Bush’s Shell Game


Since the Democrats never debated going to war in Iraq, and most of the major presidential candidates supported the war at one time or another, they’re not in much of a position to confront Bush on the issue. Dennis Kucinich, the Cleveland congressman who is a long shot for the presidential nomination, additionally points out that the main contenders all accepted at face value Bush’s assertions of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, thereby making themselves look silly by now saying there never were WMD in Iraq. Well, if they knew that, why didn’t they stand up and say so? John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Howard Dean, and Wesley Clark “all claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and therefore contributed to the political climate which falsely justified a war,” said Kucinich. Only Kucinich and Al Sharpton didn’t buy the WMD hype. Here’s what each candidate said on this point way back when (the quotes are in chronological order):

Lieberman: “Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.” —August 4, 2002

Kucinich: “Since 1998 no credible intelligence has been brought forward which suggests that Iraq is manufacturing weapons of mass destruction . . . —September 12, 2002

Kerry: “Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don’t even try? According to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons. . . . Iraq is developing unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents . . . ” —October 9, 2002

Edwards: “We know that he [Hussein] has chemical and biological weapons.” —October 10, 2002

Clark: “He [Hussein] does have weapons of mass destruction.” Questioner: “And you could say that categorically?” Clark: “Absolutely . . . I think they will be found. There’s so much intelligence on this.”—January 18, 2003

Sharpton: “I think that the present administration is bent on war. There has been no, in my judgment, evidence presented there has been any weapons of mass destruction.” —January 31, 2003

Dean: “[I and others] have never been in doubt about the evil of Saddam Hussein or the necessity of removing his weapons of mass destruction.” —March 17, 2003