The first Gulf War View comments     
August 1990 LA Times article ( cached )
       Iraq invades Kuwait after the U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad April Glaspie tells Hussein that Washington has 'no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait'.           
September 1990 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       The Pentagon leaks reports estimating that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stand on the border to Saudi Arabia in preparation for an invasion of the world's major oil fields. Soviet satellite photos however show no such build-up, Iraq denies it, and the US government has refused to release its alleged evidence for such a build-up.           
1991 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The US goes to war with Iraq. One of the main selling points of the war was the story of '312 premature babies at Kuwait City's maternity hospital who died after Iraqi soldiers stole their incubators and left the infants on the floor,' and of 'babies pulled from incubators and scattered like firewood across the floor.' (these are the words of Bush, who referred to the incident six times in one month in order to justify the bombing). This story was in fact a fabrication by the PR firm Hill and Knowlton, who were paid between $12-$16 million by Kuwait's emirocracy to promote its interests in the US. In actual fact the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was virtually bloodless.           
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The second Gulf War View comments     
       The propaganda campaign leading up to the attack on Iraq reached such epic proportions that I have split off some aspects of it into separate sections - the uranium claim, the attempts to establish a Saddam - Al Qaeda link, and the 'dodgy' British dossiers. Also see this section regarding the effects - in public misperception - of the campaign.           
Jan 2000 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Outgoing Secretary of Defence William Cohen conveys to incoming President Bush that 'Iraq no longer poses a military threat to its neighbours.'           
Sept 11, 2001 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Immediately following the Sept 11 attacks, Rumsfeld urges aides to start thinking about attacking Iraq, asking for the 'best info fast' to 'judge whether good enough to hit SH [Saddam] at the same time, not only UBL [bin Laden].' and demanding that the administration's response 'go massive ... sweep it all up, things related and not.'

General Wesley Clark receives a call on 9/11, saying 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' He responds 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?', and never receives any evidence.
Sept 2002 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The White House is forced to issue a retraction of the erroneous conclusions Bush drew from both some satellite photos and a UN report regarding Iraq's supposed nuclear rearmament, after he erroneously claimed that the report claims Iraq is six months away from developing nuclear weapons, and that the satellite photos show evidence of construction on nuclear sites.           
Sept 2002 CBS News Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       The Bush administration leaks information to the media in September about Iraq's attempt to import aluminum tubes, which administration officials and Tony Blair claim can be used to enrich uranium and are headed for Iraq's nuclear program, even though US Government experts think otherwise. The International Atomic Energy Agency denies outright the possibility of such use.           
Sept 2002 CNN article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter claims Iraq is not a threat, citing the fact that 'Iraq, during nearly seven years of continuous inspection activity by the United Nations, had been certified as being disarmed to a 90 [percent] to 95 percent level ...'.           
CNN article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       Ritter also notes that, contrary to the Bush administration's repeated claims that weapons inspectors were 'kicked out', the inspectors were in fact ordered out by the United States after it was discovered that some of the inspectors were US spies, and in preparation for a round of US bombing.           
BBC article ( cached )
       This claim is also supported by Hans Blix, who concedes that the previous inspection team 'lost its legitimacy by being too closely associated with intelligence and with Western states'.           
Sept 2002 Washington Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by President Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist.           
October 2002 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       The CIA Director George Tenet claims it is far from clear that we will be safer by attacking Iraq. He writes 'Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or chemical and biological warfare against the United States.', saying that only if attacked would Iraq use whatever weapons of mass destruction it has.           
Dec 2002 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       Iraq releases its weapons declaration. Before releasing it to the public however, the US Government confiscates all 12,000 pages, saying they contained 'sensitive information' which needed 'a little editing'. Sensitive indeed. The original Iraqi documents listed 150 American, British and other foreign companies that supplied Iraq with its nuclear, chemical and missile technology, many of them in illegal transactions. In 2000 Peter Hain, then a Foreign Office Minister, blocked a parliamentary request to publish the full list of lawbreaking British companies. He has never explained why.           
