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|07-05-2001||Boucher: Worldwide Caution in effect until September 22, 2001 - No mention of al Qaeda|
Q: Speaking of the 4th of July, there's a Worldwide Caution out, but a major holiday has passed apparently without incident, I think. Is there any new appraisal of the security situation worldwide you can share with us? I know the Caution is supposed to be in effect until September, I believe.
MR. BOUCHER: The Caution is in effect until September 22nd. It wasn't particularly tied to the 4th of July.
Q: There's extra concern. Usually a major holiday is a time to --
MR. BOUCHER: No, it wasn't -- the 4th of July was not cited in the Caution. We do continue to believe there is an increased risk of terrorist action from extremist groups and recommend that people exercise a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to increase their security. So no, nothing has changed in that. If it should change, we will revise the Caution.State Department Press Briefing, published 07-05-2001
|07-10-2001||Iraq resumes pumping oil after dispute over new UN sanctions|
Iraq has once again begun pumping oil for export after a five-week dispute with the United Nations over international sanctions.
Oil industry sources confirm that Iraqi crude is once again flowing through the pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean. Tankers were standing by to take on the oil and additional ships were expected to also take on Iraqi crude at the Gulf port of Mina-al-Bakr.
Iraq cut off the flow of oil five weeks ago to protest U-S and British plans to revise international sanctions against Baghdad. But Russia blocked the Anglo-American proposal and the U-N Security Council last week voted to simply extend the existing oil-for-food program, under which Iraq exports some two million barrels of oil per day in return for food and other basic goods.Voice of America, published 07-10-2001
|07-18-2001||US State Dept warns for "terrorist actions" for second time in a month |
The US Government has warned that what it calls "terrorist actions" may be imminent against US interests in the Gulf.
It has warned American citizens in the region to remain vigilant.
This is the second such warning by the US State Department in under a month. Last time it was a worldwide alert.
This time the caution is focused on the Arabian peninsula, although the State Department says it has no further information on specific targets, timing or method of attack. BBC News, published 07-18-2001
|07-20-2001||Iraq fires missile into Kuwaiti airspace|
Pentagon officials say a U.S. Navy E-2C "Hawkeye" surveillance aircraft was on routine patrol several miles inside Kuwait near the border with Iraq Thursday, when it observed a plume and then an explosion in the air about a mile away.
Based on the pilot's report, the United States believes Iraq fired a surface-to-air missile at the unarmed plane.CNN - World, published 07-20-2001
|07-21-2001||Iraqi missile 'fired at US plane'|
Iraq apparently fired a surface-to-air missile at a US surveillance plane in Kuwaiti airspace, Pentagon officials have said.
The crew of a Navy E2-C surveillance aircraft flying in Kuwaiti airspace on Thursday reported seeing the plume of a surface-to-air missile apparently fired from inside Iraqi territory, according to a senior defence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.BBC News, published 07-21-2001
|07-26-2001||US plans military response to Iraqi attack on U2 spy plane|
The United States is planning a military response to
Tuesday's attempted shootdown of a U-2 spy plane over Iraq's southern no-fly zone, Pentagon sources told CNN Thursday.
Although the United States bombs Iraqi air defenses on a regular basis, the sources said targets this time will likely include early warning radars Iraq uses to track the high-flying, slow-moving U-2s.
The radar sites, last hit by U.S. and British airplanes in February,have since been rebuilt, along with a fiber optic network linking them, installed with Chinese assistance.CNN - US, published 07-26-2001
|07-29-2001||Rice discusses success of Iraq sanctions|
RICE: Well, in fact, John, we have made progress on the sanctions. We, in fact, had four of the five, of the permanent five, ready to go along with smart sanctions. We'll work with the Russians. I'm sure that we'll come to some resolution there, because it is important to restructure these sanctions to something that work.
But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.
This has been a successful period, but obviously we would like to increase pressure on him, and we're going to go about doing that.CNN - Late Edition, published 07-29-2001
|07-29-2001||Rice: President considers Saddam a threat even though he's been considerably weakened by sanctions |Guest host John King asked Rice about the fact that Iraq had recently fired on US planes enforcing the "no-fly zones" in Iraq. Rice responds:
RICE: Well, the president has made very clear that he considers Saddam Hussein to be a threat to his neighbors, a threat to security in the region, in fact a threat to international security more broadly. And he has reserved the right to respond when that threat becomes one that he wishes no longer to tolerate. I think it's always best not to speculate about the grounds or the circumstances under which one would do that.
But I can be certain of this, and the world can be certain of this: Saddam Hussein is on the radar screen for the administration. The administration is working hard with a number of our friends and allies to have a policy that is broad; that does look at the sanctions as something that should be restructured so that we have smart sanctions that go after the regime, not after the Iraqi people; that does look at the role of opposition in creating an environment and a regime in Baghdad that the people of Iraq deserve, rather than the one that they have; and one that looks at use of military force in a more resolute manner, and not just a manner of tit-for-tat with him every day.
Then King asks her about the sanctions against Iraq. She replies:
RICE: Well, in fact, John, we have made progress on the sanctions. We, in fact, had four of the five, of the permanent five, ready to go along with smart sanctions.
We'll work with the Russians. I'm sure that we'll come to some resolution there, because it is important to restructure these sanctions to something that work.
But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.
This has been a successful period, but obviously we would like to increase pressure on him, and we're going to go about doing that.CNN - Late Edition, published 07-29-2001
|08-01-2001||Two US carriers now in Persian Gulf|
Pentagon sources confirmed Wednesday that a second U.S. aircraft carrier has arrived in the Persian Gulf in what Navy officials describe as a routine rotation.
Sources told CNN the USS Enterprise arrived in the southern Gulf on Wednesday and will soon join the USS Constellation, which is about to end its scheduled tour of duty. ...
Iraq appears to be bracing for an attack. Over the past week it dispersed some missiles, radars and aircraft into a more defensive posture, according to Pentagon sources.
That includes moving some radars near Baghdad above the 33rd parallel, outside the southern no-fly zone where the U.S. bombs with some frequency.
Pentagon officials would not confirm details of the planning, including the scale or timing of an attack.
"We reserve the right to strike targets at a time and a place in a manner of our choosing," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said Tuesday.CNN - US, published 08-01-2001
|08-06-2001||Presidential Daily Briefing: "Bin Ladin determined to strike in US"|
President Bush on Saturday, 10 April 2004, became the first sitting president ever to release publicly even a portion of his Daily Brief from the CIA. The page-and-a-half section of the President's Daily Brief from 6 August 2001, headlined "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US," had generated the most contentious questioning in last week's testimony by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice before the commission investigating the September 11th attacks. Dr. Rice continued to insist that the Brief did not amount to a real warning, while several commissioners seemed to think otherwise.
[keywords: Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, al-Qaida]
See link below to read complete text of PDB.The National Security Archive, published 04-10-2004
|08-07-2001||US planes bomb Iraqi rocket launcher|
The United States on Tuesday bombed an Iraqi multiple rocket launcher in northern Iraq in what Pentagon officials said was an immediate response to a provocation.
Sources said on Saturday that an Iraqi MiG-23 flew some 60 miles into the southern no-fly zone, near where a U.S. predator unmanned aerial vehicle was conducting surveillance.CNN - World, published 08-07-2001
|08-07-2001||Bush: "Saddam Hussein is a menace, he's still a menace and we need to keep him in check, and will."|
Q: Also today, apparently the Iraqis fired upon some allied planes in the no-fly zone and we bombed, apparently, some of the sites there. What do you have on that?
THE PRESIDENT: I've been briefed on it. As you know, our military can make decisions as they see fit to protect our pilots -- unless, of course, it's close to Baghdad, in which case it requires my approval. The missions that took place were fully in accordance with established allied war plans.
As I said, Saddam Hussein is a menace, he's still a menace and we need to keep him in check, and will.
Q: Are they ratcheting it up, though? We've had a lot of incidents lately.
THE PRESIDENT: No -- are they, the Iraqis? He's been a menace forever, and we will do -- he needs to open his country up for inspection, so we can see whether or not he's developing weapons of mass destruction.Remarks by the President to the Press Pool, published 08-07-2001
|08-07-2001||Boucher: Continue pressure on Taliban to render bin Laden and try to bring him to justice|
QUESTION: Can we go forward with this embassy bombing? Does the United States intend to take any further action to apprehend people who you feel were responsible for this in any way in Afghanistan?
MR. BOUCHER: We intend to continue our efforts, along with the rest of the international community, to isolate, to pressure, to seek justice. As you know, the UN resolutions on Afghanistan, on the Taliban, have effectively isolated them in many ways and pressured them to render Usama bin Laden and other terrorists to places where they can be brought to justice. We will continue to pursue that path, along with other members of the international community, and we will continue to pursue the investigative paths as well, working with our agencies that investigate and working also with the international community to identify people who are responsible and try to bring them to justice.
