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|11-21-2001||Rumsfeld asks Franks for commander's estimate on Iraq|
When he was back at the Pentagon, two miles from the White House across the Potomac River in Virginia, Rumsfeld immediately had the Joint Staff begin drafting a top secret message to General Franks requesting a "commander's estimate," a new take on the status of the Iraq war plan and what Franks thought could be done to improve it. The general would have about a week to make a formal presentation to Rumsfeld....
"Hey, boss," Renuart said, reporting that a formal request of a commander's estimate was coming. "So we'd better get on it."
Franks was incredulous. They were in the midst of one war, Afghanistan, and now they wanted detailed planning for another, Iraq? "Goddamn," Franks said, "what the fuck are they talking about?"
Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack
, pp. 5-8, published 04-01-2004
|11-21-2001||Bush: "Afghanistan is just the beginning"|
Afghanistan is just the beginning on the war against terror. There are other terrorists who threaten America and our friends, and there are other nations willing to sponsor them. We will not be secure as a nation until all of these threats are defeated. Across the world and across the years, we will fight these evil ones, and we will win.Remarks to the Troops and Families at Fort Campbell, published 11-21-2001
|11-21-2001||Wolfowitz: We see evidence of Iraqis working on WMD|
WOLFOWITZ: One of the basic problems with the end of the inspections is that we're left to guess about a great deal that we were on the trail of before. But there is not only every reason to assume that they are continuing aggressively in all those programs, but we see a good deal of evidence -- chemical, biological, and even nuclear -- that the Iraqis are working both with their indigenous capabilities and acquiring what they can illicitly in the international market.Dept of Defense News Briefing, published 11-21-2001
|11-23-2001||First news breaks that Osama bin Laden has fled to Tora Bora|
Osama bin Laden helped negotiate a peaceful handover of power in Jalalabad under cover of darkness 10 days ago, according to residents who have worked closely with the terrorist leader in the past.
A convoy of more than 100 lorries and armoured vehicles left that same night for the al-Qaeda base at Tora Bora in the nearby White Mountains, said two Jalalabad residents.
. . .Babrak gave his account to the Telegraph in an interview at his house. He said that bin Laden had been wearing loose grey clothing covered by a camouflaged jacket and was holding a small "Kalakov" machinegun, a shorter version of a Kalashnikov.The Telegraph, published 11-23-2001
|11-24-2001||More reports "bin Laden was spotted near Tora Bora"|
Osama bin Laden was seen last week at a large and well-fortified encampment 35 miles southwest of this city, a minister of the self-proclaimed government said Saturday.
The official, Hazarat Ali, the law and order minister for the Eastern Shura, which claims dominion over three major provinces in eastern Afghanistan, said informants had told him that bin Laden was spotted near Tora Bora, a village where two valleys meet in deep mountains in Nangarhar Province.
"We have some people who told us that three or four days ago, Osama bin Laden was in Tora Bora," Ali said. "I trust them like my mother or father.
[Original NY Times story free to registered users here.
The NY Times article was also carried in the Houston Chronicle.]New York times, published 11-25-2001
|11-26-2001||Bush turns America's fury toward Saddam|
"Saddam is evil," said Mr Bush, the first time he had applied that adjective to the Iraqi dictator. "I think he's got weapons of mass destruction, and I think he needs to open up his country to let us inspect."
Mr Bush said it was obvious from Saddam's previous use of chemical weapons that he was a threat and harboured ambitions towards mass terrorism. "It's up to him to prove he's not," said Mr Bush, reversing the onus of proof.
Mr Bush used an interview with Newsweek magazine to identify Saddam as a target, and appeared to relish the prospect of finishing the job of neutralising the Iraqi dictator, which his father did not achieve after the Gulf war 10 years ago.The Telegraph, published 11-26-2001
|11-26-2001||Bush won't rule out taking the war to Iraq|
Q And if he does not do that, sir, what will be the consequence? If he does not do that, what will be the consequences?
THE PRESIDENT: That's up for -- he'll find out.
Q Sir, what is your thinking right now about taking the war to Iraq? You suggested that on Wednesday, when you said Afghanistan was just the beginning.
THE PRESIDENT: I stand by those words. Afghanistan is still just the beginning. If anybody harbors a terrorist, they're a terrorist. If they fund a terrorist, they're a terrorist. If they house terrorists, they're terrorists. I mean, I can't make it any more clearly to other nations around the world. If they develop weapons of mass destruction that will be used to terrorize nations, they will be held accountable. And as for Mr. Saddam Hussein, he needs to let inspectors back in his country, to show us that he is not developing weapons of mass destruction.Press Conference with aid workers rescued from Afghanistan, published 11-26-2001
|11-27-2001||Rumsfeld to Franks: President wants to know about "option for Iraq" |
Nov. 27, 2001, was a significant date. Gen. Tommy Franks in his memoirs reveals that he received an unexpected call from Rumsfeld. "General Franks, the president wants us to look at options for Iraq." Franks knew exactly what the call portended. "Son of a bitch, I thought. No rest for the weary." There would be another war. The die had already been cast.Tommy Franks, "American Solider" quoted in "Salon", published 07-01-2004
|11-27-2001||Rumsfeld meets with Franks about Iraq|
That morning, six days after the president's request on the Iraq war plan, Rumsfeld flew to see General Franks at CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa. After greeting everyone, he kicked Franks's staff as well as his own aides out of the room, even telling his military assistant, Vice Admiral Giambastiani, "Ed, I need you to step outside."
"Pull the Iraq planning out and let's see where we are," Rumsfeld told Franks when they were alone….
"Let's put together a group that can just think outside the box completely," Rumsfeld ordered. "Certainly we have traditional military planning, but let's take away the constraints a little bit and think about what might be a way to solve this problem."
After the meeting, Rumsfeld and Franks appeared before the news media to brief on the ongoing Afghanistan war called Operation Enduring Freedom….
Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack
, p. 36-37, published 04-01-2004
|11-27-2001||Bin Laden's hiding place may be an intricate cave in Tora Bora, south of Jalalabad|
TOM BROKAW, anchor: Secretary Rumsfeld also said today that American troops are now getting into position to begin what he called a systematic cave-by-cave search for Osama bin Laden in the mountains of southeastern Afghanistan, between Kandahar and Jalalabad. Tonight, NBC's Mike Taibbi tells us what it's like in the caves of that region.
MIKE TAIBBI reporting: We were searching for caves, as close as we could get to where Osama bin Laden is reportedly hiding in Tora Bora, south of Jalalabad, and we found these. The boat that would take us there was three inner tubes loosely lashed together. We crossed the river and then hiked to a 1,000-year-old complex of more than a dozen caves in the same mountain range as bin Laden's reported underground maze but some 20 miles away. Mahmahoud knows the history of Afghanistan's caves and has heard bin Laden's hideout is vast.
NBC - Nightly News, published 11-27-2001
|11-27-2001||Franks: "We're paying very, very careful attention" to Tora Bora and Kandahar|
The question about Tora Bora. There are two areas that are very interesting to us, one of them for the leadership of the Taliban, and that is out in the vicinity of Kandahar, well reported and true; and the other is in the area between Kabul and Khyber, to include the Jalalabad area and down toward Tora Bora, which you mentioned.
And so these are the two areas that we're paying very, very careful attention to.Dept of Defense News Briefing, published 11-27-2001
|11-29-2001||Cheney won't rule out going it alone on Iraq|
SAWYER: And will we go in and blast them alone —
CHENEY: I would not, I would not want to speculate on, on what the future might hold, but we do think that the appropriate thing for him to do is to comply with the U.N. Security Council resolutions, and allow those inspectors to come back in.
SAWYER: And will allies' reservations stop us from doing anything?
CHENEY: I, I will simply leave it where it's at. The president's made it clear what U.S. policy is on, in this regard, and we'll continue to work with our friends in the region and with our allies and with members of the coalition to address not only those problems, but others that are bound to arise as well.ABC - Primetime Live, published 11-29-2001
|11-29-2001||Cheney: Osama bin Laden in 'general area' of Tora Bora|
SAWYER: Do we have intelligence now that we really trust? In other words, do we have any intelligence that is taking us closer to bin Laden?
CHENEY: I think so. We're getting a lot of reports now, more than we got before. The volume has increased. And some of them conflict, but truly what's happened is we've narrowed the amount of space inside Afghanistan that he feels safe in.
SAWYER: Do you believe he's in Tora Bora?
CHENEY: I think he's still in Afghanistan. I think he's probably in that general area.
SAWYER: Why do you think he's still there?
