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Jonathan POwer

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April 12, 2016

President Barack Obama observed: “ISIL [Daesh] is a direct outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion — which is an example of unintended consequences — which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”

Many of us looking at the horror of the Iraq war, waged by the US and the UK against the regime of president Saddam Hussein, in which 200,000 civilians died and for which a total of $800 billion were spent, need little to be persuaded that there was a Machiavellian plot to find an excuse to make war.

Yet, there are many in the circles of power in Washington who believe the US should shoot on sight and kill whenever danger is thought to have appeared — in Iraq, Syria, Libya and, before that, in Vietnam.

The so-called “justification” for going to war in Iraq 13 years ago was based on a 93-page classified CIA document that allegedly contained “specific information” on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programmes and his close links with Al Qaeda.

The document has now been declassified thanks to the work of investigative journalist John Greenewald. His findings have just been published in the online magazine, VICE.

The document, before published with a large number of deletions, is available for everyone to read in its entirety.