QUESTION: Assistant Secretary Rocca met with a Taliban official in Islamabad recently. Was there any sign that the Taliban is interested in helping in any way with this bringing to justice of these people?
MR. BOUCHER: I am not going to speak for the Taliban. So it will be up to them to indicate whether there is any sign. Certainly our view has not changed, that they need to do this and we have not seen them do it.State Department Press Briefing, published 08-07-2001
|08-10-2001||US warplanes launch a major strike against Iraq |
"WASHINGTON - US and British warplanes launched a major strike Friday against three air-defense sites in southern Iraq Friday in response to recent attacks on coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone, Pentagon officials said.
About 50 aircraft -- including tankers and other support aircraft -- participated in the raid, the largest since February. All returned safely, a Pentagon official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said the raid was in response to "recent increases in air defense firings against coalition aircraft," and targets included "two communications nodes and surface-to-air missile sites."
[Original web page no longer available]Agence France Presse, published 08-10-2001
|08-14-2001||US planes strike Iraq in new attack|
US planes have carried out a new air strike on a surface-to-air missile site in southern Iraq, the US Department of Defense says.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the aircraft targeted a radar installation which was a key part of Iraq's air defence system
Four days ago dozens of US and British planes carried out the heaviest raids against Iraq by coalition forces for six months. One person was killed in the strikes on air defence sites.BBC News, published 08-14-2001
|08-17-2001||Energy Dept concludes Iraqi aluminum tubes could not be used for nuclear enrichment centrifuge|
After Senior Bush official receive information from the CIA that Iraq planned on buying 60,000 high-strength 7075-T6 aluminum tubes to use in uraniun enrichment, the Energy Dept. debunks the notion.
In a report on the tubes, they set forth numerous reasons why the tubes are ill-suited for the job and could not be used in that application.
[Original NY Times article for a fee
.]New York Times, published 10-03-2004
|08-27-2001||Iraq downs US spy plane|
Iraq says it shot down a US reconnaissance aircraft flying over the south of the country on Monday, while the Pentagon admits that one of its unmanned Predator planes is missing.
Iraqi State television broadcast pictures of what it said was the mangled wreckage of the plane with American markings.BBC News, published 08-28-2001
|08-29-2001||Iraqi National Congress (INC) sets up US funded satellite TV station |
SUMMARY: INC [Iraq National Congress] starts beaming satellite television propaganda programs into Iraq using funds provided by the U.S. Congress. The station is headquartered in Washington DC, with a “large production bureau” in London. The INC produces these programs with the help of a contract from Lockheed Martin Corp.CNS News, published 08-29-2001
|08-30-2001||Iraq confirms Western jets destroyed Basra radar|
Iraq confirmed on Friday that Western warplanes had attacked the radar of Basra airport and said the station was destroyed.
U.S. defence officials said on Thursday that F-16 warplanes attacked "a military radar" as part of a concerted strategy to destroy Baghdad's air defences, which regularly fire at Western warplanes policing two "no-fly" zones in northern and southern Iraq.
It was the third such strike against Iraqi air defences in six days.US Bombing Watch, published 08-31-2001
|09-2001||Decision for invasion of Iraq was reached with surprising speed|
Whether Saddam was involved in the attacks on Sept. 11 — and the evidence on that is still unclear — wasn't the central question. Instead, within days after the attacks on New York and Washington one year ago, the president and his top aides turned their sights on Baghdad as the biggest future threat to a nation that suddenly seemed all-too-vulnerable to terrorists and international outlaws.
Despite the high stakes, the decision was reached with surprising speed. The policy would take longer to unveil than to devise; Bush would suggest his intentions in January with a State of the Union speech that labeled Iraq part of an "axis of evil."US State Department, published 09-10-2002
|09-04-2001||Feith: Iraq serious threat, pursuing WMD|
FEITH: What I would say, though, is we note that the Saddam Hussein regime is continuing to pursue weapons of mass destruction and missile capabilities. It continues to pose a threat to neighboring states. It is engaged in subversive activities throughout the region. It's working to aggravate our Israeli problems, for example. And it's seeking to undo the no-fly zone policy by continually attacking the coalition aircraft. The Saddam Hussein regime is a serious threat to its neighbors and the well being of its own people, and we will be taking all of this into account. That's all I want to say at the moment.Dept of Defense Press Conference, published 09-04-2001
|09-09-2001||Rumsfeld: Iraq is outlaw regime working to increase WMD capabilities|
SNOW: There are reports now that Iraq is reconstituting its military manufacturing capabilities. Is it time for the allies to step up efforts against Iraq, and would it be legitimate to go after those manufacturing facilities?
RUMSFELD: Well, that's a call for the president and the coalition partners as to at what point it would be appropriate. But you're quite right. There's no question but that Saddam Hussein and that regime is an outlaw regime.
They have an appetite to impose their will on their neighbors. They have an appetite for weapons of mass destruction. They have been, every period since they've been able to get the inspectors out of there, working diligently to increase their capabilities in every aspect of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technology.
And as they get somewhat stronger, the problem becomes somewhat greater.Fox News Sunday, published 09-09-2001
|09-10-2001||Powell - Designates the AUC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization|
I have decided to designate the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, commonly known as the AUC, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under U.S. law. ...
The AUC has carried out numerous acts of terrorism, including the massacre of hundreds of civilians, the forced displacement of entire villages, and the kidnapping of political figures to force recognition of AUC demands. Last year, AUC members reportedly committed at least 75 massacres that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Many of these massacres were designed to terrorize and intimidate local populations so the AUC could gain control of those areas. The AUC has also committed hundreds of kidnappings, including the abduction of seven Colombian congressional representatives in November of last year.
The AUC now joins 30 other groups, which include two other Colombian groups, the FARC and the ELN, on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations designated under U.S. law. Beyond the legal ramifications of this decision, I hope this will leave no doubt that the United States considers terrorism to be unacceptable, regardless of the political or ideological purpose. Tomorrow, the United States will join the other states in this hemisphere in pledging our full support for democracy in this hemisphere. We also stand with the Government of Colombia against the threats to its democracy from these terrorist groups.State Department Announcement, published 09-10-2001
|09-11-2001||Second US spy plane shot down by Iraq in less than a month|
A second unmanned US spy plane has been downed by Iraq in less than a month, Baghdad said yesterday, following American reports that Iraq was beefing up its ability to strike US and British aircraft patrolling no-fly zones over Iraq's north and south.
A US military spokesman said a plane was missing and its loss was being investigated.Boston Globe, published 09-12-2001
|09-11-2001||2:40 p.m. Rumsfeld tells aides to start thinking about Iraq |
According to notes taken by aides who were with Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on Sept. 11 – "With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." – meaning Saddam Hussein – "at same time. Not only UBL" – the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.CBS News, published 09-04-2002
|09-11-2001||General Wesley Clark says WH pressured him to blame Iraq for 9/11|
Wesley Clark told anchor Tim Russert that Bush administration officials had engaged in a campaign to implicate Saddam Hussein in the September 11 attacks-- starting that very day. Clark said that he'd been called on September 11 and urged to link Baghdad to the terror attacks, but declined to do so because of a lack of evidence.
CLARK: "There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein."
RUSSERT: "By who? Who did that?"
CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence."NBC - Meet the Press, published 06-15-2003
|09-11-2001||Richard Perle: 9/11 attacks linked to "one or more large governments"|
"This could not have been done without help of one or more governments," Perle told The Washington Post on Sep. 11. "Someone taught these suicide bombers how to fly large airplanes. I don't think that can be done without the assistance of large governments."
[Second source for same article
.]Inter Press Service, published 07-16-2003
|09-11-2001||Key Officials, Woolsey and Kristol used 9/11 as Pretext for Iraq War|
”[I]t's not impossible that terrorist groups could work together with the government...the Iraqi government has been quite closely involved with a number of Sunni terrorist groups and -- on some matters -- has had direct contact with (Osama) bin Laden,” [Woolsey] told one anchorman in a series of at least half a dozen national television appearances on Sep. 11 and 12.
That same evening, Kristol echoed Woolsey on National Public Radio. ”I think Iraq is, actually, the big, unspoken sort of elephant in the room today. There's a fair amount of evidence that Iraq has had very close associations with Osama bin Laden in the past, a lot of evidence that it had associations with the previous effort to destroy the World Trade Center (in 1993).
