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Sen. Robert Byrd on Iraq: The Road of Cover-Up is a Road to Ruin

June 30, 2003
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The Senate’s eldest member accuses the White House of "revising history" regarding Iraq’s threat to the world and calls for a full-scale investigation into U.S. intelligence failures.

Throughout the war, one of the only outspoken voices in government against the Bush doctrine of preemption was West Virginia’s Senator Robert Byrd.

On Tuesday, June 24, on the floor of the Senate, the body’s oldest member delivered an impassioned address calling for a full-scale investigation into US intelligence failures.

"Congress should begin immediately an investigation into the intelligence that was presented to the American people about the pre-war estimates of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and the way in which that intelligence might have been misused," Byrd said. "This is no time for a timid Congress. We have a responsibility to act in the national interest and protect the American people. We must get to the bottom of this matter."

He also accused the White House of "revising history" as it seeks to explain the failure of US troops in Iraq to uncover weapons of mass destruction.

"Whether or not intelligence reports were bent, stretched, or massaged to make Iraq look like an imminent threat to the United States, it is clear that the Administration’s rhetoric played upon the well-founded fear of the American public about future acts of terrorism," Byrd said. "But, upon close examination, many of these statements have nothing to do with intelligence, because they are at root just sound bites based on conjecture. They are designed to prey on public fear."

  • Senator Robert Byrd, speaking on the Senate floor on June 24, 2003. He called the address, "The Road of Cover-Up is the Road to Ruin"

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