Newly-Released Memo by Donald Rumsfeld Proves Iraq War Started On False Pretenses

George Washington's picture


Everyone knew that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.

Indeed, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff – Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – just said that Powell knew that there were no WMDs:

I wonder what will happen when we put 500,000 troops into Iraq and comb the country from one end to the other and find nothing


(starting at 6:43 into video).

But war is sold just like soda or toothpaste … and so a false justification also needs to be concocted.  George W. BushJohn McCain, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer, Alan Greenspan and others all say that the Iraq war was reallyabout oil.

It has been extensively documented that the White House decided to invade Iraq before 9/11:

Indeed, neoconservatives planned regime change .

The government tried to falsely blame the anthrax attacks on Iraq as a justification for war:

When Congress was originally asked to pass the Patriot Act in late 2001, the anthrax attacks which occurred only weeks earlier were falsely blamed on spooky Arabs as a way to scare Congress members into approving the bill. Specifically:


George Bush throughout 2002 routinely featured “anthrax” as one of Saddam’s scary weapons.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush and VP Cheney all falsely linked Iraq with 9/11 … and the entire torture program was aimed at establishing such a false linkage.

A new book by NBC News and Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff adds details, including a memo written by Rumsfeld in November 2001 – a year and a quarter   before the start of the Iraq war – asking how to start a war against Iraq, and suggesting as one potential “justification” for war:

  • How start?



US discovers Saddam connection to Sept. 11 attack or to anthrax?

The Bush administration launched the Iraq war under false pretenses … unfortunately, Obama is no better.


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Heweliusz's picture

Damn. The Russian, French and German were right.

MSimon's picture

9/11 was a Drug running operation gone bad.


"Ruddi Dekkers"   and  "Mohammed Atta and the Venice Flying Circus" are good searches.

MSimon's picture

The yellow cake was in Libya. Saddam had outsourced his nuke program to Kdaffy.

08xander02's picture

I don't see this as the smoking gun George is making it out to be. If anything, it could reflect a belief in the idea that Iraq did posess WMD. The main thing it does prove is that the US wanted war, whatever the justification would be. That is sufficiently evil.

true brain's picture

GW great work.

This is not just deception by a few clowns but a failing of a whole society which does not bode well for anyone. In this age of instant information and more awareness, these clowns can still pull off this crap, which speaks volume about the true state of the American people.  People make excuses for Vietnam War and the Tonkin Resolution, but these same tactics are repeated over and over and over. You can replace Rumsfeld with McNamara; and things are the same.


ON a different note, please do an update on Fukushima. Is it safe to eat the tuna yet? Wait, it hasn't been thirty thousands years yet.

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

CNN lusted for the war, the fact that there was no material cause was totally irrelevant - I was there at daily briefings before the war began; this was a big production and CNN was completely ready for it when it fraudulently and illegally began...

moneybots's picture

" Bush was destined to be the worst one term president ever. the economy dived off a ladder the day of the inauguration, and never looked back."


The 2001 recession was mild.  Due to the Clinton era boom, it should have been much deeper than it was.


"by 2008 the Bush economic plan was a complete disaster."


It was the Greenspan's economic plan- create a housing bubble to replace the .com Nasdaq bubble.





BanjoDoug's picture

I would respectfullly disagree with George here.   First, just becasue you don't find something doesn't mean it wasn't there before.   Also, note the Sadam used chemical gas on the Kurds,  isn't that a WMD ?   Second,  there was PLENTY of time before the invasion to move all this supposed WMD stuff, the labs, the stockpiles, the personnel, etc., to another country, maybe Syria, or ????    Third, Iraq had the very best engineering & scientific talent of the Arab countries (equivalent to many western countries) ,   so why wouldn't he embark down this WMD path if he had the money (which he did),  the talent (which he did), and the desire, which was obvious.

I am sick an' tired of the MSM playing the record, "we never found anything" thus it never existed.....  such utter BS....

The same logic can be used on Iran or Korea.   Are they working on nuke weapons today (probably),  do they have them now (Korea has demonstrated they do).   Yet many MSM propagandist are saying that Iran has no nukes and is NOT DEVELOPING THE TECHNOLOGY for WMD uses.......

Walk Up Folks - ANY country that wants to excercise a degree of autonomy (all of 'em) is gonna build the most advance weapons they can, bar none....


