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The WMD Mirage: Iraq's Decade of Deception and America's False Premise for Warby Craig R. Whitney
Synopses & Reviews
Features the official report from the bipartisan Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction--named by President Bush to try to prevent similar policy debacles in Iran and North Korea.
It also includes the official speeches, United Nations reports, and declassified government investigation reports that show, step by step, how the United States got the crucial question of arms in Iraq so terribly wrong.
The documents show that:
The CIA concluded in 2002 that Iraq had reconstituted its WMD programs, but in fact Saddam had dismantled them;
American policymakers consistently assumed the worst case: regardless of his denials, if there was intelligence that Saddam might be making weapons of mass destruction then he had them and was hiding them. UN inspectors, by contrast, assumed that thorough inspection and insistence on complete Iraqi documentation could determine what the truth was;
UN inspectors were frustrated by Saddam's refusal to cooperate freely and thwarted by American military impatience just as they thought themselves on the verge of success;
American inspectors sent in after the war in 2003 found no weapons of mass destruction and how they--and Washington insiders--began to question the basis of the prewar intelligence.
The New York Times editor and contributor to The 9/11 Investigations (PublicAffairs, 2004) Craig R. Whitney has scoured the documents surrounding the search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In The WMD Mirage, he has assembled the most revelatory and pertinent of these. The result is a startling narrative trail that leads readers through the intelligence and misinformation leading into Iraq--and a telling portrait of how the Bush administration, whether deliberately or unintentionally, with scant evidence and largely against the will of the international community, convinced the American people and their few allies of the urgent need for war.
A must-read for scholars, voters, and anyone interested in the goings-on in Iraq, the growing threats perceived elsewhere, and the truth behind our frayed international reputation, The WMD Mirage offers the real story of the missing weapons of mass destruction. In offering such a clear-eyed and documented picture of how we got it wrong in Iraq, The WMD Mirage is the first widely-available book that also includes the new conclusions of the Presidential Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission.
Book News Annotation:
This volume collects documents and political addresses related to how the Bush administration attempted to present the case of war to the American public and the international community. Included are speeches by President Bush, UN Security Council 1441, the unclassified version October 2001 National Intelligence Estimate, Secretary of State Powell's now widely-ridiculed address to the UN Security Council, UNMOVIC and IAEA reports on pre-invasion inspections, and post-invasion reports from US weapons hunters David Kay and Charles Duelfer. Almost half of the volume is given over to the report of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, described as comprehensive by most major media outlets and as a whitewash by many critics. Whitney (assistant managing editor, The New York Times) provides historical context in an introductory essay.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes the definitive report from the Presidential Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction Intelligence and the most revealing official investigations and statements that answer the question of how the United States could go to war on false premises.
About the Author
Craig R. Whitney has worked as a reporter for The New York Times in New York, Saigon, Bonn, Moscow, Paris, and London. He has also served as European diplomatic correspondent, foreign editor, and Washington editor. He is currently an assistant managing editor of the Times.
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