[Second source for same article
.]Inter Press Service, published 07-15-2003
|09-11-2001||Bush wonders immediately after the attack if Saddam was involved|
President Bush had wondered immediately after the attack whether Saddam Hussein's regime might have had a hand in it. Iraq had been an enemy of the United States for 11 years, and was the only place in the world where the United States was engaged in ongoing combat operations. As a former pilot, the President was struck by the apparent sophistication of the operation and some of the piloting, especially Hanjour's high-speed dive into the Pentagon. He told us he recalled Iraqi support for Palestinian suicide terrorists as well. Speculating about other possible states that could be involved, the President told us he also thought about Iran.9/11 Commission Report, published 07-22-2004
|09-11-2001||Rumsfeld wonders aloud at NSC meeting how much evidence is needed to go after Iraq or others|
Secretary Rumsfeld urged the President and the principals to think broadly about who might have harbored the attackers, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, and Iran. He wondered aloud how much evidence the United States would need in order to deal with these countries, pointing out that major strikes could take up to 60 days to assemble.9/11 Commission Report, published 07-22-2004
|09-12-2001||Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror|
I expected to go back to a round of meetings [after September 11] examining what the next attacks could be, what our vulnerabilities were, what we could do about them in the short term. Instead, I walked into a series of discussions about Iraq. At first I was incredulous that we were talking about something other than getting Al Qaeda. Then I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq.
. . .On September 12th, I left the video conferencing center and there, wandering alone around the situation room, was the president. He looked like he wanted something to do. He grabbed a few of us and closed the door to the conference room. "Look," he told us, "I know you have a lot to do and all, but I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way."
I was once again taken aback, incredulous, and it showed. "But, Mr. President, Al Qaeda did this."
"I know, I know, but - see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred..."Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies, p. 30, published 03-01-2004
|09-12-2001||Bush wonders if Saddam Hussein had a hand in the 9/11 attack|
President Bush had wondered immediately after the attack whether Saddam Hussein's regime might have had a hand in it.
. . .Responding to a presidential tasking, [Richard] Clarke's office sent a memo to Rice on September 18, titled "Survey of Intelligence Information on Any Iraq Involvement in the September 11 Attacks."
. . .The memo found no "compelling case that Iraq had either planned or perpetrated the attacks. . .” Finally, the memo said, there was no confirmed reporting on Saddam cooperating with Bin Ladin on unconventional weapons.
. . .According to Rice, the issue of what, if anything, to do about Iraq was really engaged at Camp David. Briefing papers on Iraq, along with many others, were in briefing materials for the participants. Rice told us the administration was concerned that Iraq would take advantage of the 9/11 attacks. She recalled that in the first Camp David session chaired by the President, Rumsfeld asked what the administration should do about Iraq. Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz made the case for striking Iraq during "this round" of the war on terrorism.9/11 Commission Report, published 08-21-2004
|09-12-2001||Rumsfeld: Iraq has better targets than Afghanistan|
|09-13-2001||Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz: "It has to be a broad and sustained campaign"|
Q: The president had said that the United States intends to find those who are responsible for these attacks and hold them accountable. But he and others, including you today, have also spoken about a much broader campaign that would seem to go beyond, in terms of targets, beyond those that may have been responsible for this particular attack. How should we look at that?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, I think the president's words are pretty good, so let me say, these people try to hide, but they won't be able to hide forever. They think their harbors are safe, but they won't be safe forever. I think one has to say it's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism. And that's why it has to be a broad and sustained campaign. It's not going to stop if a few criminals are taken care of.Dept of Defense News Briefing, published 09-13-2001
|09-13-2001||Woolsey: Investigators should consider the possibility the attacks were ordered by Saddam Hussein|
In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's attacks, attention has focused on terrorist chieftain Osama bin Laden. And he may well be responsible. But intelligence and law enforcement officials investigating the case would do well to at least consider another possibility: that the attacks--whether perpetrated by bin Laden and his associates or by others--were sponsored, supported, and perhaps even ordered by Saddam Hussein.
To this end, investigators should revisit the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. A few years ago, the facts in that case seemed straightforward: The mastermind behind the bombing, who went by the alias Ramzi Yousef, was in fact a 27-year-old Pakistani named Abdul Basit.
But late last year, AEI Press published "Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America," a careful book about the bombing by AEI scholar Laurie Mylroie. The book's startling thesis is that the original theory of the attack, advanced by James Fox (the FBI's chief investigator into the 1993 bombing until his replacement in 1994) was correct: that Yousef was not Abdul Basit but rather an Iraqi agent who had assumed the latter's identity when police files in Kuwait (where the real Abdul Basit lived in 1990) were doctored by Iraqi intelligence during the occupation of Kuwait. If Mylroie and Fox (who died in 1997) are right, then it was Iraq that went after the World Trade Center last time. Which makes it much more plausible that Iraq has done so again. The Telegraph, published 09-13-2001
|09-15-2001||Bush tells Perle that "Once Afghanistan has been dealt with, it would be Iraq's turn"|
Saturday, September 15, President Bush gathered his closest advisers at Camp David to discuss the shape of the coming war. Much of their discussion dealt with Afghanistan. But during a session that morning, according to Bob Woodward's 2002 book, Bush at War
, Wolfowitz advocated an attack on Iraq, perhaps even before an attack on Afghanistan. There was a 10 to 50 percent chance that Iraq had been involved in 9/11, he argued, concluding that Saddam's "brittle, oppressive regime" might succumb easily to an American attack--in contrast to the difficulties involved in prosecuting war in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Sitting across the table, Colin Powell was appalled. To attack Iraq without clear evidence of Saddam's involvement in September 11 would drive America's allies away, he argued. Much better to go after bin Laden's obvious state sponsor, the Taliban. If that went well, it would only enhance America's ability to oust Saddam later. In front of his advisers at Camp David, and in later interviews, Bush indicated that he supported Powell's argument. During the lunch break, the president sent a message to Wolfowitz and the other neocons, indicating that he did not wish to hear any more about Iraq that day. But, according to Richard Perle, Wolfowitz had planted a seed. Bush told Perle at Camp David that once Afghanistan had been dealt with, it would be Iraq's turn.Vanity Fair, published 05-2004
|09-15-2001||Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz - Containing Saddam wasn't enough. Saddam a threat greater than bin Laden|
Wolfowitz argued the threat Saddam posed to the United States dwarfed that of bin Laden. The Iraqi dictator already had used poison gas against his own people. International weapons inspections, promised in the wake of the Gulf War, had collapsed almost three years earlier. Who knew what dangerous weapons he might have on hand by now?
Rumsfeld agreed. He had concluded before Sept. 11 that the policy toward Iraq was failing. After the attacks, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz had a visceral reaction that containing Saddam was no longer enough, regardless of whether he was implicated this time. "They decided, 'We've got to do something about this,' " an adviser to the two men says.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|09-16-2001||Cheney: Saddam contained, no evidence of connection to 9/11|
VICE PRES. CHENEY: There is--in the past, there have been some activities related to terrorism by Saddam Hussein. But at this stage, you know, the focus is over here on al-Qaida and the most recent events in New York. Saddam Hussein's bottled up [contained], at this point, but clearly, we continue to have a fairly tough policy where the Iraqis are concerned.
MR. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation [9/11]?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.NBC - Meet the Press, published 09-16-2001
|09-16-2001||Wolfowitz: 9/11 created opportunity to attack Iraq|
Wolfowitz argued (at the Camp David meeting) that the real source of all the trouble and terrorism was probably Hussein. The terrorist attacks of Sept 11 created an opportunity to strike. Now, Rumsfeld asked again: "Is this the time to attack Iraq”?
”Powell objected”, the Woodward and Balz account continued, citing Secretary of State Colin Powell's argument that U.S. allies would not support a strike on Iraq. ”If you get something pinning Sept 11 on Iraq, great”, Powell is quoted as saying. But let's get Afghanistan now. If we do that, we will have increased our ability to go after Iraq -- if we can prove Iraq had a role”.
Upon their return to Washington, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz convened a secret, two-day meeting of the DPB [Defense Policy Board] chaired by Perle. Instead of focusing on the first steps in carrying out a ”war on terrorism”, however, the discussions centered on how Washington could use 9/11 to strike at Iraq, according to an account in the Wall Street Journal. Unlike Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the opposition Iraqi National Congress (INC), neither the State Department nor the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was invited to participate in the meeting.
After those deliberations concluded, however, Woolsey was sent -- it remains unclear under whose authority -- to London to collect evidence of any possible ties between Baghdad and al Qaeda.
[Second source for same article
.]Inter Press Service, published 07-16-2003
|09-16-2001||Bush to Rice: "We won't do Iraq now...But it's a question we're gonna have to return to"|
Woodward reports that just five days after Sept. 11, President Bush indicated to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that while he had to do Afghanistan first, he was also determined to do something about Saddam Hussein.
”There's some pressure to go after Saddam Hussein. Don Rumsfeld has said, ‘This is an opportunity to take out Saddam Hussein, perhaps. We should consider it.’ And the president says to Condi Rice meeting head to head, ‘We won't do Iraq now.’ But it is a question we're gonna have to return to,’” says Woodward.CBS - 60 Minutes, published 04-18-2004
|09-17-2001||Bush authorizes Pentagon to begin planning military options for Iraq invasion|
On Sept. 17, 2001, six days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush signed a 2½-page document marked "TOP SECRET" that outlined the plan for going to war in Afghanistan as part of a global campaign against terrorism.