CHENEY: Because I think he was equipped to go to ground there. He's got what he believes to be fairly secure facilities, caves underground. It's an area he's familiar with.ABC - Primetime Live, published 11-29-2001
|11-29-2001||Secret Iraq Meeting Included Journalists|
The following is a summary by Lauren Rosen, taken from Bob Woodward's, State of Denial
, p. 84-86, and published on 09/30/06:
Woodward's account is actually more troubling. At Wolfowitz's request, American Enterprise Institute president Christopher Demuth "recruited a dozen people. [Bernard Lewis, Mark Palmer, Fareed Zakaria, Fouad Ajami, James Q. Wilson, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Steve Herbits among them]. He later said they agreed to serve only 'if I promised it would all be kept secret.' ... On Thursday night, November 29, 2001, Demuth assembled the group at a secure conference center in Virginia for a weekend of discussions ... DeMuth was surprised at the consensus among his group. He stayed up late Sunday night distilling their thoughts into a seven page, single-spaced document, called 'Delta of Terrorism.' ... 'The general analysis was that Egypt and Saudi Arabia ... were the key, but the problems there are intractable. Iran is more important...' But Iran was similarly difficult to envision dealing with... But Saddam Hussein was different, weaker, more vulnerable... 'We concluded that a confrontation with Saddam was inevitable. ... We agreed that Saddam would have to leave the scene before the problem would be addressed.' ... Copies of the memo, straight from the neoconservative playbook, were hand-delivered to the war cabinet members. In at least some cases, it was given a SECRET classification. Cheney was pleased with the memo, and it had a strong impact on President Bush ..."
[Further reading: New York Times
and Steve Clemons.Bob Woodward's "State of Denial" p. 84-86 - Laura Rosen Summary, published 10-11-2006
|11-30-2001||American defense officials meet with their Afghan fighters at Tora Bora|
America is planning how best to attack the Tora Bora mountain cave complex where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding, it emerged yesterday.
Defence officials have met Haji Zaman Ghamsharik, the leading military commander in eastern Afghanistan, to discuss the assault.
Bin Laden fled to Tora Bora more than two weeks ago with his best fighters and could still be there, Afghan and western sources said.
The Telegraph, published 11-30-2001
|12-2001||Joint Chiefs ask staff for counterproposal to Chalabi's plan|
The military's response has been cautious and bureaucratic. A former official told me that the Joint Chiefs ordered their staff to "come up with a counterproposal," which is now in the planning stages. An Air Force consultant said that the I.N.C. is not included in the Pentagon's planning, adding, "Everything is going to happen inside Iraq, and Chalabi is going to be on the outside."The New Yorker, published 12-17-2001
|12-2001||Senior American diplomats sent to talk to Kurdish opposition|
According to a senior Bush Administration official, two senior American diplomats were recently sent to northern Iraq to talk to Kurdish opposition leaders and "check out who's got go and who's got no go."The New Yorker, published 12-17-2001
|12-01-2001||Rumsfeld gives the order for new Iraq War plan|
Four days later, December 1, a Saturday, Rumsfeld sent through the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a Top Secret planning order to Franks asking him to come up with the commander's estimate to build the base of a new Iraq war plan. In two pages the order said Rumsfeld wanted to know how Franks would conduct military operations to remove Saddam from power, eliminate the threat of any possible weapons of mass destruction, and choke off his suspected support of terrorism. This was the formal order for thinking outside the box.
The Pentagon was supposed to give Franks 30 days to come up with his estimate - an overview and a concept for something new, a first rough cut. "He had a month and we took 27 days away," recalled Marine General Pete Pace, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Rumsfeld favorite. Franks was to report in person three days later.
Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack
, p. 38, published 12-01-2001
|12-02-2001||Bush orders CIA and senior military commanders to draw up plans for military action against Iraq|
President George W. Bush has ordered the CIA and his senior military commanders to draw up detailed plans for a military operation that could begin within months.
The plan, opposed by Tony Blair and other European Union leaders, threatens to blow apart the increasingly shaky international consensus behind the US-led 'war on terrorism'.
It envisages a combined operation with US bombers targeting key military installations while US forces assist opposition groups in the North and South of the country in a stage-managed uprising. One version of the plan would have US forces fighting on the ground.The Guardian, published 12-02-2001
|12-03-2001||US "concentrating our efforts" on Tora Bora |
|12-04-2001||Bush on bin Laden: We're tightening the net|
|12-04-2001||Franks presents first iteration of new Iraq War plan|
The next chart was UNILATER OPTION. "Here we assume minimum staging, basing, and overflight - our only operating bases would be in Kuwait and on carriers in the Gulf. This operation would be absolutely sequential. We would have to introduce our ground forces gradually, because there is simply not enough infrastructure in Kuwait to stage large formations at the same time. This is not an option we would want to execute."
That marked the end of the briefing. "Mr. Secretary, I know you are not fulfilled by what I've given you today. But it is a beginning, and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page on strategic assumptions and support options."
"Well, General, you have a lot of work ahead of you," he said, stacking the pages. "Today is Tuesday. Let's get together again next Wednesday, December 12. I want to hear more details at that time."
Tommy Franks, American Soldier
, p. 335, published 07-01-2004
|12-05-2001||Nine Congressional leaders call for removal of Saddam|
SUMMARY: Letter calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein from nine congressional leaders is sent to Bush. The letter covers the belief that Saddam has WMD and must be removed. Letter signed by:
Sen. Trent Lott
Sen. Joseph Lieberman
Sen. John McCain
Sen. Jesse Helms
Sen. Richard Shelby
Sen. Sam Brownback
Rep. Henry Hyde
Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.
Rep. Benjamin GilmanPNAC, published 12-05-2001
|12-05-2001||Afghan fighters begin frontal assault on Tora Bora|
Afghan tanks supported by American bombers opened the long-heralded offensive against Osama bin Laden's suspected mountain-top fortress yesterday.
The earth quaked and the Afghan children cheered. Field Commander Halim Shah said: "The battle for Tora Bora has begun and will continue until we eradicate al-Qa'eda. We have already advanced and taken several caves." America and Britain have said bin Laden could be hiding in the maze of mountain tunnels, although there have been no sightings for a number of days. But it is known that hundreds of his foreign legionnaires, perhaps 2,000, are based in the complex.The Telegraph, published 12-06-2001
|12-09-2001||Cheney: Osama bin Laden in general area of Tora Bora|
RUSSERT: Are Mullah Muhammed Omar and Osama bin Laden still in Afghanistan?
CHENEY: I believe so. Can't say with absolute certainty, but the volume of the reporting has increased over time as we've gotten more and more people into those areas that they've been active in. And I would say the preponderance of the reporting at this point indicates that Mullah Omar is still down in the Kandahar region someplace and that Osama bin Laden is also still in Afghanistan.
RUSSERT: Up in Tora Bora?
CHENEY: In that general area.Vice President Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press, published 12-09-2001
|12-09-2001||Cheney: Evidence conclusive that Saddam Hussein harbored terrorists|
RUSSERT: ....If they're harboring terrorist, why not go in and get them?
CHENEY: Well, the evidence is pretty conclusive that the Iraqis have indeed harbored terrorists.
That wasn't the question you asked the last time we met. You asked about evidence involved in September 11.
CHENEY: Over the years, for example, they've provided a safe harbor for Abu Nadal (ph), worked out of Bagdad for a long time.
The situation, I think, that leads a lot of people to be concerned about Iraq has to do not just with their past activity of harboring terrorist[s], but also with Saddam Hussein's behavior over the years and with his aggressive pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. [...]
For the last three years, there have been no inspectors in Iraq, and he has aggressively pursued the development of additional weapons of mass destruction.
[Note to reader: Last public statement regarding Saddam's WMD capability was on 9/16/01 indicating that Saddam Hussein was "contained".]Vice President Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press, published 12-09-2001
|12-10-2001||Wolfowitz: Iraq supports terrorism and has WMD|
MR. WOLFOWITZ: With respect to Iraq, I think the president had been very clear, the secretary's been very clear, the combination of support for terrorism with the development of weapons of mass destruction is clearly one of the most dangerous potentials in the world.
And Iraq is under an obligation from the end of the Gulf War to give up all weapons of mass destruction and all programs for developing them, and under an obligation to accept inspections to verify that they've done so. And as of now, they have neither given up the weapons nor, for three years, accepted the inspectors. So that is a problem.Dept of Defense News Briefing, published 12-10-2001
|12-11-2001||US moves 3rd Army HQ from Fort MacPherson, Georgia to Kuwait|
The Pentagon has moved the headquarters of its 3rd Army from from Fort MacPherson, Georgia to Kuwait, apparently in preparation for expanding the war on terrorism to Somalia and elsewhere. General Franks said last week that he was considering sending more troops to Afghanistan. When asked which other areas his planners had been looking into, he mentioned Somalia, Sudan and Iraq.
Colonel Dan Smith, of the Centre for Defence Information, a Washington think-tank, said: "This is very significant, particularly in respect to the enlargement of the war against terrorism.
