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The Bush Administration’s Public Statements on Iraq

[ The new Waxman report, dealing with Administration statements on Iraq, is a welcome sequel to his August, 2003, Politics & Science: Investigating the State of Science Under the Bush Administration. –doclalor ]

About Iraq on the Record

Iraq on the Record website, presented by Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives

On March 19, 2003, U.S. forces began military operations in Iraq. Addressing the nation about the purpose of the war on the day the bombing began, President Bush stated: “The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.” One year later, many doubts have been raised regarding the Administration’s assertions about the threat posed by Iraq.

Prepared at the direction of Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the Iraq on the Record Database is a searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice.The Iraq on the Record Report (PDF) is a comprehensive examination of these statements.

(For more information on how these statements were selected, see the full methodology.)

In the News

In recent days, Administration officials have made statements that are inconsistent with or contradict previous public statements:

  • Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz: “We never said there were stockpiles.” [Interview with Howard Arenstein, CBS Radio (Mar. 16, 2004)]
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: “Well, you’re the — you and a few other critics are the only people I’ve heard use the phrase ‘immediate threat.’ I didn’t. The president didn’t. And it’s become kind of folklore that that’s — that’s what’s happened.” [Face the Nation, CBS (Mar. 14, 2004)]
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