News Release

Biden’s Escalating Iraq War Lies

Presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed to NPR this week regarding his record on the 2003 Iraq invasion: “Immediately, the moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment.”

STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu, @SZunes
Zunes is a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. He recently wrote the piece “Biden Is Doubling Down on Iraq War Lies,” which noted: “More than three months after U.N. inspectors returned, Biden defended the imminent launch of the invasion by saying, ‘I support the president. Diplomacy over avoiding war is dead. … I do not see any alternative. It is not as if we can back away now.’ He added, ‘Let loose the dogs of war. I’m confident we will win.’

“He then co-sponsored a resolution supporting Bush and the invasion.

“Despite the fact that three months of unfettered inspections had revealed none of the chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear programs, or sophisticated delivery systems Bush and Biden claimed Iraq possessed, Biden insisted in May 2003 that, ‘There was sufficient evidence to go into Iraq.'”

In April, Zunes wrote a piece for The Progressive laying out how Biden used his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2002 to preside over hearings that helped Bush get the authority to invade Iraq. Wrote Zunes: “Scott Ritter, the former chief U.N. weapons inspector, noted just prior to the hearings, ‘For Senator Biden’s Iraq hearings to be anything more than a political sham used to invoke a modern-day Gulf of Tonkin resolution-equivalent for Iraq, his committee will need to ask hard questions — and demand hard facts — concerning the real nature of the weapons threat posed by Iraq.’

“But Biden had no intention of doing so, refusing to even allow Ritter — who knew more about Iraq’s WMD capabilities than anyone and would have testified that Iraq had achieved at least qualitative disarmament — to testify. (Ironically, on Meet the Press in 2007, Biden defended his false claims about Iraqi WMDs by insisting that ‘everyone in the world thought he had them. The weapons inspectors said he had them.’)”

Sam Husseini recently wrote the piece “Film Official Secrets Is Tip of Mammoth Iceberg,” for the media watch group FAIR about a new film about the Katharine Gun revelations, which showed how the U.S. government was spying on other UN Security Council members to bully and blackmail them into backing the invasion of Iraq. The piece states: “Biden has actually faulted Bush for not doing enough to get United Nations approval for the Iraq invasion. In fact, as the Gun case helps show, the legitimate case for invasion was nonexistent, and the Bush administration had done virtually everything both legal and illegal to get United Nations authorization.” See Twitter thread by Husseini responding to “comically bad” NPR report on Biden’s statements broadcast this morning.

See Twitter thread by Zaid Jilani of video of Biden backing Bush immediately before and after the invasion of Iraq.