Bernie Sanders

Sanders’ Opposition to the Iraq War Was More Complicated Than He Presents

Bernie Sanders' position on the Iraq War wasn't as absolute as he claims

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has for years cast his opposition to the Iraq War as near-absolute, insisting he knew the Bush administration was "lying" from the start about the threat to the U.S. posed by Saddam Hussein and his regime's alleged production of weapons of mass destruction.

"I didn't believe them for a moment. I took to the floor. I did everything I could to prevent that war," he said in a debate in January.

But a review of the congressional record and statements before the House vote in October 2002 to authorize the U.S. to use military force show that his position wasn't as absolute as he claims, NBC News reported.

At a time when Congress was debating how much authority to give the administration of President George W. Bush, Sanders made it clear on the House floor that his concern was about unilateral action by the U.S., not the administration's claims of weapons of mass destruction, or WMDs, which he appeared to accept as at least a possibility.

He didn't publicly raise doubts about U.S. intelligence that Iraq possessed WMDs until 2003, and he voted in favor of military intervention under specific circumstances, which was defeated in favor of the broader authorization approved by Congress.

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