WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George W. Bush and top administration officials made hundreds of false statements about security threat from Iraq to gain public support for the war on Iraq, a study by two nonprofit journalism organizations said Tuesday.
The study was conducted by the Center for Public
Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
The false statements were "part of an orchestrated
campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the
nation to war under decidedly false pretenses," the study found.
In the two years after the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks, Bush and administration officials stated on 532 occasions at least that
Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction or was trying to obtain them or had
links to al-Qaida.
The statements were made in speeches, briefings,
interviews and other venues.
Bush made 259 false statements, followed by former
Secretary of State Collin Powell with 244. On the list were also Vice President
Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, former Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and
former White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.
"The Bush administration led the nation to war on the
basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that
culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003," said the report.
"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess
any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," it said.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel declined to
comment on the study but reiterated that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
was a threat.
"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the
collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.