30 April 2005 at 11:57:39 PM
Bush takes office. Paul O'Neill says that he was planning to attack Iraq right away and looking for a pretext to do it.
A top official sacked from the US Government has accused President Bush of planning for an invasion of Iraq within days of coming to office.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said Mr Bush was looking for an excuse to oust Saddam Hussein.
From the very beginning, there was a conviction Saddam Hussein was a bad person and he needed to go," the former treasury secretary said in an interview broadcast by CBS News on Sunday.
911- Bush tells Richard Clark to find a connection with Iraq.
"The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.' Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.
"I said, 'Mr. President. We've done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's no connection.'
"He came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report
Woodward also says that after 911, Bush said he had to do Afghanistan "first"
Woodward reports that just five days after Sept. 11, President Bush indicated to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that while he had to do Afghanistan first, he was also determined to do something about Saddam Hussein.
”There's some pressure to go after Saddam Hussein. Don Rumsfeld has said, ‘This is an opportunity to take out Saddam Hussein, perhaps. We should consider it.’ And the president says to Condi Rice meeting head to head, ‘We won't do Iraq now.’ But it is a question we're gonna have to return to,’” says Woodward.
“And there's this low boil on Iraq until the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, 2001. This is 72 days after 9/11. This is part of this secret history. President Bush, after a National Security Council meeting, takes Don Rumsfeld aside, collars him physically, and takes him into a little cubbyhole room and closes the door and says, ‘What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret.’"
Rumsfeld pulls out plans of Iraq and shows them to Saudis.
April 2002- Bush had already decided to attack Iraq and planned to use "regime change" as the reason-however, that woudln't play with the public.
Blair came to the ranch hesitant about the use of military force against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein despite Mr. Bush's appeals that the world must deal with him out of concern that he is developing weapons of mass destruction that could produce catastrophic results if transferred into the hands of terrorists.
Mr. Bush and Blair agreed Iraq must allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into the country but papered over their differences over the possible use of American force against Iraq, in an effort to display a picture of unity.
The president said he explained to Blair that the “policy of my government is the removal” of Saddam and that all options are on the table.
Blair told reporters, “It has always been our policy that Iraq would be better without Saddam Hussein. How we now proceed in this situation ... that is a matter that is open for discussions.”
Added Mr. Bush: “We support regime change.”
Blair was told the war illegal in 2002. Nevertheless, he apparently agreed to the Iraq War during this time.
But Scotland on Sunday understands the Foreign Office advice was included in an "Iraq Options" paper drawn up for the government in advance of Blair’s summit with US President George Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002.
May 2002- Tommy Franks had been working on war plans for months.And Cheney knew about it.
Fall of 2002- Halliburton gets contract for oil wells in Iraq
Jan 11, 2003-
”Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, ‘Top secret. No foreign.’ No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this,” says Woodward.
“They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, ‘So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?’ And Cheney - who has said nothing - says the following: ‘Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast.’"
March 19, 2003- Iraq War started.
June, 2003- Article from Clare Short- Blair Lied to cabinet and made a secret war pact with US.
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