1997 Origin of the Lie That Started the War in Iraq (PNAC essay)
There are far more than 16 false words leading up to the war in Iraq. The truth is that George Bush's Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitze are among the signatories to a January 1998 letter urging then-president Bill Clinton to take action against Iraq based upon a false claim of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The letter, was signed by several Directors of the then-new "Project for a New American Century" (PNAC). PNAC was established to promote American militarism across-the-board, but with a peculiar interest in Iraq specifically. Of particular note is the claim that Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction" as of 1997.
Was it mere circumstance that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were chosen for positions at the top of George Bush's Defense Department, given a definite desire for war in Iraq and a conviction that Saddam had dreaded WMDs and an active desire to use them?
Perhaps not. If we look at the initial statement of principles, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are not the only Iraq-Hawks among the new Project Directors at its founding in 1997. As a matter of fact, a quick look at PNAC's initial statement of purpose penned in 1997 indicates current Vice President Dick Cheney, former Vice President for Daddy-Bush Dan Quayle and Bush-Brother Jeb Bush as founding members of PNAC. Read it here.
The last question perhaps would be "Why did George Bush wait until after September 11, 2001 if his political cronies and cohorts had him convinced that Saddam Hussein was such a dire threat?" Why didn't George come out swinging during the 2000 election campaign if he "knew" a threat existed? Why did he not enter office selling his tale of terror? Why was the WMD claim espoused in early 1998 not thoroughly investigated prior to invasion? Was September 11 an excuse for war with Iraq rather than a reason -- or was George Bush awaiting a politically expedient moment to declare himself a wartime Prez in order to help assure his reelection to a second term? Did Rove recommend Bush bide his time waiting for a handy "powder keg" incident in order to start his war?
And why is no one asking those questions now?