Bush ‘Still Believed Saddam Possessed WMD’ In April 2006

In Oct. 2004, President Bush finally admitted that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction: “Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there.”

Yet according to former White House chief of staff Andy Card, this statement was just rhetoric. In his new book on Bush, Robert Draper writes that the President continued to privately insist through April 2006 that Saddam had possessed weapons of mass destruction:

Bush, for his part, was not disposed to second-guessing. Througout 2006, he read historical texts relating to Lincoln, Churchill, and Truman — three wartime leaders, the latter two of whom left office to something less than public acclaim. History would acquit him, too. Bush was confident of that, and of something else as well. Though it was not the sort of thing one could say publicly anymore, the president still believed that Saddam had possessed weapons of mass destruction. He repeated this conviction to Andy Card all the way up until Card’s departure in April 2006, almost exactly three years after the Coalition had begun its fruitless search for WMDs. [p. 388]

Bush’s belief is nothing more than a delusion. Between the U.S. invasion and April 2006, numerous government inspectors concluded, beyond a doubt, that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. Evidently, none of these were conclusive enough to convince the President that he was wrong:


Despite evidence of Saddam’s continued ambition to acquire nuclear weapons, to date we have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material. [Iraq Survey Group Interim Progress Report, 10/2/03]

“My summary view, based on what I’ve seen, is we’re very unlikely to find large stockpiles of weapons. … I don’t think they exist.” [Former U.N. inspector David Kay, 1/26/04]

“The ISG has not found evidence that Saddam possessed WMD stocks in 2003.” [Iraq Survey Group Report, 10/7/04]

As Albert Einstein once quipped, “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”

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