Did it take a thousand untruths to get us into Iraq? Not quite.
According to a new study by two non-profit journalism organizations, "President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials...made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
The orchestrated campaign has been documented by the staffs of the Fund for Independence in Journalism and the Center for Public Integrity to create a data base of deception.
Some of the highlights:
.On August 26, 2002, Dick Cheney made a speech saying "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." The CIA had no idea of the basis for that claim.
.A month later, in his weekly radio address, the President said: "The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given...This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year."
.In July 2002, asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists, Don Rumsfeld answered, "Sure" despite the fact that his own Defense Intelligence and the CIA had no such evidence.
.A year later, President Bush told Polish TV: "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories." The two labs he cited, a team of experts found, "had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons."
The report concludes that the Bush Administration "led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses." White House reaction: "The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world." Add that to the list.
Now that 935 lies to get us into Iraq have been documented, collated and counted, how many more is it taking to keep us there?