Changing Rhetoric on WMD View comments     
       It is interesting to look at how the Bush Administration has backpedalled in their WMD rhetoric after no WMDs were found following the Iraq war. This timeline of quotes is taken largely from this page.

See also this or this selection or this great article summarizing Fox News' lies and contradictions regarding the Iraq war and the WMD hunt.
August 26, 2002, Dick Cheney Speech to VFW National Convention ( cached )
       Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.           
December 6, 2002, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer BBC article ( cached )
       The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it.           
September 12, 2002, George W. Bush Speech to UN General Assembly ( cached )
       Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.           
September 24, 2002, Tony Blair Comments on September Dossier ( cached )
       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.           
January 9, 2003, Ari Fleischer Press Briefing ( cached )
       We know for a fact that there are weapons there.           
January 28, 2003, George W. Bush State of the Union Address ( cached )
       Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.           
February 5, 2003, Colin Powell Remarks to UN Security Council ( cached )
       We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.           
February 8, 2003, George W. Bush Radio Address ( cached )
       We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.           
February 28, 2003, Colin Powell Interview with Radio France International ( cached )
       If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us . . . But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct.           
March 7, 2003, Colin Powell Remarks to UN Security Council ( cached )
       So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? . . . I think our judgment has to be clearly not.           
March 16, 2003, Dick Cheney Interview on NBC's 'Meet the Press' ( cached ) See also: 1 
       We know he [Saddam] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.           
March 17, 2003, George W. Bush Address to the Nation ( cached )
       Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.           
March 21, 2003, Ari Fleisher Press Briefing ( cached )
       Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.           
March 22, 2003, Gen. Tommy Franks Press Conference ( cached )
       There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And . . . as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.           
March 23, 2003, Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman Washington Post ( cached )
       I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.           
March 22, 2003, Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark Press Briefing ( cached )
       One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.           
March 30, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld ABC Interview ( cached ) See also: 1 
       We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.           
April 9, 2003, Neocon scholar Robert Kagan Washington Post op-ed ( cached )
       Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.           
April 10, 2003, Ari Fleischer Press Briefing ( cached )
       But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.           
April 24, 2003, George W. Bush NBC Interview ( cached )
       We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.           
April 25, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Press Briefing ( cached )
       There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.           
May 3, 2003, George W. Bush Remarks to Reporters ( cached )
       We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.           
May 4, 2003, Colin Powell Remarks to Reporters ( cached )
       I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.           
May 4, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Fox News Interview ( cached )
       We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.           
May 6, 2003, George W. Bush Remarks to Reporters ( cached )
       I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.           
May 12, 2003, Condoleeza Rice Reuters Interview ( cached )
       U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.           
May 13, 2003, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne Press Briefing ( cached )
       I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.           
May 26, 2003, Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff NBC Today Show interview ( cached )
       Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.           
May 27, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations ( cached )
       They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.           
May 28, 2003, Paul Wolfowitz Vanity Fair interview ( cached )
       For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.           
June 8, 2003, Condoleezza Rice NBC's 'Meet the Press' ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored.           
 Comment on the above topic     

Changing Rhetoric on Democracy View comments     
       Along the same lines as the WMD rhetoric above, we can also observe how the Bush Administration has backpedalled from assurances that there would be no occupation of Iraq, to admissions that they are occupying a country in which they are fighting to impose their will on the people. The quotes are taken largely from this site.           
10 July, 2002, George W. Bush Cincinnati, Ohio Speech ( cached )
       Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq.           
November 17, 2002, Paul Wolfowitz Interview with Trudy Rubin of the Philidelphia Inquirer ( cached )
       If you're looking for a historical analogy, it's probably closer to post-liberation France [after World War II].           
February 23, 2003, Paul Wolfowitz Speech to Iraqi-American Community ( cached )
       First-and this is really the overarching principle-the United States seeks to liberate Iraq, not occupy Iraq . . If the President should decide to use force, let me assure you again that the United States would be committed to liberating the people of Iraq, not becoming an occupation force.           
March 26, 2003, Colin Powell Press Conference ( cached )
       But as soon as possible, we want to have working alongside the commander an interim Iraqi authority, people representing the people of Iraq. And, as that authority grows and gets greater credibility from the people of Iraq, we want to turn over more and more responsibilities to them.           
March 26, 2003, George W. Bush Speech at MacDill AFB ( cached )
       We will help the Iraqi people to find the benefits and assume the duties of self-government. The form of those institutions will arise from Iraq's own culture and its own choices.           
April 1, 2003, Paul Wolfowitz Interview with 60 Minutes ( cached )
       The goal is an Iraq that stands on its own feet and that governs itself in freedom and in unity and with respect for the rights of all its citizens. We'd like to get to that goal as quickly as possible.           
April 2, 2003, Colin Powell Press Conference in Belgrade ( cached )
       I can assure you that we all want to end this as soon as possible, so we can get on with the task of allowing the Iraqi people to form a new government.           
April 4, 2003, Condoleeza Rice Press Briefing ( cached )
       We will leave Iraq completely in the hands of Iraqis as quickly as possible.           
April 6, 2003, Paul Wolfowitz Meet the Press ( cached )
       We come as an army of liberation, and we want to see the Iraqis running their own affairs as soon as they can.           
April 10, 2003, Paul Wolfowitz Testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee ( cached )
       We want to see a situation where power and responsibility is transferred as quickly as possible to the Iraqis themselves, with as much international assistance as possible ... We have no desire to occupy Iraq ...           
