I don't think Bush lied. I think he recieved faulty information. The Center for Public Integrity
has assembled a report and database documenting 935 false statements made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other top administration officials regarding Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the two years after September 11, 2001.
The Center for Public Integrity reports that its "exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
The database also documents how Bush and others had reason to know, or at least suspect, what they were saying was not supported by the facts.
Lewis and Reading-Smith write: "President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. . . .
"On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war. . . .
"President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).
"The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database
includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews. . . .
"The cumulative effect of these false statements -- amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts -- was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists -- indeed, even some entire news organizations -- have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq."
Here are some key false statements.
For example: "On August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: 'Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.' In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney's assertions went well beyond his agency's assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind,
'Our reaction was, "Where is he getting this stuff from?"'"