Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max

Sam Husseini goes over the presidential contender’s tracks, finding that he supported the war while trying to evade responsibility for it.

By Sam Husseini

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is adding lies on top of lies to cover up his backing of the Iraq invasion.

At last week’s ABC/DNC debate Biden lied about his Iraq record, just as he did during the first two debates.

In the July debate, Biden claimed: “From the moment ‘shock and awe’ started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress.”

When he first said that, Mideast scholar Stephen Zunes’s piece “Biden Is Doubling Down on Iraq War Lies,” offered a rare rebuttal. Zunes outlined much of Biden’s record, including his insistence in May 2003 — months after the Iraq invasion — that “There was sufficient evidence to go into Iraq.”

At this month’s debate on ABC, Biden claimed that he voted for the Iraq invasion authorization “to allow inspectors to go in to determine whether or not anything was being done with chemical weapons or nuclear weapons.” 

But the congressional vote occurred on Oct. 11 (see Biden’s speech then). And by that time Iraq had already agreed to allow weapons inspectors back in. On Sept. 16, 2002, The New York Times reported: “U.N. Inspectors Can Return Unconditionally, Iraq Says.” (This was immediately after a delegation organized by the Institute for Public Accuracy — where I work — had gone to Iraq.)

Now, independent journalist Michael Tracey, who interviewed Biden in New Hampshire recently, reports that Biden made the ridiculous claim that he opposed the invasion of Iraq even before it started. Said Biden: “Yes, I did oppose the war before it began.” See Tracey’s piece: “Joe Biden’s Jumbled Iraq War Revisionism” and video.

Biden did initially back a bill along with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar which would have somewhat constrained Bush’s capacity to launch an invasion of Iraq completely at his whim. But the Bush administration opposed the measure. One might have thought that such opposition would lead Biden to conclude that Bush insisting on not having any constrain would be a reason not to write him a blank check. But not Biden. He of course voted for the legislation giving Bush the complete license he wanted. 

Bush ended up launching the war by telling the UN to get the weapons inspectors out — thus forcing an end to their work — before starting to bomb the country. Immediately, Biden co-sponsored a resolution backing Bush. 

Tracey writes “It’s unclear whether the Delaware senator genuinely believes the tale he is currently telling, or if it’s the product of his apparent cognitive decline.” But, Biden has been lying about Iraq for years and years and years and years. He was chair of the Senate Foreign Releations Committee in 2002 and presided over hearings that were called rigged at the time by actual critics of the Iraq invasion. 

Still, Biden’s voluminous deceits on Iraq — to which he’s adding by the day — have yet to be adequately examined. Biden told Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” in 2007 of Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMDs: “The real mystery is, if he, if he didn’t have any of them left, why didn’t he say so?

Of course the Iraqi government, in 2002 and before, had been pleading that it had disarmed. And it was widely mocked by the U.S. government and media for such claims. 

Saddam Hussein told Dan Rather on 60 Minutes in February 2003: “I believe that [the U.S. military preparations in the Gulf] were, in fact, done partly to cover the huge lie that was being waged against Iraq about chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. And it was on that basis that Iraq actually accepted [the U.N.] Resolution — accepted it, even though Iraq was absolutely certain that what it had said — what the Iraqi officials…had kept saying, that … Iraq was empty, was void of any such weapons — was the case. But Iraq accepted that resolution… in order not to allow any misinterpretation of its position…in order to make the case absolutely clear that Iraq was no longer in possession of any such…weapons.” (See from FAIR: “Saddam’s ‘Secret.’“)

But such remarks from Iraq were derided. On Nov. 13, 2002, The New York Times reported: “U.S. Scoffs at Iraq Claim of No Weapons of Mass Destruction.” “The White House dismissed Saddam Hussein’s contention today that he possesses no weapons of mass destruction as a fabrication. But President Bush’s advisers said they would not be taunted into revealing the intelligence they had gathered to contradict him until after Iraq delivered a full accounting of weapons stores in early December.”

Similarly, the International Herald Tribune reported on Dec. 9, 2002: “Senators dismiss Iraqi arms declaration to UN” — “Copies of a 12,000-page Iraqi declaration on banned weapons reached UN offices in Vienna on Sunday and were en route to the United Nations in New York for analysis, but senior U.S. senators of both parties dismissed its contents as lies. And they spoke of a likely war that they said would have surprisingly broad backing.” These senators did this without even having access to the documents. 

The piece continued: “Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that he assumed the Iraqi report would ‘totally be an obfuscation.’ The Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 2000, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, called the declaration ‘probably a 12,000-page, 100-pound lie.'” The piece also quoted Biden as saying that Bush was likely to “have all that he needs, all the help, all the bases in the Middle East” and a coalition “larger than anyone anticipated.”

