Somebody had to do it. And hooray to the Center for Public Integrity and Fund for Independence in Journalism for doing it.
The groups counted and documented every Bush administration false statement made in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Every one. It was a bit like counting snowflakes, to be sure, but here's what they came up with
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.
Or there's this, if you'd like a visualization:
You can relive every moment of the war hype on the site by watching videos, going over every false statement, and more. Remember Dick Cheney's "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."? And President Bush's "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories."? The project even comes replete with a search function
(Unfortunately, CPI's site seems to be groaning under the pressure of interest in the project, so you'll have to be patient. It's been loading slowly this morning.)
And the White House's response
to the study was as expected:
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.
"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.