Salem Khalaf al-Jumayli, the former Iraqi Head of Intel for the US, told the story of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq from their point of view. He provided Iraqi's leaders with intelligence right before the invasion of 2003. He made two assertions -- there were no ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, the group responsible for the 911 attacks. Furthermore, he said that George Bush had fabricated claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
He stated that a statement made by President Bush in the leadup to war that Iraq had sent an envoy to Al-Qaeda was in fact true. However, Jumayli said that Bush disingenuously did not tell the whole story -- Bin Laden wanted nothing to do with the Baathists, who were secularists. Bin Laden believed that Saddam was the reason Americans were in Saudi Arabia to begin with and that the Baath movement was an "apostate" movement. Bin Laden was part of a nativist Islamic sect which believed in no "corrupting" foreign influences whatsoever.
Jumayli said that the US had transferred Bin Laden from Sudan to Afghanistan in 1996. He was referring to a deal struck between the US and the Sudanese government regarding Bin Laden. As late as 1991, the US regarded Bin Laden as a friendly mujaheddin. However, by 1996, he was starting to appear on peoples' radars and the US was demanding the extradition of suspected terrorists following the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. The Sudanese government was reluctant to extradite Bin Laden fearing a backlash; however, they agreed to a deal where they would expel Bin Laden to Afghanistan and seize all his Sudanese assets, worth tens of millions of dollars. Bin Laden had invested millions of dollars and built roads in Sudan as a front for his activities; he began to target the US following the 1991 Gulf War due to what he saw as the US' "desecration" of Mecca and Medina, Islam's two holiest sites.
The US had armed Bin Laden and other Islamists in the 1980's while they were fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Jumayli said that the allegations of weapons of mass destruction were completely "fabricated" and that data that the US received was lies. The photos of labs touted by the media and Colin Powell were actually labs that the Iraqi government used to check on food supplies. The US did not have a source in Iraq to tell them the truth about the lack of Iraq's WMD's; by contrast, Jumayli said that the Iraqis had a high-level source within the US Department of Defense who fed them information about Bush's intentions. After both of the main claims by the US, that Iraq had WMD's and that Saddam had ties to Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks, were both debunked, that was when the US changed their story to say that they were there to help facilitate democracy in the Middle East. The Bush administration even went so far as to say that the chaos in Iraq following the collapse of that government was "constructive."
Jumayli said that the US Government went to extreme lengths to "prove" that Iraq was not cooperating on terrorism. One of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings was an Iraqi-American, who fled to Iraq following those bombings. Iraq detained the man in question and was willing to extradite him to America to be prosecuted. However, the US refused to sign the necessary papers to extradite them; then, they turned around and said that this "proved" that Iraq was uncooperative on terrorism.
Thanks to Iraq's source within the Department of Defense, the Iraqis were not fooled by leaks to the media suggesting that the invasion of Iraq would not happen until April or May 2003. The source also told Jumayli that there would be no invasion coming from Turkey, allowing Iraq to move some divisions from the northern border to protect Baghdad.
While everyone knows the main faces of the Iraqi invasion such as Rumsfeld, Powell, Bush, and Cheney, et al, Jumayli said that in fact, all US policy in Iraq was channeled through a policy advisor group within the Department of Defense which refused to consider advice outside their own circle. This was the committee that neocon Richard Perle headed up during the Bush years. The CIA had warned the DOD about the possibility of chaos following the toppling of Iraq; however, Perle and his group refused to believe that there would be any sort of chaos after the end of the invasion of Iraq. Perle and his group wrongly assumed that Iraq would stabilize. Jumayli said that the reason the US occupied Iraq was to prevent Al-Qaeda from gaining a foothold in the area and to prevent Iran from expanding its sphere of influence. Perle and his group wrongly believed that the Iraq war would not last long. However, it did and Jumayli believes that it helped lead to the Great Recession of 2008.