There was no Bush, no Cheney, and no mushroom cloud mentioned in the address former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered to the delegates who greeted her and her speech with loud and repeated standing ovations at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.
The only member of the Bush W. Bush administration to speak at the convention, Rice was a key member of the foreign policy team during all eight years of the Bush administration, serving the former president as national security advisor before taking charge of the State Department. Yet she made no mention of her former boss or of Vice President Cheney or the Iraq War, of which she was a principal architect. The only mention of Iraq in her remarks concerned "hostile neighbors" now challenging its "young fragile democracy." There was no word of the "liberation" of Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or the need to remove the "weapons of mass destruction" that the Bush administration claimed was the principal reason for the invasion and the need for regime change in Baghdad.
In September of 2002, when the Bush administration was building up support for an invasion of Iraq, Rice, then the president's national security advisor, was interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer and warned that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. "We know that he has the infrastructure, nuclear scientists to make a nuclear weapon," she said. "And we know that when the inspectors assessed this after the  Gulf War, he was far, far closer to a crude nuclear device than anybody thought — maybe six months from a crude nuclear device."
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Photo of Condoleezza Rice: AP Images