Almost as a footnote, the document also directed the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq, senior administration officials said....
The Pentagon, while it was fighting the war in Afghanistan, began reviewing its plans for Iraq because of the secret presidential directive on Sept. 17. On Sept. 19 and 20, an advisory group known as the Defense Policy Board met at the Pentagon -- with Rumsfeld in attendance -- and animatedly discussed the importance of ousting Hussein.Washington Post, published 01-12-2003
|09-17-2001||US military imposes news blackout in Gulf |
The U.S. navy in the Gulf declined to disclose any information about military forces or naval movements in the area yesterday and usually informative Pentagon websites were shut down or "under repair" for security reasons.
Five days after the attacks on the United States, the rumour mill was buzzing with vague reports of reinforcements arriving for a military strike. Crew members of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its battle group, cruising somewhere in the Gulf, were under a news blackout.Reuters, published 09-17-2001
|09-18-2001||Chalabi meets with Rumsfeld at the Pentagon after CIA briefing|
They met in Rumsfeld's conference room. After a CIA briefing on the 9/11 attacks, Perle introduced two guest speakers. The first was Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, a longtime associate of Cheney's and Wolfowitz's. Lewis told the meeting that America must respond to 9/11 with a show of strength: to do otherwise would be taken in the Islamic world as a sign of weakness--one it would be bound to exploit. At the same time, he said, America should support democratic reformers in the Middle East. "Such as," he said, turning to the second of Perle's guest speakers, "my friend here, Dr. Chalabi."Vanity Fair, published 05-01-2004
|09-18-2001||British warplanes strike Baghdad's air defenses in southern Iraq |
British warplanes yesterday attacked an anti-aircraft artillery site in southern Iraq as part of an effort to disable Baghdad's air defences, U.S. and British officials said. U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters the incident was not linked to last week's coordinated attacks on the Pentagon in Washington and the World Trade Center buildings in New York.
"The action by coalition forces in Iraq were part of a very normal pattern that has been underway throughout the time I have been in the department and before," Rumsfeld told a news briefing. He said Iraqi government forces continued to fire at British and U.S. aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones in Iraq and to move air defence capabilities in those areas.
"We intend to keep taking action against those capabilities," he said. "And that's what is taking place." The British attack was the latest in a flurry of raids by American and British jets since Aug. 25 in response to increasing attempts by the Iraqi military to shoot down planes that have been patrolling the no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq for a decade.Reuters, published 09-19-2001
|09-18-2001||British troops in Gulf could be redeployed "but it has nothing to do with recent events."|
Around 20,000 British troops on planned exercises in the Middle East could be deployed if needed in a military response to last week's terror attacks on the United States, defence sources said yesterday.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman told Reuters the troops, part of a naval task force of 27 ships led by the carrier HMS Illustrious, will be participating in a joint exercise with Omani forces during October which had been planned for months.
"There is a big deployment of the troops but it has nothing to do with the recent events. It is quite credible to say if events were to escalate that the forces are in the right place but it is all hypothetical at this stage," he said.Reuters, published 09-18-2001
|09-18-2001||UK Tornado aircraft prepare for Gulf exercise|
London, Sept 18 (KUNA) -- Tornado aircraft from Britain are this weekend to head for the Arabian Gulf to play their part in a major military exercise between the UK and the Sultanate of Oman, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) said Tuesday. The mission is not linked to any possible action against terrorists in the region and had been planned months ago, it said.Kuwait News Agency, published 09-18-2001
|09-18-2001||Clarke's office reports to Bush that only some anecdotal evidence links Iraq and al Qaeda|
Responding to a presidential tasking, Clarke's office sent a memo to Rice on September 18, titled "Survey of Intelligence Information on Any Iraq Involvement in the September 11 Attacks."
Rice's chief staffer on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, concurred in its conclusion that only some anecdotal evidence linked Iraq to al Qaeda. The memo found no "compelling case" that Iraq had either planned or perpetrated the attacks. It passed along a few foreign intelligence reports, including the Czech report alleging an April 2001 Prague meeting between Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer (discussed in chapter 7) and a Polish report that personnel at the headquarters of Iraqi intelligence in Baghdad were told before September 11 to go on the streets to gauge crowd reaction to an unspecified event. Arguing that the case for links between Iraq and al Qaeda was weak, the memo pointed out that Bin Ladin resented the secularism of Saddam Hussein's regime.
Finally, the memo said, there was no confirmed reporting on Saddam cooperating with Bin Ladin on unconventional weapons.9/11 Commission Report, published 07-22-2004
|09-19-2001||Defense Policy Board meets: Main topic was Iraq |
On Sept. 19 and 20, the Defense Policy Board, a prestigious bipartisan board of national security experts that advises the Pentagon, met for 19 hours to discuss the ramifications of the attacks of Sept. 11. The members of the group agreed on the need to turn to Iraq as soon as the initial phase of the war against Afghanistan and Mr. bin Laden and his organization is over, people familiar with the meetings said. Both Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Mr. Wolfowitz took part in the meetings for part of both days.
But while the group agreed on the goal of ousting Mr. Hussein, they presented a range of views, including a discussion of the many political and diplomatic obstacles to military action.
[Original web page requires paid subscription
[original article: "Some Pentagon Officials and Advisers Seek to Oust Iraq's Leader in War's Next Phase" By Elaine Sciolino and Patrick E. Tyler, New York Times, Oct. 12-2001]New York Times, published 10-12-2001
|09-19-2001||Defense Policy Board meets in Pentagon - Chalabi: Saddam's ouster should be top priority|
The smell of smoke still permeated the Pentagon when the Defense Policy Board, an advisory group of former top officials and outside experts, gathered in a conference room adjacent to Rumsfeld's office. The meeting to discuss Iraq had been scheduled before the Sept. 11 attacks. Now the topic took on new urgency. The group was joined by Mideast historian and author Bernard Lewis and by Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella group of those opposed to Saddam.
Thirty or so people met in the conference room; Rumsfeld dropped in for some of their discussions. During the board's private deliberations, Chalabi and others toured the wreckage in the building.
Chalabi argued that Saddam's ouster should be a top priority for the Bush administration, reminding the group that Saddam's ties to terrorism were decades old. Lewis, a professor emeritus at Princeton University, admonished the group to consider how much worse the devastation could have been on Sept. 11 if the terrorists had used a weapon of mass destruction — weapons like those Iraq was said to have on hand or under development.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|09-19-2001||Bush: "First things first" - There was time to lay out the case of a nuclear threat from Iraq|
At the White House, aides were putting the final touches on the speech Bush would deliver the next day to a joint session of Congress. The president considered whether to mention the risk that terrorists might be able to obtain nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction from a rogue regime such as Iraq. [...]
"Frankly, the president decided it would be too much, it would be too much at the moment for our country," a senior administration official says. "We were nine days after this terrible attack. There was time to lay out that case."
The speech on Sept. 20 would make only a passing reference to Iraq. Cheney told Wolfowitz to stop agitating for targeting Saddam.
But that goal was only being delayed, Cheney assured him, not rejected. "First things first," Bush told aides.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|09-20-2001||AEI's David Wurmser suggests attacking a "non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq"|
Days after 9/11, a senior Pentagon official lamented the lack of good targets in Afghanistan and proposed instead U.S. military attacks in South America or Southeast Asia as "a surprise to the terrorists," according to a footnote in the recent 9/11 Commission Report. The unsigned top-secret memo, which the panel's report said appears to have been written by Defense Under Secretary Douglas Feith, is one of several Pentagon documents uncovered by the commission which advance unorthodox ideas for the war on terror. The memo suggested "hitting targets outside the Middle East in the initial offensive" or a "non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq," the panel's report states. U.S. attacks in Latin America and Southeast Asia were portrayed as a way to catch the terrorists off guard when they were expecting an assault on Afghanistan.
The memo's content, NEWSWEEK has learned, was in part the product of ideas from a two-man secret Pentagon intelligence unit appointed by Feith after 9/11: veteran defense analyst Michael Maloof and Mideast expert David Wurmser, now a top foreign-policy aide to Dick Cheney. Maloof and Wurmser saw links between international terror groups that the CIA and other intelligence agencies dismissed. They argued that an attack on terrorists in South America—for example, a remote region on the border of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where intelligence reports said Iranian-backed Hizbullah had a presence—would have ripple effects on other terrorist operations. The proposals were floated to top foreign-policy advisers. But White House officials stress they were regarded warily and never adopted.
[Footnote in question is number 75 for Chapter 10.
[Despite their description of Iraq as a "non-Al Qaeda target", Feith soon hired the pair to look for any possible links between Iraq and al Qaeda.
