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|Month/Day/Year||Summary of Events - Click to expand or collapse an entry|
|03-2002||5th Special Forces group pulled from Afghanistan to work in Iraq |
The Pentagon pulled the fighting force most equipped for hunting down Osama bin Laden from Afghanistan in March 2002 in order to pre- position it for Iraq cannot be denied.
Fifth Group Special Forces were a rare breed in the US military: they spoke Arabic, Pastun and Dari. They had been in Afghanistan for half a year, had developed a network of local sources and alliances, and believed that they were closing in on bin Laden.
Without warning, they were then given the task of tracking down Saddam. "We were going nuts on the ground about that decision," one of them recalls.The Guardian, published 04-26-2004
|03-2002||Under Secretary John Bolton orchestrates unlawful firing of Jose Bustani|
John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved. A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani "had to go," particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.
. . . The Iraq connection to the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] affair comes as fresh evidence surfaces that the Bush administration was intent from early on to pursue military and not diplomatic action against Saddam Hussein's regime. An official British document, disclosed last month, said Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed in April 2002 to join in an eventual U.S. attack on Iraq. Two weeks later, Bustani was ousted, with British help.USA Today - Associated Press, published 06-04-2005
|03-2002||1,800 US special force troops in Iraq|
Already, 1,800 US troops (mostly Special Forces) are inside Iraq, at least since the end of March and, in fact, units there were visited two months ago by CIA director George Tenet during a side trip from Israel and Palestine.Asian Times, published 08-17-2002
|03-2002||Cheney tells Senators an attack on Iraq is definite|
Dick Cheney carried the same message to Capitol Hill in late March. The Vice President dropped by a Senate Republican policy lunch soon after his 10-day tour of the Middle East — the one meant to drum up support for a U.S. military strike against Iraq. As everyone in the room well knew, his mission had been thrown off course by the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. But Cheney hadn't lost focus. Before he spoke, he said no one should repeat what he said, and Senators and staff members promptly put down their pens and pencils. Then he gave them some surprising news. The question was no longer if the U.S. would attack Iraq, he said. The only question was when. TIME Online, published 05-05-2002
|03-2002||US launches Radio Sawa to be broadcasted in Iraq|
|03-2002||Iraeli-Palestinian issues, difficulties of postwar government in Iraq, causes the notion of a stealth strike to fade. |
When Cheney was dispatched to tour Arab capitals in March to rally support against Saddam, he was met instead by demands that the United States first address escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israeli diplomats raised another issue. They asked that Bush consider waiting to attack Iraq until Israel's improved missile-defense system had been more fully deployed.
The notion of a stealth strike faded. The difficulties of establishing a stable postwar government in Afghanistan made policymakers wary of taking on the same task in Baghdad too soon. Administration officials concluded that a bigger military operation would be required.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|03-01-2002||Bush: "We're Taking Him [Saddam] Out"|
Two months ago, a group of Republican and Democratic Senators went to the White House to meet with Condoleezza Rice, the President's National Security Adviser. Bush was not scheduled to attend but poked his head in anyway - and soon turned the discussion to Iraq.
He [Bush] showed little interest in debating what to do about Saddam. Instead, he became notably animated, according to one person in the room, used a vulgar epithet to refer to Saddam and concluded with four words that left no one in doubt about Bush's intentions: "We're taking him out."TIME Online, published 03-05-2002
|03-01-2002||Iraq invites Britain to find weapons|
Iraq has challenged Britain to prove it is developing weapons of mass destruction, saying it was ready to receive "right now" any British team in the country, an official spokesman was quoted as saying Friday.
"Iraq is ready to receive right now any British team sent by (Prime Minister Tony) Blair and accompanied by the British media to show the world where and how is Iraq developing such weapons," the unidentified Iraqi spokesman was quoted as saying by the official al-Thawra newspaper.
Britain's Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, speaking to the British Broadcasting Corp. Friday, said: "They (Iraq) have consistently refused to allow U.N. weapons inspections and that must mean we are deeply suspicious about is what is going on. They are a concern that we have to address," Hoon said.
"That is what we have to learn from the appalling events of Sept. 11, that we cannot afford to ignore issues that can provoke a threat to our own security," he added.
[Original article no longer available on a news website page]Associated Press, published 03-01-2002
|03-05-2002||Foreign Secretary Jack Straw: "evidence of increased efforts to procure nuclear-related material"|
There is evidence of increased efforts to procure nuclear-related material and technology, and that nuclear research and development work has begun again: indeed, without the controls which we have imposed, Saddam would have had a nuclear bomb by now. ....
If he has nothing to hide, why doesn’t he let them return and do so without preconditions? As long as he refuses, we can only suspect the worst — and this obliges us to look at other ways of limiting his capability. ....
No decisions have been taken, but let no one — especially Saddam — doubt our resolve.
[Original article no longer available at the Times (UK). In addition to the US Embassy, Rome link below, the same article may be viewed here
.]Times - UK, published 03-05-2002
|03-07-2002||First Iraq weapons talks "useful" UN says|
Calling the first talks between the United Nations and Iraq on returning UN weapons inspectors to that country "frank and useful," a UN spokesman said March 7 that a second round of talks will be held in mid-April "based on a well-defined agenda agreed in advance."
The talks between Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri and Secretary General Kofi Annan were the first in three years. Since 1998, Iraq has refused to cooperate with the UN on any further weapons inspections or the destruction of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and their programs. Also attending the meeting was Hans Blix, executive chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), which oversees the weapons inspections. ...
In an interview with the New York Times newspaper March 6, Blix said that the Security Council resolutions meant unrestricted access for weapons inspectors.
"The resolutions make it quite clear that there should be access that is unconditional, immediate and unrestricted," he said.United Nations - Washington File, published 03-07-2002
|03-08-2002||Bush on bin Laden: There is no cave deep enough|
And by the way, the war against terror is bigger than any single individual. Oh, I know there are some always talking about this bin Laden fellow. But remember, he's the kind of fellow who--he asks youngsters to go commit suicide, and he tries to bury inside a cave. We haven't heard from him in a long time. He's been kind of quiet for months. I don't know if he's alive; I don't know if he's dead. But I know this: If he is alive, there is no cave deep enough for the United States. We're going to find him.
It doesn't matter whether he was brought to justice a month ago or years from now.Remarks by the President to Republican Party of Florida, published 03-08-2002
|03-08-2002||UK top secret document outlines military options for Iraq regime change|
|03-08-2002||UK top secret document examines legality of the use of force against Iraq|
Memo from UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (office of Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary) to Tony Blair advising him on the legality of the use of force against Iraq.
Also see the article
regarding this leaked document by Michael Smith of the Telegraph.The Telegraph - Michael Smith, published 09-18-2004
|03-11-2002||Rice: US has made no decision on Iraq|
The United States is consulting with its friends and allies about future policy towards Iraq, but it has made no decision on the use of force against the Saddam Hussein regime, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said in a March 11 interview on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Newshour with Jim Lehrer.
In response to a question, Rice said "it's not fair to say that our friends and allies have said that they're unequivocally opposed to any particular action against Iraq. What they said is they want us to be cautious, that they understand fully the threat that Iraq poses, and I want to be very clear that the United States has not said that the time has come for the use of force against Iraq. We're in a phase of consulting with our friends and allies.
[The summary above, which also includes the complete interview, taken from here
]PBS - NewsHour, published 03-12-2002
|03-12-2002||Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) established |
The Homeland Security Advisory System will provide a comprehensive and effective means to disseminate information regarding the risk of terrorist attacks to Federal, State, and local authorities and to the American people.
As part of a series of initiatives to improve coordination and communication among all levels of government and the American public in the fight against terrorism, President Bush signed Homeland Security Presidential Directive 3, creating the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). The advisory system will be the foundation for building a comprehensive and effective communications structure for the dissemination of information regarding the risk of terrorist attacks to all levels of government and the American people. ...
A variety of factors may be used to assess the threat. Among these:
Is the threat credible?
Is the threat corroborated?
Is the threat specific and/or imminent?
How grave is the threat?
[On this date threat assessment is started at the Elevated level (Yellow) and remains at this level until Sep. 10, 2002] Governor Ridge Announces Homeland Security Advisory System, published 03-12-2002
|03-13-2002||Bush on bin Laden: not that concerned about him|
Q. Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Usama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part, deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of----
The President. Well, deep in my heart, I know the man is on the run if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not? We haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is--really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission.
Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just--he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network is--his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match.
. . . So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly [Kelly Wallace, Cable News Network], to be honest with you.
. . . Q. But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?
The President. Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And again, I don't know where he is. I--I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.
But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became--we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his Al Qaida killers anymore.President Bush Holds Press Conference, published 03-13-2002
|03-14-2002||UK Foreign Policy Advisor briefs Blair on US meetings on Iraq|
SUMMARY: Memo to Tony Blair recounting Manning’s meetings with his US counterpart Condoleeza Rice (National Security Advisor), and advising Blair for his upcoming visit to Bush’s Crawford ranch.