What Biden did was to help ensure war happened while trying to wash his hands of responsibility for it. He helped build the car for Bush, filled it up with gas, saw that Bush was drunk, gave him license to do what he wanted — and then told him to be responsible while he handed him the keys. Eventually, Biden pretends he’s shocked that the streets are littered with mangled bodies.

Biden is the exact opposite of Sen. Wayne Morse — one of only two senators who voted against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution — a false pretext the Johnson administration used to dramatically escalate the Vietnam War in 1964. To those — like Biden — who argued that you have to back the president, Morse responded that they didn’t understand the Constitution or their responsibilities as senators:

” ‘Why, not give the president a vote of confidence?’ This was the lingo of the reservationists: ‘We’ve got to back our president.’ Since when do we have to back our president, or should we, when the president is proposing an unconstitutional act? And so, these reservationists said that although ‘I’m going to back my president …I want to warn him I’m not giving him a blank check. This doesn’t mean that I don’t expect him to consult me in the future. This doesn’t mean that the president can go ahead and send additional troops over there without consulting me, a senator of the United States’. And you know, I most respectfully, but used language that they understood, said that’s just nonsense. I want to say to my colleagues in the Senate, you’re being consulted right now.”

Would that Biden understood his responsibilities as well. 

Sam Husseini is senior analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy.His website is He is on Twitter: @samhusseini

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18 comments for “Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max

  1. HanzP
    September 21, 2019 at 05:46

    Biden is a lot like Trump, insofar as he is primarily concerned with instilling unreal emotion based ‘impressions’ in the unconscious psyche of the masses. His working class values are mere sensory pretense without the cause programmatic solidarity — this disregard for truth and reality itself, seems to be the secret of his longevity. The degradation in cognitive function is a natural consequence of age and behavior — from Crazy Lyin’ Joe to Absurd Lyin’ Joe.

    As any objective analysis of his historical record can only prove — his working class values are a fraud and he is an unwavering servant of Oligarchy. Not so far off from Obama selling ‘hope change’ and delivering fascism–just the nut-ball anything but Trump version of the fraud.

    That shite ain’t gonna fly with the abused working class voters the D’s need to pull back into the party to win this time. Only a real program of mass traction economic demands will do that, some real economic justice for a change…literally. I can’t see D besides Warren, and at a much longer shot Bernie, pulling this thing off. Absolutely, unquestionably, Biden loses, IMO.

  2. LJ
    September 19, 2019 at 22:26

    He’s brandishing his qualifications. He was the Sunday Morning protagonist/Cheergirl on Meet the Press etc. for the partition of Iraq. My life would be so much simpler if I was stupid enough to not remember recent history. The Smart phone hasn’t fried my memory components yet but it will. I’m going 5g

  3. Skip Scott
    September 19, 2019 at 08:16

    The D poohbahs’ job is to make sure there is NO real opposition to the corporate sponsored war machine.

  4. September 19, 2019 at 06:27

    Yes, Biden ‘s words are quite disgusting.

    But, I’m sorry to say, they are not all that unusual coming from prominent figures in Washington.

    Hillary Clinton has a long history of just such dishonest statements, as when she spoke about coming under fire abroad.

    Donald Trump is almost constitutionally unable to tell the truth.

    This is simply the kind of leadership you get with the corruption of global empire.

    Dark works in support of empire, and America has so many underway, require a stream of lies to cover them.

    No one likes taking credit for killing and destruction on a massive scale.

    But the killing and destruction just go one as routinely as morning newspaper delivery.

    • b.grand
      September 20, 2019 at 00:47

      “Donald Trump is almost constitutionally unable to tell the truth.”

      Trump tells the unvarnished truth much more than his handlers would like, and he lies less than the fake news media.

  5. N Dalton
    September 19, 2019 at 03:56

    Joe Biden obviously doesn’t get it when to stop his denial for backing the Iraq invasion … another disqualification becoming president!

  6. mbob
    September 18, 2019 at 22:30

    Worse than Biden’s lies is how the MSM allows him to make them. If one didn’t know better, one might think that actual journalists would try to set the record straight.

    The corporate-controlled MSM is now the greatest threat to what remain of freedom and democracy in the US. And just because Trump, and before him, Sarah Palin, rail against it, does not mean the MSM should be defended.

    It’s worse now than ever. So-called fact-checkers can not be trusted. The entire apparatus of contemporary “journalism” is corrupt.

  7. anon4d2
    September 18, 2019 at 21:55

    Good comments. Biden is another Dem sheepdog for MIC/zionist/WallSt bribes.
    The Dems must lose for decades before they care about the people (for the wrong reasons).
    The US will have to be forced into poverty for generations before it restores democracy.
    When the leaders are fully corrupt, only complete replacement can abolish corruption.
    Whatever is bad for the US today is good for the US tomorrow, and good for the world.

