Nadir, Tom, and others claim that Bush premised his Iraq invasion on a lie about WMDs, then when his invasion exposed his own lie, Bush "changed" his rationale to "liberation." I have always asserted that Bush's rationale comprised several planks, of which WMD represented one, and "liberation" represented another. Furthermore, I have stated that it makes no sense to lie about WMD in order to get permission to commit an act that will expose your lie, and that if you're lying about WMD in order to commit such an act, wouldn't you plant some WMD in any case?
I have also contended that nobody prior to Bush's invasion disputed the claims of WMDs, and that the universal agreement about Iraqi WMDs was premised on data collected over the 8 years of Clinton's presidency, not during the few months of Bush II's presidency prior to 911 or between 911 and Bush II making his case. The only debate at the time was: given that Iraq has these weapons, and that Iraq has violated for ten years the conditions of WMD inspections and other stipulations, should the US include in its 911 response an enforcement of the 1992 cease-fire that banned those weapons?
Here's a pretty convincing essay confirming my view:
Consider this excerpt from a New York Times editorial about a speech Bush gave weeks before the coalition entered Iraq:"President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a 'free and peaceful Iraq' that would serve as a 'dramatic and inspiring example' to the entire Arab and Muslim world, provide a stabilizing influence in the Middle East and even help end the Arab-Israeli conflict."