On March 19, 2003, U.S. forces began military operations in Iraq. Addressing the nation about the purpose of the war on the day the bombing began, President Bush stated: The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.
One year later, many doubts have been raised regarding the Administrations assertions about the threat posed by Iraq. Prior to the war in Iraq, the President and his advisors repeatedly claimed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that jeopardized the security of the United States. The failure to discover these weapons after the war has led to questions about whether the President and his advisors were candid in describing Iraqs threat.
The Iraq on the Record report, prepared at the request of Rep. Henry A. Waxman, is a comprehensive examination of the statements made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
This Iraq on the Record database identifies 237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by these five officials in 125 public appearances in the time leading up to and after the commencement of hostilities in Iraq. [You can search the database] to find statements by any combination of speaker, subject, keyword, or date.
The Special Investigations Division compiled a database of statements about Iraq made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice. All of the statements in the database were drawn from speeches, press conferences and briefings, interviews, written statements, and testimony by the five officials.
This Iraq on the Record database contains statements made by the five officials that were misleading at the time they were made. The database does not include statements that appear in hindsight to be erroneous but were accurate reflections of the views of intelligence officials at the time they were made.