"It is a clear sign that the [Bush] administration is thinking ahead to what it will do when it has finished in Afghanistan."The Telegraph, published 12-11-2001
|12-11-2001||Cheney: Saddam Hussein presents a threat to the US, will work with the INC and Ahmed Chalabi|
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I never say anything is inevitable, Jim. But if I were Saddam Hussein, I would be thinking very carefully about the future, and I would be looking very closely to see what happened to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Q Now, the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition to Saddam, has been getting some money from the United States; that money runs out at the end of December. And in the past, we have not allowed them to spend that money on military training or for operations inside Iraq. Will they get more money? Can -- will those prohibitions be lifted?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The policy towards Iraq clearly is going to evolve over time. But they remain very much an area of concern for us because of the threat that Saddam Hussein has represented in the past and does in the future.
In the course of addressing that threat, we'll want to work with our friends and allies in the region. We'll want to work, I think, with the Iraqi opposition, with the Iraqi National Congress. I personally met with Mr. Chalabi myself in years past, and I would expect that they will be a part of a continuing effort as we think about how best to deal with that threat.Interview by Jim Angle of Fox TV News, published 12-11-2001
|12-12-2001||General Tommy Franks outlines military plans with Donald Rumsfeld|
"How visible will these activities be?" Rumsfeld asked.
"Mr. Secretary, the troop increases in Kuwait will be seen as training excercises, and we can time the carrier cruises to draw minimum attention. I don't envision any CNN moments, but there is no guarantee."
Intel had reported that Saddam and his military advisers accepted what they saw on CNN as holy writ, assuming that the cable channel would report all critical developments. To the Iraqis, the open Western media may have been less politically useful than the Arab press and the al-Jazeera network - but it was more reliable.
"I'm thinking in terms of spikes, Mr. Secretary - spurts of activity followed by periods of inactivity. We want the Iraqis to become accustomed to military expansion, and then apparent
Tommy Franks, American Soldier
, p. 342, published 07-2004
|12-12-2001||Franks suggests adding forces in the region to prepare for Iraq|
Our VTC the following afternoon, scheduled for forty-five minutes, ran twice as long.
"General Franks," Rumsfeld asked when I'd completed the briefing, "what's next?"
Aware that we might move from the conceptual to the practical at any time, I chose my words carefully. "Mr. Secretary," I said, "we want to begin now to improve our force posture in the region."
Tommy Franks, American Soldier
, p. 341, published 07-01-2004
|12-12-2001||Sheikh Mubarek Al Sabah assures Kuwaiti people US Base move is temporary|
The U.S. decision to temporarily transfer the headquarters of its armed forces' central command to Kuwait is in line with a defence pact with the Gulf country and is not linked to Iraq, Kuwait's defence minister was quoted yesterday as saying.
Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah said the move was only intended to allow the Americans to command and control their forces in Afghanistan.
"This command is here only for follow-up and control and no additional U.S. forces have been sent to Kuwait," he told the Saudi-owned Arab language daily Al Hayat.
"It is in line with the defence accord signed between Kuwait and the U.S. in 1992...as you know, the U.S. operations in Afghanistan are conducted mostly from air," he said. "U.S. troops had been sent earlier to Kuwait to participate in joint wargames".Gulf-News, published 12-12-2001
|12-13-2001||Videotape released of Osama bin Laden discussing September 11th attacks|
The Defense Department has released a videotape of Al Qaida leader Usama bin Laden discussing the September 11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon during a courtesy visit with an unidentified Shaykh that is believed to have taken place in the southern Afghan city of Qandahar in mid-November.
The tape and the transcript of an English translation of the tape were released in Washington December 13. DoD said that due to the poor quality of the tape it could not produce a word-for-word translation of the original Arabic, but said its translation "does convey the messages and information flow."
The tape shows [Osama] Bin Laden saying that the devastation caused by the fuel-laden jetliners crashing into the twin towers of the trade center far exceeded his expectations.
[Complete text of transcript at link below. See links to additional related documents at the DoD website for December 13, 2001
.]State Dept - Washington File, published 12-13-2001
|12-14-2001||Bush on bin Laden: We're going to get him|
Q. Sir, two things. Is Usama bin Laden cornered? And when you weigh the pros and cons of either option, would you rather take him alive so you can question him or dead so you don't have to deal with him?
The President. I don't care. Dead or alive, either way. I mean, I--it doesn't matter to me.
Secondly, I don't know whether we're going to get him tomorrow, or a month from now, or a year from now. I really don't know. But we're going to get him. And I--the American people must understand that I have no timetable in mind. There's no--I don't have a calendar that I say, "Well, gosh, if he's not gotten by this certain moment, then I'll be disappointed," because I am pleased with the progress that we're making in Afghanistan.Remarks by Bush and an Exchange With Reporters, published 12-14-2001
|12-14-2001||Franks: "We know where our current fight is, and that's in the Tora Bora area"|
GEN. FRANKS: The -- it -- what would cause one to say either he is in the Tora Bora area, vicinity of Jalalabad, or he has left? And obviously we use all sorts of technical means to gain insights into where he may be. We also listen to what these opposition leaders on the ground have to say, because they each have their own intelligence capability. And so when one looks at all these sources, then what happens is, you see all sorts of conflicting information, and I think that's why we always say you just don't know what you don't know. And so it's probably not a good idea to say with some certainty where he is. But we know where our current fight is, and that's in the Tora Bora area.Defense Department Operational Briefing, published 12-14-2001
|12-16-2001||Colin Powell says US determined to get bin Laden|
Secretary of State Colin Powell, interviewed December 16 on "Fox News Sunday," said President Bush is determined that "however long it takes," the United States will find Usama bin Laden.
Powell noted that finding bin Laden, head of the al-Qaida terrorist network, is not the only goal of current U.S. anti-terrorism efforts. Al-Qaida is being destroyed in Afghanistan, he said, and "now we have to destroy it wherever it exists around the world." He said the United States already is working with many governments, such as that of the Philippines, towards that end. "[W]e have been very pleased at the level of cooperation and response we have received from countries, now that they see what al-Qaida is all about," he said.
During the interview Powell also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, and Iraq.
QUESTION: Do we have absolute proof that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction?
SECRETARY POWELL: There is no question that he is trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. Based on our success at the time of the Gulf War, his conventional capability is less than half of what it used to be, and he can't project that conventional power. But he has continued to look for unconventional power.
We believe his nuclear capability has been capped, but he is still trying to regenerate it, but it's years away. Chemical weapons, there is no question that he has some remaining stock and he may be trying to generate that again.
[The summary above taken from here
.]Fox News Sunday, published 12-16-2001
|12-17-2001||Military planners question plan for post Saddam Iraq|
One of the officials currently involved in the Pentagon's planning said that he, too, had doubts about the efficacy of an I.N.C. armed insurrection, even one backed up by American warplanes and Special Forces. "If you go to war and don't address the root political problem, why bother?" he asked. "All we're going to get is another tyrant in five years. If this is the war to end all jihads, it's got to have a broad-based political agenda behind it."
One of Zinni's close aides told me, "Our question was 'What about the day after?' How do you deal with the long-term security aspects of Iraq? For example, do you take the Republican Guard"—the military unit most loyal to Saddam—"and disarm it? Or is it preferable to turn it from having a capability to protect Saddam to a capability to protect Iraq? You've got Kurds in the north, Arab Shia in the south, and the Baath Party in the middle, with great internal tribal divisions. There's potential for civil war. Layer on external opposition and you've got a potential for great instability. I'm a military planner and plan for the worst case. As bad as this guy is, a stable Iraq is better than instability."
["The Iraq Hawks" by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, 12/17/01] The New Yorker, published 12-17-2001
|12-17-2001||Tora Bora falls, but no Osama bin Laden|
The site of the world's biggest stakeout certainly has all the appearances of a siege. Heavily armed Afghans race up mountain valleys with anti-aircraft guns in tow.
A US Special Forces team, sometimes hiding behind tinted pickup truck windows, directs the operations of the Afghan fighters and target US bombing runs. Together, they have hammered Al Qaeda forces and cleared two major mountain valleys near the Tora Bora cave complex.
But yesterday, after tribal fighters said they captured the last of the Al Qaeda positions, killing more than 200 fighters and capturing 25, there was still no sign of the world's most wanted terrorist - Osama bin Laden. And there were far fewer fighters both captured and killed than were originally thought present.Christian Science Monitor, published 12-17-2001
|12-18-2001||US builds support against Iraq|
After their success in Afghanistan, senior US officials believe they now have more support for toppling the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
There is a distinct hardening of the American attitude towards Iraq.