]Newsweek, published 08-09-2004
|09-20-2001||Rear Admiral Craig Quigley: Saddam supports terrorism|
SMITH: Is the U.S. concerned at this point, Saddam Hussein and Iraq, that there's been no -- he hasn't condemned the violence of last week, the terrorist attacks specifically. Are we concerned at this point? Are we targeting Iraq?
QUIGLEY: Iraq and Saddam Hussein specifically, and I must make a huge distinction between the people of Iraq and Saddam Hussein and his cronies. Saddam has an incredible track record of supporting terrorism in a wide variety of places around the world. That is the very exact definition of behavior that we want to halt in order to dry up support for the organizations.Dept of Defense - Interview with USA News, published 09-20-2001
|09-20-2001||PNAC letter to Bush: Iraq regime change even if not linked to 9/11|
"It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.” PNAC Letter to President Bush, published 09-20-2001
|09-20-2001||Bush and Blair made secret pact for Iraq war |
President George Bush first asked Tony Blair to support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power at a private White House dinner nine days after the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001.
According to Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador to Washington, who was at the dinner, Blair told Bush he should not get distracted from the war on terror's initial goal - dealing with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Bush, claims Meyer, replied by saying: 'I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.' Regime change was already US policy.
It was clear, Meyer says, 'that when we did come back to Iraq it wouldn't be to discuss smarter sanctions'.The Guardian, published 04-04-2004
|09-20-2001||Douglas Feith: "A War Plan That Cast a Wide Net"|
In that memo, as the report's footnote says: "[T]he author expressed disappointment at the limited options immediately available in Afghanistan and the lack of ground options. The author suggested instead hitting terrorists outside the Middle East in the initial offensive, perhaps deliberately selecting a non-al Qaeda target like Iraq. Since U.S. attacks were expected in Afghanistan, an American attack in South America or Southeast Asia might be a surprise to the terrorists."
My draft memo took up points made by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a memo he wrote the previous day to Gen. Hugh Shelton, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that said initial U.S. war plans should emphasize, among other things, the worldwide nature of the conflict. ...
Going to war against terrorism meant going to war against this network. Obviously, those most directly responsible for Sept. 11 -- we soon understood them to be the al Qaeda group based in Afghanistan -- were primary targets. But that did not necessarily mean that attacking al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan had to be the first order of business. The timing and nature of U.S. military and other actions had to be designed to serve U.S. strategic purposes and to take into account what we could or could not expect to achieve militarily.Washington Post, published 08-07-2004
|09-20-2001||Bush: war on terror doesn't end with al Qaeda|
|09-23-2001||Powell says US will share evidence against Osama bin Laden|
Washington -- Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States will share evidence it has gathered linking accused terrorist Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, al-Qaida, to the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington that killed thousands.
"In the new (sic) future we will be able to put out a document linking him to this attack," Powell said September 23 on NBC's "Meet the Press."
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, on Fox's "News Sunday," said "we are going to make a case" against bin Laden and his terrorist network. "We have very good evidence of links between known Osama bin Laden al-Qaida operatives and what happened on September 11th," she said.
And, she continued, the United States will be laying out its case just as was done after bin Laden's network bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa, killing hundreds. She added, however, that many of the countries the United States will present with its findings are actively engaged in helping build the case.State Dept - Washington File, published 09-23-2001
|09-25-2001||Justice Department secret memo approves legality of pre-emptive war|
Just two weeks after the September 11 attacks, a secret memo to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales' office concluded that President Bush had the power to deploy military force "preemptively" against any terrorist groups or countries that supported them -- regardless of whether they had any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Towers or the Pentagon.
The memo, written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, argues that there are effectively "no limits" on the president's authority to wage war -- a sweeping assertion of executive power that some constitutional scholars say goes considerably beyond any that had previously been articulated by the department.
[Additional source for same article here
.]Newsweek, published 12-18-2004
|09-25-2001||Justice Dept Paper: President has Constitutional authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists and Nations Supporting Them”|
[W]e think it beyond question that the President has the plenary constitutional power to take such military actions as he deems necessary and appropriate to respond to the terrorist attacks upon the United States on September 11, 2001. Force can be used both to retaliate for those attacks, and to prevent and deter future assaults on the Nation. Military actions need not be limited to those individuals, groups, or states that participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon: the Constitution vests the President with the power to strike terrorist groups or organizations that cannot be demonstrably linked to the September 11 incidents, but that, nonetheless, pose a similar threat to the security of the United States and the lives of its people, whether at home or overseas.Deputy Assistant Attorney General John C. Yoo, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, published 09-25-2001
|10-2001||Rumsfeld sets up own intelligence unit on Iraq|
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his senior advisers have assigned a small intelligence unit to search for information on Iraq's hostile intentions or links to terrorists that the nation's spy agencies may have overlooked, Pentagon officials said today.
The four- to five-person intelligence team was established by Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy and another strong advocate for military action against Mr. [Saddam] Hussein. It was formed not long after the Sept. 11 attacks to take on special assignments in the global war on terror.New York Times, published 10-24-2002
|10-2001||Iraqi ties to terrorism focus of President and NSC|
Officials close to the president portray the Iraq decision as a natural outgrowth of concerns Bush raised during the presidential campaign, and they say he very quickly decided he needed to challenge Iraq after the terrorist attacks.
But he didn't publicly raise it earlier because, in the words of one senior official, "he didn't think the country could handle the shock of 9/11 and a lot of talk about dealing with states that had weapons of mass destruction."
In free-wheeling meetings of the "principals" during October and November, Rumsfeld and Cheney emphasized their suspicions of ties between rogue states, such as Iraq, and terrorists. Some of the conversations were prompted by intelligence, later discounted, that al Qaeda may have been on the verge of obtaining a "dirty bomb" that would spread radioactive material.Washington Post, published 01-12-2003
|10-2001||Feith hires Wurmser to start Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group|
Mr. Feith created his team a few weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks to study links between terrorist groups and potential state sponsors around the world. Mr. Maloof and his colleague, David Wurmser began work in October 2001 in a 15-by-15-foot space on the third floor of the Pentagon. The pair spent their days reading raw intelligence reports, many from the Central Intelligence Agency, in the Pentagon's classified computer system.
"We began to pull together a mosaic," Mr. Maloof said....
Each week, they would brief Stephen A. Cambone, then Mr. Feith's principal deputy. By November 2001, as the Bush administration began war planning for Iraq, the unit had produced a slide presentation that they were told would be used by Mr. Rumsfeld in a NATO meeting.New York Times, published 04-27-2004
|10-2001||Woolsey in London, sent by Wolfowitz to investigate Iraqi link to 9/11|
Senior Pentagon officials who want to expand the war against terrorism to Iraq authorized a trip to Great Britain last month by former CIA director James Woolsey in search of evidence that Saddam Hussein played a role in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. officials told Knight Ridder.
. . . The one-time CIA chief acted with the blessing of senior Pentagon officials, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Under Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith, current and former U.S. officials said.
. . . A U.S. official who asked that neither his name nor his agency be identified said Woolsey traveled to Britain on a U.S. government plane in the weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks, accompanied by a team of Justice and Defense Department officials. The former intelligence chief was seeking proof that the man who planned the first attack on the World Trade Center, who lived in England in the late 1980s, was an Iraqi agent, officials said.
Wolfowitz and several other officials have argued repeatedly in interagency meetings that the United States should bomb Iraq and topple Hussein after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Knight Ridder, published 10-11-2001
|10-2001||While in London, Woolsey meets with INC [Iraqi National Congress] leaders|
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former CIA Director James Woosley says Iraq likely was involved in the attacks of Sept. 11 and that the United States will probably confront President Saddam Hussein as part of its ongoing campaign against terrorism. ...
Iraqi National Congress officials met with Woolsey in London several weeks ago, group spokesman Sharif Ali Bin Al Hussein said in Washington.
Al Hussein, who sits on the INC leadership council, said he was not at the meeting and did not know what had been discussed. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported Saturday that the two sides talked about alleged links between the Iraqi government and the attacks.
U.S. officials have blamed the attacks the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, saying they have no hard evidence of an Iraqi role.
Woolsey said he visited the British capital and met with the U.S. ambassador shortly after the attacks. He denied meeting with the INC in London, but said he has met with them on numerous occasions and that his law firm represents them. Associated Press, published 10-23-2001
|10-2001||Lott: It became clear Bush was going after Iraq "beginning not too long after 9/11"|
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..NBC - Meet the Press, published 08-21-2005
|10-2001||Rendon Group awarded $16 million contract to target Iraq|
Rendon is a man who fills a need that few people even know exists. Two months before al-Haideri took the lie-detector test, the Pentagon had secretly awarded him a $16 million contract to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda. One of the most powerful people in Washington, Rendon is a leader in the strategic field known as "perception management," manipulating information -- and, by extension, the news media -- to achieve the desired result. His firm, the Rendon Group, has made millions off government contracts since 1991, when it was hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power." Working under this extraordinary transfer of secret authority, Rendon assembled a group of anti-Saddam militants, personally gave them their name -- the Iraqi National Congress -- and served as their media guru and "senior adviser" as they set out to engineer an uprising against Saddam. It was as if President John F. Kennedy had outsourced the Bay of Pigs operation to the advertising and public-relations firm of J. Walter Thompson....
