News Release

From Clinton to Kerry: Continuity of Deception on Iraq

BRIAN WILLSON
Willson, a former U.S. Air Force captain who served in Vietnam, first met John Kerry in 1971 during protests on Capitol Hill. In the 1980s, Willson was one of “Kerry’s Commandos” or “the dog hunters”; then-Lt.-Gov. Kerry appointed Willson to his Vietnam Veteran’s Advisory Committee. In October 2002, Willson wrote “An Open Letter to Senator John Kerry on Iraq” [See: www.brianwillson.com/awolkerry.html the day after Kerry gave his pro-war speech in the Senate in which Kerry claimed that “Iraq has chemical and biological weapons.”
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MIKE HOFFMAN
Currently in Boston, co-founder of the just-formed Iraq Veterans Against the War, Hoffman was a marine for four and a half years and was stationed in Iraq. He said today: “We need an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. The military occupation is the problem, it’s not the solution.”
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SETH ACKERMAN
Author of the article “A Legacy of Lies: President Bush Misled the Nation About the Threat Iraq Posed. But He Wasn’t the First to Do So,” Ackerman said today: “For years as president Bill Clinton used the bully pulpit to disseminate misinformation about Iraq’s WMD programs. He and his advisors insisted that Iraq was continuing to harbor chemical and biological weapons. Clinton repeatedly lied about Hussein Kamel, an Iraqi defector who in 1995 told the West that Iraq had destroyed all its weapons years earlier.”
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KATHY KELLY
Just released from prison for civil disobedience at a military facility, Kelly is co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness, a group which took medicine to Iraq from 1996 until the beginning of the “Shock and Awe” campaign, in violation of the sanctions on that country. She said today: “While the pictures of torture at Abu Ghraib moved many people in the U.S. over the last few months, pictures of emaciated Iraqi children from the Iraqi sanctions throughout the 1990s did not seem to do so. Under Clinton’s watch, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis perished as a result of the economic sanctions regime led by U.S. and the U.K. — the infrastructure deterioration caused by sanctions, war and misrule continues today. It was actually under the Clinton administration that the government began legal action against us. Several nonviolent activists are now threatened with having their Social Security garnished for the ‘crime’ of having gotten health care to desperate Iraqis.”
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STEPHEN ZUNES
Zunes, who is in Boston, is author of the articles “The U.S. in Iraq: If Bush is Blind, Kerry is at Best Near-Sighted,” “Kerry’s Deceptions on Iraq Threaten His Presidential Hopes,” and “John Edwards, the Smiling Hawk.” He said today: “Anger at the U.S. resulting from unilateralism or neo-imperialism or whatever you want to call it was there under Clinton before Bush came to office, though Bush took things to a higher level in many ways. Now the Democratic platform calls for more troops in Iraq and essentially endorses Sharon’s polices in the occupied territories. The Democratic Party continues to fail to present a policy for peace and security. The prospect of lessening the hostility toward the U.S. in the Mideast and beyond appears unlikely.” Zunes is a professor of politics and chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco and the author of the book Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism.
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JONATHAN SCHWARZ
Schwarz edits the web page “A Tiny Revolution,” inspired by George Orwell’s statement that every joke is a tiny revolution. Schwarz said today: “Bill Clinton, who speaks tonight at the Democratic Convention, remains the world champion of saying things that sound good but don’t mean anything. For instance, he’s recently been claiming he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq ‘until after Hans Blix finished his job.’ Right on! Except — the UN would never have found any WMDs…. So does Clinton mean we should then have invaded ANYWAY — i.e., that the inspections were just a pretext? Or does he mean we shouldn’t have invaded at all? Who the hell knows! No one can overcome the might of SuperClinton, who possesses the power to be in 19 different places at once!”

[A timeline of U.S. policy toward Iraq in the 1990s is available at www.accuracy.org/iraq]

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