The Rachel Maddow Show | March 19, 2013
>>> anniversaries suck on tv. the news industry is not really designed to commemorate things. it always comes across as hokie, right? the tenth anniversary of the invasion of iraq is not just a commemoration for history sake, it is also its own current present day fight over how this story will be written down in history. it is contested ground in part because so many of the people that were wrong about iraq in the first place, people that caused that disaster, people that were factually wrong about it are still around in our politics and don't want to be remembered as the architects of disaster, as people who lied or were wrong about something so grave. the fact that they are still around to whitewash their bios and revise their history because a part of our history. it means thus far in the first ten years, the iraq disaster has thus far not been viewed as a big enough deal in politics. the people that caused it are embarrassed for a lifetime, never ask to come back into discussions on this topic or anything like this.
>> do you believe the people of iraq or large number will treatise as lib ray tors.
>> i do.
>> i believe the success will be fairly easy.
>> john mccain not the only guy who was wrong. as a note, today on the tenth anniversary of the war that john mccain was so blatantly obviously horribly wrong about, american enterprise institute invited back for discussion on iraq ten years later, john mccain . hey, you were terribly wrong about this very important thing. ten years later we thought we could come back to you for more. yeah. the american enterprise website is worth looking at in terms of the way they commemorate that tenth anniversary. the big splash page is five myths about iraq , ten years after its start, iraq war opponents still don't acknowledge its merits. john boltenbreaks it down. they caution iraq should be remembered without rewriting history because it definitely wasn't a mistake. their expert consultant on the vital moral and strategic questions from the iraq war is the guy that organized it, paul wolfowitz . on the occasion of the tenth anniversary, i didn't expect it to be this overt, but the republican establishment is in full pr mode to try to make it seem like the war in iraq thing was actually a great idea and not the worst foreign policy disaster in maybe a century. there's paul wolfowitz defending it over the weekend, and michael oh han lon. and donald rumsfeld saying ten years ago began the long difficult work of liberating 25 million iraqis, all who played a roll in history deserve our respect and appreciation. the nervous thing is that he has the gall to use the word history and saying it was all about liberating the iraqi people . they're trying to do it. they're using the tenth year anniversary of the war to make you believe it didn't happen the way it happened. to try to make you believe it was all about liberating the iraqi people from the tyrant. they want you to believe what they proposed to the american people ten, will he have enyears ago, go liberate them from a tyrant. the american said we should, and we went and were greeted as lib ray tors, we knew it would take eight and a half years and cost millions and lose many people. they say it was hard but that difficult liberate work is what we signed up for and has to be remembered as the history of that war. that's not the history of that war. there's not a memory hole deep enough or wide enough to make us forget the real history of what happened. it is not that long ago you're not caught on tape.
>> no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the disability of the world than the regime of saddam hussein in iraq . we have what we consider to be credible evidence that al qaeda leaders sought contacts in iraq who could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
>> do you have hard evidence they're in iraq ?
>> oh, that's no question but that al qaeda have moved through and some have stayed.
>> and that's not just an assumption, we know that?
>> i know that.
>> if someone is waiting for a so-called smoking gun, it is certain that we will have waited too long.
>> what do you make of the statement made by the iraqi government , the statement by the iraqi government yesterday that iraq has no weapons of mass destruction and is not developing any?
>> they're lying. next?
>> it is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it could last, you know, six days, six weeks, i doubt six month.
>> i doubt six months.
>> my favorite donald rumsfeld assertions were how specific he tried to get about these things they were making up. 11 days into the war, he was asked by abc if he was surprised american forces hadn't found any weapons of mass destruction . his response, not at all. we know where they are. they are in the area around tikrit and baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat, yes, north, south, east and west somewhat. we know exactly where they are. donald rumsfeld is running from that history, having said things like that, made claims like that, not in passing, but as a case to the american people why we had to wage this war. donald rumsfeld has been running from what he did for years now. in 2006 while the war was at its height, a 27 year veteran of the cia confronted him about the north, south, east, west claim at a public forum .
>> it appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.
>> you said you knew where they were.
>> i did not. i said i knew where suspect sites were.
>> you said you knew where they were, near tikrit, near baghdad, and north, south, east, west of there. those of your words.
>> my words were that -- no, no, no, wait a minute, let him stay one second.
>> this is america, huh? go ahead.
>> you're getting plenty of play, sir.
>> i'd just like an honest answer.
>> i'm giving it to you.
>> these guys have been trying to run away from what they did since they did it. it is a revisionist project to make us think they didn't screw up. we should look at them as the experts in foern policy and military intervention. how long do you have to be and on how big a scale before we stop listening . i would like to hear about acid reflux, or home remedies for boils. when it comes to the wisdom of invading iraq , you have expired, all of you have. you had your time, you failed, it is over.
>>> now it is time for "the last word with lawrence