Rendon's influence rose considerably in Washington after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In a single stroke, Osama bin Laden altered the world's perception of reality -- and in an age of nonstop information, whoever controls perception wins. What Bush needed to fight the War on Terror was a skilled information warrior -- and Rendon was widely acknowledged as the best. "The events of 11 September 2001 changed everything, not least of which was the administration's outlook concerning strategic influence," notes one Army report. "Faced with direct evidence that many people around the world actively hated the United States, Bush began taking action to more effectively explain U.S. policy overseas. Initially the White House and DoD turned to the Rendon Group."
Three weeks after the September 11th attacks, according to documents obtained from defense sources, the Pentagon awarded a large contract to the Rendon Group. Around the same time, Pentagon officials also set up a highly secret organization called the Office of Strategic Influence. Part of the OSI's mission was to conduct covert disinformation and deception operations -- planting false news items in the media and hiding their origins. "It's sometimes valuable from a military standpoint to be able to engage in deception with respect to future anticipated plans," Vice President Dick Cheney said in explaining the operation. Even the military's top brass found the clandestine unit unnerving. "When I get their briefings, it's scary," a senior official said at the time.
In February 2002, The New York Times reported that the Pentagon had hired Rendon "to help the new office," a charge Rendon denies. "We had nothing to do with that," he says. "We were not in their reporting chain. We were reporting directly to the J-3" -- the head of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Following the leak, Rumsfeld was forced to shut down the organization. But much of the office's operations were apparently shifted to another unit, deeper in the Pentagon's bureaucracy, called the Information Operations Task Force, and Rendon was closely connected to this group. "Greg Newbold was the J-3 at the time, and we reported to him through the IOTF," Rendon says.Rolling Stone, published 11-17-2005
|10-2001||Bush decides to invade Iraq without formal meetings or intelligence assessments|
President Bush's determination to oust Iraq's Saddam Hussein by military force if necessary was set last fall without a formal decision-making meeting or the intelligence assessment that customarily precedes such a momentous decision.
Before the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Bush will make his case for "regime change" in detail and in public for the first time. But he decided that Saddam must go more than 10 months ago; the debate within the administration since then has been about the means to accomplish that end. [...]
Some of the factors that figured in the decision last October — including fears that the al-Qaeda network might be close to obtaining nuclear weapons and that international terrorists might be behind the anthrax attacks — now seem to have been overblown. But the decision wasn't revisited.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|10-2001||Cheney convinced that the time had come to act against Saddam|
In October, the military campaign in Afghanistan was going well, although bin Laden eluded capture. At the White House, the deliberations were focused on what was ahead. Were new attacks in the works? Would other enemies of the United States be emboldened to act? What should be the goals of the second phase of the war on terror?
Cheney was increasingly convinced that the time had come to act against Saddam. At a dinner at the vice president's residence, Cheney listened as Bernard Lewis expounded on his views. The two men had conferred a decade earlier during the Gulf War. Since then, Lewis had come to believe that the United States let the Iraqis down by not doing more to support insurgencies in 1991 and 1995.
"By defeating Hitler and his Japanese allies, we did not seek to conquer and dominate Germany and Japan," Lewis says. "Our purpose was to give the Germans and the Japanese the chance to redeem and liberate themselves. The long-oppressed people of Iraq, the first and greatest victims of Saddam Hussein, deserve no less."USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|10-01-2001||Post-war planning separate from invasion, State Dept plans ignored|
I served as part of the Future of Iraq Project at the State Department. The project was an effort to plan for post-Saddam Iraq.
Immediately after the Gulf War the United States promoted the overthrow of Saddam's Ba'ath regime. This effort failed miserably, as mass graves recently unearthed attest. Maybe the effort failed because we failed to give sufficient support to the Shiites. Regardless, it was a mess.
In the mid-1990s, the United States began to give clandestine support to efforts to overthrow Saddam—efforts many say Ahmad Chalabi led. These efforts also ended in failure and many executions. ...
The Bush administration kept the effort to overthrow Saddam and the effort to plan for his aftermath separate. The plan that became the Future of Iraq Project began as an effort to bring these groups together to plan for the aftermath. ...
We formed seventeen Iraqi working groups. The vast majority of the participants were exiles, many ex-Ba'ath, especially the military ones. Most of the planners had been abroad a long time. We sought out professionals and a cross section of interests and groups to get an informed consensus. US government experts, industry experts, and experts from think tanks were involved. ...
Planning began in October 2001 in State and at the National Security Council. The meetings began in spring 2002 at the Middle East Institute and quickly came to State. ...
The Future of Iraq Project needed NSC direction from the beginning. The White House needed to buy into planning, which it did not. The key failure was a lack of sharing of knowledge and information across the government.
The State Department shares responsibility for the failure we see today in Iraq with DoD, the NSC, and the White House. More planning was needed than the Future of Iraq Project, even had the plans been heeded.
[For additional information visit SourceWatch - Future of Iraq Project
]Preparing for Post-Saddam Iraq: Plans and Actions by Charles Patterson, published 10-27-2004
|10-01-2001||Powell: Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda first priority|
Secretary of State Colin Powell told a national television audience October 1 that "a lot of bad things" are happening to Afghanistan's ruling Taliban group, and that the pressure is going to increase.
Interviewed by Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, Powell noted that two of the only three governments in the world that had recognized the Taliban have cut off diplomatic relations with them. Further, financial support to Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network -- which supports the Taliban "to some extent" -- is being cut off around the world, and a considerable U.S. military buildup in the region is occurring, he said.
Powell said the focus of U.S. policy is not the overthrow of the Taliban, but rather the pursuit of bin Laden and the al-Qaida network in Afghanistan. "And if the Taliban does not realize that this could cause them a great deal of difficulty as well and might lead to their demise, they will soon come to that conclusion," he said.
Asked about bin Laden's guilt in the terrorist attacks of September 11, Powell said, "we think he's guilty and all roads point to him."
[The summary above taken from here
]CBS - Evening News, published 10-01-2001
|10-02-2001||Rumsfeld - Taking the battle to the countries harboring terrorism|
CLAYSON: In an interview with Dan Rather last night, Secretary of State Colin Powell made a point of not ruling out an attack on Iraq. After we're done with Osama bin Laden, will you turn your attention to states like Iraq?
RUMSFELD: Well, it's not for me. It's for the president. And the president has been very clear. There are a number of countries on the terrorist list. There are a number of countries that are known to be fostering and encouraging international terrorism. And the president has properly pointed out that the only way to deal with the problem of international terrorism is by taking the battle to them and to the countries that harbor and facilitate those activities.CBS - Early Show, published 10-02-2001
|10-03-2001||Armitage says "clear, compelling evidence" leads to bin Laden|
"There is clear and compelling information that Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network were involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington," Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says.
In an interview with Charlie Gibson broadcast October 3 on ABC's Good Morning America, Armitage said the United States has "presented through diplomatic channels much of the same evidence which we showed to NATO yesterday, and NATO's comments, I think, will hold for most of our friends and allies. It's clear and compelling information that leads right to Usama bin Laden and al-Qaida."ABC - Good Morning America, published 10-03-2001
|10-04-2001||UK documents case against bin Laden|
When Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed the Parliament of the United Kingdom October 4 on the subject of the terrorist attacks in the United States, he said that he would "put in the Library of the House of Commons a document detailing the basis for our conclusions."
The document, Blair said, "covers the history of Usama Bin Laden, his relations with the Taleban, what we know of the acts of terror he has committed; and some of what we know in respect of 11 September. I enter a major caveat, much of the evidence we have is intelligence and highly sensitive. It is not possible without compromising people or security to release precise details and fresh information is daily coming in."
[Released Oct. 4 in conjunction with Blair statement to Parliament
. See also The UK's Bin Laden dossier in full-BBC
10 Downing Street - Britain, published 10-04-2001
|10-06-2001||Trent Lott: Action against Iraq could follow action in Afghanistan|
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 advisor 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."The Daily Telegraph, published 10-08-2001
|10-07-2001||Taliban offers US "significant insights into Iraq's terrorist collaborations in the region"|
In October 2001, a senior Taliban official who viewed al Qaeda and bin Laden as a cancer on their fundamentalist movement offered to provide a delegation I was to lead to meet them with "…significant insights into Iraq's terrorist collaborations in the region.…" In exchange, these Taliban doves wanted us to convey to Washington that they needed reprieve from the looming campaign to crush them with American smart bombs in order to market the sellout to Taliban hardliners.
