15 August 2015


Gov. Jeb Bush repeated one of the biggest falsehoods of our time during the recent presidential candidate debate: “we were misled (into the Iraq War)  by faulty intelligence.”

US intelligence was not “misled.”  It was ordered by the real, de facto  president, Dick Cheney, to provide excuses for a war of aggression against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. 

PM Tony Blair, forced British intelligence services to “sex up”  reports that Iraq had nuclear weapons; he purged the government and the venerable broadcaster BBC of journalists who failed to amplify Blair’s lies.  Bush and Blair reportedly discussed painting a US Air Force plane in UN colors and getting it to buzz Iraqi anti-aircraft sites in hope the Iraqis would fire on it.  Bush told Blair that after conquering Iraq, he intended to invade Iran, Syria, Libya and Pakistan.

In fact, Iraq had no “weapons of mass destruction,” save some rusty barrels of mustard and nerve gas that had been supplied by the US and Britain for use against Iran.  I broke this story from Baghdad back in late 1990. 

Tyler Drumheller, who died last week, was the former chief of CIA’s European division.  He was the highest-ranking intelligence officer to go public and accuse the Bush administration of hyping fabricated evidence to justify invading Iraq. 

Drumheller was particularly forceful in denouncing the Iraqi defector codenamed “Curveball,” whose ludicrous claims about mobile Iraqi germ laboratories were trumpeted before the UN by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.  “Curveball’s” claims were outright lies and Powell, whose career was ruined by parroting these absurd allegations, should have known better.

“Curveball” was an ‘agent provocateur’ clearly sent by a neighbor of  Iraq to help promote a US attack on that nation.  Whether it was Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or Israel that sent Curveball,” we still don’t know. All three fabricated “evidence” against Iraq and passed it to Washington.  That is where US intelligence was indeed misled.  But that’s only a minor part of the story.

A Washington cabal of pro-Israel neocons, oil men, and old-fashioned imperialists joined to promote a grossly illegal invasion of oil-rich Iraq.  One of its senior members, former Pentagon official Paul Wolfowitz, admitted that weapons of mass destruction was chosen as the most convenient and emotive pretext for war.  Orders went out to CIA and NSA to find information linking Iraq to 9/11 and weapons of mass destruction.

Some of the worst torture inflicted on suspects kidnapped by CIA’s action teams was designed to make them admit to a link between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein.  There was, of course, none. But administration officials, like the odious Condoleeza Rice, kept broadly hinting at a nuclear threat to America. 

Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, polls showed a majority of Americans believed Iraq was threatening the US with nuclear attack and was behind 9/11.  Amazingly, a poll taken of self-professed evangelical Christians just before the US attacked Iraq showed that over 80% supported war against Iraq.  So much for turning the other cheek.

Most of the US media, notably the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, amplified the lies of the Bush administration. TV networks were ordered never to show American military casualties or civilian dead.  Those, like this writer, who questioned the rational for war, or who wouldn’t go along with the party line, were blanked out from print and TV.

For example, I was immediately dropped from a major TV network after daring mention that Israel supported the 2003 Iraq war and would benefit from it.  I was blacklisted by another major US TV network at the direct demand of the Bush White House for repeatedly insisting that Iraq had no nuclear capability.

Very few analysts, journalists, or politicians took time to ask:  even if Iraq had nuclear weapons, how could they be delivered to North America?  Iraq had no long-range bombers and no missiles with range greater than 100kms.  Perhaps by FedEx?  No one asked, why would Iraq invite national suicide by trying to hit the US with a nuclear weapon?

The most original answer came from George W. Bush:  nefarious Iraqi freighters were lurking in the North Atlantic carrying “drones of death” that would attack sleeping America.   This hallucination was based on a single report  that the bumbling Iraqis were working a  children’s model airplane that, in the end, broke and never flew.  What inspired such a phantasmagoria?  Pot, too much bourbon, LSD, or thundering orders from Dick Cheney to find a damned good excuse for invading Iraq.

For Cheney and his oil pals, conquering Iraq would secure the Arab world’s biggest oil reserves for Uncle Sam and offer a central military base in the region.  For Washington’s bloodthirsty neocons, pulverizing Iraq would remove one of Israel’s most determined enemies, crush the only Arab nation that might challenge Israel’s nuclear monopoly, and cost Israel nothing.   Invading Iraq produced the slow disintegration of the Mideast so long sought by militant Zionists.

