The late Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois put it best.
“A billion here, a billion there,” Dirksen said. “Pretty soon we’re talking about real money.”
In the buildup to his questionable invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush and his corrupt administration told many, many lies. Iraq, he said, had weapons of mass destruction. They didn’t and many intelligence experts told the President he stood on shaky ground by claiming they did.
Iraq, he said, conspired with Al-Qaeda to plan the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. He said he had proof. He didn’t.
Yet the biggest lie of all is just now surfacing.
The war against Iraq, Bush said, would cost about $50 billion, give or take a billion or two.
Not even close.
A new report shows the cost of Bush’s failed Iraq war will soon top $500 billion. Now that, as old Ev Dirksen would say, is real money.
McClatchy Newspapers put together a list of what $500 billion would buy if we weren’t blowing it on the Iraq war.
- A college education – tuition, fees, room and board at a public university – for about half of the nation’s 17 million high-school-age teenagers.
- Pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-old in the country for the next eight years.
- A year’s stay in an assisted-living facility for about half of the 35 million Americans age 65 or older.
When you apply the cost of the Iraq war to the U.S. population of 301.7 million you get a cost of $1,657 for every man, woman and child in this country.
Pentagon sources say military planners warned Bush that his estimate of $50 billion for the Iraq war was “way too low” but he ignored their warnings just like he ignored the advice of others who said they couldn’t prove the existence of weapons of mass destruction or a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
As former CIA director George Tenet outlines in his new book, Bush made up his mind to invade Iraq even before he took office on Jan. 20, 2001. He just needed an excuse and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 gave him that excuse.
Then he invented justifications to sell the war to a shell-shocked Congress, a gullible media and a trusting American public.
The legacy of George W. Bush will be a failed Presidency, a bankrupt America and a lost war based on lies.