So here goes.
It 's entirely likely that the administration will attempt to sell Congress and the public another war in the near future, the next likely target being Iran. How else should we interpret the following statement Bush made in Utah Monday, during a speech he made to Veterans of Foreign Wars?
"The third part of our strategy in the war on terror is to spread the hope of freedom across the broader Middle East, " Bush said.
As public support for the Iraq war erodes, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have taken their propaganda campaign on the road, once again linking the war in Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in hopes that the administration can dramatically change perception of the military conflict in Iraq, even though a half-dozen federal investigations have concluded that Iraq played no role in 9/11.
"From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go, " O 'Neill said, adding that going after Saddam Hussein was a priority 10 days after the Bush 's inauguration and eight months before Sept. 11.
"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime, " Suskind said. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed. "
As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.
O 'Neill was fired from his post for disagreeing with Bush 's economic policies. In typical White House fashion, senior administration officials have labeled O 'Neill a "disgruntled employee ", whose remarks are "laughable " and have no basis in reality.
Moreover, claims by O 'Neill that the U.S. and Britain were operating from murky intelligence during the buildup to war came six days after Bush 's inauguration. It was then that British intelligence communicated to the CIA, the Pentagon and National Security Adviser Rice 's office that an Iraqi defector told British intelligence officials that Saddam Hussein had two fully operational nuclear bombs, according to two senior Bush advisers.
The London Telegraph reported the defector 's claims on Jan. 28, 2001.
That information turned out to be grossly inaccurate but it was cited by Vice President Dick Cheney during a speech in 2002 as a means to build the case for war.
However, O 'Neill 's allegations that Bush planned an Iraq invasion prior to 9-11 are backed up by dozens of on-the-record statements and speeches made by the president 's senior advisers, including Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, during Bush 's first four months in office.