Jan 2003 Govt Release ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Bush signs an executive order formally creating the Office of Global Communications, which has been working informally for the previous six months trying to spread the U.S. message in sceptical parts of the world.           
Feb 2003 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Public opposition for the war continues to grow. With only Australia, US and Britain going to war, the Australian Prime Minister receives a vote of no-confidence (the first ever to be made an Australian leader) for sending troops to Iraq without reference to parliament and with the majority of Australians against such an action, and even the British public doesn't support the war, with over 90% polled as being against going to war without a new UN resolution.           
Feb 2003 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Intelligence and law enforcement officials, and also CIA veterans, warn that a war on Iraq will lead to an increase in terrorism directed at the US.           
Feb 9, 2003 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       The claim that Saddam gassed his own people, one of the most cited proofs of Saddam's evilness by the Bush Administration (for example, Bush cited it in his second State of the Union address) is put into question in a New York Times article.

The article notes that an investigation by the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency concluded it was gas released by Iran - not Iraq - that killed the Kurdish civilians. This appears to lead to one of either two conclusions - either Saddam is in fact not responsible, or the US government was trying to cover up the tragedy at the time.
Feb 15, 2003 Guardian article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Colin Powell's long dossier of Iraq's alleged non-compliance comes under withering attack from the chief UN weapons inspectors, saying they found several elements of his evidence either false or unconvincing.           
BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       Note that Powell's dossier also repeats the long descredited story of aluminium tubes supposedly headed for Iraq's supposed nuclear program, and repeats claims of links between Saddam and al Qaeda. Powell also refers to, as 'a fine paper', a British report discredited in Britain after it was discovered to be largely plagiarized from a graduate student paper (grabbed off the Internet from an Israeli publication) that relied on 12-year-old data.           
Mar 2, 2003 Observer article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Observer reveals US spying on the UN delegates from all of the 'swing' countries (Angola, Cameroon, Guinea, Bulgaria, Chile and Pakistan) and possibly others, looking for any information regarding which way the members might vote, or that could help the US put pressure on these countries to vote for a resolution authorising a war against Iraq. The UN launches an investigation into the spying.           
Mar 25, 2003 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       Rumsfeld, Bush and Blair make the claim that Iraqi footage of British prisoners of war violates the Geneva Convention, and in doing so largely prevent it being showed on US TV. They seem to forget that they themselves have been showing similar images - the Red Cross confirms that Iraq is violation of the Geneva Convention in showing the prisoners, but no more than the US is also, and notes that these rules should have also been applied to images of PoWs at the US base of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.           
Mar 25, 2003 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The Arab League ministers meeting in Cairo pass a resolution declaring the war on Iraq a "violation of the United Nations Charter" and a "threat to world peace", and demanding unconditional withdrawal of US and British forces from Iraq. The resolution is adopted unanimously by the 22-member League except for key US ally Kuwait, making the Bush Administration's claims that Iraq poses a threat to its neighbours sound somewhat hollow.           
May 2003 Sunday Herald article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       With the war over and no WMD found, officials within the Bush Administration admit that Saddam Hussein probably had no weapons of mass destruction.           
June 6, 2003 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       A September 2002 Pentagon intelligence report - which concludes that there was 'no reliable information' that Iraq had biological or chemical weapons - is leaked.           
June 8, 2003 MSNBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       Condoleezza Rice admits that President Bush had used a forged document in his State of the Union speech to prove Iraq represented a nuclear threat (see this section for the whole sordid account of this affair). The same week, she speaks out about the threat Iran's nuclear programme poses.           
June 11, 2003 Seattle Pi article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       The US Government blocks calls for a public investigation into pre-war US intelligence and allegations that the White House exaggerated the threat (following the failure of US combat forces to find evidence of any WMDs since conquering Iraq).           