At the same time, US officials say they are seeing the first signs of a change of heart by Turkey and at least some of the Arab states - countries which have previously opposed military action to topple Saddam Hussein.BBC News, published 12-18-2001
|12-19-2001||Franks presents third iteration of new war plans to Rumsfeld|
Franks got only another week before Rumsfeld summoned him back to the Pentagon on December 19 for the third iteration. Once again Rumsfeld indicated he was not satisfied – “not fulfilled,” as he occasionally termed his sense of dissatisfaction.
Later Rumsfeld recalled during an interview in his Pentagon office, “I tend to ask a lot of questions of the people I work with and I tend to give very few orders. This place is so big and so complicated and there’s so much that I don’t know, that I probe and probe and probe and push and ask, Well why wasn’t this done or shouldn’t this be done, but it’s generally with a question mark at the end.”
Rumsfeld, certainly had to be aware that when the secretary of defense asks, “Why wasn’t this done?” or “Shouldn’t this be done?” or shows even the slightest discontent, it has the force of an order, even if concluded with a sincere question mark.
Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack
, p. 43, published 04-01-2004
|12-20-2001||House Acts on Resolution Critical of Saddam Hussein [H.J. Res. 75] |
The House of Representatives passed on December 20 a resolution that warns of the dangers posed by Iraq's refusal to allow United Nations inspectors to verify Iraq's dismantling of weapons of mass destruction, and the termination of programs to develop such weapons.
The House passed House Joint Resolution 75 (H.J. Res. 75) by 392-12, with 7 voting present, and 23 not voting. The House debated the resolution the previous day.
Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein's noncompliance with the terms of the cease-fire accord that ended the Gulf War regarding U.N. inspection of his regime's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs represent a threat to the United States, according to the resolution's authors.
The resolution says Iraq sponsors terrorism and has trained members of several terrorist organizations.
[For more specific information please visit Thomas - Legislative Information on the Internet
.]State Dept - Washington File, published 12-20-2001
|12-20-2001||Iraqi National Congress (INC) arranges interview with Iraqi defector|
An Iraqi defector who described himself as a civil engineer said he personally worked on renovations of secret facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in underground wells, private villas and under the Saddam Hussein Hospital in Baghdad as recently as a year ago.
The defector, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, gave details of the projects he said he worked on for President Saddam Hussein's government in an extensive interview last week in Bangkok.
Government experts said yesterday that he had also been interviewed twice by American intelligence officials, who were trying to verify his claims. One of the officials said he thought Mr. Saeed had been taken to a secure location. The experts said his information seemed reliable and significant.
[Original NY Times (renamed) article for a fee
.]New York Times - Judith Miller, published 12-20-2001
|12-20-2001||Miller interview with Iraqi defector arranged by former Rendon Group recruit|
The man helping to arrange the al-Haideri interviews in Thailand for Moran and Miller was INC media spokesman Zaab Sethna. He had a similar background steep in American-sponsored anti-Saddam propaganda. Sethna and Moran had met about a decade earlier in Kuwait. Following the Gulf War, they were asked by The Rendon Group to work as propagandists for the INC as contract employees....
Unlike Moran, there is no indication that the Judith Miller of The New York Times was connected in any way to The Rendon Group. Nevertheless, her closeness to both Chalabi and the Pentagon has raised a number of eyebrows. While covering the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, one military officer complained that Miller sometimes "intimidates Army soldiers by invoking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or Undersecretary Douglas Feith." The Washington Post's media critic, Howard Kurtz, asked, "Could Chalabi have been using the Times to build a drumbeat that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction?
James Bamford, A Pretext for War
, p. 296, published 06-08-2004
|12-21-2001||Bush on bin Laden: We're going to find him.|
Q. Do you think that perhaps the cease-fires and the talks about possible surrender negotiations gave bin Laden a chance to sneak out of Afghanistan or----
The President. Ron [Ron Fournier, Associated Press], I don't know where he is. I haven't heard much from him recently. And--which means he could be in a cave that doesn't have an opening to it anymore or could be in a cave where he can get out or may have tried to slither out into neighboring Pakistan. We don't know. But I will tell you this: We're going to find him.Administration's First-Year Accomplishments, published 12-21-2001
|12-21-2001||Bush: Iraq intel "isn't gonna sell Joe Public"|
"Three months later, on Dec. 21, 2002, Woodward says CIA Director George Tenet brought his deputy, John McLaughlin, to the oval office to show the president and the vice president their best evidence that Saddam really had weapons of mass destruction.
"McLaughlin has access to all the satellite photos, and he goes in and he has flip charts in the oval office. The president listens to all of this and McLaughlin's done. And, and the president kind of, as he's inclined to do, says 'Nice try, but that isn't gonna sell Joe Public. That isn't gonna convince Joe Public,'" says Woodward.
In his book, Woodward writes: "The presentation was a flop. The photos were not gripping. The intercepts were less than compelling. And then George Bush turns to George Tenet and says, 'This is the best we've got?'"
Says Woodward: "George Tenet's sitting on the couch, stands up, and says, 'Don't worry, it's a slam dunk case.'"CBS - 60 Minutes, published 04-18-2004
|12-22-2001||General Meyers: There is planning to expand the war on terror outside Afghanistan |
Air Force General Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, flew to Doha after meeting with senior Omani government and military officials in Muscat
After visiting with U.S. troops deployed to Qatar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Myers held a press conference in downtown Doha.
Myers said that law enforcement and diplomatic efforts are other tools that can be used to defeat global terrorists. Yet, the general didn't rule out the use of force. "There might be a military component as well," Myers said.
Time would tell, he noted, if recent U.S. and coalition military successes in Afghanistan will influence other nations to think twice before performing terrorist acts, sponsoring or harboring terrorists, or researching, developing or producing weapons of mass destruction.
Asked if the war on terrorism would be expanded outside of Afghanistan, Myers noted, "there have been no decisions made on next steps. There is planning going on, of course, and we'll keep that confidential."Dept of Defense - American Forces Press Service, published 12-22-2001
|12-22-2001||U.S. Inquiry Tried, but Failed, to Link Iraq to Anthrax Attack|
Shortly after the first anthrax victim died in October, the Bush administration began an intense effort to explore any possible link between Iraq and the attacks and continued to do so even after scientists determined that the lethal germ was an American strain, scientists and government officials said.
But they said that largely secret work had found no evidence to back up the initial suspicions, which is one reason administration officials have said recently that the source of the anthrax was most likely domestic.
For months, intelligence agencies searched for Iraqi fingerprints and scientists investigated whether Baghdad had somehow obtained the so-called Ames strain of anthrax. Scientists also repeatedly analyzed the powder from the anthrax-laced envelopes for signs of chemical additives that would point to Iraq.
"We looked for any shred of evidence that would bear on this, or any foreign source," a senior intelligence official said of an Iraq connection. "It's just not there."
The focus on Iraq was based on its record of developing a germ arsenal and also on what some officials said was a desire on the part of the administration to find a reason to attack Iraq in the war on terrorism.
"I know there are a number of people who would love an excuse to get after Iraq," said a top federal scientist involved in the investigation.New York Times, published 12-22-2001
|12-27-2001||Wayne Downing's plan for overthrowing Saddam sees new light|
Dismissed by Clinton administration officials as a recipe for a second Bay of Pigs, the Downing plan has become highly topical since the Sept. 11 terror attacks and his own subsequent elevation to a key White House position. The general's ideas have become a lightning rod for a new debate in the Bush administration over what to do with Saddam Hussein, a durable and ruthless dictator who is widely believed to be developing weapons of mass destruction.
Supporters, who are believed to include Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and other important political appointees, argue that the Afghan war has demonstrated the feasibility of the Downing plan, or something similar to it, and that the moment for moving against Hussein is fast approaching.
Opponents, including much of the State Department, CIA and professional military, say that the plan greatly overestimates the strength of the Iraqi opposition, and particularly the Iraqi National Congress, a London-based umbrella group that has established itself as a quasi government in exile. Washington Post, published 12-27-2001
|12-28-2001||Bush on bin Laden: He is not escaping us... He's on the run.|
Q. What's your reaction to the bin Laden tape? Are you afraid he's eluded the manhunt?
The President. Oh, the tape, yes. I didn't watch it all; I saw snippets of it on TV. You know, it's--who knows when it was made. Secondly, he is not escaping us. I mean, this is a guy who 3 months ago was in control of a country; now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run.
Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden, but one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all.
