News Release

Anti-War Candidate, Pro-War Cabinet?

“I don’t want to just end the war; I want to end the mindset that got us into war.”
– Barack Obama
Feb. 19, 2008

ROBERT PARRY
Parry is editor of ConsortiumNews.com, a reader-supported investigative webpage. His recent pieces include “The Danger of Keeping Robert Gates” and “Obama Risks Clinton-Era Mistakes,” which states: “After a masterful campaign, Barack Obama seems headed toward some fateful mistakes as he assembles his administration by heeding the advice of Washington’s Democratic insider community, a collective group that represents little ‘change you can believe in.’ …”

Parry’s books include Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat. Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.

ROBERT NAIMAN
Naiman is senior policy analyst and national coordinator at Just Foreign Policy. He recently wrote the piece “For Middle East Peace, Dennis Ross Is Not the Change We Seek.”

STEPHEN ZUNES
Professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and a contributor to Foreign Policy in Focus, Zunes has written numerous pieces on Obama’s foreign policy.
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SAM HUSSEINI
Communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini said today: “‘Diversity’ is now often being twisted into a euphemism for Obama including Republicans in his Cabinet. While Obama repeatedly referenced his 2002 speech against the invasion of Iraq during the campaign as evidence of the flawed judgment of others, he is now reportedly considering numerous individuals who supported the invasion and/or made false claims about Iraq to fill high-level foreign policy positions.

“In fact, it looks like there will be little diversity on this critical count. Obama has already chosen Biden, who voted for war and enabled it in many ways, and Rahm Emanuel, who pushed for it. Meanwhile, 23 senators and 133 House members who voted against the war — and countless other notable individuals who spoke out against it and the dubious claims leading to war — are apparently not even being considered for these crucial positions.”
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Background: Here are some claims by named and possible officials in an Obama administration:

JOSEPH BIDEN: Voted in 2002 to authorize the invasion of Iraq. In his floor speech at the time he claimed: “[Saddam Hussein] possesses chemical and biological weapons and is seeking nuclear weapons.” As then-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he oversaw hearings which excluded former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and other individuals who where highly critical of claims regarding Iraq’s alleged possessions of weapons of mass destruction. See: “Biden: What Kind of Foreign Policy ‘Experience’?

HILLARY CLINTON: Voted for the 2002 authorization for the Iraq war. In her 2002 floor speech, she stated that “intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.” (Oct. 10, 2002)

RICHARD HOLBROOKE: Was ambassador to the United Nations toward the end of the Clinton administration. Claimed shortly after Colin Powell’s speech to the UN: “It was a masterful job of diplomacy by Colin Powell and his colleagues, and it does not require a second vote to go to war. … Saddam is the most dangerous government leader in the world today, he poses a threat to the region, he could pose a larger threat if he got weapons of mass destruction deployed, and we have a legitimate right to take action.” (MSNBC, Jan. 23, 2003)

DENNIS ROSS: Mideast envoy during the Clinton administration, he made numerous appearances on Fox News Channel during the build-up for the Iraq invasion pressing for war, for example: “And the fact is that [Hussein] felt he was able to continue to pursue weapons of mass destruction, even while all of the resolutions demanding his disarmament were put into play, and you had inspectors on the ground.” (Fox News Channel, Dec. 22, 2002)

JOHN KERRY: Voted for the 2002 authorization for the Iraq war. Stated at the time: “Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don’t even try? … According to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons … Iraq is developing unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents…” (Oct. 9, 2002)

SUSAN RICE: Assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration. Before the invasion of Iraq, she claimed: “I think he [then Secretary of State Colin Powell] has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.” (NPR, Feb. 6, 2003)

BILL RICHARDSON: Was ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration in the late 1990s during which time he claimed Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction: “We think this man is a threat to the international community, and he threatens a lot of the neighbors in his region and future generations there with anthrax and VX.” (Feb. 11, 1998)

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167