Also see the article
regarding this leaked document by Michael Smith of the Telegraph.The Telegraph - Michael Smith, published 09-18-2004
|03-15-2002||UK Intelligence (MI6): "Patchy" intelligence on Iraq's WMD|
Mr Blair was going to have to wait for the dossier he wanted to win over the Left of the party. Mr Straw told the Prime Minister there was no way that any meaningful declassified report on Iraq could be published.
MI6 [CIA is the US equivalent] opposed revealing details of its intelligence and, at any event, it didn't back up the claims Mr Blair wanted the dossier to make. The latest Joint Intelligence Committee assessment, dated Friday, March 15, said information on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction was "sporadic and patchy".
It was barely able to back up the claim that Saddam had any sort of weapons programme, confining itself to concluding: "We believe Iraq retains some production equipment, and some small stocks of chemical warfare agent precursors, and may have hidden small quantities of agents and weapons. There is no intelligence on any biological agent production facilities."The Telegraph - Michael Smith, published 09-18-2004
|03-16-2002||Wolfowitz: The possibility of an event (that kills) tens of thousand or millions of Americans...is out there.|
"We have a problem. We have countries that have declared, and declare regularly, their hostility to the United States, countries that are involved with terrorists, countries that are developing weapons of mass destruction. That is the most noxious group possible. And it made the possibility of an event in which tens of thousands or millions of Americans are killing, something that would make September 11 pale in comparison -- that is out there. We have to do something about it. Exactly what we do, I think, is something that we've got to work with the American people, we've got to consult with our allies. What we can't do is just wait another 10, 20 years and hope that nothing happens."Dept of Defense Transcript - CNN/Novaks & Shields, published 03-16-2002
|03-18-2002||Ambassador Meyer briefs Secretary Manning on meeting with Wolfowitz|
British Ambassador Christopher Meyer Letter: to David Manning (UK Foreign Policy Advisor) recounting Meyer’s meeting with Paul Wolfowitz (US Deputy Secretary of Defense).
Also see the article
regarding this leaked document by Michael Smith of the Telegraph.The Telegraph - Michael Smith, published 09-18-2004
|03-18-2002||Bush: More fighting to do in Afghanistan|
President Bush, in a roundtable discussion in Missouri March 18, said "we've got a lot more fighting to do in Afghanistan."
"There are more al Qaeda killers in Afghanistan, perhaps in Pakistan, willing to come back into Afghanistan," he told small business owners and employees during a discussion in O'Fallon, Missouri.
"I know for a fact that they were trying to -- in the midst of this battle, in the midst of the United States military and our coalition forces being very successful -- they were trying to reinforce. And these are people that are -- they were willing to reinforce in the midst of the Shar-i-Kot Mountain range, where they were getting wiped out, they were willing to come back into Afghanistan to continue to try to hurt us. These are killers. They hate America, they hate America's freedom, they hate what America stands for. And they are relentless," Bush said.
"But so are we, and we will be more relentless than they are. That's why I've urged the American people to be patient, and the American people are patient. And that's why I've urged Congress to fund the U.S. military. And I hope Congress does fund the U.S. military to the fullest, because we've got a lot more fighting to do in Afghanistan."
[The summary above taken from here
]President to Employees of Albers Manufacturing Company, Inc, published 03-18-2002
|03-19-2002||CIA Director Tenet says Iraq pursues WMD|
"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,...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. ...
We believe Saddam never abandoned his nuclear weapons program. Iraq retains a significant number of nuclear scientists, program documentation, and probably some dual-use manufacturing infrastructure that could support a reinvigorated nuclear weapons program."
Excerpt above taken from main link provided below.
[Unclassified Testimony of Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, 19 March 2002 (24 pg PDF)
may be obtained here
.]George Tenet Testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, published 03-20-2002
|03-19-2002||Vice Admiral Wilson: Iraq retains a residual level of WMD and missile capabilities|
Iraq retains a residual level of WMD and missile capabilities. The lack of intrusive inspection and disarmament mechanisms permits Baghdad to enhance these programs. Iraq probably retains limited numbers of SCUD-variant missiles, launchers, and warheads capable of delivering biological and chemical agents. Baghdad continues work on short-range (150 km) liquid and solid propellant missiles allowed by UNSCR 687 and can use this expertise for future long range missile development. Iraq may also have begun to reconstitute chemical and biological weapons programs.
Despite the damage done to Iraq's missile infrastructure during the Gulf War and Operation Desert Fox, Iraq may have ambitions for longer- range missiles, including an ICBM. Depending on the success of acquisition efforts and the degree of foreign support, it is possible that Iraq could develop and test an ICBM capable of reaching the US by 2015.
Excerpt above appears near the end of the page, under the heading "Iraq".
[Global Threats and Challenges:
Statement by Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, 19 March 2002 (29 pg PDF)
may be obtained here
.]Statement - Senate Armed Services Committee , published 03-19-2002
|03-21-2002||Cheney wary about Iraq and nuclear weapons|
"Q Mr. Vice President, on Iraq, the other main item on your agenda, you said we have a lot of allies out there. But I haven't noticed any of the Arab states -- maybe they say things privately that they don't publicly, we've long been told that -- supporting strong action against Iraq. They seem to want diplomacy to be given a chance, Annan's efforts, sanction changes, et cetera. What kind of response did you get?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think -- I guess the way I would characterize is they are uniformly concerned about the situation in Iraq, . . . [that] they are as concerned as we are when they see the work that he has done to develop chemical and biological weapons, and his pursuit of nuclear weapons; the past history that we all know about, in terms of his having used chemicals. . . .
That's not the kind of man we want to see develop even more deadly capacity -- for example nuclear weapons.President, Vice President Discuss the Middle East, published 03-21-2002
|03-21-2002||Rumsfeld discusses five coalition tasks in Afghanistan & comment on Iraq|
Potentially difficult times lie ahead in Afghanistan for the United States and the anti-terror coalition, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says. ...
Rumsfeld laid out five tasks for the United States and its coalition partners in Afghanistan:
-- To continue to pursue al-Qaida and Taliban forces;
-- To continue to go after al-Qaida and Taliban leadership;
-- To try to be helpful in training a new Afghan national army;
-- To, meanwhile, maintain a stabilizing presence for humanitarian activities to take place and the new government to establish itself; and
-- To work with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on intelligence, logistics and providing a quick reaction force. ...
TIMES: Does it matter to America what other countries feel about any plans [military action against Iraq] you may have?
RUMSFELD: The problem with that is the President may or may not have plans at some point in the future, and it seems to me it would be very difficult for other countries to even have much of an opinion until such time as the -- which if he were to decide that he wanted to do something with respect to Iraq, whether it be diplomatic or economic or whatever. There are lots of elements of relationships among countries.
The fact remains that the sanctions [leak] and that things are getting in under dual-use, under the guise of dual-use that are being immediately turned to military advantage. The question people in the world have to ask is how do you feel about that, to be providing that type, under the guise of oil and food, and food for the Iraqi people, and for shelter in Iraq and (inaudible) in fact that money is going to (inaudible) food for the people of Iraq. That's for sure.Donald Rumsfeld interviews with two British publications, published 03-27-2002
|03-22-2002||UK Foreign Political Director Peter Ricketts letter to Jack Straw on Iraq|
British Foreign Office Political Director Peter Ricketts Letter: to Jack Straw (UK Foreign Secretary) providing Ricketts’ advice for the Prime Minister on issues of the threat posed by Iraq, connections to al Qaida, post-war considerations and working with the UN.
Also see the article
regarding this leaked document by Michael Smith of the Telegraph.The Telegraph - Michael Smith, published 09-18-2004
|03-22-2002||Report to Congress: No hard evidence links Iraq to September 11th|
Bush Administration policy toward Iraq changed after the September 11 terrorist attacks, even though little or no hard evidence linking Iraq to those attacks has come to light. The shift toward a more assertive policy first became clear in President Bush’s State of the Union message on January 29, 2002, when he characterized Iraq as part of an “axis of evil,” along with Iran and North Korea.
Above excerpt appears on page 10 of 18 page PDF."Iraq: US Efforts to Change the Regime" CRS report to Congress (PDF), published 03-22-2002
|03-24-2002||Cheney: Saddam actively pursuing nuclear weapons|
BLITZER: Are you still committed to trying to get U.N. weapons inspection teams back into Iraq? ...
CHENEY: What we said, Wolf, if you go back and look at the record is, the issue's not inspectors. The issue is that he has chemical weapons and he's used them. The issue is that he's developing and has biological weapons. The issue is that he's pursuing nuclear weapons.
