Iraq WMDs lies echo a culture of US intelligence failures
20 years on, the lies made regarding Iraq's biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs, which were deliberately referenced to increase support for the war in US and abroad, permanently damaged the credibility of US intelligence.
Not all Americans have forgotten about the atrocities committed by US-led occupation forces in Iraq since the invasion of 2003, as the repercussions of the US war crimes and other serious violations of international law in Iraq continue to be an unavoidable part of Iraqis' daily life.
Rep. Jason Crow who was a 24-year-old platoon leader in the American invasion of Iraq is still haunted by the terrible atrocities the US veterans committed during the occupation of Iraq and the WMD lies that triggered it, as per AP's report marking the 20-years anniversary of the US invasion and later occupation of Iraq.
A generation of intelligence professionals, policymakers, and American espionage organizations have all been profoundly scarred by the stigmas of the Iraq War. They were essential in the US intelligence community's significant reorganization, which resulted in the CIA losing its supervisory position over other spy agencies.
The lies made regarding Iraq's biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs, which were frequently referenced to increase support for the war in America and abroad, permanently damaged the credibility of US intelligence.
Meanwhile, trauma persists for most Iraqis as 20% of people had had at least one murdered individual in their household as a result of the US occupation of their country, as per a survey conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB). The same survey revealed that more than one million Iraqis were killed or displaced and thousands of Americans died or were wounded as a result of the war on Iraq.
According to a recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only 18% of American adults say they have a great deal of confidence in the government's intelligence services. 49% report having "some" confidence, while 31% have little to no confidence.
The primary assertion that sparked the war [Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and represented an imminent threat to the US and its allies] was quickly debunked at the beginning of the US invasion. Stockpiles weren't found. Further analyses have attributed their claims to inaccurate data, outmoded presumptions, a combination of uneducated sources, and outright fabrication.
On this day, 20 years ago, #US forces started to bomb #Iraq signaling the launch of their invasion of the country. Millions of Iraqis suffered from the ruthless violence of US forces, notably in the infamous #AbuGhreib prison. pic.twitter.com/UA4MWduXpp— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) March 19, 2023
Massive intelligence failures
Prior to the war, both Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell misrepresented American intelligence assessments in historic speeches before the UN in February 2002.
“He said he’d go to his grave with the manacles of Iraq,” said retired Col. Larry Wilkerson, who was then Powell’s chief of staff and later became a high-profile critic of the Bush administration. Powell passed away in 2021.
George W. Bush had a Freudian slip during an event in #Dallas, but he wasn't wrong after all: The invasion of #Iraq he ordered was truly brutal and unjustified.#GeorgeWBush pic.twitter.com/LjsAD3I7G7— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) May 19, 2022
A White House spokesperson said, as quoted by The Washington Post in 2006, that Bush “made his decision to go to war in Iraq based on the intelligence given to him by the intelligence community.”
Former intelligence personnel contended that the Bush administration exaggerated evidence to support the case for war, notably over claims of connections between Iraq and Al-Qaeda.
Two years ago, US intelligence incorrectly predicted that the Kabul-based administration, which Washington supports, would continue operating for several months following the withdrawal of American forces.
“We’ve lived with the ghosts of Iraq for two decades and it’s impacted our credibility,” Crow said.
In short, high-profile failures continue to define US intelligence notably from the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan to the catastrophic projections in Ukraine.
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