It all worked brilliantly, at least from Israel’s viewpoint.  Not, however for the US.  Bush’s invasion shattered Iraq, led to al-Qaida and ISIS,  and left Washington saddled with a $1 trillion-dollar bill instead of the $60 million cost estimated by Wolfowitz.   The Mideast is in a tailspin, Palestinians are totally isolated, and Egypt, the region’s key nation, run by an Arab-fascist military dictatorship.

Tyler Drumheller was the only senior CIA officer to stand up and tell Americans they were lied into an unnecessary, illegal war.  Today, we have Iraqi déjà vu  anew as the lie factories and fear mongers work overtime to promote war with Iran.



copyright Eric S. Margolis 2015

Ron Paul comments on this column: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2015/august/17/twisting-the-truth-on-the-iraq-war/








This post is in: Afghanistan, Al-Qaida, Great Britain, Iraq, Mideast, Military and Security Affairs, USA


  1. Mr Margolis has a strong record of reporting the truth about the Middle East and his recent essay on Iraq hits the nail right on the head. It is a disgrace that former President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are not held accountable in some way for the lies to their voters, and for the immense damage they have done in Iraq and elsewhere. I only hope that the truth will prevail and with that some form of justice.

  2. I noticed at the time that Eric was also dropped even from TVO’s Friday night foreign affairs segment. His was the lone voice of reason in the those times of official lies and media compliance.

  3. Another excellent article. Eric, you are among the very few journalists who has dared to speak the truth about the Iraq War and the lies and deceit that led to that disaster. I guess it’s no wonder that Republicans and the Zionists hate you so much, because lies and deceit are their main weapons and hate to have them challenged.

    I agree with almost all of what you said, Eric, but al-Qaida was not spawned by the Iraq War (although ISIS was). Don’t forget, that al-Qaida was spawned by the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and got its start when the US armed the Taliban against the Russians. Al-Qaida militants from Saudi Arabia, led by Osama bin Laden, joined in that fight and picked up much of the US weaponry.

    As for the Iraq War, it was the Zionist lobby that pushed the hardest for the US to invade Iraq and also tried, unsuccessfully, to push Canada to join the war effort when George Bush snapped his fingers. In Canada Gerry Schwartz, of Onex Corp. fame, and his wife, Heather Reisman, head of Chapters – Indigo books, broke with the Liberal Party and switched their support to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives when Prime Minister Chrétien refused to take Canada into that war. It was no coincidence that most Jewish people – certainly the pro-Zionist ones in the US and Canada – were ardent supporters of the invasion. Most pro-Zionist Jews in the US now support the Republicans and the ones in Canada mostly support the the Conservative Party in Canada. No surprise, then, that Stephen Harper panders to the Zionist lobby so much – he needs their votes and generous donations very badly, in order to help win the election in October.

  4. mmclafferty says:

    Good Post. Where is the outrage? The US has spent Millions investigating Bengazi. 4 Americans died. What has Iraq cost the US in lives and treasure?
    I am sure you know but did not mention the “Office of Special Plans” organized by Wolfowitz and run by Feith that created the false intelligence.
    Kathy Kwatkowski has written about her time there. Readers need to educate themselves on what went on because it is being repeated. Wolfowitz and Feith are advisers to Bush 3.

  5. The best way to sell a lie is to create a religion around it and denounce any who dare question or criticize it. Even now so called liberals like Bill Maher refuse to call for the arrest of te Bush administration preferring the line of Ooops We goofed.

  6. When will we see the war criminals on trial, like what happened to those top-tier Nazis in Nuremberg? What Bush and cohorts did, is every bit as criminal or worse, but the gangsters can get speaking engagements and even get paid for it. And where is Britain and their criminal Tony? What amazes me is, that the general population seems to have accepted all those lies, as they do about every other caper the US and their accomplices have been involved in since. But there is hope. The swashbuckling bravado is coming to an end. The powershift eastward cannot be stopped anymore. The age of real enlightenment is at hand. The last vestiges of barbarism are about to fall.

  7. How I long for the days of youthful innocence when I neither knew or understood the tangled web of GeoPolitics.Life was grand.It’s no wonder I have such a strong desire to bury my head in the sand and remain oblivious to the goings on in the world.
    Are there any good and decent folk left on this planet?
    It is to weep!

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