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WMD, Other Obstacles For Bush in Next Year`s Presidential Election

WMD, Other Obstacles For Bush in Next Year`s Presidential Election

Posted June. 23, 2003 21:58,   


Whether President George W. Bush exaggerated information related to Iraq`s development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has increased the likelihood that it will become a campaign theme in the presidential election in November of next year, AFP reported Sunday.

It has become a politically sensitive issue as Democratic presidential hopefuls have increased criticism concerning the White House since Congressment and Senators began a closed-door investigation last week to find out if Iraq had weapons of mass destruction- justification for the Iraq War, AFP added.

The investigation is focusing on how much George W. Bush hyped up the danger concerning weapons of mass destruction, so it could possibly damage Republicans in next year`s presidential election.

“We were misled,” Democratic presidential hopeful, and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean told NBC while mentioning Bush`s credibility, AFP reported.

Democratic presidential hopefuls also criticized the Bush administration at the Democratic presidential forum held in Chicago Sunday. "We knew there weren`t any weapons of mass destruction," Rep. Dennis Kucinich said. "Lying to the American people is in itself a weapon of mass destruction, Mr. Bush."

“The Bush administration manipulated fear coming out of 9.11 and pursued extremist policies infringing on people`s civil rights,” Sen. Carol Mosley Braun said at the forum.

“Former president Bill Clinton would have been impeached for allegedly misleading the U.S. public the way that President Bush did,” Reverend Al Sharpton said.

Another Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry made a speech Wednesday. “President Bush said that Iraq attempted to bring in nuclear material and that it had aerial weapons capable which could carry biological and chemical weapons," he said. But now it appears to be wrong. I will not let him off the hook throughout this campaign with respect to America`s credibility on the matter."

In addition, the closed-door investigation of U.S. pre-war intelligence on Iraq “may take months, because there is a vast amount of information to review,” senior senators carrying out the investigation said, increasing the likelihood that it will become a campaign theme in the next year`s presidential election.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, spoke on an ABC program Sunday that “the question of Iraq`s possession of weapons of mass destruction has left a cloud over the Bush administration`s credibility.”

The situation could possibly be disadvantageous to Bush in the next year`s presidential election. However, he plans to win not only the presidential election but also the congressional elections by a landslide, so the tight equilibrium between Republicans and Democrats since the middle of 1990s can now be broken, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

President Bush said last October that “Saddam Hussein was alleged to have been involved in Al-Queda,” but there is no evidence on it and intelligence agencies reported that such rumors of Hussein`s involvement were not certain, the Washington Post pointed out.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com