almost speechless with fury
White House officials have admitted to ABC News that the "WMD" argument -- the President's primary and persistent justification for the war, although even Bush now admits that we might not find any of the darn things -- was a sham.
To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war — a global show of American power and democracy.
Officials inside government and advisers outside told ABCNEWS the administration emphasized the danger of Saddam's weapons to gain the legal justification for war from the United Nations and to stress the danger at home to Americans.
"We were not lying," said one official. "But it was just a matter of emphasis." [Emphasis, ironically enough, added.]
Officials now say they may not find hundreds of tons of mustard and nerve agents and maybe not thousands of liters of anthrax and other toxins. But U.S. forces will find some, they say. On Thursday, President Bush raised the possibility for the first time that any such Iraqi weapons were destroyed before or during the war.
If weapons of mass destruction were not the primary reason for war, what was? Here's the answer officials and advisers gave ABCNEWS.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks changed everything, including the Bush administration's thinking about the Middle East — and not just Saddam Hussein.
(continued in the next post)