Rumsfeld: WMD Issue Was "The Big One" In Iraq Invasion

If the Bush administration had known there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it probably wouldn't have decided to invade in 2003, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" program, Rumsfeld noted there were multiple reasons for attacking Iraq and ousting Saddam Hussein from power.

However, intelligence reports -- now shown to have been false -- that Iraq possessed WMDs were the main reason for going in, Rumsfeld said.

"No question it was the big one," he said. Asked if the United States would not have invaded if the administration hadn't believed Iraq had the weapons of mass destruction, Rumsfeld said: "I think that's probably right."

He criticized the source known as "Curveball" -- an Iraqi defector who admitted his claims that Iraq possessed WMDs were false -- but stopped short of condemning the U.S. intelligence community.
CNN