March 6th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Rove: Bush didn't 'lie us into war'

Karl Rove writes in his memoir that the Iraq War would not have occurred without WMD.
Karl Rove writes in his memoir that the Iraq War would not have occurred without WMD.

CNN - Karl Rove, often described as President George W. Bush's brain, defended the former president in a new book against claims that he lied to the American public in order to invade Iraq in 2003.

"[D]id Bush lie us into war? Absolutely not," Rove wrote in his 516-page book, "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight."

The book highlights Rove's life and career and his time working for Bush.

Rove, a long-time political adviser who joined Bush in the White House after the 2000 campaign, said the U.S. wouldn't have gone to war with Iraq if the administration knew that weapons of mass destruction wouldn't be found.

"Would the Iraq War have occurred without WMD? I doubt it," he wrote. "Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the threat of WMD. The Bush administration itself would probably have sought other ways to constrain Saddam, bring about regime change, and deal with Iraq's horrendous human rights violations."

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Filed under: George W. Bush • Karl Rove
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Branden

    What about the violation of rights Mr. Bush forced upon us? USA Patriot Act and the extension of the executive office has turned us into a military state. The president is now commander of the military at the same time they can legally wiretap Americans, spy on you, they don't need any court order to invade your home, they can hold you without trial for 30 days, government is allowed to assassinate American citizens. That sounds real free to me(sarcasm). Before you worry about Iraq why don't you worry about the one that matters, America!

    March 6, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. marlene

    More spin by a Republican trying to justify 2 wars. Marlene in Mich

    March 6, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. Doug

    In the words of Joe Wilson – He LIES!

    March 6, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. fielding mellish

    Sickening...Rove is at the center of the lyingest administration in history. Appropriate punishment: coat him with bacon grease and lock him in a room with a hungry polar bear.

    March 6, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. Chipster

    Rove cannot rewrite history. We were there. We heard the lies and saw the truth. No matter how many times Bush officials said Iraq and 9/11 in the same sentence, no matter how many phony claims they made,no matter how many phony sources they quoted, no matter how much air time Fox News gave them, the truth was there.

    They only got away with it because they're really great at manipulating fear and anger. The American people were vulnerable and easily exploited. The simple truth is this: they diverted critical resources from pursuing the people who attacked us, allowed Bin Laden to escape, and destroyed our economy with a "preemptive" war against a nation that was contained and did not attack us. And they did know.

    Those who lost loved ones in Iraq should have one message: Burn in Hell, Rove!

    March 6, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Stacie

    Well, since the king of lies and spin said it, it must be true. Whatever!

    March 6, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Nosey Canadians should mind their own business

    Did anyone expect Rove to say YES,and I helped him do it,please take us to prison?Rove has NO credibiity,period.

    March 6, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Ryan

    Yes ...and the earth is still flat.

    March 6, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Nick Paul Person

    It is sad to me that the Bush regime only 'cared' about human rights in Iraq and not in China or better yet Tibet or any other countries were human rights violations are the norm.

    March 6, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. sick of republican phonies

    Bush and company deliberately ignored evidence that was contrary to the WMD scenario they WANTED to exist to give them a reason to start a war. The aluminum tubes that they said were for a long range cannon even after our American experts said they couldn't be used for that purpose is one example. And they embraced widely discredited "evidence" from sources like "Hardball" (mobile weapons labs and training of Quada agents), or the phony yellow cake memo they touted, EVEN WHEN IT WAS EVIDENT THEY WERE FAKE. If he didn't deliberately lie and actually BELIEVED the PHONY evidence he was fed, than he is THE STUPIDEST MAN IN THE WORLD.

    March 6, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Scott, Tucson

    Sorry have to disagree with this one, we had Saddam boxed in and contained what with the Northern and Southern no-fly zones. His troops at his radar sites couldn't sneeze without getting a GBU dropped on their heads. I had only just return from Saudi Arabia after years in that area and listen to Bush when gave his State of the Union address where he listed Iraq as a true threat my mouth was dropping and I was saying this man is lying! That's when Bush lost my support and I voted democrat for the first time ever.

    But compared to what we have in the White House now, Bush is sure to fair better in the history books than obama ever will. Why even Jimmy Carter will no longer be the worst President ever.

    March 6, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Republican Revisionist History

    Mr. Rove, George Bush lied then and you are lying now.

    Your problem is that the people you are trying to fool now are a bit more erudite [applying greater scrutiny] than the people you had to fool to win elections ... we're not interested in "having a beer" with the former President.

    Because of these lies, we've lost over 5,000 brave American soldiers and maimed tens-of-thousands of others in Iraq & Afghanistan.

