Bush Administration Ignored Doubts on Iraq’s Nuke Program

4 October 2004 | DemocracyNow!

The New York Times has published a major 10,000 word investigation into how the Bush administration ignored claims from within its own government that Saddam Hussein did not have an active nuclear program before the invasion of Iraq. The article examines the story behind the claim that Iraq possessed aluminum tubes that could be used in a nuclear weapons program. The Bush administration repeatedly cited the existence of the tubes as definitive evidence that Iraq had a nuclear program. But what the Bush administration never revealed was that the top officials inside the Energy Department had concluded the tubes were being used not for a nuclear program, but to build conventional rockets. The paper said National Security Adivsor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld and Sec. Of State Colin Powell were all aware of the conflicting intelligences. But the Times reports “They sometimes overstated even the most dire intelligence assessments of the tubes, yet minimized or rejected the strong doubts of their own experts. They worried privately that the nuclear case was weak, but expressed sober certitude in public.” The Times went on to report “The result was a largely one-sided presentation to the public that did not convey the depth of evidence and argument against the administration’s most tangible proof of a revived nuclear weapons program in Iraq.”

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