Stud Duck's picture

The only WMD's that iraq had were given to them during the Reagan Administration. The were in 155mm shells. Those shell included mustard gas as well as sarin gas. They were given to the Iraqis to use against Iranian troop. We had DoD people using the new GPS system (that was a secret then) to pinpoint the Iranian targets.

Ray McGovern was the CIA man that did the daily report to Reagan, check the facts as presented by Ray McGovern.

You statement is just one of those that still support Bush and his idiot programs.

MSimon's picture

And yet there was a truck convoy to Syria. And the Syrians buried something the Israelis attacked. I dunno.


The System IS corrupt.


But my understanding is that it is greased with Mafia money.


Look up "Catherine Austin Fitts Narco News" - all about drug money.


Or read this:

ebworthen's picture

Three words, from Eisenhower:  "Military/Industrial Complex".

It hasn't changed under Obama.

rsnoble's picture

9-11 was fucking real asshole, and the US gov't has their fucking hands all over it.  I don't care what anyone says.......waking up in the US this thought should be on your mind every morning.

These people are capable of anything including killing their own.

cherry picker's picture

A friend of mine, a former Mossad officer, annother friend an American businessman and myself, a Canadian, knew this before the invasion.

When we voiced our doubts, we were looked upon as doves or traitors.  We were right.

Forget the fucking oil or Saddam.  How many lives were lost or forever changes by this act of agression, no different thant the German aggression in WW2.

You wonder why the USA is barely hanging on and has no respect anymore?

There is something bigger than we the people on this planet which will ensure that things will balance out.

George W, Obama and others are war criminals and should be brought to trial.   They are the traitors to world peace, not some mickey mouse organization like Al Quada.

stiler's picture

while we've been on the subject of horse meat, this article is like beating a dead one.

What about the reason FOR the US going into Iraq? How about as a base for the UN very soon? Shinar shall be a great speculative bet as they build the City of Babylon again. It will be the Tale of Two Cities, Babylon vs Jerusalem. There is a mystery Babylon; the whore riding the beast, symbolizing the end times religious and economic system, and the city itself which will be wholey evil, but doing a great business, in slaves etc etc.

Woe, woe is Babylon!

Racer's picture

How come no politicians have been up on charges of war crimes for starting illegal wars? The people protested and didn't want a war, but politicians like Bliar went ahead with it.... why isn't he in prison? Along with the rest of the war criminals?

optimator's picture

C'mon, only the loser goes on trial for war crimes.

stiler's picture

because you have no clout. /sarc?

NuYawkFrankie's picture

When do the War Crimes Trials start?

FeralSerf's picture

Right after the War of Manifest Destiny of 1846's  trials.  Don't hold your breath.

johnQpublic's picture

more important, is when does "Survivor" start?


just another conspiracy theory becomes just some more conspiracy fact

Crassus's picture

During the Florida recount fight in the 2000 election, Bush assembled his proposed cabinet members for informal discussions. It was a war cabinet. Everyone looking at these faces knew that deployment to Iraq was a first term priority.

20-20 Hindsight's picture

This new evidence will be all over the MSM this morning, for sure! /sarc.

Watauga's picture

I cannot stand the neocons (more Statist and Left than conservative), especially their warmongering.  And I am certain that the Iraq War was about alot of things, most of which were not the publicly stated purposes.  But this memo is nothing.  It is simply a "brainstorming" memo that considers alot of options, contingencies, and issues.  Nothing here is a smoking gun at all.  This memo is vanilla.  It only presents possibilities.  I WISH we had a smoking gun--one in which the decisionmakers, especially the dangerous men such as Wolfowitz, in writing lying and deceiving.  But those guys are all too conniving for that sort of thing.  There may be a dozen memos like the one posted here, but none of them will reflect anything but possibilities--they are thought pieces, nothing more.

marathonman's picture

America was propping up the petro-dollar in the Middle East by playing whack-a-mole with Saddam Hussein.  When he started talking about trading oil for euros, something had to be done.  We had to send a message.  Then when Gaddafi started talking about trading oil for gold, something had to be done.  We had to send a message.  Besides, Libya had a nationally owned central bank.  Iran I believe also has a nationally owned central bank.  Beginning to see a pattern here?  America, making the world safe for privately owned central banking....

skippy9's picture


If you believe anyone or anything out of NBC you have your had up your ass.

Oldballplayer's picture

I hope no one ever looks at the memos/notes that I made when I was managing mergers for a pretty decent sized bank.  Often, I wrote things like, "Kill them All" in the margins.

