NOTE: The author is donating all of his book revenues to charitable organizations serving U.S. veterans and their families

Misconceptions and the Facts

1.   DID President Bush and his advisers come into office intent
on launching a war in Iraq?

IN FACT:      

The question of how to deal with Iraq was a key national security issue inherited from the Clinton administration.

"At the Deputies level, we grappled for months with whether regime change in Iraq was a necessary goal of U.S. policy - and, if so, whether it might be achievable without war."

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2.   DID U.S. officials manipulate intelligence to induce the President to overthrow Saddam and to persuade the public to support the war?

IN FACT:    

The Pentagon-CIA dispute over the Iraq-al Qaida relationship began with the criticism that the CIA was politicizing its own intelligence reporting.

"That intelligence was consistent with assessments from the Administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and from foreign intelligence organizations and UN inspectors."

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3.   WAS the goal of regime change in Iraq simply a cover for pursuing political reform in the Middle East?

IN FACT:

The Pentagon "neocons" continually urged the President to tone down his democracy rhetoric.

"My own view was very clear: a U.S. president could not properly decide to go to war just to spread democracy, in the absence of a threat requiring self-defense."

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4.    DID Administration officials believe that the war in Iraq would be easy?

IN FACT:

The most powerful analysis of the downsides of going to war in Iraq came not from the State Department or the CIA. It came from Donald Rumsfeld.

"The [Defense Department's] list was more wide-ranging and hard-hitting than any warning I saw from State or the CIA-even though their leaders are widely viewed as the Administration's voices of caution on the war."

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5.    DID the State Department have a plan for postwar Iraq that was discarded by Defense officials?

IN FACT: The work of the State Department's Future of Iraq project was not a plan.
IN FACT: The key policy recommendations of the Future of Iraq report were opposed not by Defense officials but by Colin Powell and Richard Armitage.
IN FACT: State Department - not Defense - officials advocated a multiyear U.S. occupation of Iraq.

"The story is false: untrue in all respects."

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6.    DID the Administration fail to develop plans for post-war Iraq?

IN FACT:     

Post-war planning was the focus of a massive amount of work by various government agencies.

"The Administration's planning dealt with war preparations, war fighting, and postwar reconstruction."

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7.   DID the Defense Department plan to "anoint" Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile, as the leader of liberated Iraq?

IN FACT:

The officials in charge of political reconstruction in Iraq were never asked or ordered by anyone, directly or indirectly, to favor any particular leader.

"However often the story is repeated, it was and remains incorrect."

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8.   IS IT TRUE that "no WMD was found" in Iraq?

IN FACT:    

The Iraq Survey Group found that Saddam Hussein retained both the intention and the capability to revive bio-chemical weapons programs after sanctions were ended.

"The CIA's unsupportable statements about Iraqi stockpiles and WMD activity did not justify critics in making unsupportable pronouncements of their own, to the effect that Saddam had no WMD ambitions or capabilities."

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9.    WAS the war in Iraq fought only to remove WMD stockpiles?

IN FACT:     

Saddam's pattern of aggression, defiance, and ties to terrorists were a major concern, made all the more serious by his programs of WMD development.

"We worried that, in his effort to dominate the Persian Gulf and the broader Middle East, Saddam would aim to deter outside intervention by developing his conventional and WMD capabilities, along with the prohibited long-range missiles (or, possibly, terrorist alliances) to deliver them."

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SEE ALSO: Media Myths and Facts on http://www.dougfeith.com/.
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