Why Trump’s Wrong About WMDs in Iraq

As issues in the current presidential campaign go, arguing about whether the Iraq War was a mistake probably isn’t high on the priority list.

But candidate Donald Trump went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday and was asked whether he thought President Bush should have been impeached, and he embraced one of the lowest of leftist lies, that the president knew there were no weapons of mass destruction and lied about it just so he could fight a war.

It’s an eye-rolling argument when liberals make it. It’s just embarrassing to hear the leading GOP candidate buy into it.

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Throughout the Bush Administration, the bumper sticker chant from the Left was “Bush lied, people died,” even coming from many of those Democrats who voted in favor of the war.

And for years, we had to put up with a media that was doing everything it could to make Bush look like a warmonger.

Trump reinforced that view Sunday when he said, “I think that people knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction. I think they wanted to go in there. I think they thought it would have been easier. They didn’t prosecute the war well. It wasn’t well prosecuted and they ended up leaving. — I mean, leaving. now, I have to say he made a mistake getting in.”

Trump’s real point was to win over voters. He even said he deserved “points for vision” for opposing the Iraq War.

The thing is he’s wrong, and so is everybody else who ever said there were no WMDs, including some former members of the Bush Administration.

That the long-sought WMDs existed in the first place was established by years of UN reports during the Clinton Administration that no one ever questioned until a Republican was in office.

It wasn’t until more than a year ago, October 14, 2014, that the New York Times finally admitted any sort of weapons of mass destruction existed, and even then it was a grudging admission. The story titled “The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons” detailed how the U.S. found thousands — that’s right, thousands — of chemical warheads and shells during the occupation of Iraq.

A story exactly one year ago told the tale of Operation Avarice, a joint CIA/military intelligence mission that was able to purchase and destroy more than 400 Iraqi Borak rockets equipped with chemical warheads.

Another point of criticism of the Bush war effort was the subject of “yellowcake” uranium, which entered the media parlance during the whole Valerie Plame affair, in which an allegedly undercover CIA agent was outed because her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, wrote an article in the New York Times saying no yellowcake uranium was sold to Iraq.

Funny thing …

On July 5, 2008, as the country was still recovering from Fourth of July festivities, the Associated Press ran a story about the removal of 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium from Iraq.

Seems like a lot of work for something the media had assured us didn’t exist.

Then there was what always seemed like an unanswered question. On the eve of the Iraq War, whose beginning had been scheduled and publicly announced (odd for what the “Left” calls an illegal war), there was a story attributed to the London Independent about three mysterious cargo container ships sailing out of Iraq under radio silence. The story at the time was that the Navy was not going to intercept for fear that they might dump their cargo, which was presumed to be WMDs.

The original article seems to have vanished from the Internet, but the original page and the beginning of the article are still recorded in Internet archives. So far as I know, there was never anything in the press resolving the mystery of those three ships.

The Iraqi weapons of mass destruction existed. Their story was always traceable in public military and United Nations reports, but a lazy, anti-Bush media had no interest in working for the truth and too much interest in fueling hatred of the Right and the war.

One thing that is clear is that most of the activity involving finding and dismantling WMDs was kept classified, and much of it probably still is. We may not know the full story for years to come.

Trump is more than welcome to hold the opinion that the Iraq War was a mistake. But the world should realize that when it came to WMDs, it wasn’t Bush who lied, it was the media.


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