Sept. 18 - The case for going to war against
Iraq was a fraud "made up in Texas"
to give Republicans a political boost, Sen. Edward
Kennedy said Thursday.
AN INTERVIEW with The Associated Press, Kennedy
also said the Bush administration has failed to
account for nearly half of the $4 billion the
war is costing each month. He said he believes
much of the unaccounted-for money is being used
to bribe foreign leaders to send in troops.
called the Bush administration's current Iraq
Massachusetts Democrat expressed doubts about
how serious a threat Saddam Hussein posed to the
United States in its battle against terrorism.
He said administration officials relied on "distortion,
misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence"
to justify their case for war.
was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas,
announced in January to the Republican leadership
that war was going to take place and was going
to be good politically. This whole thing was a
fraud," Kennedy said.
said a recent report by the Congressional Budget
Office showed that only about $2.5 billion of
the $4 billion being spent monthly on the war
can be accounted for by the Bush administration.
belief is this money is being shuffled all around
to these political leaders in all parts of the
world, bribing them to send in troops," he
the $87 billion in new money requested by President
Bush for the war, Kennedy said the administration
should be required to report back to the Congress
to account for the spending.
want to support our troops because they didn't
make the decision to go there...but I don't
think it should be open-ended. We ought to have
a benchmark where the administration has to come
back and give us a report," he added. Kennedy said the focus on Iraq has drawn the
nation's attention away from more direct threats,
including al-Qaida, instability in Afghanistan
or the nuclear ambitions of North Korea.
think all of those pose a threat to the security
of the people of Massachusetts much more than
the threat from Iraq," Kennedy said. "Terror
has been put on the sidelines for the last 12
September 20, 2003