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2003-05-12 - 1:40 a.m.

Demand Accountablity NOW!

As far back as September 2002, when Bush presented his speech to the U.N., the main theme for the war against Iraq was Weapons of Mass Destruction. In that speech, Bush claimed, Iraq continues to withhold important information about its unclear program weapons design, procurement logs, experiment data, an accounting of nuclear materials, and documentation of foreign assistance. Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year. And Iraq's state-controlled media has reported numerous meetings between Saddam Hussein and his nuclear scientists, leaving little doubt about his continued appetite for these weapons.

Iraq also possesses a force of Scud-type missiles with ranges beyond the 150 kilometers permitted by the U.N. Work at testing and production facilities shows that Iraq is building more long-range missiles that could inflict mass death throughout the region.

When Bush addressed the nation in March of this year to give his War Address against Iraq, he stated, Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.

In Bush's ultimatum to Saddam in March of this year, he stated, Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.

The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends and it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaida.

The danger is clear: Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.

Over and over again, speech after speech, Bush made claims to Iraq having WMD. Even when Saddam cooperated with the U.N. inspectors and destroyed the few missles he had left, Bush said, Token gestures are not acceptable. The only acceptable outcome is the one already defined by a unanimous vote of the Security Council: total disarmament.

Even Rumsfeld tooted the WMD theory: On March 20, the day after the bombing began, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld noted, "We have a serious task before us, and it is to remove that regime and find the weapons of mass destruction." The following day, he identified several "specific objectives." Number one was smashing the regime and its military. The second item on his to-do list was, "to identify, isolate and eventually eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, production, capabilities, and distribution networks." (After that came driving out terrorists, delivering humanitarian relief, securing oil fields, creating conditions that would allow a transition to a new, representative government.) He noted that "we will...ensure their weapons of mass destruction will not fall into the hands of terrorists." Days later, he remarked, "we're there to eliminate the weapons of mass destruction in that country."

And yet, even the slightest discovery so far of a "smoking gun" has been ruled out. Even the latest find of trailers suspected of biological or chemical production have been proven false. And now, the latest report is that Bush is scaling back his US Weapons Team. The report states, The team searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is ending its operation without having found proof that Saddam Hussein had stocks of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

The search for WMD will continue under the auspices of the Iraq Survey Group, which will also hunt for information about Saddam's regime. The White House has claimed this is a bigger unit than the task force. But officials admit that the number of staff hunting for weapons will be scaled back.

My dear readers, the time for accountability is here. Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, and Powell should all be held accountable for sending their military into a sovereign country and destroying it on the unproven theory that Saddam possessed WMD. We can no longer accept their cry of "the end justifies the means" because it isn't enough to say NOW that a free Iraq was worth this war. We were misled, lied to, and given false and at times forged information. Every American should declare that Congress investigate these crimes and hold Bush, Rumsfeld and Powell accountable. If you are in agreement with me, then I urge you to write your congress members and tell them that Americans demand accountablity and we demand it NOW.

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Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
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