My friend, James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence, and others had agreed to accompany me to Kabul as observers if the Taliban's invitation included prior assurances that the eight Christian aid workers held on charges of proselytizing would be released into our custody as a sign of their goodwill. Gathering data on Iraq's collaborations figured high on the list of priorities for discussion with senior Taliban leaders — a point I made amply clear in my initial correspondence to the Taliban ambassador in Islamabad.
Their invitation, which took days of wrangling to agree on the two or three key words which gave the meeting any relevance, arrived in my Copenhagen hotel room only three hours before the first bombs fell on Kabul on October 7, 2001.National Review Online - Mansoor Ijaz, published 02-18-2003
|10-08-2001||Woolsey meeting cancelled with Taliban to discuss links between Iraq and Osama bin Laden|
The Taliban officials, several of whom are now in US custody, told the US delegation they were prepared to discuss what they knew of these ties. But a meeting scheduled to be held in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar about October 8 2001 was cancelled after the bombing started.
The unofficial US delegation was led by Mansour Ijaz, an American hedge fund manager of Pakistani origin. James Woolsey, the former CIA director, agreed to go as an observer, on condition that the Taliban released eight Americans being held on charges of spreading Christianity. Two others - a senior American journalist and an influential member of Pakistan's Islamist movement - were also to be part of the delegation. The Taliban apparently hoped that the impending bombing campaign against Afghanistan could be averted....
In a letter to Mr Ijaz and Mr Woolsey dated October 7 2001, seen by the FT, Alhaj Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, agreed to the terms of a meeting discussed earlier on the telephone and in faxed correspondence.
These written terms made it clear that the Taliban would be prepared to "expand on your expressed interest to provide us with information about the nature and extent of relationships between Iraq and terror groups in the region, including potentially to bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation".
[Original web page requires paid subscription
to view]Financial Times, published 06-02-2003
|10-09-2001||Iraq War hawk, Wayne Downing, replaces Richard Clarke at National Security Council terrorism post|
Gen. Wayne Downing, USA, Ret., will join the National Security Staff as the national director for combating terrorism.
Downing, who is a former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, also chaired a 1996 study group that looked at security lapses in the wake of the bombing of the Khobar Towers Barracks in Saudi Arabia. Nineteen airmen died in the attack.
He replaces Richard Clarke, who will become the director of a new Office of Cyber Security.Association of the US Army, published 11-01-2001
|10-09-2001||Dispute over the Bush administration's control of information |
A dispute over the Bush administration's control of information since the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes erupted into an angry exchange between the White House and Congress yesterday after President Bush moved to restrict intelligence shared with lawmakers.
Members from both parties objected strongly to Bush's highly unusual step of ordering that briefings with sensitive information be limited to eight of the 535 members of Congress. ...
"To put out a public document telling the world he doesn't trust the Congress and we leak everything, I'm not sure that helps develop unanimity and comradeship," said Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), who is on the Foreign Relations Committee. Said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.): "We have to have classified briefings if we're going to do our oversight role."Washington Post, published 10-10-2001
|10-15-2001||Rice: US will act if Iraq threatens its interests|
Q: Other than that, there is no military action awaiting Iraq after all the military mobilization in the area as a second stage of this war on terrorism?
DR. RICE: The President has made very clear that the war on terrorism is a broad war on terrorism. You can't be for terrorism in one part of the world and against it in another part of the world. We worry about Saddam Hussein. We worry about his weapons of mass destruction that he's trying to achieve.
There's a reason he doesn't want U.N. inspectors -- it's because he intends to acquire weapons of mass destruction. But for now, the President has said that his goal is to watch and monitor Iraq; and, certainly, the United States will act if Iraq threatens its interests.
[The excerpt above can also be found here
]Al Jazeera TV Interview, published 10-15-2001
|10-21-2001||General Myers on Global War on Terrorism & WMD|
STEPHANOPOLOUS: How about beyond Afghanistan and widening out the battlefield? There are some reports you have started to prepare targets in Iraq. Is that true?
MEYERS: This is a global war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. So Afghanistan is only one small piece. So of course we're thinking very broadly. I would say since World War II we haven't thought this broadly about a campaign.ABC - This Week, published 10-21-2001
|10-22-2001||Wolfowitz: "We intend to drain the entire swamp"|
"Shortly after the attack of September 11th, the United States began a broad-based effort that includes all of these elements -- some overt and some covert -- to take this battle to the enemy.
International terrorism is a broad network of groups of state sponsors who collaborate with one another, some in ways that we can see, and frequently in ways that are hidden from us. And there is no way to deal with the problem of international terrorism other than to go after those individuals who are killing thousands of Americans and threatening and terrorizing much of the world.
But we are not just going to pick off individuals. We intend to drain the entire swamp."
[Article written by the American Jewish Congress after Wolfowitz' speech here
.]Wolfowitz Speech at Convention of the American Jewish Congress, published 10-22-2001
|10-22-2001||US: Iraq moving chemical weapons|
Iraq is moving some of its chemical weapons industry to underground bunkers, a U.S. government source said Monday.
Moving it into specially built bunkers could make it harder to find and destroy, but the United States has designed bombs and other weapons specifically to blow up concealed, bunkered weapons of mass destruction.
Some officials in the U.S. administration, notably Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, have called for strikes on Iraq, but others want the war on terrorism to focus solely on Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida and Afghanistan.
U.S. intelligence has not obtained credible evidence linking Iraq to either the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center or the ongoing anthrax scare.Associated Press, published 10-22-2001
|10-23-2001||Ex-CIA Chief suggests Iraq involvement in 9/11 attacks|
Former CIA Director James Woolsey says Iraq likely was involved in the attacks of September 11 and that the United States will probably confront President Saddam Hussein as part of its ongoing campaign against terrorism.
"There are too many things, too many examples of stolen identities, of cleverly-crafted documentation, of coordination across continents and between states ... to stray very far from the conclusion that a state, and a very well-run intelligence service is involved here," he told the national convention of the American Jewish Congress on Monday.
He also pointed to the perceived long-term planning and subsequent use of "refined" anthrax as evidence of state support in the attacks, noting to reporters later that the Iraqi intelligence service has been meeting with Islamic extremist terrorists, including some in al-Qa'ida, and that Saddam has spent years trying to cultivate these ties.Associated Press, published 10-23-2001
|10-25-2001||Bush and Rumsfeld downplays importance of capturing bin Laden|
After 18 days of U.S. airstrikes on Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Wednesday that American forces might not catch terrorist Osama bin Laden. But he predicted that the Taliban regime harboring bin Laden will be toppled.
"Yes, I think there will be a post-Taliban Afghanistan," Rumsfeld said during a meeting with the USA TODAY editorial board. "That is easier than finding a single person." He added that the United States should not be responsible for forming a new government. ...
Bush said on Sept. 18 that he wants bin Laden "dead or alive." But recently he has played down the importance of capturing bin Laden, the alleged mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, and stressed a less specific goal of smashing terrorism. ...
In a 50-minute interview, Rumsfeld cautioned repeatedly that it would be "very difficult" to capture or kill bin Laden: "It's a big world. There are lots of countries. He's got a lot of money, he's got a lot of people who support him, and I just don't know whether we'll be successful. Clearly, it would be highly desirable to find him."
Even if bin Laden were killed, his terrorist network would carry on, Rumsfeld said. "If he were gone tomorrow, the same problem would exist."USA Today, published 10-25-2001
|10-26-2001||US Patriot Act to be signed|
WASHINGTON - President Bush is expected to sign into law today landmark legislation that will give investigators and intelligence gatherers sweeping new legal powers to combat terrorism. The measure expands the government's ability to conduct electronic surveillance, detain immigrants without charges and penetrate money-laundering banks. Stronger penalties would be imposed for harboring or financing terrorists. The number of crimes considered terrorist acts is expanded.
The legislation also allows nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, extending those devices to e-mail and the Internet. Also authorized are "roving wiretaps," in which officials get orders that allow them to tap whatever telephone a person uses instead of one telephone at a time.
Approval came Thursday in the Senate on a vote of 98-1, with only Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., voting against it. The House earlier passed the measure 356-66. Lawmakers, worried about possible abuse of the new wiretapping and surveillance powers, decided to place a four-year cap on that part of the legislation.
The USA PATRIOT Act ("Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism") will give the government authority to seek court-ordered warrants for roving electronic surveillance of terrorism suspects who use "multiple electronic devices," with warrants issued in one court allowing intelligence to be gathered in any other district in the country.
Law enforcement officials will have greater access to online bank and credit card transactions and can use search warrants instead of PEN register warrants to get at a suspect's voice mail. Grand jury testimony also will become accessible to intelligence and law enforcement officers when it pertains to terrorism or foreign intelligence. The USA PATRIOT Act also will give the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the State Department unprecedented access to the FBI's national crime computer to keep out alleged undesirables.
