Pilger claims White House knew Saddam was no threat
September 23, 2003 - 2:33PM
Australian investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence
> the war against Iraq was based on a lie which could cost George W
> Bush and Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard
> down with them.
> A television report by Pilger aired on British screens last night
> said US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser
> Condoleeza Rice confirmed in early 2001 that Iraqi dictator Saddam
> Hussein had been disarmed and was no threat.
> But after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on
> September 11 that year, Pilger claimed Rice said the US "must move to
> take advantage of these new opportunities" to attack Iraq and claim
> control of its oil.
> Pilger uncovered video footage of Powell in Cairo on February 24,
> 2001 saying, "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant
> capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable
> to project conventional power against his neighbours."
> Two months later, Rice reportedly said, "We are able to keep his arms
> from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
> Powell boasted this was because America's policy of containment and
> its sanctions had effectively disarmed Saddam.
> Pilger claims this confirms that the decision of US President George
> W Bush - with the full support of British Prime Minister Blair and
> Howard - to wage war on Saddam because he had weapons of mass
> destruction was a huge deception.
> Pilger interviewed several leading US government figures in
> Washington but said he did not ask Powell or Rice to respond to his
> "I think it's very serious for Howard. Howard has followed the
> Americans and to a lesser degree Blair almost word for word," Pilger
> told AAP before his program was screened on ITV tonight.