— a documentary special hosted by Rachel Maddow tonight, 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.
The news media are as much to blame as the Bush administration — read the article we published on November 19, 2001 in which Enver Masud wrote:
In an October 1999 interview, former United Nations Special Commission chief inspector Scott Ritter said, “Iraq has been disarmed. Iraq today possesses no meaningful weapons of mass destruction.” Ritter also said that Iraq does not currently possess the capability to produce or deploy chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. Iraq’s neighbor, Israel, is known to possess such weapons.
Why wasn’t U.S. news media following up on Ritter’s reports?
Sen. Robert C. Byrd’s speech, on the eve of the Iraq war, is worth reading. Here’s an excerpt:
Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.
We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split. After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America’s image around the globe.
U.S. news media largely ignored Sen. Byrd.
The Iraq war was the “Supreme International Crime” as defined by former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, chief U.S. prosecutor at the first Nuremberg trial.