Just before Christmas, a few days after President Bill Clinton had been impeached by the House of Representatives, Clinton received “intelligence” from Iraqi “exiles” that Saddam Hussein and his entourage would be spending a specific night in an underground bunker beneath one of his “palaces.”

Facing possible removal from office for “high-crimes and misdemeanors,” Clinton decided to remove Saddam from his office, thereby diverting attention from himself, as well as achieving the “regime change” in Iraq long sought by both neo-crazies and looney-lefties.

After determining the Global Positioning Satellite coordinates of that and other palaces, Clinton launched a GPS-guided cruise missile attack.

Clinton publicly claimed he had launched his attack because he had “intelligence” that Saddam had hidden stockpiles of “weapons of mass destruction” beneath his palaces, where U.N. inspectors were denied access.

At first, Clinton thought he had killed Saddam.

But he hadn’t.

Saddam wasn’t killed by our cruise missiles because the non-nuke warheads they carried weren’t powerful enough, nor capable of penetrating deep enough, to destroy underground bunkers.

For the neo-crazies and the looney-lefties, any excuse to depose Saddam Hussein was as good as any other. But, opinion polls had told them that Saddam’s possession of nukes and the intent to use them against Americans was the only rationale the electorate would “buy” for invading and occupying Iraq.

So, President Bush – citing “intelligence” he had obtained from Iraqi exiles – got the highly skeptical U.N. Security Council to pass Resolution 1441, requiring Saddam to disarm or face “serious consequences.”

Bush then provided U.N. inspectors – who were granted unfettered access by Saddam – considerable selective intelligence about dozens of suspected WMD sites in Iraq.

But, when the inspectors checked out those sites, they found nothing.

Mohamed ElBaradei – director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency – reported to the Security Council that “after three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.”

Worse, ElBaradei publicly debunked the “aluminum-tubes-for-enrichment” report and revealed the Niger “yellowcake” documents to be clumsy forgeries.

Nevertheless, just days after receiving what turned out to be highly accurate reports from ElBaradei, Bush launched his war of aggression against Iraq.

And, having got “intelligence” that Saddam was spending the night in a German-designed underground bunker near Baghdad, Bush decided to try to kill him immediately, 20 hours before Operation Iraqi Freedom was officially scheduled to begin.

Bush first hit the target with powerful GPS-homing “bunker-busting” bombs specifically designed to penetrate deep into the earth before exploding. After the bunker was busted, then came the GPS-homing cruise-missiles.

Like Clinton, Bush thought he had killed Saddam, for sure.

But he hadn’t.

When an advance team of American liberators went to that GPS site to look for bodies, they found no bodies. In fact, they reported that there was no evidence that a bunker had ever been there. All they found were “bunker-buster” holes in the ground.

Well, here it is, three years later, and Bush is claiming that Iran has got a well-hidden nuclear weapons program, much of it in deep-earth bunkers.

However, IAEA inspectors have enjoyed virtually free access to Iran and have – even at sites suggested by Bush’s intelligence – found no “indication” of a nuclear weapons program.

Two months ago, Bush got the highly skeptical IAEA Board of Governors to pass a resolution requiring Tehran to indefinitely suspend all uranium-enrichment activities while the Board satisfied itself that Iran’s programs were strictly for peaceful purposes.

Last month, Bush tried to get that Board resolution “referred” to the Security Council for possible action under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. Bush had to settle for the Board simply “reporting” the entire Iranian dossier to the Council.

And all he got from the Council, this month, was a “Presidential Statement,” effectively remanding the Iranian “nuclear issue” to the IAEA Board for resolution.

Nevertheless, Bush is falsely claiming that the Security Council imposed a “deadline” on Iran to suspend all nuclear-related activities, including the completion by the Russians of the nuclear power plant at Bushehr, or face “serious consequences.”

Now comes Seymour Hersh’s stunning expos? in the New Yorker magazine about Bush plans – which Hersh claims are already in the early stages of implementation – to pre-emptively “take out” Iran’s alleged nuke program.

Of course, almost all horror-stricken observers – especially the defiant Iranians – realize that Bush’s real intention is to effect “regime change” in Iran.

But, using ‘bunker-busting” nukes this time.

If necessary.

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