Senate Majority Project

Monday, November 07, 2005

What do Republicans say now?

Today we know that when Bush told the Congress, the Country and the World that we had to invade Iraq in order to prevent it from using weapons of mass destruction that it either had or was producing, he was wrong. And a growing number of accounts suggest that the administration either knew, or should have known that these claims were false.
Democrats are frequently asked whether they were misled by the Bush Administration. But few Republicans who aided and abetted the administration in making the case for war have been asked the same question. Here are just a few statements made by Republican Senators in the lead-up to the vote on authorizing the use of force in Iraq that repeated these claims, vouched for the Administrations bad conclusions and sometimes even went further than even the Bush Administration did. If these senators independently evaluated the intelligence available, then they should answer for their statements. And if they blindly relied on the Bush Administration, then they may wish to address whether they feel that they were misled into making the statements they did.
Senator Bill Frist (R-Tennessee): Iraq has chemical and biological weapons
"I personally don't feel weapons inspectors will make a difference," said Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). He said there is "growing evidence" pointing to Iraq's possession of biological and chemical arms. (The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, 9/5/02)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.): Endorsed Bush Intelligence
Roberts said the committee was getting "good analysis" from the CIA. (The Philadelphia Inquirer 10/5/02)

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona): Convinced that Saddam has WMD
Well, I've been convinced of that for a long period of time, as the evidence continues to mount, that Saddam Hussein is acquiring these weapons and is refusing ... ... to allow the weapons inspectors back in, which, by the way, is a Security Council resolution and part of the cease-fire agreement that brought about the end of the Gulf War in 1991. (CNN 9/12/02)
Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota): Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction and Must Surrender Them
Pronouncing that "history will judge" the United States based on how it confronts Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Coleman said he supports a Congressional resolution giving Bush the authority to strike first against Iraq - unilaterally if necessary - if it does not relinquish weapons of mass destruction. (St. Cloud Times 9/25/02)
Senator James Inhofe (R- Oklahoma): Iraq has Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons
Let's look at this, Wolf. If it is true, and I believe it is, that Saddam Hussein has all three of the types, classes of weapons of mass destruction and if he is very, very close to having a missile that would deliver those to an American city, the president has to do something. So that's my feeling. (CNN 8/25/02)
Senator Richard Shelby (R- Alabama): Al Qaeda is in Iraq
There are some [Al Qaede] there, there are some in Baghdad. Lot of stuff we don't know, but we know there has been some affiliation in the past and some help in the past, and some of them are there. Some have gone to the north where the Kurds are, but there are some as we speak in Baghdad. (CNN Capital Gang 9/28/02)