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Oct 4, 2005 4:23 am


Clinton Revisionism on Iraq and WMD



Last week, former President Bill Clinton told his staffer-turned-ABC talking head George Stephanopoulos that the U.S. government had "no evidence that there was any weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq]." And Clinton has the gall to accuse Bush of lying?

Here's Clinton on July 22, 2003, on Larry King Live: "When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for." And in October 2003, some six months after the war ended, Portuguese prime minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso discussed WMD with Clinton. Said Barroso: "When Clinton was here recently he told me he was absolutely convinced, given his years in the White House and the access to privileged information which he had, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction until the end of the Saddam regime."

Details, details. In an interview last month with Wolf Blitzer, Clinton said of the Iraq war: "I never thought it had much to do with the war on terror." Come again? In a speech on February 17, 1998, Clinton warned of threats from an "unholy axis" of terrorists and rogue states, and declared: "There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

Later that spring came this passage from the Clinton administration's indictment of Osama bin Laden: "Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq."

That summer, no
fewer than six senior Clinton officials accused Iraq of providing chemical weapons expertise to al Qaeda in Sudan. It was this collaboration that administration officials cited to justify the destruction of the al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. Sandy Berger, Clinton's national security adviser, wrote in the Washington Times that the administration had "information linking bin Laden to the Sudanese regime and to the al Shifa plant."

Berger continued: "We had physical evidence indicating that al Shifa was the site of chemical weapons activity," allowing that al Shifa might have been a dual-use facility. "Other products were made at al Shifa. But we have seen such dual-use plants before--in Iraq. And, indeed, we have information that Iraq has assisted chemical weapons activity in Sudan."

Clinton's revisionism is hardly surprising. He has his wife's future in an increasingly antiwar Democratic party to worry about. But the next time Stephanopoulos hosts his old boss, we'd like to see him ask about al Shifa and the Iraqi collaboration with al Qaeda that the Clinton administration once claimed took place at the plant.

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