I am not taking sides, one way or the other on this memo.  However, this is not definitive.  These seem to be stream of conciousness notes.  They are really proof of nothing other than the ramblings of whomever wrote them.

I think it is important to maintain a sense of context, and to consider them for what they are.

Mediocritas's picture

You know what really amazes me?

Given this:

That there hasn't been a US invasion of Iran yet.

Because when the petrodollar loses the "petro" backing, then there's less need for foreign nations to maintain large USD reserves. An uncontrolled repatriation of surplus foreign-currency reserves is both highly inflationary and socially devastating for a target nation that depends heavily on imports (as the USA does). Hence, political turmoil results and the downward spiral continues.

The USA's unique status of holding the world's dominant trading currency would further exacerbate the problem as an unstable USD would become less tenable for denoting trade in other commodities. Nations (led by China) would push hard to move to an "index currency" (like the SDR, or, as some suggest backed by a basket of commodities including gold) with the USD taking an even smaller share of the bucket than it currently holds. (Actually China and Russia have already been pushing this for many years). A similar effect is produced through bilateral currency deals (eg: ).

Such further weakening of the USD's status as a trade currency would further hasten dumping of the USD and exacerbate the spiral into national collapse.

So yeah, invasion of Iran in 5..4..3..2.. justified with whatever bullshit reason you care to invent.

It's always about wealth and status.

shovelhead's picture


The preservation of the petrodollar is the issue. Every other issue is ancillary and subordinate to that one.

It was never about the oil. It's always about the Dollar because THAT is a national security risk of the highest order.

Without oil trade in dollars, America becomes a bankrupt 3rd world failed nation who won't be able to gas up an Army or Navy.

Saddam traded in Euros...Bye bye

Gaddaffi wanted a gold Dinar...bye bye

Iran trading in gold and creating an independent oil market...bye bye coming soon.

Russia and China are buying gold hand over fist to put an end to US petro-dollar hegemony.

All the different roads lead to the same place. Keeping the funny money in play to prevent it from rushing back home.

Just as the Church needs a belief in God to maintain power, America need belief in the dollar to do the same.

Everything we see happening today is in preparation for the the showdown that WILL eventually take place.

It ain't going to be pretty unless some deal is worked out with Russia and China.

That's the way I see it from my porch. The rest is mostly noise.


tip e. canoe's picture

gonna play devil's advocate on this one:  

if we are to consider Kyle Bass, et al, in that the current plan is to export "our" way out of the mess by killing the dollar, then the "petrodollar" is antethetical to that goal.

the difficulty in the effort is how to do it slowly without tipping over the apple cart or boiling the frogs too quickly.

this is perhaps why you are hearing the meme of the US becoming "energy independent" and why the Iranian Oil Bourse is being "allowed" to continue.

perhaps Iraq/Afghanistan were invaded in the way that they were was because those on the other side of the petrodollar trade understood that this was going to be their final opportunity to secure their resources going forward, hence the brazen deception.

if this were the case, i would expect that other "nation-states" are going to continue to be doing the heavy lifting of resource extraction through military invasion moving forward with the US providing "soft" support.

just some thoughts...

AnAnonymous's picture

The Bush administration launched the Iraq war under false pretenses … unfortunately, Obama is no better.

Both are 'americans' and servants to the King class in 'american' societies aka the 'american' middle class.

The interrogation by that high graded servant, to know what could happen after no WMDs were found, must worry no 'american'.

As an 'american', he is duplicitous. As a faithful servant to his master, he knows his master's wishes.

The 'american' middle class loves wars. They live off them. But they do not want to be associated to the ways wars are generated.

This 'american' servant knew the 'american' middle class would cheer on the fact no WMDs were found (as shown later) and just wanted to provide some cover for his master. By insinuating that the 'american' middle class could repudiate a decision made by their servants, this high graded provided the AMC with an exit leaving, taking fully the responsibility of triggering the war against Iraq. Thus, the AMC could claim they were lied into the war and take the money without blinking.