    Because of these lies we are running huge budget deficits to fund a war that WAS NOT PAID FOR. We will continue to spend money decades from now to rebuild Iraq. You have levied this tax on future generations.

    In 2000 and early 2001, George Bush was seen as a weak, ineffective leader with no vision for his presidency. He was criticized for his cockiness and lack of intellectual prowess. The war in Iraq [especially] was designed within the administration to bolster George W. Bush as a leader in the eyes of some portions of the public ... those traditional democrats in West Virginia, western PA, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, etc.

    Let it go Mr. Rove. The more you try to rewrite history, the more the PEOPLE will remember the truth. We have YouTube, Twitter, facebook, Google, Yahoo etc. all to chronicle the events.

    Mission Accomplished.

    March 6, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Indy

    Criminals and liars like Rove and Palin can write anything they want and I am still not stupid enough to believe their lies. Congratulations to those loosers who make them rich by buying their books.Do you think it might be time to quit supporting liars and anti American folks like this by standing strong for the truth, and not buying the lies these people sell to the people ?

    March 6, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Avram

    Of course Rove is going to say Bush didn't lie us into war. Did anyone expect him to say otherwise?

    March 6, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. TBA

    How much more BS is this guy selling? It is totally his and Bush's fault for war in Iraq. LYING TO THE PUBLIC about WMD, they knew very well that Iraq did not have any WMD. Cheney wanted to go to war to finish what Bush Sr. started.

    March 6, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. tony

    Maybe Bush did not even know that he was lying? Maybe Cheney and Rumsfeld read into the flawed intelligence what they had wanted to see, because they believed a priori/on faith that Iraq was behind 9/11, and Bush just went along? In fairness to them, so did almost everyone else in the Congress, but did they have the same access to the actual intelligence data as senior Bush Administration officials? Most people in the Congress probably just relied on the intelligence briefing that the Bush Administration provided them. If you can't trust your government on issues of national security, who can you trust?

    March 6, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    I don't believe that one party lies to us and that the other party would never lie. I don't even believe that George Washington never lied, just because he owned up about the cherry tree.
    What matters is how much trouble the party in power generates for us. Right now, with recent projections for our deficit in ten years, we'd better seriously contemplate how life in this country would be under Chinese communist rule. Too many supporters of President Obama have never examined the lifestyles of today's Chinese people.
    Is the President lying to us about his motivations for his economic policies?
    I don't know.
    If he's not lying to us, he's not thinking well enough to avoid destroying our independence.

    March 6, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. John

    Rove: Bush didn't 'lie us into war'

    Said Bush's consiglieri of spin, lies, and dirty tricks.

    March 6, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Carl Rove- Of course he lied, whether intentionally or because of misinformation.
    Iraq had nothing to do with the attack on the WTC and there were no WMD ad no prrof of either, except lies.
    At best The Bush White house is guilty of ineptness and at worst- deception.

    March 6, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. ib

    Boy; the far left looney tune people will have a field day with this. According to them nothing Bush done was right and he is still to blame for everything Obama is doing wrong.

    March 6, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Brett P.

    He just said they would find other ways to bring about regime change. Proves they were obsessed with going to war for Daddy no matter the cost of life or treasure.

    March 6, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Repugnants are Taliban

    What with all the lies this snake has told we are to 'believe' him that Bush didn't lie us into war in Iraq? Lets see, the three biggest liars in American political history are; Bush, Cheney and Rove. Hmmm, I have some serious doubts we can believe this clown at all and anyone who thinks we can believe him is as stupid and as big a liar as he is. This man is the most despicable and traitorous human being who has ever lived in the USA, one would think he were secretly a communist the way he lies, must be from Russia where the national past time is seeing who can tell the biggest lie and rewrite history.

    March 6, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. phoenix86

    Liberals like to forget that Iraq used poison gas to murder thousands of Iraqis, much as liberals like to forget that Iran is building nuclear weapons.

    Instead, the fringe left will populate this blog with call for Rove / Bush to be jailed, "8 years of lies", etc. Anything for the liberal to avoid facing the truth.

    March 6, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    Think for a minute, liberals. IF we had not gone to war AND Saddam had not successfully hidden his WMDS (which he had used to kill millions of Kurds), where would the world be today? I shudder to think.

    The only LIES are the ones being told to us currently by the present administration.

    March 6, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. Mark

    Oopsey Daisy! Guess they just made a little booboo that cost a $trillion, plus, plus, plus, over 4,000 American lives, and over 31,000 American injuries. Oh well, Let's all forget about it. Vote Republican!!!

    March 6, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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