For further proof that Congresswoman Heather Wilson must think her constituents will buy into every phony claim she doles out, just look to this warm and fuzzy offering in her Feb. 7 e-newsletter from Washington. Under the heading "Wilson statement about State of the Union address," our elected representative offers this single paragraph: "I thought the President gave a very strong speech. To me, the most powerful moment was not what was said, but something we saw. An Iraqi human rights activist, who is the daughter of a man murdered by Saddam Hussein, embraced the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq fighting for her freedom and the right to vote. It was a powerful visual reminder of what this is all about."
Never mind that she completely ducks Bush's Social Security plans that were laden with vague and misleading statements (see www.factcheck.org), let's look at Wilson's remarks in the Alibi dating back to Feb. 2003, in the days preceding our march to war.
"I think what this is really about with respect to Iraq is their development of chemical, biological and nuclear programs and their intent to use those weapons," she said. Moments later, she repeated this talking point, which of course echoed the White House's ostensible cause for attacking Iraq. (That is, when Dick Cheney wasn't busy inferring that Saddam Hussein assisted al Qaeda in committing the 9-11 atrocities). "Obviously we are putting ourselves in a position to buttress and support the U.N. inspections," Wilson said, "but if Iraq does not cooperate, (we need) to deal with that threat, and it's the chemical, biological and nuclear threat."
To further her point, Wilson continued: "I went back in September and October (2002) and got a lot of information from people in the government and outside of the government on what was going on in Iraq and became convinced that they do have the chemical and biological program. They are trying to get nuclear weapons, although I don't think they have them yet."
When asked what type of military action she supported, Wilson said, "Whenever you decide to use military force, you have to have a clear political objective and that to me is the denial of Saddam Hussein's ability to use chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Military strategy has to be tied to those political objectives. I opposed U.S. action in Kosovo because I felt our military strategy was not tied to a political objective, which was largely humanitarian."
And finally, she said: "If we were after his oil, we sure had our chance back in 1991. I don't think that's what this is about. I really think it has to do with—for everyone that I talked with, no matter which side of the aisle, or no matter how they voted on the resolution—it really is focused on the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons."
Which brings me to an article in The Los Angeles Times from Feb. 1, printed just one day before Bush's State of the Union speech, entitled, "CIA Corrects Itself on Arms: A report, the first of its kind, says Baghdad ended its chemical weapons program in '91."
It was a perfect time to release such a story if you work for the White House, since nobody will be paying attention to it, distracted by the State of the Union and the Social Security imbroglio that came with it. In fact, while the story was picked up all over the world, it was practically ignored by our mainstream media here at home.
Nonetheless, the lead of the Times story states, "In what may be a formal acknowledgment of the obvious, the CIA has issued a classified report revising its prewar assessments on Iraq and concluding that Baghdad abandoned its chemical weapons programs in 1991. ... The report is based largely on findings by the Iraq Survey Group, a CIA-led team of weapons experts that searched the country for more than a year without finding clear evidence of active illegal weapons programs. U.S. intelligence officials have long acknowledged that the prewar assessments were flawed."
Of course, David Kay, the former head of the search team appointed by the White House, told Congress more than a year ago, "We were almost all wrong."
Wilson's silence about the false scare over weapons of mass destruction in favor of our ever changing mission, which now rests squarely in the "humanitarian" category, seems to reflect a bit of puppetry. Don't you think? Otherwise, she might have mentioned somewhere in between all that talk about weapons of mass destruction during the lead-up to our invasion that it sure would be nice if Iraqis lived in a free society and were blessed with an opportunity to vote. That point-of-view, conspicuously absent when the war was sold and when I interviewed Wilson in January 2003, is now "what this is all about."
Which begs the question: If Americans knew that more than 10,000 of our troops would be killed or injured in Iraq, at a cost of $56 million a day, with no end in sight, and while the nation operates at a half-trillion dollar deficit, just so some Iraqis, namely Shiites, could vote, would they have supported the war? Hell no.
True, there are still plenty of ill-informed souls out there in America that think we had to attack Iraq because of 9-11. These folks, I hate to admit, have been willingly deceived by their leaders. Many are members of our state's National Guard and Reserve units serving in Iraq as you read this, which is even more tragic.
Sadly, there's another dark conclusion to draw here. The Bush administration manipulated and distorted intelligence concerning Iraqi weapons programs. They lied and sent our troops off on a war of aggression, but sold it as an act of self-defense with the help of members of Congress.
That, Rep. Wilson, is what "this" is all about.