So we don't know whether he's in a cave with the door shut or a cave with the door open; we just don't know. There's all kinds of reports and all kinds of speculation, but one thing we know is that he's not in charge of Afghanistan anymore. He's not in charge of the--he's not the parasite that had invaded the host, the Taliban; we know that for certain. And we also know that we're on the hunt, and he knows that we're on the hunt. And I like our position better than his.President, General Franks Discuss War Effort, published 12-28-2001
|12-28-2001||Franks briefs Bush on Iraq war plan|
Bush received his first detailed briefing on Iraq war plans five weeks later, on Dec. 28, when Franks, the head of the U.S. Central Command, visited Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Tex. Bush told reporters afterward that they had discussed Afghanistan.Washington Post, published 04-18-2004
|12-28-2001||Wayne Downing/INC "end game" plan emerges|
The US joint chiefs of staff are considering an ambitious plan for the military overthrow of Saddam Hussein, officials said yesterday.
The plan has been drawn up by President Bush's counter-terrorism adviser, General Wayne Downing, and the rebel Iraqi National Congress (INC).The plan, originally dubbed the "End Game" by the INC leader, Ahmad Chalabi, is remarkably similar to the US strategy used in Afghanistan. US-trained Iraqi rebels, backed by a few thousand American special forces and considerable air support, would draw the cream of the Iraqi army into an open battle and bomb it out of existence, thus triggering a mutiny within the ranks of Saddam's forces.The Guardian, published 12-28-2001
|12-31-2001||Bush on bin Laden: Going to get him pretty soon|
Q. Any information on the whereabouts of bin Laden or Omar? Is there a new pursuit underway now?
The President. No. Yes, I mean, the same pursuit: We're going to get him, and it's just a matter of when. You know, you hear all kinds of reports and all kinds of rumors. You've got people saying he's in a cave, people saying he's dead, people saying he's in Pakistan. And all I know is that he's running, and any time you get a person running, it means you're going to get him pretty soon.President Discusses Foreign Policy for Year Ahead, published 12-31-2001
|01-2002||David Wurmser moves to State Department and on to Cheney's staff|
Another agency official summed up the Feith team's work by saying, "Leave no dot unconnected."
...Mr. Maloof later met with member of the Iraqi National Congress's staff. As it turned out, Mr. Chalabi was a risky source: some of the information his group provided was incorrect or fabricated, intelligence officials now believe.
A high point for the team was a 45-minute briefing for Paul D. Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, in November 2001. "Wolfowitz said, `How come I'm not hearing this from anybody else?' " Mr. Maloof said. "We said, because no one else has done the analysis." Mr. Wolfowitz did not respond to several requests for comment.
By early 2002, the team had completed a 150-page briefing and slide presentation for Mr. Feith....
Soon after finishing the report, Mr. Wurmser moved to the State Department, and then joined Mr. Cheney's staff. He declined to be interviewed.
[For full free article click here
or view the fee-based NY Times archived article below.] New York Times, published 04-27-2004
|01-01-2002||Iraq not a nuclear threat|
In CIA Director George Tenet's January 2002 review of global weapons-technology proliferation, he did not even mention a nuclear threat from Iraq, though he did warn of one from North Korea. The review said only, "We believe that Iraq has probably continued at least low-level theoretical R&D [research and development] associated with its nuclear program."
[Original web page requires paid subscription
The New Republic - Spencer Ackerman and John B. Judis (PDF), published 06-30-2003
|01-01-2002||Wolfowitz asks the CIA to investigate Hans Blix|
In an unusual move, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz earlier this year asked the CIA to investigate the performance of Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, chairman of the new United Nations team that was formed to carry out inspections of Iraq's weapons programs. ...
The government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is negotiating with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on the return of arms inspectors, . . . But senior Pentagon civilians such as Wolfowitz and their allies elsewhere in the administration fear that a go-ahead by the Iraqi leader could delay and possibly fatally undermine their overall goal to launch a military campaign against Iraq. ...
A former State Department official familiar with the report said Wolfowitz "hit the ceiling" because it failed to provide sufficient ammunition to undermine Blix and, by association, the new U.N. weapons inspection program. ...
Whatever the outcome, the request for a CIA investigation underscored the degree of concern by Wolfowitz and his civilian colleagues in the Pentagon that new inspections -- or protracted negotiations over them -- could torpedo their plans for military action to remove Hussein from power. ...
Blix said that if Iraq cooperates, he is confident that he could issue a report that would trigger a suspension of sanctions within a year after arriving in Baghdad.Washington Post, published 04-15-2002
|01-02-2002||US forces "on the hunt" for Taliban, al Qaeda leaders|
U.S. special operations forces are "on the hunt" for al-Qaida and Taliban leaders, a Defense Department spokesman says.
Navy Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem said at a Pentagon briefing January 2 "special operating forces are involved in the search for al-Qaida and Taliban leadership ... with anti-Taliban forces...."
Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, also participating in the briefing, added that finding Taliban and al-Qaida leadership remains a primary U.S. objective, and that all resources, including U.S. special operations forces, will be used to achieve it.Defense Department Report, published 01-02-2002
|01-05-2002||US suspends funds for Iraqi opposition|
The United States has suspended the funding it gives to an Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, because it failed to properly account for millions of dollars in US aid. BBC News, published 01-05-2002
|01-10-2002||O'Neill sees administration focus returning to Iraq|
Now, with victory in Afghanistan, the administration focus was returning to Iraq - with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz pointing to the ease with which the Taliban had fallen as evidence of how doable Iraq would be.
Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty
, p. 204, published 01-13-2004
|01-14-2002||Pentagon "trying to show that Iraq interacts with al Qaeda"|
The Pentagon is collecting evidence of "linkage" between Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization and other international terror groups to bolster its case for attacking Iraq as part of the war on terrorism, Bush administration officials say.
The Pentagon set up a secret unit shortly after September 11 to scan years of highly classified intelligence reports to find links between groups supported by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
The project officers are also examining whether Iraqi business fronts for the country's intelligence service have ties to bin Laden. Sources say the CIA has electronically transferred intelligence data on various groups to the Pentagon....
One administration source said the Pentagon study "is trying to show that Iraq interacts with al Qaeda. The connections may be more run through business fronts than through the government. Iraqi intelligence runs a lot of business fronts."Washington Times, published 01-14-2002
|01-22-2002||Bush on bin Laden: the objective is not bin Laden|
A fellow came the other day to the office and said, "Well, are you worried about Mr. bin Laden?" I said, "No, I'm not too worried about him. He's the guy that needs to be worried." [Laughter] But I want to assure you, the objective is not bin Laden. Oh, we'll get bin Laden. There's only so many caves he can hide in, if he's still hiding in caves. My attitude was, once we get him running, it's just a matter of time before we bring him to justice.Remarks by the President at West Virginia Airport , published 01-22-2002
|01-29-2002||Bush lists Iraq in "Axis of Evil"|
“States like these [North Korea, Iran, Iraq], and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.” President - State of the Union Address, published 01-29-2002
|01-30-2002||Rumsfeld downplays Iraqi opposition meetings at Pentagon|
QUESTION: Today, entering the Pentagon was observed a number of members of the Iraqi opposition. And, while I would never jump to any conclusions from such a limited fact base --
QUESTION: -- others might suggest that this might be the beginning of some sort of planning for operations in Iraq. Could you help us put that in the proper context? Who were these people meeting with, and what was the purpose?
SEC. RUMSFELD: People come in and out of this building all the time, and I would not read anything into it other than that people are coming in and out of this building all the time. And it happens that on this day I believe some members of the Iraqi National Congress are in Washington, and I believe they're making visits to the State Department, the Pentagon and various other locations around town. Who they're meeting with is not clear to me. I don't know if they met with Paul or with Doug Feith or with somebody else. But they are in town. I've heard they were coming here and I heard they were going to the State Department and other places.Dept of Defense News Briefing, published 10-30-2002
|02-2002||Saudis impose restrictions on allied planes flying out of their country|
The informality of the arrangements governing the U.S. and British military presence in Saudi Arabia was also a continuing source of tension, and became a more acute problem in February 2001, after the allies mounted a large air raid from Prince Sultan Air Base against air defense targets around Baghdad, apparently without providing prior notice to the Saudi government.
Shortly after a special Pentagon press conference announcing and explaining the attack, President Bush played it down, describing it as "routine." (80) Following this episode, the Saudis imposed operational restrictions on allied warplanes operating out of PSAB, forbidding them to conduct further offensive operations against Iraq.
[Note: This is a LONG webpage. Scroll about halfway down, or 'Edit/Find' (from your browser menu) the number 80, to find the location of the above portion of the article]Middle East Review of International Affairs, published 09-2002
|02-2002||Senator Graham is told resources pulled from Afghanistan to Iraq|
Graham: "I was asked by one of the senior commanders of Central Command to go into his office. We did, the door was closed, and he turned to me, and he said, "Senator, we have stopped fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. We are moving military and intelligence personnel and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a future war in Iraq." This is February of 2002. "Senator, what we are engaged in now is a manhunt not a war, and we are not trained to conduct a manhunt."Senator Graham speech to Council on Foreign Relations, published 04-26-2004
|02-2002||Key component of President Bush's claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program -- its alleged attempt to buy uranium in Niger -- was disputed by a CIA-directed mission to investigate|
[A] senior CIA analyst said the case "is indicative of larger problems" involving the handling of intelligence about Iraq's alleged chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and its links to al Qaeda, which the administration cited as justification for war. "Information not consistent with the administration agenda was discarded and information that was [consistent] was not seriously scrutinized," the analyst said.
