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Dr Musa A Keilani: The facts that fabricated
February 19, 2011
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It is ludicrous to see former US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld trying to promote his memoirs, Known and Unknown, as an accurate account of what was going on behind the scene during the era of George W Bush’s presidency, particularly in regard to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The contents of his book and the answers he provided during interviews promoting the work are a rerun of the lies the Bush administration told the Americans at large and the rest of the world to sell the Iraq war.

Now the world is fully aware of the deception that the Bush administration resorted to in order to justify the invasion of Iraq, starting with linking Saddam Hussein with Osama Bin Laden, alleging that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and that he posed a threat to everyone on the face of this earth and contenting that it was the duty of the world’s sole superpower to put an end to Saddam’s autocratic rule and democratise Iraq.

The Bush administration had no hesitation to fabricate and doctor intelligence reports to support its allegations against Iraq. Many in this part of the world could clearly see through those despicable manoeuvrings, but their voices were no match to the hype created by the US corporate media.

And now Rumsfeld is out on a venture to promote his book, which, in itself, does not seem have much in the department of credibility when seen against the backdrop of other factors that were at play in the run-up to the Iraq war.

For one thing, Rumsfeld’s declarations about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were very resounding as if he had no doubts whatsoever that Saddam had such weapons and would not hesitate to employ them against US interests.

In January 2003, Rumsfeld said: “We know where (Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction) are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.”

And how does he now explain such an affirmative statement that was later proved to be totally unfounded?

It is easy. As far as Rumsfeld is concerned, such lies are minor deviations and oversight. It is laughable that he says that he should have used the term “suspected” weapons of mass destruction. Well, what was the suspicion when he could pinpoint the locations where the weapons of mass destruction were stored?

Every charge he made involving Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction sounded as if it were an established fact.

For purposes of record, it has to be stated that the US-led invasion of Iraq was planned years ago and the Sept.11 attack provided a justification for the action.

We cannot but laugh out loud when Rumsfeld refuses to accept any responsibility for deception that served to promote the war against Iraq. Indeed, he acknowledges that “the intelligence (about weapons of mass destruction) was certainly wrong,” but he fails to acknowledge that some of his deputies, led by Douglas Faith, were involved in fabricating intelligence reports that damned Iraq and trashed genuine reports which cast doubt whether Saddam had any WMD at all.

As to Iraq’s alleged links with the Sept.11 attacks, Rumsfeld borrowed generously from Faith’s artificial intelligence and claimed, in September 2002, that Mohammed Atta, the purported leader of the suicide hijackings, had met an Iraqi intelligence agent in mid-2001. Rumsfeld declared that there was no doubt whatsoever about this finding. However, he could not subsequently explain how Atta could have met anyone in Europe in June 2001 when he was actually living in the US at that time.

Rumsfeld’s claim did not take into consideration a Defence Intelligence Agency finding in July 2002 that there was no evidence of any direct co-operation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Well, the tale of lies linked to the US-led war against Iraq is too long, and Rumsfeld was a party to the run-up to and execution of the deceptive war as anyone else in the Bush administration.

The US violated every rule in the international code of conduct by invading Iraq and then engaged in gross violations of human rights, including summary killings of Iraqis and despicable actions of torture and humiliation of Iraqi detainees.

The torture was not limited to Iraqis; every detainee around the world in the US-led “war against terror” was subjected to such treatment, either by Americans themselves or agents of host governments under the so-called “rendition” programme.

In his capacity as defence secretary, Rumsfeld was a direct party to authorising such actions. He cannot expect himself to be exonerated by limping suggestions and assertions such as those contained in his memoirs.

The book, Known and Unknown, is yet another attempt at confusing the issues surrounding the war and at establishing that the Bush administration acted in good faith, based on information that it believed was true when it led the invasion of Iraq.

Well, as far as we know, the Bush administration knew well that the information was false (since it created it itself), and there is no ground for the argument of good faith.

The US had wanted “regime change” in Iraq and set up an advance American military base there. But it failed to prepare the right ground for its goals in Iraq and its plans have gone awry.

What we witness today in Iraq is a desperate effort by the US to maintain its military presence there by renewing the status of forces agreement that calls for the departure of all US forces from the country by the end of 2011.

US President Barack Obama might want to have nothing to do with Iraq, but the establishment surrounding him has restricted his options.

In the meantime, “memoirs” like that of Rumsfeld seek to prove how right the Bush administration was in invadin Iraq. It might work in some self-elusive circles in Washington, but it would not draw any water in the Middle East.

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