. . . And he is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time, and we think that's cause for concern for us and for everybody in the region.White House Transcript - CNN - Late Edition, published 03-24-2002
|03-24-2002||Cheney on Osama bin Laden: 'We'd like to wrap it up' |
BLITZER: And your best assessment where Osama bin Laden is right now?
CHENEY: I think he's still in the area of Afghanistan, maybe across the border in Pakistan someplace, but I think he's still out in the general area.
BLITZER: Still alive.
CHENEY: If he's not dead. But we don't know. But obviously, we'd like to wrap him up; I expect we probably will.White House Transcript - CNN - Late Edition, published 03-24-2002
|03-25-2002||UK Top Secret Document - Memo from Jack Straw to Tony Blair for preparation of meeting with Bush|
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw memo to Tony Blair in preparation for Blair’s visit to Bush’s Crawford ranch, covering Iraq-al Qaida linkage, legality of invasion, weapons inspectors and post-war considerations.
Also see the article
regarding this leaked document by Michael Smith of the Telegraph.The Telegraph - Michael Smith, published 09-18-2004
|03-27-2002||USAF headquarters to be moved into Qatar to bypass Saudi objections|
The US Air Force has begun preparations to move its Gulf headquarters from Saudi Arabia to Qatar, to bypass Saudi objections to military action against Iraq, according to Saudi analysts and businessmen involved in the relocation.The Guardian, published 03-27-2002
|03-27-2002||Blair committed to Iraq War|
"Fresh evidence has come to light suggesting that Tony Blair committed himself to war in Iraq nearly a year before the American and British assault in March Downing Street has consistently refused to disclose the date on which Mr Blair promised George Bush that Britain would join the US in an invasion of Iraq. But evidence obtained by the IoS suggests that it was as early as April 2002, when the Prime Minister met President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas."
"A ruling by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, seen by the IoS, says the Government sought advice about the legality of a possible invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2002 as the result of "statements made in a particular press release".
The press release is understood to have been in the name of the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who condemned Israel for failing to comply fully with United Nations resolutions calling for it to withdraw after an armed incursion into Palestinian areas. As well as demanding that Israel "respect international law", the press release quoted Britain's then ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who said the "political and moral authority of the UN is not to be cast aside lightly".
The date of the release was 9 April 2002, the day after Mr Blair completed his two-day summit with Mr Bush in Texas. The implication is that immediately after the Downing Street official spokesman had denied that the meeting was a "council of war", the Government was investigating the legality of such a war.
The issue is now being raised by the Liberal Democrats, who are concerned about the sudden urgency of ministers' inquiries immediately after the summit with President Bush. "To be asserting the authority of the UN when there were discussions about possibly breaking the UN Charter is double standards at the very least," said their foreign affairs spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell. "It underlines the need to know precisely when this request [for legal advice] was made."
Such an early commitment to war in Iraq by Mr Blair, who insisted well into the following
[Note to reader: Original web page requires paid subscription
to view]The Independent, published 02-27-2005
|03-29-2002||Franks: We are not positioning troops or equipment for military action against Iraq|
Q: Are you now pre-positioning men or weapons or material in anticipation of a possible military action against Iraq?
Q: You're not?
Franks: We have not -- we have not positioned assets in my region in anticipation of an action any place, with the exception of what we have talked about in Yemen, in terms of providing support to President Ali Abdullah Saleh in his efforts to reduce terrorism inside Yemen.Dept of Defense - Press Briefing, published 0000
|04-2002||Kurds are asked to agree to the establishment of CIA stations at their headquarters in Irbil and Suleimaniyah|
The agency runs a boot camp near Williamsburg in Virginia for its paramilitary units, which played an important role in Afghanistan. It is officially called Camp Perry, but inside the CIA it known simply as The Farm. Alongside the training camp it has a "black" area which serves as a venue for the secret side of US diplomacy. Foreign leaders, rebels or agents can be flown in without the complications of visas and customs, for meetings that officially never happen.
In late April, The Farm was the site of delicate talks with Kurdish leaders, aimed at persuading them to cooperate in the effort to topple President Saddam. The guests of honour were Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), and Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) - the only opposition with significant troop numbers and territory under their control.
The KDP and PUK confirm the meeting took place but officially insist it took place in Germany. Privately Kurdish opposition officials confirm they flew to Virginia.
A US intelligence source also told the Guardian that the encounter took place at The Farm and that the US was represented by CIA officials and General Wayne Downing, the president's military adviser on counter-terrorism and the author of a 1998 plan to unseat Saddam relying heavily on local opposition and US air power.
"The idea was to see what the Kurds would be prepared to do in a war on Baghdad," the US source said.
Specifically, the Kurds were asked to agree to the establishment of CIA stations at their headquarters in Irbil and Suleimaniyah, but they demurred. According to one account, Mr Barzani and Mr Talabani asked for more money than the CIA was prepared to offer.
However, according to a Kurdish source, the meeting failed for a more fundamental reason: lack of trust. The Kurds had been encouraged to rise up against Saddam twice, in 1991 and 1995, and both times Washington had abandoned them to the Iraqi army. In 1995, the CIA pulled the plug on the insurrection 48 hours before it was due to begin.The Guardian, published 07-10-2002
|04-2002||Franks asked Pentagon for force of 200,000 in April|
The Washington Times first reported in April that Gen. Tommy Franks, head of U.S. Central Command who would oversee an Iraq invasion, had asked Pentagon officials to approve a total force of more than 200,000.
This touched off a long debate inside the administration. Some Pentagon officials recommended a smaller force, arguing the progress in developing "smart" munitions in the past 10 years allowed for fewer troops.
In the end, Mr. Bush approved the general concept of a plan calling for up to 250,000, the number requested by Gen. Franks. Two sources said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who had appeared neutral on the issue in internal discussions, sided with his combatant commander.
[Original Washington Times web page no longer available.]Washington Times, published 11-13-2002
|04-03-2002||Accelerated push urging removal of Saddam Hussein|
"Furthermore, Mr. President, we urge you to accelerate plans for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. As you have said, every day that Saddam Hussein remains in power brings closer the day when terrorists will have not just airplanes with which to attack us, but chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, as well. It is now common knowledge that Saddam, along with Iran, is a funder and supporter of terrorism against Israel. Iraq has harbored terrorists such as Abu Nidal in the past, and it maintains links to the Al Qaeda network."PNAC Letter to Bush on the War on Terrorism, published 04-03-2002
|04-06-2002||Bush and Blair discuss Saddam and Iraq|
Q Thank you. Mr. President, you have yet to build an international coalition for military action against Iraq. Has the violence in the Middle East thwarted your efforts? And Prime Minister Blair, has Bush convinced you on the need for a military action against Iraq?
THE PRESIDENT: Adam, the Prime Minister and I, of course, talked about Iraq. We both recognize the danger of a man who's willing to kill his own people harboring and developing weapons of mass destruction. . . .
I explained to the Prime Minister that the policy of my government is the removal of Saddam and that all options are on the table.
THE PRIME MINISTER: I can say that any sensible person looking at the position of Saddam Hussein and asking the question, would the region, the world, and not least the ordinary Iraqi people be better off without the regime of Saddam Hussein, the only answer anyone could give to that question would be, yes.
Now, how we approach this, this is a matter for discussion. This is a matter for considering all the options. . . .
But the President is right to draw attention to the threat of weapons of mass destruction. That threat is real.President Bush, Prime Minister Blair Hold Press Conference at Crawford, Texas, published 04-06-2002
|04-06-2002||Blair agrees to back Bush on invasion plans|
When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change, provided that certain conditions were met: efforts had been made to construct a coalition/shape public opinion, the Israel-Palestine Crisis was quiescent, and the options for action to eliminate Iraq's WMD through the UN weapons inspectors had been exhausted.
We need now to reinforce this message and to encourage the US Government to place its military planning within a political framework, partly to forestall the risk that military action is precipitated in an unplanned way by, for example, an incident in the No Fly Zones. This is particularly important for the UK because it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action. Otherwise we face the real danger that the US will commit themselves to a course of action which we would find very difficult to support.Cabinet Office briefing paper, published 07-22-2002
|04-12-2002||Rumsfeld: Our policy is regime change...He's developing weapons of mass destruction|
RUMSFELD: The policy of our country, and of many countries, is that there should be a change of regime, that in fact, he is so repressive to his own people, he's killed so many of his own people, he's used gas on his own people, chemicals, he's invaded his neighbors, he's developing weapons of mass destruction, he's a person who threatens his neighbors, and describes them as illegitimate repeatedly.
You know, you could live with that in an earlier era where a person was a dictator and a vicious, repressive person, as long as he was basically harming his own people, and didn't have weapons of mass destruction, the world kind of set it off to the side and said, that's not right, and we recommend against it, but we're not going to do anything about that. And they would not use diplomacy or economic sanctions or military power to change it. Dept of Defense Transcript - CNN/Larry King, published 04-12-2002
|04-15-2002||US officials meet with Kurdish leaders to discuss ousting Saddam|
Leaders of the two main Kurdish parties that control northern Iraq met with U.S. administration officials last week to coordinate efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power, according to Iraqi dissidents and Arab press....
