Checking The Facts

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Editor:

Apparently quite a few of us are part of Bill Fork's "societal fringe" because we don't move lockstep with him and our governmental handlers. He asked Mr. Engleman or other "Bush haters" to offer proof, not opinion about our current Iraq muddle.

Here's a few facts he may want to chew over:

In the run-up to the war, President Bush said that the United States "must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud ... We have every reason to assume the worst, and we have an urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring." [Washington Post, 1/28/2002]

That was not the message that he was getting from the intelligence community. Here's an excerpt from CIA Director George Tenet's remarks about the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which summarized the pre-war views of the intelligence community: "Let me be clear: analysts differed on several important aspects of these programs, and those debates were spelled out in the Estimate. They never said there was an "imminent" threat." [Transcript of 2/5/04 speech at Georgetown University]

In a September 2002 news conference, President Bush cited an International Atomic Energy Agency report that purportedly said Iraq was six months away from obtaining a nuclear weapon, when in fact no such report ever existed.

The war has been enormously costly, in human lives and in tax dollars:

More than 500 American soldiers have died so far in the campaign and more than 3,000 Americans have been injured. No one will ever know how many thousands of Iraqis have also been killed because the US military has instructions not to keep count.

How many schools could we build; how many teachers could be trained; how many of the 42+ million Americans without health insurance could be covered with the $150 billion dollars we've spent so far on an unnecessary war?

President Bush has appointed a commission to investigate how things could have gone so wrong in Iraq. With instructions to limit the scope of their investigations and not report until months after the election in November.

This was not -- and is not -- a war entered into as a last resort because all other efforts failed.

President Bush must be held accountable for his actions. Now.

Larry Brophy, Payson

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