Statements by the Bush administration before and after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs:
BEFORE THE WAR
“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.” – Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002.
“The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Sept. 8, 2002.
“After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more.” – President Bush, Oct. 7, 2002.
“Saddam Hussein is a man who told the world he wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction, but he’s got them.” – Bush, Nov. 3, 2002.
“The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world.” – Secretary of State Colin Powell, Feb. 5, 2003.
AFTER THE WAR
“Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq. … We removed a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder.” – Bush, July 12, 2004.
“We got it wrong. We have seen nothing to suggest that he had actual stockpiles.” – Powell, Oct. 1, 2004.
“We were all unhappy that the intelligence was not as good as we had thought that it was. But the essential judgment was absolutely right. Saddam Hussein was a threat.” – Rice, Oct. 3, 2004.
“It turns out that we have not found weapons of mass destruction. Why the intelligence proved wrong I’m not in a position to say, but the world is a lot better off with Saddam Hussein in jail.” – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Oct. 4, 2004.
“He retained the knowledge, the materials, the means and the intent to produce weapons of mass destruction and he could have passed that knowledge on to our terrorist enemies.” – Bush, Oct. 7, 2004.
“Based on what we know today, the president would have taken the same action because this is about protecting the American people.” – White House press secretary Scott McClellan, on Wednesday.