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New Evidence Bush Pushed Iraq War Right After 9/11
from Daily Mislead
April 6, 2004

The White House continues to deny that the president immediately began planning an invasion of Iraq in the days after 9/11, calling such charges "revisionist history" (1) and claiming Iraq was "to the side"(2) immediately after the attacks. But new revelations by a former top British official confirm that, immediately after 9/11, President Bush started planning to use the terrorist attacks as a justification for war in Iraq, despite having no proof that Iraq had any connection to Al Qaeda or 9/11. (3)

According to a report in the new edition of Vanity Fair, former British Ambassador to the United States Christopher Meyer said that President Bush made clear at a dinner (4) with Prime Minister Tony Blair nine days after the 9/11 attacks that he wanted to confront Iraq. The assertion is corroborated by the Washington Post, which reported that President Bush personally signed a two-and-a-half page directive on September 17th, 2001 ordering the Pentagon to begin drawing up Iraq invasion plans. (5) The assertion is also corroborated by CBS News, which reported on September 4, 2002 that, five hours after the 9/11 attacks, "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq."(6) The account by the former British Ambassador confirms similar accounts by former Bush counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

The result of President Bush's preoccupation with Iraq has been dramatic: the diversion of critical resources to Iraq and away from the hunt for Osama bin Laden/Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As reported by USA Today, "In 2002, troops from the 5th Special Forces Group who specialize in the Middle East were pulled out of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for their next assignment: Iraq." (7) Similarly, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) reported that, in February 2002, a senior military commander told him, "We are moving military and intelligence personnel and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a future war in Iraq." (8) That has left many dangerous terrorists still at large, and the UN now reporting that the country is "in danger of reverting to a terrorist breeding ground." (9)

Sources: 1. White House Press Briefing, 3/23/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26545.
2. "Neither Silent Nor a Public Witness," Washington Post, 3/26/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26546.
3. " Doubts cast on efforts to link Saddam, al-Qaida," Knight-Ridder, 3/2/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26547
4. "Report Details Bush-Blair Meeting on Iraq," Associated Press, 4/4/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26548
5. "U.S. Decision On Iraq Has Puzzling Past," Washington Post, 1/12/03, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26549
6. "Plans For Iraq Attack Began On 9/11," CBS News, 9/4/02, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26550
7. Shifts from bin Laden hunt evoke questions," USA Today, 3/28/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26551
8. Senator Bob Graham Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations," Council on Foreign Relations, 3/26/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26552
9. "UN warns on Aghanistan reverting to terrorism ," Financial Times, 3/28/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26553

Posted: April 14, 2004


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