Lies, Damned Lies, And The Iraq War

Even though Tory David Cameron has taken over as PM in the UK, you would be forgiven for thinking nothing had changed in our ‘special relationship’. Cameron was in Washington this week, exchanging pleasantries and artwork and reassuring us that BP was absolutely not behind the release of the Lockerbie Bomber and they certainly won’t be opening an investigation, thank you very much! This is all well and good, but it was a statement by the former head of M15, Eliza Manningham-Buller, that made me think that Cameron is being a little more forthcoming with criticism than Gordon “Placeholder” Brown or Tony “Lapdog” Blair were. Shocking no one with their eyes open from 2001 onward, Manningham-Buller’s words are just one more piece of evidence that the previous administration could fuck up an ice cream sundae in the middle of July:

Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Manningham-Buller said the threat posed by Saddam Hussein before the US-led invasion in 2003 was low.

But the toppling of Saddam allowed Osama bin Laden to gain a stronghold in Iraq and radicalised young Muslims in Britain, she said.

In evidence that undermined the case for war presented by the former prime minister Tony Blair, she was asked whether it was feared Saddam could have linked terrorists to weapons of mass destruction, facilitating their use against the west.

“It certainly wasn’t of concern in either the short term or the medium term to me or my colleagues,” she replied.

So, the person in charge of intelligence for Great Britain pokes yet another hole in the bullshit apologist argument that the Iraq War was somehow necessary for our security. Even though we are slowly, s l o w l y pulling our forces out of the embattled country, it will forever remain a war of choice. And, let’s not forget, it was one in which 4731 American soldiers died (to date) essentially for nothing. Ms. Manningham-Buller states in no uncertain terms that the Iraq War, in fact, made our country less safe by radicalizing Muslims and giving Osama Bin Laden another foothold in the Middle East. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight decided it would be a good thing to invade a sovereign nation at a whim and here we are, 7 years later, with nothing but debt and bodies to show for it.

What makes it especially galling is that any one of these liars will tell you (to this day and directly to your face) exactly how necessary the war was and is. They’ll bring up WMDs (false), links to 9/11 (false), harboring terrorists (false), Saddam’s brutal regime (I’ll give them that one, but why don’t we go after Saudi Arabia if we’re worried about brutal regimes?)… Basically, all the reasons that were shoved down our throats for a year leading up to the invasion were deceptions. No wait, I mean prevarications. No, that’s not it either. I guess the word is LIES. Our leaders lied repeatedly to drag us into a war that we didn’t want, didn’t need, can’t afford, and harmed our national security.

I know the pointless talking heads on cable news channels will never, ever bring themselves to say it, but I think it needs repeating every couple of days. The Bush administration lied us into a war. It’s costing us millions of dollars and American lives. They should never be able to live that down. I’m sure the former head of M15 won’t change any neo-con minds, but it’s good to hear someone of importance besides me say it out loud.

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