As the controversy over Iraq intelligence has expanded with the failure so far of U.S. teams in Iraq to uncover proscribed weapons, intelligence officials have accused senior administration policymakers of pressuring the CIA or exaggerating intelligence information to make the case for war. The story involving the CIA's uranium-purchase probe, however, suggests that the agency also was shaping intelligence on Iraq to meet the administration's policy goals. ...
Later it was disclosed that the United States and Britain were basing their reports on common information that originated with forged documents provided originally by Italian intelligence officials.Washington Post, published 06-12-2003
|02-2002||Shifts from bin Laden hunt evoke questions|
In 2002, troops from the 5th Special Forces Group who specialize in the Middle East were pulled out of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for their next assignment: Iraq. Their replacements were troops with expertise in Spanish cultures.
The CIA, meanwhile, was stretched badly in its capacity to collect, translate and analyze information coming from Afghanistan. When the White House raised a new priority, it took specialists away from the Afghanistan effort to ensure Iraq was covered. [...]
The question of how much those shifts prevented progress against al-Qaeda and other terrorists is putting the Bush administration on the defensive.
Even before the invasion, the wisdom of shifting resources from the bin Laden hunt to the war in Iraq was raised privately by top military officials and publicly by Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., and others. [...]
Still, the question lingers: Did opening a second front hurt the main effort to defeat terrorism? [...]
Bob Andrews, former head of a Pentagon office that oversaw special operations, says that removing Saddam Hussein was a good idea but "a distraction." [...]
Saddam was not an immediate threat. "This has been a real diversion from the longer struggle against jihadists," especially in the intelligence field, he says. [...]USA Today, published 03-28-2004
|02-01-2002||Bush on bin Laden: just a matter of time|
But they [American people] also understand that we are not preoccupied by one or two people, that while bin Laden thinks he can hide in a cave or Mullah Omar thinks he can run, it's just a matter of time. I don't know how much time, and I don't worry about the time about when he is brought--or they are brought to justice. That's just not one of my concerns. It's going to happen. And you know, we've got them running, and it's just--we'll get them.President's Remarks at "Congress of Tomorrow" Lunch, published 02-01-2002
|02-01-2002||Cheney channeling intelligence|
"The Vice-President was further told that it was known that Iraq had acquired uranium ore from Niger in the early nineteen-eighties but that that material had been placed in secure storage by the IAEA, which was monitoring it. "End of story," Martin added. "That's all we know." According to a former high-level CIA official, however, Cheney was dissatisfied with the initial response, and asked the agency to review the matter once again. It was the beginning of what turned out to be a year-long tug-of-war between the CIA and the Vice-President's office.
As the campaign against Iraq intensified, a former aide to Cheney told me, the Vice-President's office, run by his chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, became increasingly secretive when it came to intelligence about Iraq's WMDs. As with Wolfowitz and Bolton, there was a reluctance to let the military and civilian analysts on the staff vet intelligence.
"It was an unbelievably closed and small group," the former aide told me. Intelligence procedures were far more open during the Clinton Administration, he said, and professional staff members had been far more involved in assessing and evaluating the most sensitive data. "There's so much intelligence out there that it's easy to pick and choose your case," the former aide told me. "It opens things up to cherry-picking." ...
By early 2002, the SISMI [Italy's Foreign Intelligence Agency] intelligence-still unverified-had begun to play a role in the Administration's warnings about the Iraqi nuclear threat.The New Yorker - The Stovepipe, published 10-20-2003
|02-01-2002||CIA report to Congress: it is likely Baghdad ....has reconstitued prohibited (weapons) programs|
Baghdad has refused since December 1998 to allow United Nations inspectors into Iraq as required by Security Council Resolution 687. In spite of ongoing UN efforts to establish a follow-on inspection regime comprising the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the IAEA’s Iraq Action Team, no UN inspections occurred during this reporting period. Moreover, the automated video monitoring systemsinstalled by the UN at known and suspect WMD facilities in Iraq are still not operating. Having lost this on-the-ground access, it is more difficult for the UN or the US to accurately assess the current state of Iraq’s WMD programs.
Given Iraq’s past behavior, it is likely that Baghdad has used the intervening period to reconstitute prohibited programs. We assess that since the suspension of UN inspections in December of 1998, Baghdad has had the capability to reinitiate its CW programs within a few weeks to months. Iraq’s failure to submit an accurate Full, Final, and Complete Disclosure (FFCD) in either 1995 or 1997, coupled with its extensive concealment efforts, suggest that the BW program hascontinued. Without an inspection-monitoring program, however, it is more difficult to determine the current status of these programs.
Since the Gulf war, Iraq has rebuilt key portions of its chemical production infrastructure for industrial and commercial use, as well as its missile production facilities. Iraq has attempted to purchase numerous dual-use items for, or under the guise of, legitimate civilian use. This equipment—in principle subject to UN scrutiny—also could be diverted for WMD purposes. Since the suspension of UN inspections in December 1998, the risk of diversion has increased. After Desert Fox, Baghdad again instituted a reconstruction effort on those facilities destroyed by the US bombing, including several critical missile production complexes and former dual-use CW production facilities. In addition, Iraq appears to be installing or repairing dual-use equipment at CW-related facilities. Some of these facilities could be converted fairly quickly for production of CW agents.CIA report on WMD and advanced conventional weapons, published 02-01-2002
|02-03-2002||Marine Headquarters moved from Hawaii to Bahrain|
The top Marine general for Central Asia and the Persian Gulf is moving his headquarters to Bahrain from Hawaii, joining Army, Navy and Air Force counterparts who have already uprooted from peacetime postings in the United States to set up battle stations in the region, military officials said today.
[For the original article from the NY Times, for a fee, please click here
.] New York Times, published 02-04-2002
|02-05-2002||CIA gets big spending boost in president's proposed budget |
The Bush administration is proposing a big budget increase for the CIA to pay for its role in the U.S. war on terrorism.
The proposed 2003 budget contains an increase, estimated to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, that would bring the agency's budget to above $5 billion annually. Precise figures were unavailable; U.S. intelligence spending is classified. The CIA's annual budget was previously believed to be around $3.5 billion. The agency, which has faced some criticism for failing to detect the Sept. 11 attacks, has been a leading force in the war on terrorism, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. In the days after the attacks, President Bush endorsed CIA Director George J. Tenet's plan for covert war against al-Qaida, and CIA officers were operating in Afghanistan well before the first U.S. military units arrived.
The proposed increase is believed to include spending to train and arm counterterrorist teams in many of the countries supporting the war on terror, as well as augment the capabilities of those countries' own intelligence services.
Large spending spikes at the CIA typically represent a major ramping up of covert operations or, occasionally, a new satellite program, experts said.Associated Press, published 02-05-2002
|02-05-2002||Defense increase largest since 1966 |
The White House on Monday unveiled a mammoth $379-billion budget for the Pentagon that is expected to provide a bounty of expanded resources for intelligence agencies but otherwise relatively little new funding for the war on terrorism.
The budget calls for a $48-billion overall increase in defense spending, a 14% jump that represents the largest percentage increase since the United States escalated its involvement in the Vietnam War in 1966.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the increase was necessary to put the United States on firm financial footing for its role as global peacekeeper.
John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a Virginia-based intelligence research firm, noted that an obscure line item hidden in the Air Force budget calls for an additional $1.9 billion in spending on "selected activities"--language that he said has previously served as budgeting code for the CIA.Los Angeles Times, published 02-05-2002
|02-05-2002||Bush budget packed with Boeing work |
Boeing was one of the big winners when President Bush unveiled his $379 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal 2003 yesterday, but cutting-edge technologies such as unmanned aircraft did not fare as well as old favorites like fighter jets and troop transports.
The president's budget also requests $4 billion for 12 C-17 troop transports, which Boeing builds in Long Beach, Calif., and $3.1 billion for 44 F/A-18E/F fighters for the Navy. Also known as the Super Hornet, the FA-18E/F is built in St. Louis.Seattle Times, published 02-05-2002
|02-05-2002||Kofi Annan willing to talk with Iraq on weapons inspectors|
Secretary General Kofi Annan is willing to resume a dialogue with Iraq regarding compliance with U.N. resolutions, a U.N. spokesman said February 5.
