The Early Days of a Better Nation

Monday, March 01, 2004

Clinton Knew

Iraq's real WMD and delivery systems had been destroyed in 1991. The Clinton administration had evidence for this no later than 1995, from the defector Hussein Kamel. This part of Kamel's testimony was covered up for years. Why?
The Bush team had an obvious motive for misrepresenting Iraq's WMD: They were pushing for an invasion of Iraq. But why did the Clinton administration distort Kamel's statements to exaggerate the Iraqi threat? Answering this question requires an understanding of the profound contradiction at the heart of Clinton's policy toward Iraq.

The terms of the 1991 Gulf War ceasefire had stated that economic sanctions against Iraq were to be lifted once it had complied with its postwar obligations, chiefly disarmament. Yet in the years after the war, Washington had quietly made clear that it would never contemplate lifting sanctions as long as Saddam remained in power -- whether or not he had disarmed.
Clinton handed Bush, and Blair, A Legacy of Lies.


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