The following links were compiled by Torey Dawn Hughes of Las Vegas, Nevada:
The Iraq War authorization listed WMD as one factor in a list of reasons for invading Iraq. The war was never exclusively about WMDs; e.g., the humanitarian aspect (for one) was in the resolution. The House and Senate voted and authorized and funded the war. The justification is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Resolution.
Saddam had ignored 16 UN resolutions:
Before Bush took office, Clinton’s Iraq policy was “Regime Change.” There was a longstanding “no fly zone” and Clinton initiated Operation Desert Fox in 1998: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Desert_Fox. All intelligence from international bodies supported WMD in Iraq. Bush inherited the Iraq intelligence knowledge from his predecessor.
Everyone was on board before they weren’t. This video, “Democrats on Iraq + WMD’s (Weapons of Mass Destruction,” can’t lie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwqh4wQPoQk & neither can this one, “Democrats on Iraq’s WMD”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i87cZ3Og6ts&feature=fvwrel
Here’s the “Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq” that Bush mentioned in the end of the first video above. He sure didn’t lie, manipulate, coerce, or anything else: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_Report_on_Pre-war_Intelligence_on_Iraq
Colin Powell gave his famous presentation to the UN Security Council in advance of the invasion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt5RZ6ukbNc. He used the best intelligence available. He didn’t cook the books. When later asked about his evidence:
“In his evidence to the Security Council on February 5 last year, Mr. Powell played surveillance tapes of Iraqi officials supposedly discussing the concealment of WMD activities and showed satellite photos of what he said were illicit weapons facilities.
“In today’s interview, he denied the evidence was untrue. “It was absolutely true at the time I said it,” he said. “Because, at the time I said it, (it was a result of) the intelligence community of the United States, the intelligence of the United Kingdom, of a number of other countries and the whole body of information and evidence and experience we had working with Iraq for a period of 12 years.”
“Last month’s statement by CIA chief George Tenet showed that the Bush administration had not manipulated intelligence, said Mr. Powell. “To this day, Mr. Tenet will say the information he presented then reflected the best information we had at that time and nobody shaped it, nobody cooked it, nobody made it something other than what it was – the judgment of the intelligence community,” he said.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-300027/We-WMD-evidence-Powell.html
Powell got squeamish later and seemed to back away from earlier statements, but I tend to think the fog of political war just got too difficult to navigate through.
There’s a semantics game when referring to WMDs. Lots of WMDs were found in Iraq; the expectation became “stockpiles of WMD.” That’s not well defined, but it became the vehicle for dismissing any WMD found that wasn’t huge enough to overpower the media’s pooh-poohing.
The biggest kept secret was the U.S. transfer of stockpiles of yellow-cake uranium from Iraq to Canada: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25546334.
Here’s a WikiLeaks Round-up on Iraqi WMD:
CBS can’t help itself here and qualifies everything by no “major” or “massive” weapons cache: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20020542-503543.html. Imagine if they weren’t leftists working hard not to exonerate Team Bush!
Here’s the Duelfer Report, which also focused on WMD “stockpiles” yet is filled with pictures (PDF Volumes 2 & 3) of WMD and illegal weapons recovered in Iraq: https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/index.html
One theory that won’t go away, though, is that during the 18-month “Rush to War” that the anti-war left kept chanting about, Saddam had many months to move WMD programs elsewhere. Because there were alleged satellite pictures of caravans heading toward Syria, the WMD may have been moved (some say by Russia) to Syria: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06036/649858-108.stm.
David Kay, who led the multinational Iraq Survey Group before resigning, claimed that “some components of the former Iraqi regime’s WMD program had been moved to Syria shortly before the 2003 invasion.”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Survey_Group.
This same theory was shared by James Clapper, notable in the intelligence community before Obama tapped him to be his DNI Director:
“President Obama’s choice to be the next director of national intelligence supported the view that Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq sent weapons and documents to Syria in the weeks before the 2003 U.S. invasion. […] On Iraq, Gen. Clapper said in an interview with The Washington Times in 2004 that “I think probably in the few months running up prior to the onset of combat that … there was probably an intensive effort to disperse into private homes, move documentation and materials out of the country. I think there are any number of things that they would have done.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/4/likely-intel-chief-clapper-held-disputed-wmd-view/
I once read excerpts of these translated docs that are the subject of this article: http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=28874. The referenced LoftusReport website is now gone. There was a battle at the time over trying to force the Bush Administration to release the Iraqi documents. Rumsfeld and most congressional Repubs wanted them released. The intelligence community didn’t agree: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/550kmbzd.asp
“Ha’aretz [Israeli newspaper] has revived the mystery surrounding the inability to find weapons of mass destruction stockpiles in Iraq, the most commonly cited justification for Operation Iraqi Freedom and one of the most embarrassing episodes for the United States. Satellite photos of a suspicious site in Syria are providing new support for the reporting of a Syrian journalist who briefly rocked the world with his reporting that Iraq’s WMD had been sent to three sites in Syria just before the invasion commenced.” http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/satellite-photos-support-testimony-that-iraqi-wmd-went-to-syria/
Also, whether the Israeli military strike on Syria’s weapons complex in 2007 was related in anyway is unknown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orchard
I’ve only scratched the surface here. One thing you should gather is that once an issue becomes politicized the truth is no longer relevant. Team Bush played politics poorly because his philosophy of not refuting false allegations. Because of that good people think that the entire WMD claim was some concoction in Bush’s brain. Wrong!