Authorities will be able to detain foreigners without charges for seven days and can delay notification of secret court-ordered searches if it "may have an adverse result." Notice of searches will be given "within a reasonable period of [the warrant's] execution," the new law reads.
[Original LA Daily Journal web page no longer available]Daily Journal (Los Angeles), published 10-26-2001
|10-26-2001||Woolsey: "substantial and growing indications" Iraq was behind attacks|
James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA, ambassador and Pentagon official who now describes himself as a "private citizen", is the man entrusted with investigating Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks and anthrax outbreaks.
The Iraqi National Congress, the exiled group that opposes Saddam Hussein, said it recently held meetings in London with Mr Woolsey. Administration sources have said his trip was funded and approved by Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary.
Such is the sensitivity of the Iraq issue, Mr Woolsey will make no comment about the exact nature of his brief. He told The Telegraph: "I was in London and that's it."
But he made clear that he believed there were "substantial and growing indications" that a state was behind the attacks.The Telegraph, published 10-26-2001
|10-29-2001||Fear of terrorists attacks to define the policy against Iraq and the use of military force|
On Oct. 29, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller called an extraordinary news conference to announce that there could be terrorist attacks within the USA or against U.S. interests abroad over the following week.
Fortunately, there was no "dirty bomb" explosion or terrorist attack that week. Al-Qaeda documents found and analyzed over the next several months indicated that the terrorists hadn't gotten far in their efforts to develop or obtain nuclear weapons. The anthrax scare, still unsolved, eventually was thought most likely to be the work of a disgruntled American scientist.
But by the end of October, all those factors helped build momentum behind the idea of using military action to oust Saddam. The course advocated by Rumsfeld and Cheney became policy, despite concerns by Powell and others. Bush set a course likely to define his presidency, just as the Gulf War defined his father's.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|11-2001||NSC terrorism chief, Wayne Downing, works on plans for attacking Iraq|
By early November, Wayne Downing, a retired Army general who headed counterterrorism in the White House, on his own initiative began working up plans for an attack of Iraq, keeping his superiors informed of his progress. A Pentagon planning group also kept hard at work on possible options.Washington Post, published 01-12-2003
|11-06-2001||Bush comments on bin Laden, al Qaeda and WMD|
PRESIDENT BUSH: This morning I did say that Usama bin Laden, Al Qaida were seeking to develop weaponry that--weapons of mass destruction. And the reason I said that is because I was using his own words. He announced that this was his intention. . . . And that's why it is so important that we continue our search for Al Qaida in Afghanistan, to hunt them down, to get them on the run, and to bring them to justice.President Welcomes President Chirac to White House, published 11-06-2001
|11-07-2001||Bush on Osama bin Laden '...we're looking for him'|
Q. It has been 8 weeks since the September 11th attacks, and we don't know where Usama bin Laden is. It has been several weeks since the anthrax attacks, but we don't know who sent the letters. What do you say to Americans who might be frustrated and impatient despite your admonition about the "Kodak moment"?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. I will say to them, we fight a new kind of war. Never would we dream that someone would use our own airplanes to attack us and/or the mail to attack us. I will tell them that we have put a sound strategy in place that has got Usama bin Laden and the Al Qaida thugs on the run. And I will tell them that we will bring them to justice.
I can't tell them exactly when. But I will tell them that we will prevail. There's no question in my mind. We know he hides in caves, and we're shutting down caves. We know he moves around at night, and we're looking for him.Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain in Press Availability, published 11-07-2001
|11-08-2001||GCC joint air defense goes operational |
Phase one of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] joint air defence system -- 'Hizam Al Taawun' or Belt of Co-operation, and launched in February -- has successfully gone into operational mode, contractors said yesterday.
The joint defence system provides for co-operative identification and tracking off all aircraft in air space over and surrounding the six Gulf states. The project, signed a few years ago, provides new dimensions to coordination among member states.
The commissioning was marked with a ceremony involving joint air manoeuvres which were witnessed by army chiefs of staff from the GCC states in February this year. Gulf News, published 11-08-2001
|11-09-2001||State Dept lists nations where al Qaeda has operated, Iraq noticeably absent|
Countries Where al Qaeda Has Operated
United Arab Emirates
YemenState Department, published 11-09-2001
|11-10-2001||Bush on bin Laden: bring him to justice|
Q. Mr. President, Usama bin Laden says he already has nuclear and chemical weapons. Do you believe him, and where do you think he would get them from?
PRESIDENT BUSH: The only thing I know certain about him is that he's evil. And I don't know what to believe about him, except that he wants to hurt Americans. I suspect he now wants to hurt the people of Pakistan. And we're not going to let him. We will do everything we can to stop him here at home, and we're doing everything we can to hunt him down, and we're going to bring him to justice.
Those kind of statements he utters reinforces the coalition's efforts to bring him to justice. And that's exactly what's going to happen with Mr. Usama bin Laden--all the more reason for us to pursue him diligently and to get him. And that's what we're going to do.Joint Statement for the Visit of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, published 11-10-2001
|11-18-2001||Wolfowitz on Osama bin Laden: 'We continue to pursue'|
BORGER: Well, if he [Osama Bin Laden] does leave Afghanistan, and say he goes to Pakistan or any other country, would you chase him down in any country he goes to?
WOLFOWITZ: We are going to continue pursuing.CBS - Face the Nation, published 11-18-2001
|11-18-2001||Rice implies Saddam could be next target|
MR. RUSSERT: If we are, indeed, successful in Afghanistan in eliminating Osama bin Laden and rooting out al-Qaeda, will the war on terrorism then turn to Saddam Hussein in Iraq?
DR. RICE: The president has made very clear that this is a broad war on terrorism; that you cannot be supportive of al-Qaeda and continue to harbor other terrorists. We’re sending that message very clearly. Now, as to Iraq, we didn’t need September 11 to tell us that Saddam Hussein is a very dangerous man. We didn’t need September 11 to tell us that he’s trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction....
MR. RUSSERT: Would the world be safer if he was eliminated?
DR. RICE: The world would clearly be better and the Iraqi people would be better off if Saddam Hussein were not in power in Iraq. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.
[Complete transcript of interview is no longer available on the net.]NBC - Meet the Press, published 11-18-2001
|11-19-2001||Pentagon builds case for striking Iraq next|
Defense Department strategists are building a case for a massive bombing of Iraq as a new phase of President Bush's war against terrorism, congressional and Pentagon sources say. Proponents of attacking Iraq, spearheaded by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, are now arguing privately that still-elusive evidence linking Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's regime to the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 is not necessary to trigger a military strike.USA Today, published 11-19-2001
|11-19-2001||John Bolton: Iraq, North Korea violate biological weapons pact|
John R. Bolton, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, has accused Iraq and North Korea of pursuing biological weapons programs in violation of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
Bolton said the United States also believes that Iran, Libya, and Syria have offensive biological weapons programs, and is concerned about Sudan, which has shown a growing interest in developing a BW program.
"We also know," he said, "that Usama bin Ladin considers obtaining weapons of mass destruction to be a sacred duty, that he has claimed to possess such weapons, and that he has threatened to use them against us. We are concerned that he could have been trying to acquire a rudimentary biological weapons capability, possibly with support from a state."Fifth Review Conference of UN Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), published 11-19-2001
|11-19-2001||al Qaeda vows last stand at Tora Bora|
Several hundred of the best Arab fighters in the al-Qaeda terrorist network have vowed to make a last stand at their Tora Bora mountain redoubt south of Jalalabad.
Two pro-Western regional commanders are arguing over who has the right and the might to attack the Arab base.
Their dispute is the result of a power-sharing deal worked out at the weekend when tribal elders gave the region's senior police post to a mountain warlord Hazret Ali, who has far more military hardware than his rival, Haji Zaman Ghamsharik.The Telegraph, published 11-19-2001
|11-20-2001||Richard Perle links Saddam to al Qaeda|
On another front, Richard Perle urged the Bush administration to use troops, bombers, dissidents and opposition forces to destroy President Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq.
Perle, a senior Pentagon official in the Reagan administration, said Iraq should be the next target after the Taliban is defeated because "it poses the greatest threat to the United States."
There is evidence linking Saddam to the al-Qaeda organization, Perle said in a breakfast with reporters, and "the only way to deal with Saddam Hussein is to destroy his regime."USA Today, published 11-20-2001
|11-21-2001||Bush to Rumsfeld: Where's Iraq plan|
BOB WOODWARD: [T]here's this low boil on Iraq until the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, 2001. This is 72 days after 9/11. This is part of this secret history. President Bush, after a National Security Council meeting, takes Don Rumsfeld aside, collars him physically, and takes him into a little cubbyhole room and closes the door and says, "What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret."CBS - 60 Minutes, published 04-18-2004