Former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer attempted to justify the invasion of Iraq, but a variety of experts and others who remember the era fact-checked his efforts.
The former White House official insisted the anti-war slogan “Bush lied, people died” was itself a lie, claiming the Bush administration had been the victim of a “major intelligence failure.”
“The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded,” Fleischer tweeted. “The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.”
The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) March 20, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
Fleischer’s self-serving justifications were called out as flatly false by CIA analysts, historians, journalists and numerous others, who provided examples of perfidy by former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and other Bush administration officials in the push for war.
Damn, Ari. I’ve been through this BS before. Cheney started out your push for war in a major speech claiming Saddam was amassing WMDs to use against the US. There was no intelligence concluding that. It was a lie. https://t.co/SLLsNZqGnYADVERTISEMENT
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) March 20, 2019
–“My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” March 16, 2003.ADVERTISEMENT
— Nada Bakos (@nadabakos) March 20, 2019
Bullshit. I knew there were no WMDs. You & Bush lied: On Feb 24, 2003 Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that “raises questions about whether the WMD stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist” @FAIRmediawatch https://t.co/XPEiL5wQfE https://t.co/usmbUYKhVRADVERTISEMENT
— Steve Rhodes (@tigerbeat) March 20, 2019
You just can’t admit to your crimes against humanity. I get that. But stop with victim talk as if you’re being maligned. You had ample warning that invading Iraq was wrong.ADVERTISEMENT
— Chris Sampson (@TAPSTRIMEDIA) March 20, 2019
— Jonathan M. Katz✍🏻 (@KatzOnEarth) March 20, 2019
You’re complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and no one is dumb enough to fall for this shitADVERTISEMENT
— Pixelated Boat: The Junior Novelization (@pixelatedboat) March 20, 2019
“About 10 days after 9/11… This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”https://t.co/hw5DzZHIi9ADVERTISEMENT
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 20, 2019
In Feb 02, IAEA director Mohammed ElBaradei said “we have found to date no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq.” The Germans warned us that Curveball was a questionable source BEFORE the Iraq NIE was published.ADVERTISEMENT
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) March 20, 2019
Remember the Blix commission? They weren’t finding WMDs at the sites that were flagged. You had them kicked out before they could finish not finding the nonexistent WMDs.ADVERTISEMENT
— 📚orygoon🚲 (@wilkehagen1) March 20, 2019
Could you please make a trip to the Hague and make this argument there?
— Damien Miller (@damienmiller) March 20, 2019
Even if Saddam had had WMD, you never considered the possibility of the United States losing the war, which is what happened. Iran won, as was predictable. Hundreds of thousands of dead, thousands of them children, also completely forseeable.
History will never forgive you.
— Wilson Dizard (@willdizard) March 20, 2019
I was a grad student and all of Middle East Studies (minus Daniel Pipes and that ilk) were arguing against war through every channel, protesting, urging US powerbrokers to listen. You all didn’t listen, you didn’t care. You “knew” Saddam had WMD because you wanted to know that.
— Kristin Shamas (@UmDeac) March 20, 2019
Overwhelming evidence you lie:
“There was no such ‘intelligence failure.’ On the contrary, there was an extremely successful disinformation campaign coordinated by the CIA in furtherance of the government’s policy of seeking regime change in Iraq”https://t.co/3oHefPgFWI
— Jeffrey Kaye (@jeff_kaye) March 20, 2019
You pushed Helen Thomas out of the way – we saw this, because she asked unconfortable questions. And you didn’t like being caught lying: https://t.co/8nrzqAqCx6
— Miguel de Icaza @ GDC (@migueldeicaza) March 20, 2019
Between this and Max Boot’s “oh let’s not say neocon anymore okay” and Elliot Fucking Abrams it’s like can’t we just get you fuckers a group rate to Den Haag
— Roy Edroso (@edroso) March 20, 2019
Trump absolutely sucks ass, and the collection of multiply infected clowns and grifters and horny golf creatures he’s surrounded himself with are all disgraceful. But man they’ve got miles to go before they catch the more outwardly respectable Bush people. https://t.co/pW0tImMIDd
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) March 20, 2019
Remember when Cheney leaked/lied to Judith Miller that there were WMD in Iraq, and then used her reporting as evidence of WMD in Iraq.
— koush (@koush) March 20, 2019
Office of Special Plans, dude. Karen Kwiatkowski can brief you.
— Tom Sullivan (@BloggersRUs) March 20, 2019
I hate to be the one to tell you, but the left was saying “Bush lied, people died” long before no WMDs were found b/c they, along with most analysts and inspectors, realized that the administration was misrepresenting intelligence findings.
— 🦇 Jack Rossiter-Munley 🦇 (@JackRossiterMun) March 20, 2019
Tens of thousands of children were murdered by our bombs because of your bullshit. The fact that you don’t blow your brains out every time you have five minutes to reflect on your life proves what a fucking sociopath you are.
— Guy Endore-Kaiser (@GuyEndoreKaiser) March 20, 2019
Bush said, “We don’t know whether or not he has a nuclear weapon.” That was a lie. The intelligence community said he did not have nuclear weapons. More lies here:https://t.co/jy7q4GuBAX pic.twitter.com/qfLK70n5h3
— Billy Freeland (@policyjunkie) March 20, 2019
GW Bush is a war criminal responsible for the deaths of 100s of thousands of Iraqi civilians and creating more terrorists than any president in history. If there was any justice in this world, HE’d be the one living out his days in Gitmo, and the shoe dude would’ve aimed better. pic.twitter.com/fCNFJZUBXe
— Tuxedo Mask (@TheLoveBel0w) March 20, 2019