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White House sets up group to market war in Iraq in 2002: article
www.chinaview.cn 2005-10-17 01:19:43

    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 nuclear weapons."

    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

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