Americans love a good conspiracy theory, and plenty have been bandied about this election season. But what about conspiracy theories that turned out to be, well, not theoretical at all?
In 2003, the United States invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, under the pretext of ridding the tyrant’s nation of weapons of mass destruction. Of course, we know now that Iraq had no such weapons, and the disastrous War in Iraq was begun by the Bush administration under flagrantly false pretenses. To put it more plainly: Bush officials and their allies in the intelligence community conspired to start a war of aggression and actively misled the public into supporting the invasion based on fabricated data. High-ranking officials Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz, who pushed early for the war and only decided on WMDs as its best pretext after the fact, and Secretary of State Colin Powell, who made an infamous speech to the United Nations claiming “firsthand” knowledge of Iraq’s WMDs, are only two of the public officials who were later caught red-handed in their lies to the American citizenry. No WMDs were ever found in Iraq, and later investigations proved the extent to which the administration cooked up its accounts to sell the war. Hundreds of thousands of deaths, trillions of dollars, and a completely destabilized Middle East later, no Bush administration officials—let alone the former President himself—have been brought to account for one of the most visible conspiracies in American history.
Tom Cruise is back as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, taking on a conspiracy of epic proportions in a fight for the truth. Don’t miss the action in theaters and IMAX, opening October 21.
This content was produced on behalf of Jack Reacher by The Daily Beast brand strategy team and not by The Daily Beast editorial staff.