But Bush and his cronies in the administration still had to lie their way into it -- and it all sounds remarkably familiar.
The official response: "Trust us." To this day, the Pentagon's photographs of the Iraqi troop buildup remain classified.
To scare the Saudis into the coalition, the Pentagon apparently lied directly to them, possibly involving fabricated satellite images. Perhaps that's one reason why the Saudis didn't join us in the next Gulf War--what's that saying, "fool me once..."--well you know how it goes. This is actually a more serious charge than if they had misinterpreted satellite imagery, although both involve creating unsupported conclusions that fit a pre-existing goal.
It's also important to mention that Cheney was heading the Pentagon then; he personally talked to Saudi King Fahd, and he was hell-bent on doing whatever it took to have this war--regardless of what the UN or Congress thought at the time. Fortunately for him, they both supported it then--but he was willing to go through with it, regardless, as we later found out.
Perhaps officials in the UK would be shocked when intelligence is fixed around the policy, but according to this US Congressman, it certainly wasn't unheard of or unprecedented -- even in a rush to war, with Iraq.
So the Pentagon exaggerated the threat that Iraq posed, and all they could come up with was more troops? Well that's definitely bad intelligence, but at least it wasn't a nuclear threat, turning imagined centrifuges into harsh rhetoric about a mushroom cloud that could result from the fictitious nuclear weapons created from the unlikely Uranium.
It seems that John MacArthur was right on target here as well--Cheney and his cohorts are still not to be trusted, no more than they should have been the first time around. This is something that the rest of the media could have investigated at any point in the past decade, or two, or three -- perhaps if we had more Bernsteins than Blitzers, or more Hirshes than Horowitzes.