[Congressional Record: January 26, 2011 (House)]
[Page H503]

                      HOW THE 20-YEAR WAR STARTED

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, how did the 20-year war get started? It had 
been long assumed that the United States Government, shortly before 
Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, gave Saddam Hussein a green 
light to attack. A State Department cable recently published by 
WikiLeaks confirmed that U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie did indeed have 
a conversation with Saddam Hussein one week prior to Iraq's August 1, 
1990, invasion of Kuwait. Amazingly, the released cable was entitled, 
``Saddam's Message of Friendship to President Bush.'' In it, Ambassador 
Glaspie affirmed to Saddam that ``the President had instructed her to 
broaden and deepen our relations with Iraq.'' As Saddam Hussein 
outlined Iraq's ongoing border dispute with Kuwait, Ambassador Glaspie 
was quite clear that, ``we took no position on these Arab affairs.''
  There would have been no reason for Saddam Hussein not to take this 
assurance at face value. The U.S. was quite supportive of his invasion 
and war of aggression against Iran in the 1980s. With this approval 
from the U.S. Government, it wasn't surprising that the invasion 
occurred. The shock and surprise was how quickly the tables were turned 
and our friend, Saddam Hussein, all of a sudden became Hitler 
  The document was classified, supposedly to protect national security, 
yet this information in no way jeopardized our security. Instead, it 
served to keep the truth from the American people about an event 
leading up to our initial military involvement in Iraq and the region 
that continues to today.

                              {time}  1440

  The secrecy of the memo was designed to hide the truth from the 
American people and keep our government from being embarrassed.
  This was the initial event that had led to so much death and 
destruction--not to mention the financial costs--these past 20 years. 
Our response and persistent militarism toward Iraq was directly related 
to 9/11, as our presence on the Arabian Peninsula--and in particular 
Saudi Arabia--was listed by al Qaeda as a major grievance that outraged 
the radicals who carried out the heinous attacks against New York and 
Washington on that fateful day.
  Today, the conflict has spread through the Middle East and Central 
Asia with no end in sight.
  The reason this information is so important is that if Congress and 
the American people had known about this green light incident 20 years 
ago, they would have been a lot more reluctant to give a green light to 
our government to pursue the current war--a war that is ongoing and 
expanding to this very day.
  The tough question that remains is was this done deliberately to 
create the justification to redesign the Middle East, as many neo-
conservatives desired, and to secure oil supplies for the West; or was 
it just a diplomatic blunder followed up by many more strategic 
military blunders? Regardless, we have blundered into a war that no one 
seems willing to end.
  Julian Assange, the publisher of the WikiLeaks memo, is now 
considered an enemy of the state. Politicians are calling for drastic 
punishment and even assassination; and, sadly, the majority of the 
American people seem to support such moves.
  But why should we so fear the truth? Why should our government's lies 
and mistakes be hidden from the American people in the name of 
patriotism? Once it becomes acceptable to equate truth with treason, we 
can no longer call ourselves a free society.