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Someone Tell Bush that Iraq Wasn’t Responsible for 9/11 Before He Starts Another War

by JASON LEOPOLD

“We went to war because we were attacked,” President Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address.

Yeah, by al-Qaeda not Iraq.

For President Bush to say publicly that the United States attacked Iraq because of 9/11 is not only an outright lie but it’s a disservice to the 1,700 men and women that died in combat in Iraq and thousands of other soldiers who were maimed believing they were fighting a war predicated on finding weapons of mass destruction. There have been no less than half-a-dozen federal probes into 9/11 all of which have concluded that there wasn’t a link between the al-Qaeda terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and Saddam Hussein’s regime.

But Bush is desperate. His ratings have slipped below 50 percent. The public is growing tired of the Iraq war. Republicans in Congress fear that a further decline in the president’s poll numbers could hurt their chances of being reelected next year. What to do? Once again, get the public to believe Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and that the war was justified. In other words, lie.

With Saturday’s radio address, Bush has publicly admitted that his rationale for launching a preemptive strike against Iraq was strictly personal. More than that, though, it proves what we, the dissenters, have said all along: the war was about regime change, nothing more.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the so-called threat from Iraq’s non-existent WMD’s was just an excuse-a smokescreen this administration used as a way to skirt international laws and to sell the war to a gullible media and a misinformed public-the president’s cabinet used so they could execute a decades-old plan cooked up by hardcore Neocons to spread democracy throughout the Middle East by conquering “rogue” nations such as Iraq like some modern day Roman Empire. They call it Pax Americana, Latin for “American Peace.”

“This war is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the “American imperialists” that our enemies always claimed we were,” said an editorial in the Sept. 29, 2002 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one of the only mainstream newspapers to sound an early alarm, exposing the Neocons’ secret plan for world domination.

The truth is, however, that President Bush had set the stage for war with Iraq as soon as he was sworn into office. Richard Clarke, Bush’s former counterterrorism specialist wrote in his book, Against All Enemies,” that the Bush administration was obsessed with Iraq before 9/11. Even Paul O’Neill, the former Treasury Secretary, made claims similar to Clarke’s in his book, The Price of Loyalty.” The White House responded to those allegations by calling both men liars and disgruntled public officials but there’s no denying that Clarke and O’Neill were on the money.

In January 2000, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice wrote an article for Foreign Affairs magazine titled Campaign 2000 — Promoting the National Interest promoting regime change in Iraq.

“As history marches toward markets and democracy, some states have been left by the side of the road. Iraq is the prototype. Saddam Hussein’s regime is isolated, his conventional military power has been severely weakened, his people live in poverty and terror, and he has no useful place in international politics. He is therefore determined to develop WMD. Nothing will change until Saddam is gone, so the United States must mobilize whatever resources it can, including support from his opposition, to remove him. These regimes are living on borrowed time, so there need be no sense of panic about them.”

She echoed that line in August 2000, during an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations saying Iraq posed the gravest threat to the US and the world.

“The containment of Iraq should be aimed ultimately at regime change because as long as Saddam is there no one in the region is safe — most especially his own people,” she said during the Aug. 9, 2000 interview. “If Saddam gives you a reason to use force against him, then use decisive force, not just a pinprick.”

The question of whether the Bush administration targeted Iraq prior to 9/11 has long been the center of heated debate between Democrats and Republicans. The Bush administration says Iraq was not in its crosshairs prior to 9/11. But former White House officials, such as Clarke and O’Neill, claim the administration was searching for reasons to attack Iraq as soon as Bush took office in January 2001.

A January 11, 2001 article in the New York Times, “Iraq Is Focal Point as Bush Meets with Joint Chiefs,” is proof.

“George W. Bush, the nation’s commander in chief to be, went to the Pentagon today for a top-secret session with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review hot spots around the world where he might have to send American forces into harm’s way,” reads the lead paragraph of the Times article.

Bush was joined at the Pentagon meeting by Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

The Times reported that, “about half of the 75-minute meeting focused on a discussion about Iraq and the Persian Gulf, two participants said. Iraq was the first topic briefed because ‘it’s the most visible and most risky area’ Mr. Bush will confront after he takes office, one senior officer said.”

“Iraqi policy is very much on his mind,” one senior Pentagon official told the Times. “Saddam was clearly a discussion point.”

JASON LEOPOLD is the author of the explosive memoir, News Junkie, to be released in the spring of 2006 by Process/Feral House Books. Visit Leopold’s website at www.jasonleopold.com for updates.

 

JASON LEOPOLD is the former Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires where he spent two years covering the energy crisis and the Enron bankruptcy. He just finished writing a book about the crisis, due out in December through Rowman & Littlefield. He can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

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