Pat Robertson flashback

Published October 21, 2004 3:46PM (EDT)

According to the White House, Pat Robertson either is lying or terribly mistaken for saying he told Bush just before the Iraq invasion to warn the American people about inevitable casualties. Bush, according to Robertson, responded: "We're not going to have any casualties." Obviously, the White House staff does not want anyone to think Bush could be that clueless, so they're denying he said it, although they admit he spoke to Robertson in Nashville in early 2003.

Here's some further evidence backing Robertson's recollection. He said something to similar to Connie Chung on CNN in February 2003, not long after his conversation with Bush.

"CHUNG: Let's turn to Iraq for a moment.


CHUNG: Because I'm wondering if you believe the United States should invade Iraq without U.N. backing.

ROBERTSON: Connie, I have, over the last year or so, been quite concerned about entering into this war. We should have gone in after him in the Gulf War I. This thing is fraught with danger. And I think we need to understand that. I told the president that just recently, that we have got to prepare the American people for civilian casualties, for possibly our casualties, for gassing, for various chemical weapons against them.

CHUNG: And, sir, in the last 15 seconds, do you believe we need U.N. backing?

ROBERTSON: Connie, I think the U.N., frankly, is a joke. And I think they're becoming impotent and I think they're becoming ineffective. And the dithering on this matter just proves it. So I don't think that's necessary. We've already got Resolution 1141. That's all we need.

CHUNG: So are you saying to the president, go ahead, but warn... ROBERTSON: I think that's it. We're too far along the way to stop back now. And you have no choice but to go forward, so be resolute, but please tell the American people to expect trouble and don't think it's going to be a cakewalk."

If Bush agreed with Robertson in their conversation before the war, perhaps Robertson wouldn't have felt the need to plead with the president to warn America about casualties in a subsequent televised interview. (Thanks to Elisabeth Riba for CNN link.)

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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