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BTL:President Stumbles in Reacting to the Public Unraveling of...

...White House Justification for Iraq War. Interview with Bill Hartung, World Policy Institute, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
President Stumbles in Reacting to the Public Unraveling of White House Justification for Iraq War

Interview with Bill Hartung, World Policy Institute, conducted by Scott Harris

Soon after David Kay, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq declared publicly that Saddam Hussein's regime likely possessed no weapons of mass destruction at the time of last year's U.S. invasion, the Bush administration came under pressure to agree to the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the issue. After initially resisting the idea, the president agreed to set up such a panel, but with members he alone would select.

The bipartisan commission will be co-chaired by Laurence Silberman, a Republican activist and retired federal judge, and moderate Democrat Charles Robb, a former governor and senator from Virginia. Other members include GOP Senator John McCain; Richard Levin, president of Yale University, and Lloyd Cutler, former legal counsel for two Democratic presidents. But administration critics point out that the commission won't issue a final report until well after November's election. They also complain that the Commission's mandate will narrowly focus on intelligence failures and how to fix them, not on the central question asked around the world: Did the White House manipulate intelligence to gain support for the war?

With many public opinion polls showing Bush running behind Democratic candidate John Kerry, the president recently appeared as a guest on TV's "Meet the Press" program to explain his position on the war and why Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction have not been found. But his performance was not highly rated even by some longtime Republican allies. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bill Hartung, director of the Arms Trade Research Center at the World Policy Institute, who assesses the Bush administration's reaction to the very public unraveling of their brash justifications for the war in Iraq.

Contact the World Policy Institute at (212) 229-5808 or visit the group's website at Bill Hartung is the author of "How Much are you Making on the War, Daddy? A Quick and Dirty Guide to War Profiteering in the Bush Administration," published by Nation Books.

Related links

"Philosophy, Not Policy," by Peggy Noonan, Opinion Journal, Feb.8, 2004

"Secret Obsessions at the Top," by Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times, Feb. 7, 2004

"10 Questions Russert Didn't Ask: The Missed Opportunities for Follow-ups," by Greg Mitchell, Editor and Publisher, Feb. 9, 2004

"Beat the Press," by David Corn, The Nation, Feb. 9, 2004

"Claim vs. Fact: The President on Meet the Press," by David Sirota, Christy Harvey and Judd Legum, Center for American Progress, Feb. 8, 2004

"Poll: Bush Slip Began After Weapons News,"The Associated Press, Feb. 7, 2004

"Secret Pentagon Unit Churned Out Dubious 'Intelligence' Used to Justify Iraq War," Between The Lines interview with journalist Robert Dreyfuss, conducted by Scott Harris, week ending Jan. 23, 2004

"The Booming Defense Business," Los Angeles Times, Dec. 10, 2003

"Richard Perle: High Price for Bad Advice," Global Beat Syndicate, Jan. 26, 2004

"War Profiteering," by The Nation editors, April 24, 2003

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
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