Feith: Did The Bush Administration Ever Say Iraq Would Be Easy? ‘Absolutely Not’

Douglas Feith, former Undersecretary of Defense and an architect of the Iraq war, has been hitting the media circuit to promote his new book — and to continue blaming others for the war, defending former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and distorting former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s record.

Yesterday, he appeared on the Brian Lehrer show, on WNYC. Lehrer brought up the so-called “Parade of Horribles” Feith discusses in his book, and asked why the American public was only told that the war “would be a cakewalk.” Feith insisted no one from the administration had said that:

LEHRER: The public was never told that the Parade of Horribles were considered possibilities. Instead we were told it would be a cakewalk. Were you —

FEITH: You weren’t told that by the administration. Absolutely not.


When Lehrer played a clip from Meet the Press in which Vice President Cheney claimed the U.S. would be “greeted as liberators” in Iraq, Feith dismissed it as “one of the more optimistic comments” but said that others, “especially” Rumsfeld, “were a lot more reserved than that.” He also insisted that “the initial reaction of many of the Iraqis was to greet us as liberators.”

Listen to it:


In fact, as everyone knows, the Bush Administration and its allies declared repeatedly that the war would be relatively easy, quick, and painless:

Press Secretary Ari Fleisher: “My point is, the likelihood is much more like Afghanistan, where the people who live right now under a brutal dictator will view America as liberators, not conquerors.” [10/11/02]

White House Chief of Staff Andy Card: “I think the Iraqi people would welcome freedom with jubilation.” [1/26/03]

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “The people will be enormously relieved and liberated.” [3/20/03]

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz: “The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator. They know that America will not come as a conqueror.” [3/11/03]

Vice President Dick Cheney: “I’m confident that our troops will be successful, and I think it’ll go relatively quickly…Weeks rather than months.” [3/16/03]

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice: “I do not mean that we will need to maintain a military presence in Iraq as was the case in Europe.” [8/7/03]

Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle: “And a year from now, I’ll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they’ve been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation.” [9/22/03]

It looks like Feith can add “lying” to the list of his post-White House activities.