WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- The White House
set up, without announcement, a group to market a war in Iraq in August 2002,
seven months before the March 2003 invasion, according to an article published
by the New York Times on Sunday.
Very little has been written about
the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, and only one newspaper article or two have
mentioned it in passing reporting that it had been set up by Andrew Card, the
White House chief of staff, said the article in the newspaper's opinion page.
The group had eight members, including Karl Rove, the
top political adviser to President George W. Bush, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby,
Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and then presidential security
adviser Condoleezza Rice and others, and itsmission was to market a war in Iraq.
On July 23, 2002, a week or two before the WHIG first
convened in earnest, a British official said that the Bush administration was
ensuring that "the intelligence and facts" about Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction "were being fixed around the policy" of going to war, said the
article, written by columnist Frank Rick.
On Sept. 6, 2002, a few weeks after the WHIG first
convened, Card alluded to the group's existence that there was a plan afoot to
sell a war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein: "From a marketing point of view,
you don't introduce new products in August," the article noted.
The official introduction of that product began two
day later, the article said. On the Sunday talk shows of Sept. 8, 2002, Rice
warned that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," and Cheney,
who had already started the nuclear doomsday drumbeat in three August speeches,
described Saddam Hussein as "actively and aggressively seeking to acquire
Cheney cited as evidence a front-paged article, later
debunked,about supposedly nefarious aluminium tubes in that morning's New York
Times, the article said.
Throughout those crucial seven months between the
creation of the WHIG and the start of the US invasion of Iraq, there were
indications that evidence of a Saddam nuclear program was fraudulent or
nonexistent. Joseph Wilson's CIA mission to Niger, in which he failed to find
any evidence to back up uranium claims,took place nearly a year before the
infamously fictional 16 words about "uranium from Africa" in Bush's January 2003
State of the Union address on the eve of the war, the article said. Enditem