to kill. It's exactly the same thing, or even worse.
~Golda Meir

In war, truth is the first casualty.

At least we're getting the kind of experience we need for the next war.
~Allen Dulles

War is the greatest plague that can affect humanity; it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it.
~Martin Luther

How vile and despicable war seems to me! I would rather be hacked to pieces than take part in such an abominable business.
~Albert Einstein

War is the Health of the State.
~Randolph Bourne

You can't have this kind of war. There just aren't enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

One more such victory and we are undone.
~Pyrrhus of Epirus

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force...Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
~George Washington

It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.
~George Washington

I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
~H. L. Mencken

America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.
~John Quincy Adams

...patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind.
~Julius Caesar

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
~Thomas Jefferson

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.
~Thomas Jefferson

There never was a good war or a bad peace.
~Benjamin Franklin

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
~James Madison

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
~Thomas Jefferson

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
~H.L. Mencken

America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.
~John Quincy Adams

When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
~Leo Tolstoy

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
~James Madison

The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.
~George Washington

I think war is a dangerous place.
~George W. Bush

When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.
~George Orwell

Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.
~George Orwell

War has become a spectator sport for Americans.
~Rear Admiral Gene R. LaRocque

We all have to be concerned about terrorism, but you will never end terrorism by terrorizing others.
~Martin Luther King III

Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.
~General Douglas MacArthur

Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
~James Madison

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
~James Madison

The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.
~James Madison

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
~James Madison

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
~James Madison

I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.
~George W. Bush

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

...the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.
~George W. Bush

If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road.
~George W. Bush

The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.
~James Madison

There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that's just a fact.
~Donald Rumsfeld

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak...
~John Adams

Power always thinks...that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.
~John Adams

Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.
~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

War is a way of shattering to pieces...materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses... too intelligent.
~George Orwell

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie: deliberate, continued, and dishonest; but the myth: persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
~John F. Kennedy

My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military.
~General Smedley Butler (USMC, Ret.)

Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
~George Orwell

Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction.
~George W. Bush

These people are trying to shake the will of the Iraqi citizens, and they want us to leave...I think the world would be better off if we did leave...
~George W. Bush (on Iraqi Insurgency)

War is a defeat for humanity.
~Pope John Paul II

Wars generally do not resolve the problems for which they are fought and therefore...prove ultimately futile.
~Pope John Paul II

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
~James Madison

The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.
~William O. Douglas

We may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.
~George Orwell

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
~Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Historical Quotes: Iraq Related

"How the United States should react if Iraq acquired WMD. The first line of defense...should be a clear and classical statement of deterrence--if they do acquire WMD, their weapons will be unusable because any attempt to use them will bring national obliteration."- Condoleeza Rice, US National Security AdvisorJanuary/February 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs2/1/2000

"[F]rankly [sanctions] have worked. [Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction." - Colin Powell, Sec. of State, Statement to press, Cairo, Egypt, 2/24/01

"We are greatly concerned about any possible linkup between terrorists and regimes that have or seek weapons of mass destruction...In the case of Saddam Hussein, we've got a dictator who is clearly pursuing and already possesses some of these weapons. A regime that hates America and everything we stand for must never be permitted to threaten America with weapons of mass destruction."- Dick Cheney, Vice PresidentDetroit, Fund-Raiser6/20/2002

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."- Dick Cheney, Vice PresidentSpeech to VFW National Convention8/26/2002

"There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryResponse to Question From Press9/6/2002

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."- Condoleeza Rice, US National Security AdvisorCNN Late Edition9/8/2002

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."- George W. Bush, PresidentSpeech to UN General Assembly9/12/2002

"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."- George W. Bush, PresidentRadio Address10/5/2002

"The Iraqi regime...possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."- George W. Bush, PresidentCincinnati, Ohio Speech10/7/2002

"And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons."- George W. Bush, PresidentCincinnati, Ohio Speech10/7/2002

"After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon."- George W. Bush, PresidentCincinnati, Ohio Speech10/7/2002

"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."- George W. Bush, PresidentCincinnati, Ohio Speech10/7/2002

"Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq's procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand."- John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms ControlSpeech to the Hudson Institute11/1/2002

"We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material -- whether from a foreign source or by securing the materials to build an indigenous fissile material capability -- it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year. It has rebuilt its civilian chemical infrastructure and renewed production of chemical warfare agents, probably including mustard, sarin, and VX. It actively maintains all key aspects of its offensive BW program."- John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms ControlSpeech to the Hudson Institute11/1/2002

"Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or to individual terrorists...The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction."- Dick Cheney, Vice PresidentDenver, Address To Air National Guard12/1/2002

"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing12/2/2002

"The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryResponse to Question From Press12/4/2002

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing1/9/2003

"I am absolutely convinced, based on the information that's been given to me, that the weapon of mass destruction which can kill more people than an atomic bomb -- that is, biological weapons -- is in the hands of the leadership of Iraq."- Bill Frist, Senate Majority LeaderMSNBC Interview1/10/2003

"What is unique about Iraq compared to, I would argue, any other country in the world, in this juncture, is the exhaustion of diplomacy thus far, and, No. 2, this intersection of weapons of mass destruction."- Bill Frist, Senate Majority LeaderNewsHour Interview1/22/2003

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."- George W. Bush, PresidentState of the Union Address1/28/2003

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."- George W. Bush, PresidentState of the Union Address1/28/2003

