The Iraq war was based on multiple lies, and they just keep on coming:
Add faked photos to the list of lies told by the Bush–Cheney Administration before its invasion of Iraq.
In a town hall meeting in Bloomsburg, Pa. this week, Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a 12-term congressman, said that shortly before Congress was scheduled to vote on authorizing military force against Iraq, top officials of the CIA showed select members of Congress three photographs it alleged were Iraqi Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones. Kanjorski said he was told that the drones were capable of carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical agents, and could strike 1,000 miles inland of east coast or west coast cities.
Kanjorski said he and four or five other congressmen in the room were told UAVs could be on freighters headed to the U.S. Both secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and President Bush wandered into and out of the briefing room, Kanjorski said.
Kanjorski said it was the second time he was called to the White House for a briefing. He had opposed giving the President the powers to go to war, and said that he hadn’t changed his mind after a first meeting. Until he saw the pictures, Kanjorski said, “I hadn’t thought that Iraq was a threat.” That second meeting changed everything. After he left that meeting, said Kanjorski, he was willing to give the President the authorization he wanted since the drones “represented an imminent danger.”
Kanjorski said he went to see Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a retired Marine colonel. Murtha, said Kanjorski, “turned white” when told about the drones; Murtha, a former intelligence officer, believed that such information was classified.
Several years later, Kanjorski said he learned that the pictures were “a god-damned lie,” apparently taken by CIA photographers in the desert in the southwest of the U.S. The drone story itself had already been disproved, although not many major media carried that story.
Nearly five years later, the finest example of American attitudes towards Iraq?
Baghdad is a city of ruins – of burnt-out homes, of shops wrecked by suicide bombs, of the crumbling shells of Saddam-era palaces and ministries destroyed by smart bombs in the US invasion of 2003.
There is one notable exception. It is probably the only big new building project in the capital in the past four years. It is the new US Embassy on the west bank of the Tigris which the contractors will transfer to the US Government officially today.
A towering wall renders the huge new embassy almost invisible from ground level. For security reasons the State Department has refused all requests for media tours – promising instead to release pictures of the interior at some later date. The only way to view it is from the roof of the Babylon hotel, across the river.
What you can see through the haze of heat and pollution is a complex of two dozen smart new dun and grey blocks set in 104 acres (42 hectares) of grounds ringed by that impregnable wall. It is a fortress within the fortress that is the green zone. It is designed to repel any physical attack and. when it opens for business in a few weeks, it will be protected by a detachment of Marines with their own barracks. It is not, however, invulnerable to criticism.
After Bush’s overnight visit to Iraq, he no doubt reflected on the message that such an embassy sends to the Iraqi people (or, of course, he just talked more about “freedom” and “democracy”.)