On Sunday the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported that both Barzani and Talabani met officials from the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA in Germany last week.
Quoting a Kurdish source the paper said both sides met for three days near Berlin and reviewed coordination "to launch a strike against Saddam most likely by the end of this year." Associated Press, published 04-22-2002
|04-15-2002||Skirmish on Iraq Inspections|
Hussein has given no indication about whether he will agree to new inspections. 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. ...
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. "The hawks' nightmare is that inspectors will be admitted, will not be terribly vigorous and not find anything," said a former U.S. official. "Economic sanctions would be eased, and the U.S. will be unable to act.
A former member of the previous U.N. inspection team said the Wolfowitz group is "afraid Saddam will draw us in to a diplomatic minuet." "While we will have disputes, they will be solved at the last minute and the closer it comes to the 2004 elections the more difficult it will be to take the military route," the former official said.Washington Post, published 04-15-2002
|04-16-2002||Rumsfeld doubts UN Inspectors to Iraq would be 'worth the effort'|
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld doubts that new U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq would be worth the effort. His view seems to contrast with the position of the State Department.
Speaking to reporters Monday about the prospect of resuming efforts to inspect for evidence that Iraq is illicitly developing nuclear weapons and means to deliver them, Rumsfeld made clear that he thinks Iraq inevitably would find ways to deny access or deceive the inspectors.CBS News, published 04-16-2002
|04-17-2002||Rumsfeld defends decision to use anti-Taliban Afghan forces|
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he knew of no evidence at the time of the military operation there, "nor do I know today of any evidence that ... [Osama bin Laden] was in Tora Bora at the time, or even where he is today."
Rumsfeld responded at an April 17 Pentagon briefing to a published report of opinions expressed by unnamed senior U.S. military officials that the decision to use Afghan forces instead of U.S. troops in the Tora Bora operation had resulted in bin Laden's escape.
Reacting to the characterization of the Tora Bora decision as "the worst failure of the Afghan campaign," Rumsfeld noted that the United States "made a conscious decision" to "go ahead and use" anti-Taliban Afghan forces.
"And how did it all work out, all in all? Well, not bad. The Taliban is gone. The al-Qaida are on the run. It was done with the rather, I would say, effective use of Afghan forces; I would say rather effective use of coalition forces, and all in all, it seemed to happen rather rapidly and rather successfully," Rumsfeld said.
[Complete text of Press conference
available ] State Dept Press Release - US Embassy Rome, published 04-17-2002
|04-17-2002||Bush: 'Engaged in Afghanistan, as long as it takes...to make the world better'|
President Bush said the United States will remain engaged in Afghanistan as long as needed in order to assist the Afghan people in developing a stable government and an effective economy.
Speaking at the Virginia Military Institute April 17, Bush recalled the legacy of General George C. Marshall, a former secretary of state and the creator of the Marshall Plan to rebuild war-torn Europe and prevent the spread of communism.
"As George Marshall so clearly understood, it will not be enough to make the world safer. We must make the world better," said Bush, in reference to the war against terrorism.
Bush pledged a relentless hunt for terrorist operatives who are likely to try and regroup "to murder, create mayhem and try to undermine Afghanistan's efforts to build lasting peace."Remarks by the President at Virginia Military Institute, published 04-17-2002
|04-21-2002||Under Secretary of Defense, Douglas Feith, ties Iraq to War on Terror |
"It's good to have the opportunity once again to address an AIPAC [American-Israel Public Affairs Committee] annual conference."
. . . "The major state supporters of terrorism -- Iraq, Syria and Iran -- offer incentives to encourage such bombings, host terrorist headquarters and supply the arms and explosives." ...
"With a few exceptions, such as Iraq, most countries now wish -- at least they now profess to wish -- to be associated with our global war against terrorism."Speech to American-Israel Public Affairs Committee , published 04-21-2002
|04-21-2002||Jose Bustani's Appeal to OPCW|
". . . one Member State [United States] tried – unsuccessfully – to force me to provide it with copies of each and every inspection report. I realise it even more deeply now, when one Member State [United States] is leading the campaign for my immediate departure from the OPCW, allegedly because of my “management style”. Yet, I am as convinced now as I was then, that the Chemical Weapons Convention will survive only if the principles of genuine multilateralism, true fairness, and equal treatment are preserved. And those are the principles that I have been trying to uphold every day of the last five years. ...
"The choices that you make during this session of the Conference will determine whether genuine multilateralism will survive, or whether it will be replaced by unilateralism in a multilateral disguise."Statement by Jose Bustani, Director-General of the Organization on the Prohibtion of Chemical Weapons, published 04-21-2002
|04-22-2002||US successfully deposed Jose Bustani, head of the OPCW|Summary from GPF Timeline:
The US successfully deposed Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at an emergency meeting of the treaty body. The US engineered the departure of the respected Brazilian diplomat despite his moving appeal to the 145 members of the organization. Bustani drew Washington’s ire by persuading Iraq to sign the treaty, reducing the pretext for US war on Iraq.
The following from The Guardian (link below) and also available here:
He [Bustani] has so successfully cajoled reluctant nations that the number of signatories to the convention has risen from 87 to 145 in the past five years: the fastest growth rate of any multilateral body in recent times.
In May 2000, as a tribute to his extraordinary record, Bustani was re-elected unanimously by the member states for a second five-year term, even though he had yet to complete his first one. Last year Colin Powell wrote to him to thank him for his "very impressive" work. But now everything has changed. The man celebrated for his achievements has been denounced as an enemy of the people.
[Note: An excellent article from In These Times
by Ian Williams, provides additional insight into the Bush Administration's "Unilateral Moves"
regarding Jose Bustani, Robert Watson and Mary Robinson.] The Guardian, published 04-16-2002
|04-26-2002||Rumsfeld: Iraq testing ballistic missiles|
"The risks, the dangers that chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear weapons pose to the world are of a different order than conventional weapons and our goal, obviously, is to have countries to not be terrorist countries. Our goal is to have rogue nations of that type not develop weapons of mass destruction. Regrettably the UN sanctions and the northern and southern no fly zones has not been successful, for example, in the case of Iraq, in inhibiting or impeding their development of weapons of mass destruction. They continue apace we know that. They are testing ballistic missiles. We know that their nuclear scientists have been kept together and we know that they have an active appetite for biological weapons."Dept of Defense Press Release, published 04-27-2002
|04-26-2002||Wolfowitz: I know Saddam funds terrorists...but don't have hard evidence|
Wolfowitz: ...Saddam spends his money on a lot of other things besides food and one of them I'm sure, is funding terrorist groups of various kinds. It's not necessarily something you can trace. His rhetoric --
Q: There's no hard evidence that he is supporting them? You just suspect that?
Wolfowitz: No, I don't know hard evidence of money transfers. That's one of the hardest things to find and very very easy to disguise especially with the sort of large volumes of trade that go on in and out of Iraq.Wolfowitz interview with Baltimore Sun, published 04-26-2002
|05-2002||Karen Kwiatkowski hired for NESA unit later renamed OSP|
Then we stepped in to meet Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Bill Luti. I knew Luti had a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts and was a recently retired Navy Captain himself. At this point, I didn’t know what a neocon was or that they had already swarmed over the Pentagon, populating various hives of policy and planning like African hybrids, with the same kind of sting reflex. Luti just seemed happy to have me there as a warm body....
Another civilian replacement about which I was told was that of the long-time Israel/Syria/Lebanon desk, Larry Hanauer. Word was that he was even-handed with Israel, there had been complaints from one of his countries, and as a gesture of good will, David Schenker, fresh from the Washington Institute, was serving as the new Israel/Syria/Lebanon desk....
The anti-Arab orientation I perceived was only partially confirmed by things I saw. Towards the end of the summer, we welcomed to the office as a temporary special assistant to Bill Luti an Egyptian-American naval officer, Lt. (later Lt. Cmdr.) Youssef Aboul-Enein. His job wasn’t entirely clear to me, but he would research bits of data in which Bill Luti was interested and peruse Arabic-language media for quotations or events that could be used to demonize Saddam Hussein or link him to nastiness beyond his own borders and with unsavory characters.American Conservative, published 12-01-2003
|05-01-2002||US funding Iraqi groups working on Saddam War Crimes Case |
Question: Can you provide a list of Iraqi opposition groups other than the Iraqi National Congress that receive US funding?