Arab League Secretary General Amre Mousa met with the secretary general February 4 at U.N. headquarters after a visit to Baghdad. Mousa brought a message from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein saying that the Iraqis were prepared to resume dialogue with the secretary general without any preconditions, the U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. ....
The general subject for such a meeting would be Iraq-U.N. relations, with the key matter being the return of U.N. weapon inspectors to Iraq, the spokesman said.United Nations - Washington File, published 02-06-2002
|02-06-2002||CIA Director George Tenet on Saddam threat|
Let me be clear: Saddam remains a threat. He is determined to thwart UN sanctions, press ahead with weapons of mass destruction, and resurrect the military force he had before the Gulf war. Today, he maintains his vise grip on the levers of power through a pervasive intelligence and security apparatus, and even his reduced military force-which is less than half its pre-war size-remains capable of defeating more poorly armed internal opposition groups and threatening Iraq's neighbors.Worldwide Threat - Converging Dangers in a Post 9/11 World, published 02-06-2002
|02-06-2002||Bush examining full range of options on Iraq|
President Bush is "leaving no stone unturned as to what we might do," Powell said, in dealing with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's refusal to permit U.N. international weapons inspections to resume....
Powell declined to elaborate on the extent of the options under consideration by the Bush administration. However, he said there is no doubt that Iraq is pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
"The best intelligence we have suggests that it isn't something they have ready to pop out with in the next year or so. It would take them a bit longer," Powell said.Powell testimony to House International Relations Committee, published 02-06-2002
|02-06-2002||US says it will act to overthrow Saddam|
In a major policy shift, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, declared yesterday that there should be a "regime change" in Iraq and that Washington was prepared to pursue that goal alone if necessary.
General Powell told Congress: "We believe strongly in regime change in Iraq and look forward to the day when a democratic, representative government leads Iraq to rejoin the family of nations." In an admission of the lack of international backing for the overthrow of Mr Hussein, he suggested the US "might have to do it alone". And he had a curt answer to Iraq's offer of a new dialogue, saying this should be "a very short discussion" in which the UN inspectors, ejected in 1998, "have to go back on our terms".
[For the original archived article, and for a fee, please click here
.]The Independent, published 02-07-2002
|02-07-2002||Franks: Nov 02 - Feb 03 best invasion timeframe|
“If we had to,” the president asked, “could we go earlier?”
“Mr. President, we can go earlier,” Franks answered.
What would that mean?
“What it would mean is it would be ugly,” Franks said.
Bush laughed. "Well, what does that mean?"
"On the current trend line we’re using now to build forces," Franks said, "to get our deception the way we want our deception to work the best, the optimum timing looks like November through February. Yes, we can go anytime between now and then, but if we do it early, one or more of these lines of operations is not going to be robust. I mean we’re going to be suboptimized somewhere.
Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack
, p. 101, published 07-01-2004
|02-07-2002||Charles Duelfer: US inclined to solve Iraqi problem militarily|
Charles Duelfer, a former deputy chairman of the UN weapons inspectors and a leading Iraq specialist, said: "They've taken the decision that the Iraq problem has to be solved, not managed, and there's certainly an inclination to do this militarily. But the details still have to be worked out."
[For the original archived article, and for a fee, please click here
.]The Independent, published 02-07-2002
|02-07-2002||Ariel Sharon convinced Saddam would be confronted soon. Preliminary plans for military action in Iraq by August, 2002|
On Feb. 7, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon left a meeting with Bush convinced that he would confront Saddam, and soon. By March, White House aides were making preliminary plans for military action in Iraq that could have begun as early as August.
But the task would prove to be harder and take longer than Rumsfeld and others had hoped. Some of those who complained they hadn't been fully consulted while the decision was being made — from military planners to foreign leaders — raised their concerns.
The White House hadn't asked the CIA and other intelligence agencies to produce a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. These documents, a mainstay for national security decision-making since the CIA was founded in 1947, compile all the intelligence data available on a subject into a single analysis.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|02-11-2002||Powell: Iraq not threatening the American people|
MR. BLITZER: And as much as you'll be talking about the peace process during this trip, you'll also focus on the situation involving Iraq and Saddam Hussein, reports that over these past two years since there have been no inspectors there, he's pursuing weapons of mass destruction. What, if anything, can you do to reverse that situation if, in fact, that's unfolding inside Iraq?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think what we have to do is make sure we continue to tell the world that we are not after the Iraqi people. We are after these weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein said he would not be producing and entered into an agreement at the end of the Gulf War that he would not be producing.
And we have to make sure that we keep the pressure on him to meet that commitment. Because those weapons are not threatening American youngsters. They're not threatening the American people. They're threatening the people of Jordan and Syria and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and Israel, and of the region. And so he has to comply with what he said he would do, and what the UN insists that he does, as part of the end of the Gulf War.CNN - Late Edition, published 02-12-2002
|02-11-2002||Woolsey arranges the debriefing of an Iraqi defector produced by the INC|
A former CIA director who advocated war against Saddam Hussein helped arrange the debriefing of an Iraqi defector who falsely claimed that Iraq had biological-warfare laboratories disguised as yogurt and milk trucks.
R. James Woolsey's role as a go-between was detailed in a classified Defense Department report chronicling how the defector's assertion came to be included in the Bush administration's case for war even after the defector was determined to be a fabricator.
A senior U.S. official summarized portions of the report for Knight Ridder on condition of anonymity because it's top secret. The report said that on Feb. 11, 2002, Woolsey telephoned Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Linton Wells about the defector and told him how to contact the man, who'd been produced by an Iraqi exile group eager to oust Saddam. Wells said he passed the information to the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Woolsey's previously undisclosed role in the case of Maj. Mohammad Harith casts new light on how prominent invasion advocates outside the government used their ties to senior officials in the Bush administration to help make the case for war. Knight Ridder, published 07-15-2004
|02-12-2002||Bush has decided to overthrow Hussein - gives orders to devise plans|
President Bush has decided to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power and ordered the CIA, the Pentagon and other agencies to devise a combination of military, diplomatic and covert steps to achieve that goal, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday.
No military strike is imminent, but Bush has concluded that Saddam and his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs are such a threat to U.S. security that the Iraqi dictator must be removed, even if U.S. allies do not help, said the officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.
"This is not an argument about whether to get rid of Saddam Hussein. That debate is over. This is ... how you do it," a senior administration official said in an interview with Knight Ridder. ...
A diplomatic offensive aimed at generating international support for overthrowing Saddam's regime is likely to precede any attack on Iraq. ...
The United States, perhaps with U.N. backing, is then expected to demand that Saddam readmit inspectors to root out Iraq's chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs. ...
If Baghdad refuses to readmit inspectors or if Saddam prevents them from carrying out their work, as he has in the past, Bush would have a pretext for action.Knight Ridder, published 02-13-2002
|02-12-2002||Rumsfeld on lack of evidence linking Iraq WMD and terrorism|
Rumsfeld answers question on if he knows of any evidence that Iraq has supplied terrorists with WMDs:
SEC. RUMSFELD: Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
For the full text of the quote see the link.Dept of Defense Press Conference, published 02-12-2002
|02-13-2002||Bush: "Whatever options I have, I'll keep them close to my vest."|
Q Mr. President, your advisors have long said that there needs to be regime change in Iraq. Are you looking at military action to achieve that goal? How could Saddam be toppled? ...
PRESIDENT BUSH: Ron, I meant what I said the other night, that there are some nations in the world which develop weapons of mass destruction with one intention, and that is to hold America hostage and/or harm Americans and/or our friends and allies. And I also meant what I said, that I look forward to working with the world to bring pressure on those nations to change their behavior. But make no mistake about it, if we need to, we will take necessary action to defend the American people.
And I think that statement was clear enough for Iraq to hear me. And I will reserve whatever options I have, I'll keep them close to my vest. President -- or Saddam Hussein needs to understand I'm serious about defending our country.Remarks by President Bush and President Musharraf of Pakistan, published 02-13-2002
|02-13-2002||Ken Adelman: Cakewalk in Iraq|
Even before President Bush had placed Iraq on his "axis of evil," dire warnings were being sounded about the danger of acting against Saddam Hussein's regime.
Two knowledgeable Brookings Institution analysts, Philip H. Gordon and Michael E. O'Hanlon, concluded that the United States would "almost surely" need "at least 100,000 to 200,000" ground forces [op-ed, Dec. 26, 2001]. Worse: "Historical precedents from Panama to Somalia to the Arab-Israeli wars suggest that... the United States could lose thousands of troops in the process." ...
I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps. ...
Once President Bush clearly announces that our objective is to rid Iraq of Hussein, and our unshakable determination to do whatever it takes to win, defections from the Iraqi army may come even faster than a decade ago. ...
[Note to reader: The writer was assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977, and arms control director under President Ronald Reagan.