"In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it."- George W. Bush, PresidentSpeech to the American Enterprise Institute2/26/2003

"I am not eager to send young Americans into harm's way in Iraq, or to see innocent people killed or hurt in military operations. Given all of the facts and circumstances known to us, however, I am convinced that if we wait, a threat will continue to materialize in Iraq that could cause incalculable damage to world peace in general, and to the United States in particular."- Bill Frist, Senate Majority LeaderLetter to Future of Freedom Foundation3/1/2003

"Iraq is a grave threat to this nation. It desires to acquire and use weapons of mass terror and is run by a despot with a proven record of willingness to use them. Iraq has had 12 years to comply with UN requirements for disarmament and has failed to do so. The president is right to say it's time has run out."- Bill Frist, Senate Majority LeaderSenate Speech3/7/2003

"Getting rid of Saddam Hussein's regime is our best inoculation. Destroying once and for all his weapons of disease and death is a vaccination for the world."- Bill Frist, Senate Majority LeaderWashington Post op-ed3/16/2003

"Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that based on intelligence, that has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."- Dick Cheney, Vice PresidentMeet The Press3/16/2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."- George W. Bush, PresidentAddress to the Nation3/17/2003

"The United now at war so we will not ever see what terrorists could do if supplied with weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein."- Bill Frist, Senate Majority LeaderSenate Debate3/20/2003

"Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing3/21/2003

"One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites."- Victoria Clark, Pentagon SpokeswomanPress Briefing3/22/2003

"I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction."- Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board memberWashington Post, p. A273/23/2003

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefenseABC Interview3/30/2003

"We simply cannot live in fear of a ruthless dictator, aggressor and terrorist such as Saddam Hussein, who possesses the world's most deadly weapons."- Bill Frist, Senate Majority LeaderSpeech to American Israel Political Action Committee3/31/2003

"We still need to find and secure Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq's borders so we can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime officials out of the country."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefensePress Conference4/9/2003

"You bet we're concerned about it. And one of the reasons it's important is because the nexus between terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction...and terrorist groups -- networks -- is a critical link. And the thought that...some of those materials could leave the country and in the hands of terrorist networks would be a very unhappy prospect. So it is important to us to see that that doesn't happen."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefensePress Conference4/9/2003

"Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty."- Robert Kagan, Neocon scholarWashington Post op-ed4/9/2003

"I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing4/10/2003

"But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing4/10/2003

"Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefenseMeet the Press4/13/2003

""We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them."- George W. Bush, PresidentNBC Interview4/24/2003

"There are people who in large measure have information that we that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefensePress Briefing4/25/2003

"We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."- George W. Bush, PresidentRemarks to Reporters5/3/2003

"We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefenseFox News Interview5/4/2003

"I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program."- George W. Bush, PresidentRemarks to Reporters5/6/2003

"U.S. officials never expected that 'we were going to open garages and find' weapons of mass destruction."- Condoleeza Rice, US National Security AdvisorReuters Interview5/12/2003

"We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites, that you'd have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you."- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of DefenseInterview with Australian Broadcasting5/13/2003

"It's going to take time to find them, but we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we're going to find out the truth. One thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction."- George W. Bush, PresidentSpeech at a weapons factory in Ohio5/25/2003

"They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefenseRemarks to Council on Foreign Relations5/27/2003

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of DefenseVanity Fair interview5/28/2003

"The President is indeed satisfied with the intelligence that he received. And I think that's borne out by the fact that, just as Secretary Powell described at the United Nations, we have found the bio trucks that can be used only for the purpose of producing biological weapons. That's proof-perfect that the intelligence in that regard was right on target."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing5/29/2003

"We have teams of people that are out looking. They've investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefenseInfinity Radio Interview5/30/2003

"But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."- George W. Bush, PresidentInterview with TVP Poland5/30/2003

"You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons...They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two...And we'll find more weapons as time goes on."- George W. Bush, PresidentPress Briefing5/30/2003

"We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents. This is the man who spent decades hiding tools of mass murder. He knew the inspectors were looking for them. You know better than me he's got a big country in which to hide them. We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth."- George W. Bush, President Camp Sayliya, Qatar6/5/2003

"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored."- Condoleeza Rice, US National Security AdvisorMeet the Press6/8/2003

"What the president has said is because it's been the long-standing view of numerous people, not only in this country, not only in this administration, but around the world, including at the United Nations, who came to those conclusions...And the president is not going to engage in the rewriting of history that others may be trying to engage in."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryResponse to Question From Press6/9/2003

"Iraq had a weapons program...Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program."- George W. Bush, PresidentComment to Reporters6/9/2003

"Those documents were only one piece of evidence in a larger body of evidence suggesting that Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Africa...The issue of Iraq's pursuit of uranium in Africa is supported by multiple sources of intelligence. The other sources of evidence did and do support the president's statement."- Sean McCormack, National Security Council SpokesmanStatement to press6/13/2003

"My personal view is that their intelligence has been, I'm sure, imperfect, but good. In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general, and that you always will find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it, and I think that will happen."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefensePress Briefing6/18/2003

"I have reason, every reason, to believe that the intelligence that we were operating off was correct and that we will, in fact, find weapons or evidence of weapons, programs, that are conclusive. But that's just a matter of time...It's now less than eight weeks since the end of major combat in Iraq and I believe that patience will prove to be a virtue."- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of DefensePentagon media briefing6/24/2003

"I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."- Ari Fleischer, Press SecretaryPress Briefing7/9/2003