Earlier today, the Pentagon released a declassified document from September 2002 justifying the Iraq War, and boy is it a doozy. Titled "The Case for Action," the Department of Defense presentation was released now in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. While much of it is a trip down memory lane, the document is unique for revealing what the Bush administration did and didn't know by its own internal admissions. For example:
That's a funny sort of admission given that President Bush would go on to link the war in Iraq to 9/11 time and time again, but we digress. Taken as a whole, the document gives you a sense of how much the administration was truly hedging when unequivocally stating things like Iraq has weapons of mass destruction or links to Al Qaeda. Here are the worst excuses we found for going to war:
- We Should Invade Iraq Because a Terrorist Once Hung Out in Baghdad
The use of the word "ridiculous" is particularly intriguing given that the CIA would completely repudiate the claim in 2006 that Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Hussein had any "prewar" ties whatsoever.
- We Should Invade Iraq Because It Will Finally Bring About Peace in the Middle East
Woops! That didn't work out too well.
- We Should Invade Iraq Because of This Tangentially-Relevant WWII Event
What can we say? Case closed.
- We Should Invade Iraq to Teach Other Countries a Lesson
Clearly, this worked very well with Iran.
- We Should Invade Iraq Because They're Messing With Camelpox!
At a certain point in time, the threat of Iraq generating a smallpox virus to attack the U.S. based on these camelpox experiments was repeated at length. Too bad it was a farce. "Even if Iraq or another country were able to use camelpox as a biological weapon, some experts believe treatments for smallpox may be adequate to counteract it," reported UPI. "Presumably, the smallpox vaccine would work just fine" in preventing an outbreak, an NIH doctor told the news agency. So much for that.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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