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The 'sought uranium from Africa' claim View comments     
       This issue really belongs to the second Gulf War section but was separated because it is worth looking into in more depth - not only for the fact that the war was launched partly on the basis of this false claim, but also that the Bush Administration appears to have known it was false, yet denies this, spinning an intricate web of deceit in the process which needs a bit of work to untangle.           
Late 2001 Time article ( cached )
       The Italian government receives evidence suggesting that Iraq is trying to purchase uranium from Niger. The evidence is shared with Britain and the US, where it catches the eye of Dick Cheney.           
February 2002 CNN article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 
       A US diplomat travels to Africa under order's from Cheney's office to determine the truth of the claims, and reports back to the Bush Administration, concluding that the government had not contracted to sell uranium to Iraq, and that the documents later presented as evidence of Iraq's nuclear program are forgeries.           
March 2002 Time article ( cached )
       A memo is sent from the State Department's intelligence arm directly to Colin Powell disputing the uranium story.           
September 2002 Washington Post article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       The CIA tries unsuccessfully to persuade the British government to drop from an official intelligence paper a reference to Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Africa. Bush's State of the Union address would later reference this very paper!           
October 2002 ABC News article ( cached )
       The National Intelligence Estimate is produced. It mentions the uranium allegations, but calls them 'highly dubious'.           
October 2002 Washington Post article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The CIA has a reference to Iraq seeking uranium from Niger removed from a presidential speech due to doubts about its accuracy.           
January 2003 Washington Post article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       According to one official, the claim is not included in drafts of Bush's State of the Union address due to similar doubts about its accuracy.           
CNN article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Other sources say that the claim was included in early drafts, and attributed to American intelligence, but when intelligence officials urged the removal of the information due to doubts about it, the speechwriters, attributing it to the British report instead.           
Guardian article ( cached )
       Still other sources say that the claim was originally included, then removed after intervention from George Tenet, only to be later reappear in the speech. This story would appear to reconcile the above two stories.           
Knight Ridder article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       In any case, despite being considered 'hardly believable' by the intelligence community at the time, the claim appears to have been only included due to pressure from Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Robert G. Joseph.           
Jan 28, 2003 US Govt transcript ( cached ) See also: 1 
       In Bush's State of the Union address he makes the claim 'The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.'.           
Mar 7, 2003 Toronto Star article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
       The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shoots down allegations Iraq tried to revive its nuclear arms program and says fake documents backed US claims Baghdad had tried to buy uranium to make bombs. He also reiterates that 'After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.'           
Yahoo article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The IAEA also reports the fake documents are so badly forged that, in the words of one official, his 'jaw dropped'. This makes it hard to believe that the US government was the honest victim of the forgery in making their claims regarding Iraq's nuclear program. The IAEA also ask the US and Britain if they had any other evidence backing their claims that Iraq tried to buy uranium. The answer given is no.           
March 16, 2003 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Dick Cheney responds (to the IAEA saying Saddam has no nuclear program) on NBC's Meet the Press, saying '... we believe he [Saddam] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei, frankly, is wrong.'           
June 8, 2003 Article ( cached )
       Colondeeza Rice concedes that the documents were fraudulent but argues that the White House hadn't known this before Bush's State of the Union speech.           
July 7, 2003 Washington Post article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       A British parliamentary commission reports it was unclear why the British government asserted as a 'bald claim' (in a dossier published four months prior to Bush's speech) that there was intelligence that Iraq had sought to buy significant amounts of uranium in Africa. It notes that the CIA had already debunked this intelligence at the time.           
July 7, 2003 Washington Post article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The Bush Administration acknowledges for the first time that President Bush should not have claimed that Iraq had sought to buy uranium in his State of the Union address in January.           
July 10, 2003 Globe and Mail article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 6 
       Rumsfeld testifies that he only found out 'within recent days' that the information was discredited.           
Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Rumsfeld has to later correct his claim, first revising it to 'weeks', then finally to 'months'.           
July 10, 2003 Globe and Mail article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       At the same time, Rumsfeld also changes the official reason for the war - not fresh evidence of banned weapons, rather a changed perspective following Sept 11. This of course flies in the face of all of their claims of fresh evidence (such as the uranium claim under discussion) which were used to prove the urgency of attacking Iraq when they did, as well as Rumsfeld's own reaction to September 11th.           
July 11, 2003 Washington Post article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       CIA director George Tenet becomes the scapegoat, taking all of the blame for the inclusion of the claim in Bush's speech despite doubts about the quality of the intelligence behind it.

Despite admitting that the CIA should have had the claim removed, he holds to the argument that it was 'factually correct' in that it referenced a British report (despite the CIA having told the British Government before the speech that this report was inaccurate!).
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The Missing Link - the Saddam / Al-Qaeda connection View comments     
       Given the implausibility of the idea that Iraq in any way threatened the US militarily, even if it were to have WMD, the only way Bush could justify his pre-emptive war, while at the same time turning the public's fear+anger over September 11 onto Iraq, was to link Saddam with Al-Qaeda, the idea being that Saddam could potentially supply terrorists with WMD with which they could then attack America. This section examines just how well he succeeded in putting forward this fancy.           
1998 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       An comprehensive review by America's National Security Council - which advises Bush - concludes that there is no evidence of a noteworthy relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda.           
October 2001 CNN Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       US officials claim that Mohammed Atta (one of the suspected Sept 11 suicide hijackers) had two meetings with Iraqi intelligence officers in Prague in April.           
December 2001 Telegraph article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Czech police say they have no evidence of any such meeting ever occurring.           
December 2001 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       CBS, after interviewing a CIA agent who debunked the report of the meeting, reports that 'Despite a lack of evidence that the meeting took place, the item was cited by administration officials as high as Vice President Dick Cheney and ended up being reported so widely that two-thirds of Americans polled by the Council on Foreign Relations believe Iraq was behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11.'.           
May 2002 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The BBC also concludes that the meeting never took place, and that Atta was in Florida at the time of the alleged meeting.           
May 2002 CNN Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       Rumsfeld claims 'There are al-Qaeda in a number of locations in Iraq' receiving shelter from Saddam's regime, suggesting that the Administration is merely waiting to reveal ironclad evidence of the link between Saddam and the al-Qaeda.           
Sept 2002 USA Today article ( cached )
       Cheney and Rumsfeld both claim to still 'accept reports from Czech diplomats' that the meeting took place.           
Feb 1, 2003 NY Times article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       CIA complains that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war. FBI investigators are also baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network. 'We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there' a government official said.           
Feb 5, 2003 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       BBC obtains a top-level report from British intelligence that states flatly that there are no current ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Blair denies having seen the report and continues to insist there are links.           
Feb 9, 2003 Guardian article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       A 'terrorist chemicals and poisons factory' in Iraq, presented by Powell as evidence of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda, is found to be nothing of the sort. It also lies outside the area controlled by Hussein, lying in the northern Kurdish region which is protected by US and British warplanes. It is run by the Islamic fundamentalist group Ansar al-Islam, which has a history of opposing the secular Hussein.           
Feb 13, 2003 BBC article ( cached )
       Apparently getting desparate to invent the link, Colin Powell claims that a tape of Bin Laden, in which Bin Laden calls Saddam Hussein and his regime as infidels, is proof of a link between the al-Qaeda network and the Iraqi government, simply because Bin Laden calls for support of Iraq.           
July 23, 2003 UPI article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       The report of the joint congressional inquiry into the suicide hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001, reveals US intelligence had no evidence that the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, or that it had supported al-Qaeda.           
September 2003 Washington Post article ( cached )
       Cheney still continues to bring up the long discredited Atta - Iraq link while suggesting links between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks.           