Answer: The U.S. government has provided roughly $11.6 million to groups other than the Iraqi National Congress as part of broader effort to work towards our objective of achieving a different government for the Iraqi people. Much of this money has gone towards advancing a war crimes case against Saddam Hussein and the senior Iraqi leadership. Among the recipients of these funds are INDICT, the Iraq Foundation, Iraq Press, AMAR, Washington Kurdish Institute, Iraqi Jurists Association, and the Alliance Internationale pour Justice.State Dept Press Briefing , published 05-01-2002
|05-01-2002||USAF/RAF Bombing raids try to goad Saddam into war|
THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown. ...
Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, told the meeting that “the US had already begun ‘spikes of activity’ to put pressure on the regime”. ...
The Ministry of Defence figures, provided in response to a question from Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, show that despite the lack of an Iraqi reaction, the air war began anyway in September with a 100-plane raid.
The systematic targeting of Iraqi air defences appears to contradict Foreign Office legal guidance appended to the leaked briefing paper which said that the allied aircraft were only “entitled to use force in self-defence where such a use of force is a necessary and proportionate response to actual or imminent attack from Iraqi ground systems”.Times - UK, published 05-29-2005
|05-06-2002||US wants to oust Saddam even if he makes concessions|
"The US may try to remove Saddam Hussein from power even if he agrees to new weapons inspections, the secretary of state, Colin Powell, said yesterday. ...
"US policy is that, regardless of what the inspectors do, the people of Iraq and the people of the region would be better off with a different regime in Baghdad," Mr Powell said. "The United States reserves its option to do whatever it believes might be appropriate to see if there can be a regime change."
He told ABC television the issue of inspectors is a "separate and distinct and different" matter from the question of Saddam Hussein's leadership. ...
US efforts to link the Iraq issue to the "war on terrorism" have failed to bear fruit. ...
Last Friday, Mr Annan reported progress from his talks with the Iraqi foreign minister, Naji Sabri, on the return of inspectors. Mr Sabri described the talks as positive and useful."The Guardian, published 05-06-2002
|05-10-2002||Wolfowitz: We can't wait for a nuclear, chemical or biological attack to go find the people who did it|
Wolfowitz: That's right, and I think what the President said in the State of the Union message is the important point. In hindsight one might have wished that we had done more to anticipate a September 11th and prevent it, although if we'd gone to war against Afghanistan before September 11th people would have said we had no justification.
WE can't wait for a nuclear, chemical or biological attack to go and find the people who did it. So countries that are hostile to us, that support terrorism, and are developing chemical and biological and nuclear weapons is a combination we simply can't continue to live with. He is afraid the clock is ticking, and it's definitely ticking. I can't tell you when it reaches midnight, I just know that we don't have forever.Dept of Defense Transcript - MSNBC, published 05-10-2002
|05-10-2002||Rumsfeld: On Saddam's abuse of flexible sanctions|
Rumsfeld:...But Iraq has a lot of border. They're porous borders. Quite apart from what's permitted and not permitted, there's a great deal that's moving across their border, and it is common knowledge in the world that Iraq has an enormous appetite for weapons of mass destruction and military capabilities. They've used them on their neighbors. They've invaded neighbors, and they -- Saddam Hussein has declared a number of neighboring states as being illegitimate.
So I -- with respect to dual-use capabilities, we know of certain knowledge that -- the reality is that there are things that can be used both very effectively for civilian purposes and very effectively for military purposes. There are also things that can be converted from seemingly innocent purposes to clearly not innocent purposes.
So if the question goes not to what's going to happen by way of the vote, but to a question as to whether or not it's likely that those borders will be sealed and prevent things that will enhance Iraq's military capability, I think the answer's it will not. I think the discussions are useful, and certainly the United States has been participating in those, and I'm -- have every confidence that things will be better than they were. But there's no question, if you have a determined dictator, as we do with Saddam Hussein, that he's going to continue to improve his military capability, as he has been in recent months.
Q: What has he done in recent months, sir?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, he has been bringing things in that he has been converting to military purposes.Dept of Defense Press Release, published 05-10-2002
|05-14-2002||UN agrees long-awaited smart sanctions for Iraq|
"The United Nations security council yesterday finally agreed to an overhaul of sanctions that were imposed against Iraq 11 years ago at the end of the Gulf War." ...
"The shift in sanctions policy is part of diplomatic maneuvering, amidst US threats to invade Iraq next year and depose its president, Saddam Hussein.
UN sanctions have been largely discredited in recent years. Most countries want them dropped, but the US and Britain insist that they be kept in place."The Guardian, published 05-15-2002
|05-15-2002||Administration determined to find rationale for attack and fear of allowing inspections|
"Hawks like Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Defense Policy Board chief Richard Perle strongly believe that after years of American sanctions and periodic air assaults, the Iraqi leader is weaker than most people believe. Rumsfeld has been so determined to find a rationale for an attack that on 10 separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to the terror attacks of Sept. 11. The intelligence agency repeatedly came back empty-handed." ...
"While batting down rumors that he is fed up and quitting, Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, are close to getting a new set of Iraqi sanctions at the U.N. But other Administration principals fear that Saddam is working his own U.N. angle for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq, whose presence could make the U.S. look like a bully if it invades. "The White House's biggest fear is that U.N. weapons inspectors will be allowed to go in," says a top Senate foreign policy aide."TIME Online , published 05-15-2002
|05-23-2002||Rumsfeld: No change of tactics in No-fly Zones |
Blitzer: Obviously there's no specific authorization from the President yet to take military action against the Iraqis. But you probably noticed in the last few days alone -- what? -- there were several incidents that the U.S. was shot at by Iraqi ground fire in the no-fly zones, and the U.S. shot right back.
Is that situation heating up right now?
Rumsfeld: No. Our aircraft and the coalition aircraft -- the British fly those missions as well, and we get shot at from time to time, and in almost every instance find an opportunity to go back and attempt to destroy the surface-to-air missiles or the anti-aircraft or the radars that were coordinating the ground fire. It happens, you know, once or twice a week.
There has not been any noticeable change in the recent period with respect to the frequency.Dept of Defense Transcript - CNN/Late Edition, published 05-23-2002
|05-24-2002||Joint Chiefs persuade civilian leaders to put off invasion until 2003|
The uniformed leaders of the U.S. military believe they have persuaded the Pentagon's civilian leadership to put off an invasion of Iraq until next year at the earliest and perhaps not to do it at all, according to senior Pentagon officials. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have waged a determined behind-the-scenes campaign to persuade the Bush administration to reconsider an aggressive posture toward Iraq in which war was regarded as all but inevitable. This included a secret briefing at the White House earlier this month for President Bush by Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who as head of the Central Command would oversee any U.S. military campaign against Iraq. During the meeting, Franks told the president that invading Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein would require at least 200,000 troops, far more than some other military experts have calculated....
By emphasizing the large force that he believes would be needed, Franks's briefings also seemed to rule out an alternate plan that some civilians in the Bush administration had advocated. Dubbed "the Downing plan," for retired Army Gen. Wayne A. Downing, who suggested it four years ago, this approach calls for conquering Iraq with combination of airstrikes and Special Operations attacks in coordination with indigenous fighters. That option, which would have required a fraction of the U.S. troops Franks indicated he would need, was not presented as a briefing either to the Joint Chiefs or to the president, officials said. Downing serves as the White House's coordinator for counterterrorism efforts. This spring, "the civilian leadership thought they could do this a la Afghanistan, with Special Forces," said a senior officer. "I think they've been dissuaded of that." Washington Post, published 05-24-2002
|05-25-2002||Wolfowitz: 90% of Iraqis would vote for regime change|
COSBY: Are there any suggestions, you're someone who has kept a close eye on Iraq and considered very much an expert in this area. What do you see as sort of the most threatening aspects and also the best ways to go into that country, to go in after Saddam Hussein?
WOLFOWITZ: I'll just go over the same ground again. I mean, the problem with Iraq is what the President stated. It is a very clear problem, and there is no question that the solution is a change of regime in Iraq. And we have been very clear about that. I think if you could ever take a free vote of the 25 million or so Iraqi people, you get somewhere well in the 90s, high 90 percentiles agreeing with that view. How we get there involves very crucial decisions that really only the President of the United States can decide.Dept of Defense Transcript - Fox Newswire, published 05-25-2002
|05-27-2002||Iraq "lands" US spy plane|
"Iraq says it has forced down an unmanned American spy plane in the north of the country. Iraqi state radio said air defences had taken control of the drone on Sunday and forced it to land "by our own means" but gave no further details....
An American military spokesman said the Iraqi report was false. ...
Defence sources in the neighbouring Gulf state of Kuwait said on Sunday that an unmanned US drone had crashed in the emirate as it was flying back from a "surveillance operation". "BBC News, published 05-27-2002
|05-27-2002||General Myers: US military is ready to do whatever the President wants|
Couric: Let's quickly move to Iraq. There have been reports in recent days that logistically a massive U.S. offensive against Iraq and Saddam Hussein is just logistically impossible because U.S. military resources have been stretched so thin already. Can you confirm that that is an impossibility at this juncture?
