News Release

The Democrats and Weapons of Mass Destruction

While many have called on President Bush to offer an explanation for his false claims about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction, several Democratic presidential candidates have made similar claims. Here are candidate statements made before the occupation of Iraq:

JOHN KERRY: “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) [See: www.commondreams.org/views03/0826-03.htm, www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2002_1009.html]

WESLEY CLARK: “He [Hussein] does have weapons of mass destruction.” When asked, “And you could say that categorically?” Clark responded: “Absolutely.” (on CNN, Jan. 18, 2003). On finding the alleged weapons Clark said: “I think they will be found. There’s so much intelligence on this.” (on CNN, April 2, 2003) [See: www.fair.org/press-releases/clark-antiwar.html, www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0301/18/smn.05.html, www-cgi.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0304/02/lt.08.html]

HOWARD DEAN: “[He and others] have never been in doubt about the evil of Saddam Hussein or the necessity of removing his weapons of mass destruction.” (March 17, 2003) [See: www.wtv-zone.com/Morgaine_OFaery/HDean4pres/deantrpswar.html]

JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: “Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.” (August 4, 2002) [See: www.counterpunch.org/wmd05292003.html, www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,59538,00.html]

JOHN EDWARDS: “We know that he [Hussein] has chemical and biological weapons.” (Oct. 10, 2002) [See: www.senate.gov/~edwards/statements/20021010_iraq.html]

In contrast:

DENNIS KUCINICH: “Since 1998 no credible intelligence has been brought forward which suggests that Iraq is manufacturing weapons of mass destruction…” (Sept. 12, 2002) [See: www.house.gov/kucinich/press/pr-020912-avoidwar.htm, www.house.gov/apps/list/press/oh10_kucinich/030604WMDinqres.html]

AL SHARPTON: “I think that the present administration is bent on war. There has been no, in my judgment, evidence presented there has been any weapons of mass destruction.” (on NPR, Jan. 31, 2003)

Interviews are available with the following:

STEPHEN ZUNES
Zunes, associate professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, wrote the articles “Kerry’s Deceptions on Iraq Threaten His Presidential Hopes” and “Howard Dean: Hawk in Dove’s Clothing?”
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PETER HART
An analyst with FAIR, Hart wrote the piece “Wesley Clark: The New Anti-War Candidate?”
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SAM HUSSEINI
Communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini said today: “In response to the State of the Union address, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Bush ‘led us into the Iraq war on the basis of unproven assertions.’ She didn’t say what action she would take. Perhaps that’s because she had claimed: ‘Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons. There’s no question about that.’ (on NBC, Nov. 17, 2002) [See: www.sfbg.com/38/16/x_oped.html] When I asked her about this last week, she declined to even acknowledge that her statement had been false. [See: www.accuracy.org/pelosi.htm] Many Democrats are refusing to be held accountable; this is further restricting them from holding Bush accountable. They should admit and explain their own false statements.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167