Former Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Hugh Shelton says that, during the Bush administration, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, and other Pentagon officials pushed to go to war with Iraq "almost to the point of insubordination."
"There was a very strong push in those days for us to go into Iraq, and there was absolutely no intelligence, zero, that pointed toward the Iraqis.," he told Christiane Amanpour on ABC's 'This Week' on Sunday. "It was all Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden. And yet there was an element there that was -- that was pushing to go into Iraq at the same time."
George Bush was focused on Afghanistan and initially resisted the pressure to invade Iraq, Shelton says. But he was eventually convinced.
"Afghanistan, remember, was going very, very well," Shelton said. "The drumbeat back here in Washington was still pushing, coming out of the Pentagon, let's go to Iraq, let's get -- take him out. And he finally said, let's go."
On Friday, WikiLeaks released 400,000 pages of classified military documents about the Iraq war.
As Wired's Noah Shachtman details, the logs show that though the search for weapons of mass destruction continued in Iraq for years, and U.S. forces found no evidence of a massive WMD program:
An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn't reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime -- the Bush administration's most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam's toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict -- and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.