Myers: Let me confirm just the opposite, Katie. The United States military is ready to do whatever it is that the president calls upon it to do. And we are ready logistically. We're ready in every way to support the president in his policy and his direction. Obviously we've not gotten that direction yet, but we're ready. Those reports are inaccurate.Dept of Defense Transcript - Joint Chiefs on NBC Today Show, published 05-27-2002
|06-2002||Operation Southern Focus begins - US air raids prepared for war in Iraq|
American air war commanders carried out a comprehensive plan to disrupt Iraq's military command and control system before the Iraq war, according to an internal briefing on the conflict by the senior allied air war commander.
Known as Southern Focus, the plan called for attacks on the network of fiber-optic cable that Saddam Hussein's government used to transmit military communications, as well as airstrikes on key command centers, radars and other important military assets.
The strikes, which were conducted from mid-2002 into the first few months of 2003, were justified publicly at the time as a reaction to Iraqi violations of a no-flight zone that the United States and Britain established in southern Iraq. But Lt. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the chief allied war commander, said the attacks also laid the foundations for the military campaign against the Baghdad government.
Air war commanders were required to obtain the approval of Defense Secretary Donald L. Rumsfeld if any planned airstrike was thought likely to result in deaths of more than 30 civilians. More than 50 such strikes were proposed, and all of them were approved.
[Original web page requires a fee
to view.]New York Times, published 07-20-2003
|06-2002||Bush Administration's 1st missed opportunity to get terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi|
"...Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida, is now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq.
But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.
In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide.
The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council.
“Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didn’t do it,” said Michael O’Hanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution."NBC News - Jim Miklaszewski, published 03-04-2004
|06-01-2002||The New 'Bush Doctrine' - Pre-emptive War|
"President Bush's June graduation address to the cadets at West Point has attracted attention mainly because it is the fullest articulation, so far, of the new strategic doctrine of pre-emption. The radical idea being touted by the White House and Pentagon is that the United States has the right to use military force against any state that is seen as hostile or makes moves to acquire weapons of mass destruction--nuclear, biological or chemical." ...
"This new approach repudiates the core idea of the United Nations Charter (reinforced by decisions of the World Court in The Hague), which prohibits any use of international force that is not undertaken in self-defense after the occurrence of an armed attack across an international boundary or pursuant to a decision by the UN Security Council." (The Nation)
[Additional Resource at Wikipedia
The Nation, published 06-27-2002
|06-01-2002||Bush: Ready for pre-emptive action when necessary|
|06-01-2002||Pentagon on Iraq's 'imaginary' al-Qaeda links|
"A Senior Pentagon policy maker created an unofficial "Iraqi intelligence cell" in the summer of 2002 to circumvent the CIA and secretly brief the White House on links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'eda, according to the Senate intelligence committee." ...
"The cell appears to have been set up by Mr Feith as an adjunct to the Office of Special Plans, a Pentagon intelligence-gathering operation established in the wake of 9/11 with the authority of Paul Wolfowitz. Its focus quickly became the al-Qaeda-Saddam link.
On occasion, without informing then head of the CIA, George Tenet, the group gave counter-briefings in the White House. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the most senior Democrat on the committee, said that Mr Feith's cell may even have undertaken "unlawful" intelligence-gathering initiatives." ...
"After the publication in June 2002 of a cautious report by the CIA entitled Iraq and al-Qaeda: A Murky Relationship, Mr Feith passed on a written verdict to the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, that the report should be read "for content only - and CIA's interpretation should be ignored".The Telegraph , published 07-11-2004
|06-01-2002||Cheney's 'unprecedented' visits to CIA - Langley, VA |
"During the summer of 2002, Vice President Cheney made several visits to the CIA's Langley headquarters, which were understood within the agency as an attempt to pressure the low-level specialists interpreting the raw intelligence. 'That would freak people out,' says one former CIA official. 'It is supposed to be an ivory tower. And that kind of pressure would be enormous on these young guys.' Cheney's chief of staff Lewis Libby 'sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here,' an intelligence official disclosed."
[original article requires subscription to view] The New Republic , published 06-30-2003
|06-03-2002||Rumsfeld Defense Dept briefing on Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait|
Summary: Department of Defense officials go over the current military agreements and the expectations they have for actions they would like to see from our Gulf partners prior to Rumsfelds visit to the region.Dept of Defense Press Briefing, published 06-03-2002
|06-03-2002||Rumsfeld: Iraq has active weapons of mass destruction|
Washington Post: Is Iraq becoming more threatening or less threatening with the passage of time? Is there any evidence in either direction?
Rumsfeld: Sure. If you've got folks who are repressing their own people and who are testing various types, ranges of ballistic missiles, and who have had active weapons of mass destruction programs, and you've allowed them opportunity after opportunity to continue to do that development work and you've got porous borders and you've got an oil for food program that allows them to use the money not for food but for darn near anything they want and bring things across the border, there's no question but that their WMD programs and their military capabilities are going to evolve in a way that's favorable to them.Dept of Defense Transcript - Washington Post, published 06-04-2002
|06-09-2002||Rumsfeld: Congress has passed legislation calling for regime change|
Q: Sir, my question to you is this. As we kind of sit here between - you know the old joke: Iraq and a hard place - I was wondering if we've made any progress towards Saddam Hussein, as far as ending his regime and his threat against us? Thank you.
Rumsfeld: Well, there is no question that the Saddam Hussein regime is a dangerous one and it is the policy in the United States of America that there be regime change in Iraq. The Congress has passed legislation to that effect. The President has indicated that he has a minimum of high regard for that regime and the United States is currently doing a series of things.Dept of Defense Press Release, published 06-10-2002
|06-10-2002||Bush developing Military Policy Of Striking First|
The Bush administration is developing a new strategic doctrine that moves away from the Cold War pillars of containment and deterrence toward a policy that supports preemptive attacks against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
The new doctrine will be laid out by President Bush's National Security Council as part of the administration's first "National Security Strategy" being drafted for release by early this fall, senior officials said.
One senior official said the document, without abandoning containment and deterrence, will for the first time add "preemption" and "defensive intervention" as formal options for striking at hostile nations or groups that appear determined to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States.Washington Post, published 06-10-2002
|06-10-2002||Rumsfeld: "They're [Iraq] lying'|
The topic of Iraq dominated Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's June 10 discussion with reporters in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Touching on a number of security issues pertinent to the Gulf region, Rumsfeld said the United States viewed Saddam Hussein's regime as "the destabilizing factor of the region."
Asked by a reporter to comment on a statement by the Iraqi government that Iraq does not possess any weapons of mass destruction and is not developing any, Rumsfeld answered, "They're lying."
"They have them and they continue to develop them and they have weaponized chemical weapons, we know that. They've had an active program to develop nuclear weapons. It's also clear that they are actively developing biological weapons," he said.
[The summary above taken from here
A Dept of Defense News Briefing a week earlier, Rumsfeld previously stated:
"I was asked a question about Iraq announcing the day before that they do not have weapons of mass destruction, and they asked me what I thought about that. I said "That's a lie," and I may have said even that. "That's a world class lie."
Now that's true; it is a lie. They do have weapons of mass destruction. They've used chemical weapons on their people, they have had an aggressive program to develop nuclear weapons, and there is no question that they are developing biological weapons.
Now why did I say that? I said that because it is true. The truth has a certain virtue it seems to me."State Dept Press Release - US Embassy Rome, published 06-11-2002
|06-11-2002||Rumsfeld: We are "doing actions already" against Iraq. Congress has passed the legislation.|
Q: Is it true that you are planning action against Iraq in October?
Rumsfeld: You know, that is an interesting question. I keep hearing that in the press. I think the person that the --
We are doing actions already. Our policy of our country has been for some time in successive administrations, that the world would be a better place if there were a regime change in Iraq. That in fact, a person who is developing weapons of mass destruction, and threatening neighbors is not a good thing for the world.
Now the Congress has passed that legislation, the administration, President Bush, has spoken on the subject. We have diplomatic activity taking place. We are involved with the sanctions to try to prevent war materials from going into the country. We are involved with coalition partners in Operation Northern and Southern Watch. And at least as of this moment that is exactly what we are doing.Dept of Defense Press Conference, published 06-11-2002
|06-17-2002||Bush had ordered CIA to remove Saddam using "all possible tools" |
"President Bush has ordered the CIA to conduct a covert operation to topple Saddam Hussein, including the use of lethal force to capture the Iraqi leader, Congressional leaders confirmed yesterday.
The secret plan to overthrow the Iraqi president directs the intelligence agency to use "all possible tools".
Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress said they had been briefed on the order, signed earlier this year, and offered strong approval for the expanded drive to overthrow Saddam. The plan was reported in detail yesterday by the Washington Post.The Telegraph , published 06-17-2002
|06-17-2002||Bush seeks to formalize pre-emptive doctrine|
"President Bush has directed his top national security aides to make a doctrine of pre-emptive action against states and terrorist groups trying to develop weapons of mass destruction into the foundation of a new national security strategy, according to senior administration officials drafting the document.
Iraq is clearly first on the target list for such action, and already the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department have stepped up efforts to unseat Saddam Hussein in a last effort to avoid the necessity of a full-scale invasion."
[Original web page requires paid subscription
to view]New York Times, published 06-17-2002
|06-17-2002||Rumsfeld: Administration not alone on wanting regime change, Congress agrees|
Q: Sir, back to your trip to the region. The administration's policy is to promote regime change in Iraq. President Bush has not talked about how he would go about regime change --
Rumsfeld: I think it's more than the administration; I think the Congress has expressed itself on the subject.Dept of Defense Press Conference, published 06-17-2002
|06-18-2002||Tenet met with Kurdish leaders in the spring to discuss plans for Iraq|
The Bush administration is seeking to create a broad coalition against Saddam Hussein by courting Kurds, the only opposition group to control territory and major military forces in Iraq.
Kurdish leaders meet with various US officials from different agencies and recieve Gov. funding.
The courtship of the Kurds, whose support is considered crucial to Bush's hopes of toppling Saddam, represents a change in U.S. strategy of funneling all anti-Saddam aid through the Iraqi National Congress (INC), a controversial, London-based group with strong support in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.USA Today , published 06-18-2002
|06-18-2002||Bush: "...when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace"|
|06-20-2002||US Carrier deployments in June and July|
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As many as four U.S. aircraft carriers are expected to be within striking distance of Iraq by the end of December, Navy officials said on Thursday, marking what may be the earliest possible moment for a full-scale U.S.-led attack.
Two carriers and their battle groups are in the region, the Navy said. They are the George Washington, which deployed on June 20 and is in or near the Mediterranean, and the Lincoln, which got under way on July 24 and was in the Gulf this week.
Scheduled to relieve them are the Constellation, due to leave the U.S. West Coast next month, and the Harry S. Truman, due to ship from the East Coast in December, officials said. ...
A fifth carrier, the San Diego, California-based Nimitz, could also be in the Gulf region by late December, said Patrick Garrett, who has been tracking U.S. deployments for GlobalSecurity.org, a research group in Alexandria, Virginia.
And a sixth, the Yokosuka, Japan-based Kitty Hawk, also would be available to be sent there by the end of the year, he said.
[Original Reuters web page no longer available]Reuters, published 10-03-2002
|06-20-2002||US warplanes strike Iraq in an increasing round of such exchanges in recent months|
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Western warplanes on Thursday attacked an Iraqi military command-and-control center in a "no-fly" zone southeast of Baghdad after anti-aircraft guns were fired at American and British jets policing the zone, the U.S. military said. ...
The U.S. European Command said on Wednesday from its headquarters in Germany that U.S. and British warplanes were targeted by anti-aircraft guns in the northern no-fly zone and struck air defense targets in response. Iraq said one civilian was wounded when the planes attacked civilian targets in the north. ...
Washington and London say that none of their aircraft have downed since the 1991 war, but the exchanges of fire have become more frequent in recent months amid speculation that the United States might be preparing to invade Iraq to overthrow President Saddam Hussein, accused by Washington of developing weapons of mass destruction and sponsoring terrorism.Reuters, published 06-20-2002
|06-24-2002||Rumsfeld: It's been a year since Congress indicated conviction for regime change|
Capaccio: On Iraq, you've been asked a number of questions on are we going to attack with war planes. I want to get away from that.
The point being the goal of regime change has been addressed by Congress and the Administration. How far along is this building in the conceptual thinking in terms of the use of military force as an instrument of regime change? Is it fairly [emblematic] or somewhat advanced? Can you give a sense of that?
Rumsfeld: Well it's been a year since the Congress and the President have indicated the conviction that a regime change would be desirable for the region. You have a person who's clearly developing a weapons of mass destruction regime that has already used chemical weapons against their own people; that have invaded a neighbor. The world would be a better place without that regime. The region knows that and the world knows that.Dept of Defense Transcript - Bloomberg News, published 06-24-2002
|06-26-2002||Iraqi exiles report to the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding Iraq's ties to 9/11 and WMD|
A June 26, 2002, letter from the Iraqi National Congress to the Senate Appropriations Committee listed 108 articles based on information provided by the INC's Information Collection Program, a U.S.-funded effort to collect intelligence in Iraq.The assertions in the articles reinforced President Bush's claims that Saddam Hussein should be ousted because he was in league with Osama bin Laden, was developing nuclear weapons and was hiding biological and chemical weapons.
Feeding the information to the news media, as well as to selected administration officials and members of Congress, helped foster an impression that there were multiple sources of intelligence on Iraq's illicit weapons programs and links to bin Laden.
In fact, many of the allegations came from the same half-dozen defectors, weren't confirmed by other intelligence and were hotly disputed by intelligence professionals at the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department.
[Original Knight Ridder article no longer available on their site.]Knight Ridder, published 03-16-2004
|06-26-2002||General Myers comments on increased air activity over Iraq|
Q: General, those 10 separate instances in Iraq, anti-aircraft sites trying to hit U.S. forces, was that -- the one that you hit the other day, was that the one that was doing all those 10? Or are they all separate?
Myers: Possibly part of it. This was really two days where we had these 10 firing incidents that were a high number. And the one that I talked about in here was part of the 10. The previous ones -- I'd have to check on that to make sure.
Q: Regarding Iraq, you referred to it as a significant number, I believe. What do you make of that? What are the Iraqis up to? Is there an increased capability? What does it mean? What is the significance?
Myers: Well, it's -- I think -- the first point is that while we have coalition forces over there enforcing the U.N. sanctions, we have a country that is firing at our pilots and putting them at risk. I mean, that's the most significant thing that we -- and one of the reasons I mention that is I think that's important for people to understand that we have Americans and other countries' aircrews at risk trying to do what the U.N. has said we ought to do. And the second point was that this -- in two days 10 separate firing incidents is a little bit larger than normal. But we'll have to look at the trend over time. I don't know if we can read anything more into it than just what I've said.
Q: An increased capability?
Myers: No, it's not increased capability. We know they have pretty good capability, actually.Dept of Defense Press Conference , published 06-26-2002
|06-27-2002||General Wayne Downing resignation possible sign of Iraq decision|
The departure of retired Army Gen. Wayne Downing, who's also been an outspoken hawk in administration debates about how to deal with Saddam Hussein, raised questions among security experts about both the administration's plans to improve homeland security through a massive government reorganization and the direction of its policy on Iraq....
Downing has been a leading advocate of what has come to be known as "the Downing plan" for confronting Iraq. That approach, which calls for using a mix of Special Operations troops, airpower and Iraqi rebels to topple Hussein, has been viewed skeptically by much of the military leadership, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Top military officials, including Army Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander for U.S. military operations in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, are more inclined toward a Gulf War-like force of at least 200,000 troops that would take several months to assemble....
Some security experts speculated that Downing was spurred to leave because his plan for Iraq had been rejected by the Joint Chiefs.
[Original Washington Post article no longer available on web. Additional story available at CNN website
.]Washington Post, published 06-28-2002
|06-29-2002||Franks meets with Jordanians about military cooperation|
Ten days ago the Jordanian news agency, Petra, reported that the head of the US Central Command, General Tommy Franks, met Jordan's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lieutenant-General Khalid Jamil Surayrih.
The agency said 'the two sides reviewed the general situation in the region and areas of co-operation between Jordanian and US armed forces...' Officially, Jordan is opposed to a war on Iraq, but informed sources said that there is a tacit agreement on the issue between the Jordanian government and Washington. The Guardian, published 07-07-2002
|06-30-2002||US bolsters forces in Qatar desert |
About 3,300 American troops are in Qatar, mostly at al-Udeid. The base is an isolated outpost amid a flat, seemingly endless stretch of scrubby desert about 20 miles from Doha, Qatar's capital.
Signs of an American military buildup are unmistakable:
-A tent city has sprouted, along with huge, air-conditioned warehouses and miles of security barriers that attest to the U.S. military's sharpened focus on protecting troops against terrorist attack.
-Freshly paved runways and aircraft parking ramps stretch deep into the desert. Al-Udeid's main, 15,000-foot runway is the longest in the region and can handle the largest Air Force transport planes.
-Newly built hangars for fighter aircraft are hardened to withstand aerial attack. Within view from the main runway are dozens of hardened bunkers, presumably for storage of munitions and supplies.
"It is likely the most capable base in the Gulf region," said William Arkin, a private military analyst.
There has been speculation that al-Udeid is being built up as either an alternative to, or replacement for, the Combined Air Operations Center at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have made clear they do not favor an American invasion of Iraq, and it is possible that if Bush went ahead anyway, the Saudis might forbid the use of the air control center at Prince Sultan.