The way 'americanism' works.

dunce's picture

Please, it was not to get control of their oil. We never tried to take their oil and we never got control of their oil. We never needed to, it is an international commodity and we buy it on the world market no matter who runs the country because  they have to sell the oil to somebody to finance their govt. It was most likely a bad idea to do it the way we did it or maybe do it at all, only time will tell the size of the blunder.

q99x2's picture


I wonder what will happen when we put 500,000 troops into Washington DC and Manhatten and comb the country from one end to the other arresting and imprisoning banksters and their minions.

marathonman's picture

How are those 500,000 troops going to be financed and payed?  The banksters know how to finance wars.  Paying troops is expensive.  Think those troops are ready to march without pay?  You have more faith than I do.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

all bs, but lets face it you put a hit out on a mafia chief and fail, then your the target. sadam missed papa bush, so the family went to war..too simple but it's the way things are done.

WTFUD's picture

Mmm. . .err ok we sold 'em the technology and weaponry , trained and provided the means of execution But we didn't dunnit an' that's gospel! Sure Bubbas 'ands are clean.

Peter Pan's picture

TBTJ = Too Big to Jail (for bankers)

TSFW = Too slimy for words (for politicians).

I hope they don't close Guantanamo Bay. Some of America's "best" need to be sent there for what really amounts to a war crime both against the Iraqi nation and the American people.

Even though we knew this all along, it still makes your gut churn to think of what damage has been doen to the USA, its name and its future.

Oldrepublic's picture

A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within....for the traitor appears not to be a traitor...he rots the soul of a nation...he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”


gwar5's picture

...then again, even Hans Blix, Chief UN weapons inspector, who was  opposed to US agressiveness pursuing Iraq and wanted much more  time  for inspections, told the American Bar Association in a speech on CSPAN 2007:


"Yes, even I was convinced Saddam Hussein had WMD. Why else would he block us at every turn after he agreed to inspections? Even when we would show up for our appointed inspections, soldiers would block us and turn us around. You would think those were the times he could have removed WMD's ahead of time and use it for propaganda. He knew full well an armada was waiting for him if he did not comply. If he had no WMD, why would Hussein not just open up everything for inspections to save his country and himself?"

-- Hans Blix


Honestly, I don't believe anything anymore -- the entire zone is being totally flooded with massive bullshit on all fronts to purposely disorient people and destabilize society so it can be transformed into something we will not recognize. I simply can't be bothered to rehash how the conspiracy fuse was lit 12 years ago when it's still burning.

tempo's picture

As a result of these decisions there are about 30,000 (?)young Americans now suffering with terrible disabilities. IMO, the neoconservatives made immoral billions off the suffering of our soldiers.

DaveyJones's picture

and human life aside (I know how hard that is for bankers to ponder) 20 year old kids don't die (as much) from war wounds. They live on with very very expensive medical treatment. And if their arms and legs make it, their sanity doesn't. Remember they return to duty unlike any go around in history. That has tremedous costs in the states court system, support systems, etc. The death count is one thing. The injured cost is another. 

Stuffs And Stuff's picture

Human blood is nothing but fuel for the machine nowadays.

willwork4food's picture

What else is left to make money on these days?

George Washington's picture

In a speech before the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, NC, on
April 7, 2006, President Bush stated that he "fully understood that the
intelligence was wrong, and [he was] just as disappointed as everybody
else" when U.S. troops failed to find weapons of mass destruction in


Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction

I am more equal than others's picture


ring, ring....GW, Obama is on the phone.  You want to take the call?  He says has more information for you about Bush I taking an SR71 to Iran.  He said he got a 'memo' and is about to release it.  Re-writing history is so easy with fake documents. 

DaveyJones's picture

so is producing history

see er...this subject matter


DeadFred's picture

Most people beliueve Iraq had and used chemical weapons against Iran and the Kurds. Before the invasion, to think that he had no WMDs meant you believed he destroyed then when ordered to after the first gulf war. At the time I thought that was as unlikely as believing the price of silver is dropping today because of normal market forces, not likely. Yet there were no weapons found. Did he destroy them like an obedient child? I just can't get myself to beieve that. What else remains? The gas attacks against Iran were lies? My favorite scenario is that he had hidden chemical weapons (the nukes were pure disinformation) and made a deal with Syria to hide them when the invasion came. Syria double crossed him and kept the weapons. It would explain why the west have their knickers in a bundle over Syria today.

spanish inquisition's picture

There is no secret background shit going on... We are invading because we can....  First couple minutes lay it out and the same group is steering the country.

Urban Redneck's picture

There is no secret background shit going on... First couple minutes lay it out and the same group is steering the country.

That's a non-sequitur on an epic scale... 

spanish inquisition's picture

He originally gave this speech on March 2, 2007. It has been staring everyone in the face for 6 years, out in the open.