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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 March 2007

Iraq war: Convicted Bush official is 'fall guy' over WMD scandal

IN THE most politically charged trial in the US since Irangate in the 1980s and Watergate in the 1970s, a senior official of the Bush administration - Lewis "scooter" Libby - was convicted of obstructing justice, perjury and giving false statements to the FBI.

The story begins on the eve of the last Iraq war. In September 2002 Blair's 'dodgy dossier' on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) contained the spurious claim that Saddam's regime had sought to buy uranium from Niger. This claim was repeatedly used by George Bush to justify invading Iraq.

The CIA spy agency doubted this claim and despatched a former US ambassador, Joseph Wilson, to investigate. After no WMDs were found in Iraq, Wilson denounced the Bush administration of deliberately manipulating the Niger story for its war aims.

After Wilson went public, Wilson's wife - Valerie Plame - was identified as an undercover CIA agent by a journalist after the information was deliberately leaked (a criminal act) by someone in the Bush administration. Following an investigation, Lewis Libby was put on trial, not for leaking the information but for frustrating the investigation.

To many people, including the jurors of the case, Libby acted as the "fall guy" for even bigger officials such as Vice President Dick Cheney.

Safer world

back in March 2003, George Bush and his 'lieutenant', Tony Blair, partly justified the imperialist adventure in Iraq by falsely claiming a link between Saddam's regime and al-Qa'ida Islamist terrorism.

Subsequently, Bush and Blair repeatedly have said that the Iraq war has not been responsible for terrorist attacks worldwide.

However, a US study contradicts the Bush/Blair claims. It shows that between 11 September 2001 and March 2003 and for the period after the US-led invasion, the number of deaths from terrorism rose from 729 to 5,420.

The study by the Centre on Law and Security also points out that the US administration's own findings - Trends in Global Terrorism, partially declassified in October 2006 - stated: "The Iraq war has become the 'cause cˇl¸bre' for jihadists... and is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives."

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In The Socialist 15 March 2007:

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