E&P article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Just three days following Cheney's most recent insinuations of a connection between Saddam and 9/11, Bush admits that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, contrary to popular belief. The White House denies ever having claimed any Iraq-Sept. 11 links.           
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The British dossiers View comments     
September 7, 2002 Mirror article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       While at Camp David, Tony Blair says to President Bush (referring to Iraq) 'We haven't the faintest idea what has been going on in the last four years ... other than what we know is an attempt to carry on rebuilding weapons.'.           
September 24, 2002 Full dossier ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The British government releases its first dossier - 'Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction - The assessment of the British Government'. According a suddenly much more confident Blair, 'The assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and that he has been able to extend the range of his ballistic missile programme'.           
Oct 2002 The Nation article ( cached )
       The dossier is used by Bush in convincing congress into giving him a blank check to launch the war with Iraq.           
Jan 2003 Second dossier ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The British government releases its second dossier, depicted as an up-to-date and highly unsettling assessment by the British intelligence services of Iraq's security apparatus and its efforts to hide its activities from weapons inspectors and to resist international efforts to force it to disarm. It is paraded by Tony Blair and Colin Powell as quality research and a searing indictment of Saddam's regime.           
Channel4 article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       This second dossier is soon found to be largely based on a 12-year-old PhD thesis posted on the internet, with only minor propagandistic modifications, such as 'monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq' having become 'spying on foreign embassies in Iraq', and 'aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes' turned into 'supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes'.           
BBC article ( cached )
       Jack Straw would finally in June admit the dossier was an 'embarrassment' and apologise to the student whose thesis was plagiarised.           
June 2003 Guardian article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       A row erupts between the British government and the BBC over a BBC report that the government 'sexed up' the September dossier in reporting that Saddam could deploy WMDs within 45 minutes of an order. The BBC refuses to back down from the claim or to name the source.           
July 7, 2003 Report in full ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The House of Commons Foreign Affairs committee rules that the first dossier had undermined the government's case for war because it contained material plagiarised from a 12-year-old graduate thesis found on the Internet. The September dossier, the committee says, gave undue prominence to an uncorroborated claim that Saddam's troops could deploy chemical and biological weapons at 45 minutes notice. It also contained an incorrect claim that Iraq had recently sought significant quantities of uranium in the African nation of Niger.           
July 18, 2003 Guardian article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       David Kelly, the source for the BBC's claims that the Government 'sexed up' the September dossier, is found dead, following in his words 'intolerable pressure' put on him by politicians during the row between the BBC and the government.           
Guardian article ( cached )
       Tony Blair promises a public inquiry.           
August 1, 2003 Guardian article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The Hutton inquiry into David Kelly's death begins.           
August 26, 2003 Transcripts ( cached ) See also: 1 
       John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee (JIC), the body responsible for drawing up the dossier, admits during the Hutton inquiry that the 45 minute claim only referred to battlefield munitions, rather than strategic weapons (i.e. missiles) as it was at the time taken to mean (and appears to mean given the context - the document talks about the Iraq's ballistic missile program 'capable of reaching Cyprus, Eastern Turkey, Tehran and Israel' just two paragraphs above the 45 minute claim, and it was this connection that the headlines made the next day).

When John Scarlett is asked why they failed to correct the headlines which reported the misinterpretation, he answers ' it is not my immediate responsibility to correct headlines and if I did that, I certainly would not have time to do my job.'.
Guardian article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       It appears that David Kelly was like everyone else confused by this claim, also taking it to refer to missiles.           
Guardian special report ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The final conclusions for the inquiry have not been yet reached. However, in addition to the above, it has already revealed a lot of dirt in the government's scapegoating of David Kelly, lead to spin-doctor Alister Campbell's resignation, and caused public trust in the British Government to plunge (only 24% trusting Blair down from 74% at the start of his term). Follow this Guardian report for the latest information.           
Further Reading
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