  8. David Otness
    September 18, 2019 at 19:46

    I am always glad to remind people that Sen Wayne Morse’s counterpart in saying “Nay” to theGulf of Tonkin Resolution, was my own Alaska Senator, Ernest Gruening.
    As for Joe Biden and his rewriting of his personal history (my God, but the man is a schmoozing hack,) let’s hear it from Daniel Ellsberg in 2002 when sane people were still trying to pull us back from the precipice.
    Biden gets mentioned at 1:11:24, but I have it set @ 1:11:01 so Diane Feinstein gets her part in this remembered as well. Scott Ritter receives the highest of accolades from “Dan the Man.”
    That said, it would behoove people to listen to this in its entirety, Daniel Ellsberg is a remarkable American patriot / citizen.

  9. John Wright
    September 18, 2019 at 16:22

    Yes, it’s important to identify specific cases of mendacity, but Biden has been lying his entire career.

    The question everyone should ask is why is Biden in the race?

    Of course, most in the corporate media, and much of the “alternate” media, focus only on the horse race aspect of the campaigns.

    This is the absolute farce that is U.S. politics.

    I hope to see an examination of Warren’s relationship with Clinton and the DNC deep pocket mob on CN.

  10. Drew Hunkins
    September 18, 2019 at 14:47

    Aside from other things, this is a crystal clear sign of a lawyering society as I like to call it.

    Biden obviously has handlers feeding him this line of reasoning and explication. It’s these folks who are the professional liars, they’re ubiquitous everywhere, but especially in office environments, law firms, ad agencies and consulting firms. They concoct an argument that’s supposed to seem somewhat plausible and run with it. One sees this often coming out of Washington as it pertains to international politics and law.

    This hocus pocus can be quite effective in a society in which the vast population is working their azzes off to pay down the debt peonage they’re mired in and have little time to sift out the truth from the smooth lies and deceit. No hotter places in heII are reserved for anyone but the purveyors of this slick hucksterism.

  11. Abe
    September 18, 2019 at 13:07

    In 2002, Paul Wellstone was the only Senator facing reelection to vote against the congressional authorization for the Iraq War.

    Wellstone voted against authorizing the use of force before the Persian Gulf War on January 12, 1991 (the vote was 52–47 in favor). He also voted against the use of force before the Iraq War on October 11, 2002 (the vote was 77–23 in favor).

    Wellstone was one of 11 senators to vote against both the 1991 and 2002 resolutions.

    Eleven days before the 2002 U.S. Senate election, Wellstone died in a plane crash in Eveleth, Minnesota. He was 58 years old.

    • boxerwar
      September 18, 2019 at 15:46

      Thank You, Abe.

      Paul Wellstone and Dennis Kucinich were LOUD Voices against the NEW AMERICAN CENTURY Warfare Doctrine created by Right Wing American Imperialists – Warmongers – and Dick Chaney led Oil Oligarchs.

      Chaney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, et al ought to be in prison for all the death and destruction, despair and desolation they perpetrated throughout the Middle East and other parts of the world. …

  12. September 18, 2019 at 11:42

    If a man is so susceptible to the herd instinct that he can be stampeded into war, he is not qualified for the Presidency.

    • LJ
      September 21, 2019 at 16:58

      While I agree with your sentiment I think it would be more accurate if your statement read,….’should not be qualified for the Presidency’. Unfortunately, I’m inclined to believe that being predisposed to follow the herd and be stampeded into war is now a requirement to make a serious run for the Presidency. I wonder if even Sanders or Warren would resist the call of the herd,. I do not believe that Kamila Harris would for an instance.

  13. Andrew Thomas
    September 18, 2019 at 10:54

    Excellent work. Thank you, Mr. Husseini.

  14. vinnieoh
    September 18, 2019 at 08:50

    Biden et al do what they do because they know that the US media is the wholly owned subsidiary of the US death machine. Today they are all mourning the death of Cokie Roberts; now there was someone who knew who buttered the bread and where her “true” responsibilities lay. Never fear, Rachel Maddow will fill in that void today.

    This whole grotesque edifice known as the USA is a mountain of lies, and it can not remain standing much longer. It was obvious to many as all the pols were herded into attack mode that it was all a monstrous lie. When we marched in DC we were aware that they were all conveniently out of town.

    Zunes, Solomon, and now Husseini have all published the same hard evidence that Uncle Joe Biden is either lying through his teeth or is completely deranged. You can run Uncle Joe, but you can’t hide. Drop out now, and give REAL opposition a chance. But that’s not the mission of the D poohbahs, now is it?

  15. TomG
    September 18, 2019 at 08:37

    Biden is proof of how strongly one can come to believe one’s own lies (and spin) as historical ‘fact.’ He has lot’s of company in that regard including those that build their presidential libraries to their own greatness.

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