Kenneth (Ken) Adelman biography
. For Adelman's follow-up Op-Ed please see 'Cakewalk' Revisited, 4/10/03
.]Commentary in the Washington Post, published 02-13-2002
|02-14-2002||Bush sees military as option on Iraq |
President Bush yesterday left open the option of a military attack on Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, saying the Iraqi president ''needs to understand I am serious.''
The president's comments came after senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, said earlier this week that US policy has shifted from containing Iraq to bringing about a ''regime change'' through a combination of diplomatic, economic, and military methods.Boston Globe, published 02-14-2002
|02-15-2002||Cheney: Iraq harbors terrorists and is 'actively and agressively' pursuing WMD capabilities|
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Iraq is clearly -- again, as the President pointed out in his State of the Union speech -- very much of concern. And not only do they have a robust set of programs to develop their own weapons of mass destruction, this is a place that has used it. You know, Saddam used chemical agents on the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War, and on his own people when he used them against the Kurds in times past. And we know he drove the inspectors out three years ago, and we know he has been actively and aggressively doing everything he can to enhance his capabilities.
He has, in the past, had some dealings with terrorists, clearly. Abu Nidal for a long time operated out of Baghdad. And so if you were to put together a list of states, given our concern of weapons of mass destruction, states that have supported terrorists in the past or have links and ties, clearly that's got to be one we focus on.Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations , published 02-15-2002
|02-17-2002||Powell: no links between Iraq and 9/11 attacks - Saddam "bottled up"|
MR. RUSSERT: Vice President Cheney had told me on September 16th on this program, just five days after the 11th, that Iraq was not involved in the events of September 11th. And he went on to say that, "Saddam Hussein is bottled up."
Is there a change in policy in view toward Saddam Hussein?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't think so. So far, now that it is February, we still haven't seen any direct linkage to the events of 11 September and the Iraqi regime. And to some extent, yes, he is bottled up. The sanctions constrain him to some extent and he is certainly not welcome in any other country in the region.NBC - Meet the Press, published 02-17-2002
|02-17-2002||Wolfowitz: We can't wait until terrorists get nuclear or biological weapons to act |
Wolfowitz: Look, I think what leads to a very, very dangerous place is the mixture of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists who, as they demonstrated on September 11th, don't even care about their own lives, much less the lives of other people. We now, after September 11th, have a graphic, clear understanding of what commercial airliners can do. We can't wait until we have a graphic, clear understanding of what biological weapons or nuclear weapons can do before we do something about breaking that connection.Dept of Defense Transcript - Fox News Sunday, published 02-17-2002
|02-19-2002||Franks tells Graham forces in Afghanistan are being redeployed for Iraq|
At that point, General Franks asked for an additional word with me in his office. When I walked in, he closed the door. Looking troubled, he said, "Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan."
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq," he continued. "The Predators are being relocated. What we are doing is a manhunt. We have wrapped ourselves too much in trailing Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. We're better at being a meat ax than finding a needle in a haystack. That's not our mission, and that's not what we are trained or prepared to do."
Bob Graham, Intelligence Matters
, p. 125, published 09-01-2004
|02-19-2002||Dept of Defense starts Office of Strategic Influence to influence public sentiment|
The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said. The military has long engaged in information warfare against hostile nations — for instance, by dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages into Afghanistan when it was still under Taliban rule.
But it recently created the Office of Strategic Influence, which is proposing to broaden that mission into allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe. The office would assume a role traditionally led by civilian agencies, mainly the State Department.
To help the new office, the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington-based international consulting firm run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. The firm, which is being paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.
Officials at the Rendon Group say terms of their contract forbid them to talk about their Pentagon work. But the firm is well known for running propaganda campaigns in Arab countries, including one denouncing atrocities by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The firm has been hired as the Bush administration appears to have united around the goal of ousting Mr. Hussein. "Saddam Hussein has a charm offensive going on, and we haven't done anything to counteract it," a senior military official said.
[Original article requires a fee
to view.]New York Times, published 02-19-2002
|02-20-2002||Ambassador Joseph Wilson sent to Niger to verify report of Iraq uranium purchase|
In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office. ...
It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place. ...
Before I left Niger, I briefed the ambassador on my findings, which were consistent with her own. I also shared my conclusions with members of her staff. In early March, I arrived in Washington and promptly provided a detailed briefing to the CIA I later shared my conclusions with the State Department African Affairs Bureau. There was nothing secret or earth-shattering in my report, just as there was nothing secret about my trip.
Though I did not file a written report, there should be at least four documents in United States government archives confirming my mission. The documents should include the ambassador's report of my debriefing in Niamey, a separate report written by the embassy staff, a C.I.A. report summing up my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally). While I have not seen any of these reports, I have spent enough time in government to know that this is standard operating procedure.
[While the full article may be read at Joe Wilson's website (link below) you may also obtain the article for a fee from the New York Times
]New York Times - 'What I didn't find in Africa' by Joe Wilson, IV, published 07-06-2003
|02-20-2002||Rumsfeld: Iraq has chemical, biological and nuclear weapons|
". . . [W]ith respect to Iraq, what you have there is a country that is on the terrorist list. It is a country that has developed weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological, and had a very active nuclear program for a number of years. It's a country that invaded its neighbor, Kuwait. It's a country that has threatened and called illegitimate many of its other neighbors. It's a country that has had wars on both sides of its borders. It's a country that has used chemical weapons against its own people as well as its neighbors."Dept of Defense Press Briefing, published 02-20-2002
|02-24-2002||Rumsfeld: Weapons inspections must be more intrusive|
Previous weapons inspections inside Iraq were often ineffective and relied upon defectors, said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Any new inspections program, he added, must be much stronger and more intrusive to end Saddam Hussein's efforts to build weapons of mass destruction.
Speaking on the television new program Face the Nation, February 24, Rumsfeld said: "The Iraqis have had more time to go underground. They've had lots of dual-use technologies that have come in. They've had lots of illicit things that have come in. They have advanced their weapons of mass destruction programs.
As a result, Rumsfeld pointed out: "If you try to use the old regime, it wouldn't work. You would have to have a much more intrusive regime and many more inspectors and the Iraqis not controlling when they could come in, where they could go, what they could do."
[The summary above taken from here
]CBS - Face the Nation, published 02-24-2002
|02-25-2002||Rumsfeld has doubts about Iraq inspections|
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cast doubt Sunday on the ability of United Nations inspectors to find banned Iraqi weapons...Rumsfeld said past inspections had failed and was doubtful more intrusive inspections would work.
''Under the best of circumstances, inspectors have a very, very difficult time, because you're dealing with a regime that . . . kills people, that lies, that's had years to hide things,'' Rumsfeld said.
[CBS "Face the Nation" interview here
.]USA Today, published 02-25-2002
|02-27-2002||200 high ranking Iraqi Military exiles to meet in Washington to discuss overthrow of Saddam |
An organization representing Iraqi opposition factions announced Wednesday that it will convene a conference of more than 200 former high-ranking Iraqi military officers in Washington next month.... to develop a plan of action to confront Saddam's regime.
A State Department official contacted by CNN said approval of funding for that conference was likely. The State Department said it is likely the conference will take place at a military-related facility in the Washington area, but the location is still under discussion.CNN - World, published 02-27-2002
|02-28-2002||US diplomats and CIA in Northern Iraq to aid opposition |
U.S. diplomats and CIA officers in recent months have visited northern Iraq, an area protected by U.S. and British military overflights. "Our assessment is that this administration is much more serious than before," said Mohammad Sabir, the U.S. representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, an Iraqi Kurdish faction.USA Today, published 02-28-2002
|02-28-2002||Bush approves plan for CIA covert activities to remove Saddam|
"... two experts on Iraq outside the government say the CIA already is implementing a new covert plan to topple Saddam, who has ruled Iraq for more than two decades. One of them, a former top CIA official who maintains contacts at the agency, says President Bush approved the plan three weeks ago.
The CIA plans to arm Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and to train and arm Shiite Muslims in the south, the former CIA official said.
Others who say they are familiar with the plan said it would also encourage defections within the Iraqi military.
Neither the White House nor the CIA would confirm Wednesday that such a plan exists.USA Today, published 02-28-2002
|02-28-2002||Blair says Iraq poses a threat to the world|
"I certainly agree with him very strongly that weapons of mass destruction represent a real threat to world stability.
"Those who are engaged in spreading weapons of mass destruction are engaged in an evil trade and it is important that we make sure that we take action in respect of it. ...
"The accumulation of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq poses a threat, not just to the region but to the wider world.
"And I think George Bush was absolutely right to raise it. ...
But asked if Britain was ready to use force against Iraq, Mr Blair said: "When we're ready to take action then we'll announce it. It is a real issue. It is a real threat. How we deal with it is an open matter."BBC News, published 02-28-2002