A new book by Bob Woodward on President Bush’s Iraq policy says that Bush secretly ordered a war plan drawn up against Iraq less than two months after U.S. forces attacked Afghanistan and was so worried the decision would cause a furor he did not tell everyone on his national security team.
Bush feared that if news got out about the Iraq plan as U.S. forces were fighting another conflict, people would think he was too eager for war.
Good going Mr. War President!
Bush and his aides have denied accusations they were preoccupied with Iraq at the cost of paying attention to the al Qaeda terrorist threat before the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Obviously they were lying.
Woodward’s account shows the degree to which some members of the administration, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, were focused on Saddam Hussein from the onset of Bush’s presidency and even after the terrorist attacks made the destruction of al-Qaida the top priority.
Woodward says Bush told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to start working on a fresh war plan on Iraq on November 21, 2001 — when U.S. forces and allies were only in control of about half of Afghanistan, and he told him to keep quiet about it. He wasn’t allowed to even tell CIA director George Tenet about it when he wanted to get information and planning help from him.
This also confirms Richard Clarke’s account of things; how this administration has been planning to invade Iraq from the start and how it was always their highest priority, even higher than anti-terrorism and national security efforts.