National security adviser John Bolton recently took on Fred Fleitz as his chief of staff – a man who is vehemently anti-Muslim and has erroneously argued that the Bush administration lie about weapons of mass destruction was proven true by a discovery of an old chemical weapons cache in Iraq.
Fleitz... incorrectly argued in an October 2014 column on the Center for Security Policy’s website that a New York Times report on old chemical weapons found in Iraq proved that Bush was right about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq:
*Revelations last week by the New York Times that U.S. troops found chemical weapons in Iraq – about 5,000 CW warheads, shells and aviation bombs – but the size of this find and injuries from these weapons to American soldiers were covered up by the Bush administration has caused experts on both sides of the political spectrum to scramble to answer one question: does this prove President Bush was right that there were undeclared weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the 2003 war?
I believe the answer to this question clearly is yes.*
While Fleitz was not alone in pushing this argument, he was clearly wrong.
The Times article explained that “the discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale” due to the fact they were made prior to 1991, rendering false the notion that they comprised “an active weapons of mass destruction program”.
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker also explained that the Bush administration “staked its WMD claims on an active, on-going program that was restarted after the Kuwait conflict," and stated: “Anyone who claims that the New York Times story vindicates George W. Bush-era claims of Iraq WMD automatically earns Four Pinocchios.”
Fleitz also promoted the false story that the San Bernardino, California terrorists who shot and killed 14 people and injured many more were known by neighbors to be engaging in suspicious behavior – they simply didn’t alert authorities, due to fears of “racial profiling”.
European “no-go zones”, an anti-British Muslim agenda in the UK, and concerning “enclaves of Muslim communities in Michigan and Minnesota” – all of these have been part of Fleitz’s media talking points over the years.
But Bolton knew what he was getting when he made his choice: Fleitz served as his chief of staff when Bolton was undersecretary of state during the Bush administration.
[M]ore recently, Fleitz was a senior vice president at the right-wing Center for Security Policy, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated an anti-Muslim hate group in 2015, describing it as “a conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement in the United States.”