Knows The True Reasons He Started A War In Iraq,
But He's Not Going To Tell
By Jason Leopold
23 August, 2005
year, right around the anniversary of 9/11 the Bush administration spins
the public about the reasons 1,864 American soldiers have died fighting
for a lie in Iraq. And every year, its just as crucial that the
media tell the public the truth about the reasons the war was started.
So here goes.
campaign the White House launched last weekend should leave no doubt
that the war in Iraq was hatched well before 9/11 and is part of a broader
strategy to remake the entire Middle East into a so-called Pax Americana,
a blueprint drafted by hardcore neoconservatives years ago that called
for overthrowing Middle East dictators and installing U.S. approved
governments in the region.
likely that the administration will attempt to sell Congress and the
public another war in the near future, the next likely target being
Iran. How else should we interpret the following statement Bush made
in Utah Monday, during a speech he made to Veterans of Foreign Wars?
part of our strategy in the war on terror is to spread the hope of freedom
across the broader Middle East, Bush said.
As public support
for the Iraq war erodes, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney
have taken their propaganda campaign on the road, once again linking
the war in Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in hopes that the administration
can dramatically change perception of the military conflict in Iraq,
even though a half-dozen federal investigations have concluded that
Iraq played no role in 9/11.
In the book The
Price of Loyalty, Bushs former Treasury Secretary, Paul
ONeill said that the Iraq war was planned just days after the
president was sworn into office.
From the very
beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person
and that he needed to go, ONeill said, adding that going
after Saddam Hussein was a priority 10 days after the Bushs inauguration
and eight months before Sept. 11.
From the very
first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change
this regime, Suskind said. Day one, these things were laid
As treasury secretary,
O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He
says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such
as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.
fired from his post for disagreeing with Bushs economic policies.
In typical White House fashion, senior administration officials have
labeled ONeill a disgruntled employee, whose remarks
are laughable and have no basis in reality.
by ONeill that the U.S. and Britain were operating from murky
intelligence during the buildup to war came six days after Bushs
inauguration. It was then that British intelligence communicated to
the CIA, the Pentagon and National Security Adviser Rices office
that an Iraqi defector told British intelligence officials that Saddam
Hussein had two fully operational nuclear bombs, according to two senior
The London Telegraph
reported the defectors claims on Jan. 28, 2001.
to the defector, who cannot be named for security reasons, bombs are
being built in Hemrin in north-eastern Iraq, near the Iranian border,
according to the Telegraph report. The defector said: "There are
at least two nuclear bombs which are ready for use. Before the UN inspectors
came, there were 47 factories involved in the project. Now there are
turned out to be grossly inaccurate but it was cited by Vice President
Dick Cheney during a speech in 2002 as a means to build the case for
allegations that Bush planned an Iraq invasion prior to 9-11 are backed
up by dozens of on-the-record statements and speeches made by the presidents
senior advisers, including Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell
and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, during Bushs first
four months in office.
In dozens of transcripts
posted on the Defense Departments web site between January and
May 2001, months before 9-11, Rumsfeld said the United States needed
to be prepared for surprises, such as launching preemptive wars against
countries like Iraq.
If you think
about it, Dick Cheney's (Secretary of Defense) confirmation hearing
in 1989 -- not one United States senator mentioned a word about Iraq,
Rumsfeld said in a May 25, 2001 interview with PBS NewsHour. The
word "Iraq" was never mentioned in his entire confirmation
hearing. One year later we're at war with Iraq. Now, what does that
tell you? Well, it tells you that you'd best be flexible; you'd best
expect the unexpected.
In fact, Rumsfeld
discusses the above scenario in a half-dozen other interviews in May
2001 and appears to suggest, by specifically mentioning Iraq, that history
would eventually repeat itself.
Responding to a
reporters question on January 26, 2001 about the Bush administrations
policy toward Saddam Husseins regime days after his Senate confirmation
hearing, Rumsfeld said I think that the policy of the country
is that it is not helpful to have Saddam Hussein's regime in office.
In his inaugural
address on January 20, 2001 President Bush also alluded to the possibility
of war, although he did not mention Iraq by name.
We will confront
weapons of mass destruction, so that a new century is spared new horrors,
Bush said. The enemies of liberty and our country should make
We will defend our allies and our interests.
suggests that when the Bush administration took office it was worried
that the U.S. was losing international support for the sanctions it
placed on Iraq ten years earlier leaving the door open to the possibility
that Saddam Hussein would be let out of his proverbial box. President
Bush sent Powell on a trip to the Middle East in late February 2001
to study the situation in Iraq to decide whether the administration
should keep the sanctions in place or whether it should start to lay
the groundwork for a preemptive strike.
But Powell returned
to the U.S. and championed the sanctions saying, Iraq posed absolutely
no threat to the U.S., during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee on March 8, 2001, much to the dismay of Vice President Cheney,
Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, all of whom believed in using
military force to oust Saddam Hussein.
When we took
over on the 20th of January, I discovered that we had an Iraq policy
that was in disarray, and the sanctions part of that policy was not
just in disarray; it was falling apart, Powell said during his
We were losing
support for the sanctions regime that had served so well over the last
ten years, with all of the ups and downs and with all of the difficulties
that are associated that regime, it was falling apart. It had been successful.
Saddam Hussein has not been able to rebuild his army, notwithstanding
claims that he has. He has fewer tanks in his inventory today than he
had 10 years ago. Even though we know he is working on weapons of mass
destruction, we know he has things squirreled away, at the same time
we have not seen that capacity emerge to present a full-fledged threat
is the author of the explosive memoir, News Junkie, to be released in
early 2006 by Process/Feral House Books. Visit Leopold's website at
www.jasonleopold.com for updates.
© 2005 Jason