News Release

Trump: Right on 9/11 and Iraq War

medium_photoAt the Republican debate on Saturday, Donald Trump attacked the George W. Bush administration on its claims justifying the Iraq invasion. He said: “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction. (BOOING).”

Trump also attacked the notion — articulated by Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and others that George W. Bush “kept us safe.” Said Trump: “How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center … The World Trade Center came down (BOOING) during [Bush’s] reign. He kept us safe? That’s not safe.”

COLEEN ROWLEY,  rowleyclan at earthlink.net@ColeenRowley
Rowley, a former FBI special agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures — was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. Her pieces include “Ten Years After Iraq.” 

She said today: “On the specific issue of the Bush administration’s 9/11 and Iraq ‘blunders,’ Donald Trump is absolutely telling the truth even though he may not be politically correct vis a vis the other Republican candidates. If George Bush ‘kept us safe,’ as his brother claims, there’s also a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. Trump is right to point out how senior officials of the Bush administration enabled and let the worst terrorist attacks occur even though there was so much information flowing into intelligence agencies during the Spring and Summer of 2001 that the Director of Central Intelligence and other counterterrorism officials like Richard Clarke were said to have ‘their hair on fire’ they were so concerned and desperately, but unsuccessfully, trying to get the Bush administration to pay attention. Even the 9/11 Commission and other official investigations characterized the system as ‘blinking red’ and characterized the failure as one of ‘failing to connect the dots.’

“For Bush to have seized on the neoconservatives’ dream of a ‘new Pearl Harbor,’ and turned his administration’s massive failure into a deceitful argument to launch war on Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and even served as a secular bulwark against the Saudis’ Wahabi-style terrorism, is the epitome of a foreign policy blunder that only continues to magnify in disastrous blowback.”

STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu@SZunes
Zunes is a professor of politics & coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. He argues that Trump’s attack on the Iraq war was largely correct — and notes that the reaction of other Republican presidential candidates were filled with the same sorts of deceits that surrounded the invasion. Marco Rubio for example claimed that “Saddam Hussein was in violation of UN resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn’t do anything about it.” Zunes notes that Iraq was in fact complying with UN resolutions, including with the disarmament regime, when G. W. Bush decided to end the inspections and start the “shock and awe” bombing campaign and invasion. See his pieces: “Hillary the Hawk,” and “Iraq: Remembering Those Responsible.” 

Also see: “Face It: Trump is Right About Iraq — and that Should Sink Clinton,” by Sam Husseini: “What’s it going to look like if Trump is the Republican nominee? If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Trump — with very good reason — will tie the stench of perpetual wars and the lies that accompany them around her neck. She will make the 2004 John ‘I-was-for-the-war-before-I-was-against-it’ Kerry look like a stirring exemplar of gracefully articulated principles.”