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Before launching the Gulf War, Bush Sr. claimed that an Iraqi juggernaut was threatening to roll into Saudi Arabia. Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated in mid–September that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key US oil supplier.
The St. Petersburg Times acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time, and found no Iraqi troops were visible near the Saudi border — just empty desert.
After the war, Gen. Colin Powell admitted that there had been no massive build up. A US senior commander told Newsday after the war, "There was a great disinformation campaign surrounding this war."