Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bob Woodward: Bush Didn't Lie About WMDs to Justify Iraq War

By Greg Richter

Former President George W. Bush did not lie about the presence of weapons of mass destruction to justify the Iraq War, journalist Bob Woodward said Sunday.

The argument has been used for years by Democrats and other detractors, but Woodward said on "Fox News Sunday" that his own 18-month investigation showed that Bush was actually skeptical that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had WMDs as Saddam claimed.

Though plenty of mistakes were made in the invasion of Iraq, Bush actually told CIA Director George Tenet, "Don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD," Woodward said.

The reason the United States went into Iraq was "momentum," he said.

"That war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end people were saying, 'Hey, look, it'll only take a week or two.'"

Though it can be argued the war was a mistake, Woodward told host Chris Wallace, "there was no lie in this that I could find."

As for President Barack Obama's decision to leave no residual force behind when American troops left Iraq in December 2011, Woodward indicated it would have been better to have left 10,000-15,000 troops behind as "an insurance policy" as military commanders suggested.

"We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still, 65 years or so after the war," Woodward said. "When you’re a superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies, and he didn’t in this case. I don’t think you can say everything is because of that decision — but clearly a factor."