taken from the transcript of the September 12th, 2002 episode of DONAHUE aired on MSNBC. you can find the transcript here (but they'll probably take it down in a week or so. bastards, i want a permanent archive!)
DONAHUE: We'll separate fact from fiction, truth from lies as my guests dissect the inside framework of Bush and Company's campaign to sell the American public on the war with Iraq. That's after the latest news headlines from MSNBC headquarters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE H. W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No one knows precisely when this dictator may acquire atomic weapons or exactly who they may be aimed at down the road. But we do know this for sure, he has never possessed a weapon that he didn't use.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DONAHUE: Eleven years ago, that was President Bush, Senior, 1991, vilifying Saddam.
The current President Bush has already started to sell an invasion of Iraq to the American people. But how much of the sales pitch is propaganda, how much the truth?
Joining us now is John MacArthur, the publisher of "Harper's" magazine and the author of "Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War."
Well, Mr. MacArthur, let me start you off here with this tape bite here. Remember the little girl that testified before Congress? You're the one that blew the whistle on this. Here-let's take a look at this tape. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"NAYIRAH": I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators. They took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor! It was horrifying!
G.H.W. BUSH: Newborn babies thrown out of incubators and the incubators then shipped off to Baghdad, dialysis patients ripped from their machines and those machines then, too, sent off to Baghdad, the story of two young kids passing out leaflets. Iraqi troops rounded up the parents and made them watch while those two kids were shot to death, executed before their eyes. Hitler revisited.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DONAHUE: That was 1990. The little girl-the young woman, 15-year-old young woman, testified before the Human Rights Caucus. Tom Lantos, chairman, moved this nation. Comes forward you to say what about that testimony?
JOHN MACARTHUR, AUTHOR, "SECOND FRONT": Well, it was a complete fabrication and it was a fabrication concocted with the connivance of the Kuwaiti government, the White House and Hill and Knowlton, the public relations firm that was hired by the Kuwaitis with the advice of the White House.
This was a complete fabrication, but a tremendously effective one because, as you'll recall, I hope, back then, the Bush administration, like today, was having trouble selling its war against Saddam. Too many people were saying this was blood for oil. Too many people were pointing out that Saddam was our former client, that Bush had supported him-and Reagan-for that matter, and they need to come with something spectacular, something that would really hit people in the stomach. They came up with the baby incubator atrocity that never happened.
And by the time the dust settled, 312 babies had alleged been killed when Iraqi soldiers went in and looted hospitals in Kuwait, shipped them off to Baghdad and left the babies, as "Nayirah" said, to die on the cold floor. This was complete invention. It never happened.
MACARTHUR: And in the Senate vote, on the Gulf war resolution, seven Senators cited the baby incubator atrocity as a reason for voting for the Gulf war resolution. The Gulf war resolution only passed by five votes. This was a major, major subversion...
MACARTHUR: ... of the democratic constitutional process.
DONAHUE: Yes. You wound the powerful and well-established public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton. You wounded them with your book. And when you're saying this, you wound them tonight. Alas, I was not able to encourage anyone from the agency to appear on our program. Their case is and if they could choose a spokesman, it wouldn't be me. But they're stuck.
This little girl's identity was concealed for her security on a request by her father, not unlike other mob people who don't want to get-you know, wind up dead on a bathroom floor somewhere. This little girl, without malice, used the plural when, in fact, she had only witnessed one such child being removed from an incubator. Kroll and Associates was hired, I guess, by Hill and Knowlton to look at this. And your suggestion that it was a complete fabrication, they believe, is over the top, and "The New York Times" never should have principled your article in the first place. You're on the air.
MACARTHUR: Well, the main thing to remember is that "Nayirah", who hid her identity, was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington. She wasn't in Kuwait, as far as I know, when she said that she saw this. And Kroll Associates, if you read the report that they put together, paid for by the Kuwaiti government in response to my revelation in "The New York Times", refutes the baby incubator story. It says that she never saw what she said she saw.
I have never been able to get the Kuwaitis to let me interview Nayirah. I tried every trick in the book, and I couldn't get them to turn her over.
And George Bush himself-George Bush, Senior-today has changed his story. He now says, well, there were mass rapes in Kuwait, but he doesn't talk about babies killed in incubators anymore. Interestingly, the mass rape story is also a vast exaggeration, uncorroborated.
DONAHUE: First casualty of war is proven once again to be the truth.
DONAHUE: But this is-I just can't-we should remember that this is a 12 year effort now of demonizing Saddam-two presidents. I'm not sure what President Clinton may have contributed to this, but clearly, father, son have been wanting to get this man for 12 years.