[Original web page requires a fee
to view]Associated Press, published 06-30-2002
|07-2002||Military moves a brigades worth of equipment to Kuwait |
On 05 September 2002 Army Secretary Thomas E. White disclosed some details about a movement in July of weaponry and war supplies from Qatar to Camp Doha in Kuwait. He described the shipment as a training exercise, in which the U.S. Army moved a brigade's worth of equipment from Qatar to Kuwait, closer to the border with Iraq. But other Army officials said much of the materiel -- which included armored vehicles as well as fuel, ammunition and other supplies -- remained in Kuwait to provide for the expansion of ground forces ordered after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Two battalions of troops were added to the single battalion that had been in Kuwait, establishing a brigade of more than 6,000 soldiersGolbalSecurity.com, published 09-05-2002
|07-2002||Iraq: The Secret War|
British and American warplanes are attacking Iraq's air defences almost daily, and making practice runs on other targets. US special forces are reported to be on the ground in western and northern Iraq, and military engineers are preparing and upgrading airfields in the Kurdish zone. In many ways, the war on Iraq has already begun.
This war is a good deal more secret than the very public preparations being made by the US and its allies for an invasion of Iraq. No attempt has been made to conceal the build-up of forces in the region, with the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group in the Gulf and four more groups en route or preparing to sail. Enough equipment for an armoured division is already in Kuwait, and more is on the high seas. [...]
In September and October, there were more air raids on Iraq than in all of the previous eight months. Since Iraq accepted the UN resolution on 14 November, US and British planes have gone into action on 10 days out of 11. [...]
While officially unacknowledged, such activity is scarcely covert. But the Pentagon has gone out of its way to deny reports of what US and British special forces might be doing inside Iraq.
Claims that special forces are scouting western Iraq for Scud missile launchers, so their threat to Israel can be eliminated quickly when hostilities begin, were described as implausible by one expert. [...]Independent, published 11-24-2002
|07-2002||Iraqi opposition leaders express concerns about lack of strategy for post-Saddam Iraq|
In late June or early July, Bush decided he would ask Congress for its formal endorsement. Senior State Department and Pentagon officials met with a group of Iraqi opposition leaders on Aug. 9 to ease concerns about a lack of strategy for a post-Saddam Iraq. With his speech to the United Nations, Bush will seek the world's support.
But whatever the response, aides say Bush's determination to oust Saddam — the decision he made in the seven weeks following the attacks on Sept. 11 — hasn't wavered.USA Today, published 09-10-2002
|07-01-2002||Some Iraq analysts felt pressure from Cheney visits to CIA headquarters|
"Vice President Dick Cheney, sometimes accompanied by his chief of staff, Lewis Libby, visits the offices of US intelligence analysts working at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia 'approximately 10' times. He drills them on their intelligence work on Iraq. Some analysts later complain that Cheney's visits made them feel pressured to provide the administration with conclusions that supported the case for war. Other analysts will say they did not feel pressured."Washington Post, published 06-05-2003
|07-02-2002||US beefs up air base in Qatar|
The government of Qatar is spending millions of dollars to expand Al Udeid, a remote base in the central Persian Gulf. If President Bush were to order airstrikes on Iraq, this base, about 20 miles from the capital, Doha, would be a critical hub for US warplanes and their aerial pipeline of bombs and supplies.
In the past months, the US military quietly has moved munitions, equipment and communications gear to the base from Saudi Arabia, the control center for American air operations in the Gulf for more than a decade.
About 3,300 American troops are in Qatar, mostly at Al Udeid, where the signs of an American military buildup are unmistakable.Christian Science Monitor, published 07-02-2002
|07-06-2002||Condoleezza Rice: "the decisions been made - don't waste your breath"|
According to Richard Haass, Bush's director of policy planning at the State Department, the decision had already been made by July of 2002. When asked exactly when he learned war in Iraq was definite, Haass said, "The moment was the first week of July (2002), when I had a meeting with Condi. I raised this issue about were we really sure that we wanted to put Iraq front and center at this point, given the war on terrorism and other issues. And she said, essentially, that that decision's been made, don't waste your breath. And that was early July. So then when Powell had his famous dinner with the President, in early August, 2002 [in which Powell persuaded Bush to take the question to the U.N.] the agenda was not whether Iraq, but how." The New Yorker , published 03-24-2003
|07-06-2002||UN and Iraq fail in weapons talks|
"The chance of the US making war on Iraq increased yesterday when crucial talks in Vienna between the United Nations and Iraq broke down without agreement. ...
Britain and Russia have been keen for Iraq to accept the weapons inspectors as a way to avoid conflict. But the US has been more ambivalent, hinting that even if the inspectors were allowed back it might not be enough to prevent a war.
The talks broke down hours after the New York Times published a Pentagon plan for the invasion of Iraq, showing that preparations are at a much more advanced stage than previously thought."The Guardian, published 07-06-2002
|07-07-2002||Reports of American military activity in Jordan |
American military planners are preparing to use Jordan as a base for an assault on Iraq later this year or early in 2003, The Observer can reveal. Iraqi dissidents in Amman have told The Observer that hundreds of American advisers have arrived in Jordan in the past few months.
Eye-witnesses claim preparations are under way at the Muafaq Salti air base in Azraq, 50 miles east of Amman on the road to Baghdad.The Guardian, published 07-07-2002
|07-08-2002||Bush on Osama bin Laden 'If he's not alive, we got him'|
"Q: Sir, on Osama bin Laden, does your promise still hold that he will be caught, dead or alive, at some point?
THE PRESIDENT: What? Say that again?
Q: Does your promise on-or your goal of catching Osama bin Laden dead or alive, does that still stand?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't know if he is dead or alive, for starters-so I'm going to answer your question with a hypothetical. Osama bin Laden, he may be alive. If he is, we'll get him. If he's not alive, we got him. (Laughter.)"President Urges Congress to Support Nation's Priorities, published 07-08-2002
|07-09-2002||Wolfowitz: Iraq can use terrorists to attack America with biological weapons|
Wolfowitz: ...What the president talked about in the State of the Union message was countries, and Iraq is one of them, that have weapons of mass destruction, that is chemical, biological, and possibly nuclear weapons, that are working on getting more of those weapons, that have, as a matter of national policy been supporting terrorists, and are hostile to the United States. That's a deadly mixture that we can't continue living with indefinitely.
VAN SUSTEREN: Does he have a delivery system to get those deadly weapons here to the United States?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, one delivery system are terrorists, and we learned that on September 11th. You don't have to have a long-range missile necessarily to deliver a deadly weapon, especially if it's powdered anthrax, for example. That doesn't need a long-range missile.Dept of Defense Press Release, published 07-09-2002
|07-10-2002||State Dept has no plan for a post Saddam Iraq |
Deep in the bowels of the US state department, not far from the cafeteria, there is a small office identified only by a handwritten sign on the door reading: The Future of Iraq Project.
Such is the ramshackle reality lying beneath the Bush administration's pronouncements on regime change in Baghdad..... the understaffed and underfunded Future of Iraq Project has been spending more effort struggling with other government departments than plotting Saddam's downfall....Many analysts believe that the lack of effort invested in building political alliances simply reflects the fact that the Bush administration does not attach much importance to them.
"My theory is that the US government is going to want to do this on its own, on the basis that if you work with the Kurds and the Shi'ites you're going to end up with three Iraqs rather than one," said John Pike, who runs a Washington security thinktank, GlobalSecurity.org.The Guardian, published 07-10-2002
|07-11-2002||Jordan rejects US invasion plan|
"Jordan yesterday rejected American suggestions that it could be used as a base for an invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
However, the Bush administration remained confident that Jordan could be persuaded to participate."The Telegraph, published 07-11-2002
|07-14-2002||Tony Blair and Bush plan Iraq war summit|
Tony Blair is preparing for a 'lightning visit' to meet President Bush at a specially - convened war summit, as America continues to press for a military invasion of Iraq. ...
For the first time, senior Downing Street officials did not deny that the Government has seen American plans for an invasion force. 'We talk to them all the time,' one said. ...
In addition, new figures from the Ministry of Defence have revealed that the RAF has increased the number of low-flying missions of fighter aircraft across Britain, which has added to speculation that an invasion is planned for the next six months.
Although the MoD denied that the first increase in low-flying missions since 1995 had anything to do with preparations for an invasion of Iraq, several officials in Government admitted that 'operational moves' had increased because of the possibility of future action. ...
This increased military activity has strengthened the belief in military circles that Britain is on the brink of backing a Bush-led attack on Iraq. Blair's support is central to Bush's plan, which would be badly damaged if Britain decided to withhold its backing. ...
Most analysts believe the most likely time for an attack is next January or February.The Guardian, published 07-14-2002