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Sunday, August 21, 2005 

Trent Lott says Bush set his sights on Iraq soon after 9/11

I had Meet the Press on this morning, as I was waking up, and couldn't believe my ears. Did Trent Lott just admit, in a seemingly off the cuff remark, that President Bush had set his sight on Iraq "not too long after 9/11"? Did he really just say that? As you know, we here at, and many others, have been saying that for quite some time. Now one of the President's closest friends and allies is saying the same thing? (Remember, Lott was not forced to resign from his leadership post until a year after 9/11, in late 2002.)

The full transcript is available already at You can also watch a Windows Media Player video of the exchange here (7.8 MB).

The Senator quickly tried to backpedal, but he clearly over did it. Right after saying "even in private discussions, it was clear to me that he thought Iraq was a destabilizing force, was a danger and a growing danger, and that we were going to have to deal with that problem" Lott turned around and claimed "How can I say what was in his mind?" NBC's David Gregory suggested the obvious answer for him, "Based on your conversations." You know, the conversations where you just said it became "clear to me that he thought Iraq was a destabilizing force, was a danger and a growing danger, and that we were going to have to deal with that problem"? If the President tells you what's on his mind, you don't need ESP to "say what was in his mind." He just told you himself what was in his mind! No telepathy required.

From the Meet the Press transcript:

MR. GREGORY: Let me turn to something that you wrote in your book about Iraq and put it on the screen: "In the summer of 2002...the president began lobbying for an open-ended resolution empowering him to wage war on Iraq.... Bush had made clear his intentions to wage war on Iraq in several of our private meetings."
What are you speaking about precisely, Senator?

SEN. LOTT: Well, beginning in August that year and into the fall--in fact, beginning not too long after 9/11--as we had leadership meetings at breakfast with the president, he would go around the world and talk about what was going on, where the threats were, where the dangers were, and even in private discussions, it was clear to me that he thought Iraq was a destabilizing force, was a danger and a growing danger, and that we were going to have to deal with that problem.

MR. GREGORY: He has described going to war in Iraq as the last resort that was a war of necessity. Are you suggesting here that, in fact, before much of the diplomacy had begun, that the president thought or believed in his mind that war was an inevitability?

SEN. LOTT: How can I say what was in his mind? But I..

MR. GREGORY: Based on your conversations.

SEN. LOTT: I think he was very much concerned about Saddam Hussein and the--what he was doing to his people and to his neighbors and the threat of, you know, weapons of mass destruction.

This isn't the first time Senator Lott has slipped up and revealed his private conversations with the administration. There was also this quote from Fox News Sunday in October 2001, which might be referring to one of those conversations he had with Bush about Iraq "not too long after 9/11." You decide. From the Daily Telegraph:

The Senate Minority Leader, Trent Lott, a Republican, said action against Iraq could follow the military operation against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

He said proposals to strike Iraq, made by senior Washington officials but played down in recent days, had not been entirely abandoned by the Bush administration.

"One adviser that we have met says to remember that revenge is better eaten cold," Mr Lott told Fox News Sunday before the strikes. "In other words, take your time, have a plan, go after your first target, second target.

"Somewhere down the line we're going to have to deal with Iraq. Clearly, they have their own form of terrorism, and they still have Saddam Hussein. So we're going to have to contend with that problem, but probably a little later down the line."

 posted by TopDog08  # 5:50 PM  
Duuuuh! Bush was concerned about Saddam and his WMD's? No shit, Sherlock.
No, Bush was not concerned about WMD's. That's the story Lott fell back too once he started back pedaling. It's elementary, Watson.
With all due respects to Trent Lott, it seems evident from all I've read on the issue and from memory of the time, that der Bush's interest in ousting Saddam predates 9/11 by quite some time! Why all the hub-bub about about the 9/11 date? That Iraq was on the agenda from day one (long before the 2000 coups d'etat the Republicans insist on calling an election) is common knowledge. PNAC wrote about it in the EARLY 90s to Clinton --- and look at who Bush has chosen to surround himself with: Cheney, Rumsfield, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Perle, the list goes on. What do they all have in common? They are all, including W's brother Jeb, PNAC!
Barbra Streisand "outted" PNAC in her statement of November 14, 2005 !

"The Plan To Invade Iraq Before 9/11 ...Barbra Streisand
Posted on November 14, 2005
Last week Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid shut down the Senate. Frustrated, angry and seeking answers, Reid threatened to delay legislative action until the Intelligence Committee followed through on its promised investigation of prewar Iraq intelligence failures. Democrats are demanding answers...and now, so are the American people.

But let's remember... 9/11 and faulty intelligence alone did not lead to the invasion of Iraq. This war was being planned in the minds of some for many years. George Bush's former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill revealed in his book that at one of the very first National Security Council meetings after Bush took office in January 2001 he discussed the notion of invading Iraq and that he seemed desperate to find an excuse for pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein.

Many of Bush's inner circle are members of Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank that promotes an ideology of total U.S. world domination through the use of force. Back in 1998, PNAC sent an open letter to President Clinton urging his administration to implement a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This letter was signed by Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton and Richard Perle. These men, along with fellow PNAC members Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby, were the primary architects of the Iraq war 5 years later. In 2000, PNAC produced a document entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century. The plan outlined how the US should go about taking military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein is in power.

Let's remember some of our recent history with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The United States' relationship with Saddam has been vastly contradictory. In the 1980's, the U.S. heavily supported Saddam against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam was in violation of human rights laws by gassing the Kurds. However, the US turned a blind eye, instead opting to retain a friendly relationship with Saddam in order to access intelligence. The US government furnished Saddam with weapons. We even have pictures documenting Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, shaking hands with Saddam in 1983! In 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait, stating that he believed he had the silent permission to do so by then US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. However, the United States, under George H.W. Bush, responded with Operation Desert Storm to quell the invasion. The same weapons we had given to Saddam to defeat the Iranians a decade earlier, were now being used to kill US soldiers. Although the Persian Gulf War was considered a victory for the United States, ultimately Saddam was not removed from power. This was a tremendous disappointment for the conservative hawks emerging in the Republican party.

Since the Gulf War, there has been a covert but persistent mission by neo-cons to overthrow Saddam Hussein by any means necessary in order to reorganize the Middle East in the name of democracy. However democracy was not the reason Bush gave to the country when he decided to invade was the presence of WMDs, which UN inspectors did not find. Former US top weapons inspector David Kay testified before congress asserting this fact. And Director General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, requested more time from the administration to investigate the weapons claims in Iraq before rushing to war. Those in the Bush inner circle had tremendous influence on his final decision to unilaterally attack Iraq in 2003 without the support of the United Nations and the rest of the world.

The notion of invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam was gaining momentum long before the terrorists attacked on September 11, 2001. Only once America was attacked did Bush and his war mongering neo-con colleagues have the perfect opportunity to utilize faulty intelligence in order to make a case for war and garner the blind support of most of the American public. However, we now know that this war, where thousands of young American soldiers have died, was years in the making. Let's hope that the frustration, anger and determination felt by Democrats and the American public continue to fuel this investigation to uncover the truth. "
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