Majority in US believes Bush 'stretched
truth' about Iraq: poll
WASHINGTON (AFP) - For the first time
since the beginning of the war in Iraq (news
sites), a solid majority of Americans believe the Bush
administration either "stretched the truth" about Iraqi weapons of
mass destruction or told outright lies, according to a new opinion
The poll by the University of Maryland found that 52 percent of
respondents said they believed President George W. Bush (news
sites) and his aides were "stretching the truth, but not making
false statements" about Iraqi president Saddam Hussein (news
sites)'s chemical, biological and nuclear programs.
Another 10 percent said US officials were presenting Congress,
the American public and the international community "evidence they
knew was false," indicated the survey which was made public Tuesday.
Only 32 percent said they thought the government was being "fully
truthful" about the Iraqi arsenal.
The weapons of mass destruction -- as well as the Iraqi
government's alleged ties to the al-Qaeda terrorist group -- which
the administration claimed represented an immediate threat to the
Unites States, served as the chief rationale for launching the March
20 invasion of the country.
But more than three months since the start of the war, US troops
have yet to find any of the suspected weapons.
Similarly, 56 percent of those polled believed the US government
stretched the truth or made outright false statements about
Hussein's ties to al-Qaeda.
The nationwide survey of 1,051 people was conducted from June 18
to 25 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
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