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Universal Lies:
The Democrats’ Own Weapons of Mass Deception

by Joshua Frank
October 12, 2004

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United States weapons inspector Charles Duelfer released his extensive report last week, and confirmed that Saddam Hussein had shut down Iraq’s chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs following the first Iraq war in 1991. His report also showed that Saddam had no stockpiles of WMDs after that year. With that said, it is interesting to look back at how the Democrats, like Bush, lied to the American public, and inflated Saddam’s supposed threat to our national security. The mendacity was undoubtedly universal. Here are a few of the choice quotes:

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
-- President Bill Clinton, February 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
-- President Bill Clinton, February 17, 1998

"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."
-- Madeline Albright, February 1, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
-- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, February 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
-- (D) Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, others, October 9, 1998. Letter to President Clinton.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
-- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), December 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
-- Madeline Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State, November 10, 1999

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
-- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), September 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
-- Al Gore, September 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
-- Al Gore, September 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), September 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
-- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), October 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), October 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), October 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
-- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), October 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), December 8, 2002

“Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.”
-- Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) September 4, 2002

“If we wait for the [Iraq] danger to become clear, it could be too late.”
-- Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del) September 4, 2002

“Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.”
-- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) February 5, 2003

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), January 23. 2003

Joshua Frank is a contributor to CounterPunch's new election book, A Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils, and is author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Did Bush's Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press. He welcomes comments at

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