April 13, 2003, Ahmed Chalabi, Chairman of the Iraqi National Congress Meet the Press ( cached )
       After (Gen. Jay Garner) finishes his job of restoring basic services, the interim Iraqi authority will be established. And that interim authority will be an authority of Iraqis, chosen by Iraqis. And it will be able to function as an authority in the country immediately after Gen. Garner's job is finished, which should be only a few weeks.           
April 13, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Meet the Press ( cached )
       The task is to create an environment that is sufficiently permissive that the Iraqi people can fashion a new government. And what they will do is come together in one way or another and select an interim authority of some kind. Then that group will propose a constitution and a more permanent authority of some kind. And over some period of months, the Iraqis will have their government selected by Iraqi people.           
April 13, 2003, Gen. Tommy Franks Fox News Interview   ( cached )
       I think what we are so proud of is governments which permit their populace to be involved in a process that provides them freedom, provides them liberty. And I think what we will see in the months and years ahead in Iraq will provide a bit of a model for how that can be done . . . . because, Tony, it will be the Iraqi people who decide how to do that, and they will do it on their terms.           
April 16, 2003, Marc Grossman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Interview with Free Iraqi Television ( cached )
       Soon Iraqis will be able to give us guidance about how to move forward and create an Iraqi interim authority. And that authority will begin to allow Iraqis to have sovereignty over their country and in a way that Iraqis will choose; they will create an Iraqi Government.           
April 17, 2003, Zalmay Khalilzad, Special U.S. Envoy to Iraq Wall Street Journal op-ed ( cached )
       The coalition supports the formation, as soon as possible, of the Iraqi Interim Authority -- a transitional administration, run by Iraqis, until a government is established by the people of Iraq through elections. The Interim Authority should be broad-based and fully representative.           
April 21, 2003, Gen. Jay Garner Press Interview ( cached )
       The new ruler of Iraq is going to be an Iraqi. I don't rule anything.           
April 24, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Interview with Associated Press ( cached )
       If you're suggesting, how would we feel about an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country, the answer is: That isn't going to happen.           
April 24, 2003, Gen. Jay Garner Press Conference in Baghdad ( cached )
       I think you'll begin to see the governmental process start next week, by the end of next week. It will have Iraqi faces on it. It will be governed by the Iraqis.           
April 28, 2003, George W. Bush Speech in Dearborne, Michigan ( cached )
       As freedom takes hold in Iraq, the Iraqi people will choose their own leaders and their own government. America has no intention of imposing our form of government or our culture. Yet, we will ensure that all Iraqis have a voice in the new government ...           
May 5, 2003, Gen. Jay Garner Press Conference ( cached )
       By the middle of (this) month, you'll really see a beginning of a nucleus of an Iraqi government with an Iraqi face on it that is dealing with the coalition.           
May 9, 2003, George W. Bush Address at the University of South Carolina ( cached )
       Soon, Iraqis from every ethnic group will choose members of an interim authority. The people of Iraq are building a free society from the ground up, and they are able to do so because the dictator and his regime are no more.           
May 18, 2003, L. Paul Bremer, Special Envoy to Iraq Remarks to Press in Mosul ( cached )
       I've read a report in the American press about a delay (in the transitional authority). I don't know where these stories are coming from because we haven't delayed anything.           
May 21, 2003, L. Paul Bremer Remarks to Reporters in Baghdad ( cached )
       I would think we are talking about more like sometime in July to get a national conference put together.           
May 27, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Wall Street Journal op-ed ( cached )
       As Thomas Jefferson put it, "we are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed." It took time and patience, but eventually our Founders got it right--and we hope so will the people of Iraq--over time.           
May 27, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations ( cached )
       While our goal is to put functional and political authority in the hands of Iraqis as soon as possible, the Coalition Provisional Authority has the responsibility to fill the vacuum of power . . . by asserting temporary authority over the country. The coalition will do so. It will not tolerate self-appointed "leaders."           
May 29, 2003, Ahmed Chalabi Interview with Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist ( cached )
       They told us, "Liberation now," and then they made it occupation. Bush said he was a liberator, not an occupier, and we supported the United States on this basis.           
May 29, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld Infinity Radio Town Hall ( cached )
       Question: When do you think there might be a government in place, even a provisional government in place in Iraq? Rumsfeld: I don't know.           
June 7, 2003, Hamid Bayati, Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq Washington Post Interview  ( cached )
       If (Bremer) is going to appoint an administration, we can't be part of that. We will only be part of an administration selected by the Iraqi people. There are certain lines which we cannot cross.           
June 7, 2003, Isam Khafaji, DoD's Iraq Reconstruction and Development Council Washington Post Interview ( cached )
       Our role is very limited. We're not allowed to make any decisions.           
June 17, 2003, Abu Adel, Tribal Leader in Ramadi, Iraq AP Interview ( cached ) See also: 1 
       We are a proud people and we will not accept this humiliation. The Americans should beware the wrath of the Iraqi people.           
June 18, 2003, L. Paul Bremer Washington Post Interview ( cached )
       As long as we're here, we are the occupying power. It's a very ugly word, but it's true.           
June 28, 2003, L. Paul Bremer Interview Reported In Washington Post ( cached )
       I'm not opposed to [self-rule], but I want to do it a way that takes care of our concerns ... In a postwar situation like this, if you start holding elections, the people who are rejectionists tend to win ... It's often the best-organized who win, and the best-organized right now are the former Baathists and to some extent the Islamists.           
June 30, 2003, L. Paul Bremer BBC Interview ( cached )
       We are going to fight them and impose our will on them and we will capture or, if necessary, kill them until we have imposed law and order upon this country.           
 Comment on the above topic