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George W. Bush's Former Press Secretary Just Posted a Thread Claiming That Bush Never Lied About WMDs, and Now He Is Getting Completely Owned

No, Ari.

George W. Bush's Former Press Secretary Just Posted a Thread Claiming That Bush Never Lied About WMDs, and Now He Is Getting Completely Owned
Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Paul J. Richards/Getty Images

Wednesday marks the 16th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is getting hammered for trying to rewrite history.

On Tuesday night, Fleischer wrote on Twitter that claims he and others within President George W. Bush's administration lied about weapons of mass destruction were "a myth."

Fleischer said it was an "intelligence failure," rather than a series of lies and exaggerations, that led the US and coalition forces into what would become a multi-trillion dollar fool's errand that has claimed tens to hundreds of thousands of lives.

The intelligence "misjudgment," as Fleischer characterized it, "stemmed chiefly from the Community's failure to analyze correctly Iraq's reasons for attempting to procure high-strength aluminum tubes," used in the production of nuclear weapons.

The administration also misread analyses about Saddam Hussein's alleged biological weapons program, according to Fleischer.

"The primary reason for this misjudgment was the Intelligence Community's heavy reliance on a human source--codenamed "Curveball"--whose information later proved to be unreliable," he said.

A similar excuse was offered for conclusions drawn about Hussein's supposed stockpile of chemical weapons, which were never found.

Fleischer then suggested that Hussein misled the west into... invading his own country?

"I understand the anger that was felt after no WMDs were found," Fleischer concluded. Sure.

The problem with all this however, is that it simply is not true.

Former Obama National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor threw the gauntlet down on Fleischer:

"In Feb 02, IAEA director Mohammed ElBaradei said 'we have found to date no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq.' The Germans warned us that Curveball was a questionable source BEFORE the Iraq NIE was published."

This, Vietor reminded us, was shouted down by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Vice President Dick Cheney, both of whom said that those who doubted the veracity of the intelligence reports have not “seen all the intelligence that we have seen.”

In fact, the administration was itching for war with Iraq, dating back to the early days of the Bush presidency, even predating 9/11. "After all," Bush said of Hussein in 2002, "this is the guy who tried to kill my dad."

Powell would later admit the administration made "terrible strategic mistakes" after toppling Hussein and in the early days of the occupation of Baghdad.

Further, Vietor notes, and history has certainly proven this to be correct, the Bush administration had no long-term plan for the stability and eventual independence of Iraq - and it was not the CIA's fault. Nevertheless, "Mission Accomplished" was declared on May 1, 2003.

It is also crucial to remember that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a fact that Cheney would later admit, albeit begrudgingly.

David Corn of Mother Jones blasted Fleischer for his historical revisionism.

"Damn, Ari. I’ve been through this BS before. Cheney started out your push for war in a major speech claiming Saddam was amassing WMDs to use against the US. There was no intelligence concluding that. It was a lie."

Cheney lied - again and again.

Bush lied.

The administration, with Fleischer as its mouthpiece, deceived the public into senseless carnage.

The repercussions of the disastrous invasion of Iraq have reverberated into the present day.

At the very least, Fleischer and the rest of the 43rd president's team owe the world an apology, Corn said.

Operation Iraqi Freedom came to define most of Bush's presidency and exacerbated the trauma caused by the 9/11 attacks.

Fleischer is not fooling anyone.

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.