News Release

Biden and War: “Lies all the Way Down”

Yahoo News is reporting: “#CNNisTrash trending for perceived bias against Bernie Sanders at Democratic debate.” See from The Intercept: “At Iowa Debate, Bernie Sanders’s Biggest Opponent Was CNN.”

JULIE HOLLAR, jhollar at fair.org, @FAIRmediawatch
Hollar is senior analyst for FAIR’s Election Focus 2020 project, which will feature a piece on last night’s debate this afternoon. She recently wrote the piece: “Steady Hand Joe Turning Biden’s support for Iraq War into foreign policy ‘experience.'”

She noted that Biden continued with his pattern of lying about Iraq without comment from the moderators of last night’s debate. Said Biden: “I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to give the president the authority to go to war if, in fact, he couldn’t get inspectors into Iraq to stop what — thought to be the attempt to get a nuclear weapon. It was a mistake, and I acknowledged that.”

As Hollar noted in her recent piece: “In the July debate, Biden was asked about his October 2002 vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq; he responded with an outlandish claim: ‘From the moment “shock and awe” started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress.'”

It was an obvious falsehood; Biden continued to defend his vote until more than three years later (‘Meet the Press,’ 11/27/05), when he first called it a ‘mistake’ — and even then, not because the war itself was wrong, but because ‘we went too soon. We went without sufficient force. And we went without a plan.’ (At that point, support for the war had tanked to the point where people who believed the Iraq War wasn’t worth it outnumbered those who thought it was by 2-to-1.)”

SAM HUSSEINI, samhusseini at gmail.com, @samhusseini
Senior analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy, Consortium News yesterday published his piece “Biden Has Been Lying About His Record on Iraq for Years.”

He said today: “It fits official agendas to focus on ‘Warren vs Sanders’ — partly because it lets Biden off the hook on Iraq, just as there is finally some attention to foreign policy. And people hear the word ‘mistake’ and want to end it there.

“But it’s lies all the way down with Biden regarding war, and especially the Iraq invasion because his actual position is indefensible. He talks about Bush not being able to ‘get inspectors into Iraq’ — but Iraq agreed to allow the inspectors back in mid-September 2002 — just after IPA had organized a delegation to that country. Biden (see his floor speech) didn’t vote to authorize war until Oct. 11.

“And it should be noted that the inspectors had to be let back in not because — as Biden himself has claimed — Saddam Hussein ‘kicked them out’ — but because Bill Clinton got the UN to withdraw them in 1998 for the Desert Fox bombing campaign just before his scheduled impeachment vote.

“Bush similarly withdrew the weapons inspectors in 2003 to launch the bombing that began the invasion in 2003. If Biden had honestly been fooled by Bush and thought that Bush wanted the Congressional vote for some kind of leverage regarding weapons inspections, then he would have denounced Bush the moment the bombs dropped — as Biden, at times, claims he did. But he didn’t. Biden backed Bush until — because Iraqis were blowing themselves up — the war finally became unpopular in the U.S. years later.

“But it’s kind of outlandish to think that someone like Biden could be fooled rather than at times wanting to pretend to be fooled by Bush. From the publicly available evidence, before the invasion, IPA put out a series of news releases with headlines like ‘White House Claims: A Pattern of Deceit.'”

Regarding Biden’s claims of Iraq moving toward a nuclear weapon, see Newsweek report before the invasion cited on FAIR’s Iraq invasion timeline: General Hussein Kamel “the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein’s inner circle, told weapons inspectors that ‘after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapon stocks and the missiles to deliver them.'”

Also see former Iraqi nuclear scientist Imad Khadduri in the Irish Times from Jan 6, 2003: “Iraq has no N-weapons, claims expatriate scientist.” Khadduri was just featured on an accuracy.org news release: “Completing the Circle? Biden Helped Bush with Iraq Invasion; Is Trump Resurrecting Biden’s Iraq Partition Scheme?”

Husseini added: “This week marks 28 years that the U.S. has been bombing Iraq. Unless you want to make it another 28, with all the mystery and threats that entails, there needs to finally be a reckoning.”