It quickly became clear there were no such weapons. And then it became clear that the intelligence that such weapons existed was flimsy, to say the least and to be the most charitable to those who produced it and, most importantly, those who used it to invade another country.
More than $700 billion. That's the cost in terms of money for this unpopular war - a war that officially ended today.
There are those who wonder what could have been done with that $700 billion here at home - looking for the weapons of mass destruction we know exist, like our education system, or the lack of health care, or decaying infrastructures, or fill-in-the-blank.
And we can argue whether getting rid of Saddam Hussein was worth all this - the nearly 4,500 American lives, and the estimated 100,000 Iraqi lives.
The misguided and at times deceiving reasons for invading Iraq notwithstanding, this country asked a nearly a million-and-a-half men and women to serve time in Iraq - serve time, and fight and sometimes come back wounded, and at other times not come back at all.
And so as the last of them pack up the U.S. flag and their belongings and start to head home - all of them except for a couple hundred by Christmas - we think of them, and the years they gave up, and the fears they had to conquer, and the families they left behind.
No matter what you think of the war in Iraq - or the ongoing war in Afghanistan - we can all agree that the service members have sacrificed. And so as the war officially ends today, that's what we do. Think of and remember them.
We'll have the last images from Iraq, tonight at 11.
Also at 11, we're back on Long Island's south shore beaches, where there's a bit of a kerfuffle 'tween the authorities who have yet to find the person or persons who has or have killed 10 people.
Today, the Suffolk County District Attorney, Tom Spota, coming out with something of a blockbuster: He thinks there's more than just one killer at Gilgo and Oak beaches.
Now it's not a blockbuster that there are two or more killers. In fact, for the better part of a year, that's what the conventional wisdom has been. In the last couple of weeks, however, the Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Richard Dormer, has come out and said cops think there's just one killer.
Leaving aside the obvious issue of why in the world they haven't caught anyone yet - it's a bit surprising that this disagreement over the basics in the case has now become so public. It's head-scratching stuff. And it also underscores how far behind the curve authorities in Suffolk County seem to be in trying to solve this case.
Can you imagine if there were 10 bodies found in, say, Manhattan? And can you imagine the enormous pressure on cops to find the killer or killers?
I'm just sayin'.
We'll have the latest from the Gilgo Beach serial murder scene, at 11.
And for all those who haven't yet decided whether to get a flu shot - tonight we have some myth-busting advice that might make your decision easier.
We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.
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