This article belongs to Australia - Land of the Free? column.

The United States under George W Bush has bungled the war on terror by concentrating on Iraq. The real danger from terrorism was always in Afghanistan.

Transcripts from the Robert Greenwald film "UNCOVERED" prove the reasons for the Bush administration to invade Iraq and neglect Afghanistan was at best naïve and at worse dishonest.

MEL GOODMAN - who worked at the CIA from 1966 to 1986.

It was clear that Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program
"It was clear that Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program. But over and over again, President Bush, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, particularly Vice President Cheney, but also, National Security Advisor Condie Rice, drummed up the idea of a reconstituted nuclear capability, and particularly the notion that I think has some resonance among the American people, of a mushroom cloud.

The bush administration made up its mind to go to war on September 11th, 2001.

GEORGE W BUSH -- President of the United States.

"The danger to our country is grave. The danger to our country is growing. The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons. The Iraqi regime is building the facilities necessary to make more biological and chemical weapons. And according to the British Government, the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as forty-five minutes, after the order is given. The regime has a longstanding and continuing ties to terrorist organizations and there are AL Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. The regime is seeking a nuclear bomb and with fissible…fissile material, could build one within a year."

Rumsfeld: Shouldn't we use this as an opportunity to do something about Iraq as well?
We now know that much of what George W Bush said was incorrect. The question is did he know it was a lie at the time?

BILL CHRISTISON -- worked for the CIA for 28 and a half years.

"That very first day, on September 12, one day after September 11, uh, the, meeting that was held in the White house, in the situation room, uh, led to Rumsfeld asking the question, 'Shouldn't we use this as an opportunity to do something about Iraq as well?' "

DR. DAVID C MACMICHAEL -- Former senior estimates officer with the Central Intelligence Agency.

"Intelligence director of the department of energy, simply ordered his experts who had raised questions about the, the evidence being used on the, on the nuclear, end of it, to, as. Uh, the news accounts say, to sit down and shut up, so that department of energy would be on board with the overall estimate."

ROBERT BAER -- spent 21 years with the CIA with 90 percent of his tenure in the Middle East.

"I was chief of collecting information on Iraq through the mid-nineties. I know what we had, and what we didn't have, and I'm here to tell you there was no information."

The expert advisors to the President weren't to give advice on whether or not the invasion of Iraq was justified, but to only give advice that would give the Government ammunition to convince Congress to go to war. Robert Baer puts it this way.


"What the White House wanted was the CIA to give it talking points to justify this war. It'd already made up its mind."

"They call it data mining. Going back over old information coming to new conclusions"

The US attitude to Iraq has badly hurt the campaign in Afghanistan.
The war must be taken to Al Qaeda not fought in villages but mountains on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan said," The war in Afghanistan, the war against terrorism is not the right place to fight. It is taking place in the villages but should be concentrated on the sanctuaries, on those that train the extremists, equip the extremists."

Hamid Karzai has a point. Al Qaeda is head quartered in the mountains on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan and not in the villages. The war must be taken to them.

Perhaps, if the US had not been so preoccupied with Iraq, the war against terror would already be won.