Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Iraq War - Timeline on Fixed Facts Around the Policy

At the very first National Security Council meeting of the Bush administration held on January 30, 2001, according to then Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill: "From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go…ten days after the inauguration."
That tone had set the new administration’s secret policy -- to invade Iraq intentionally and unconditionally
As the Bush administration embroils in scandal after scandal, it’s obvious that Rovegate, Downing Street Memos revelations, and the consistent smearing blitz of prominent government officials in dissension, such as Paul O’Neill, Joe Wilson, and Dick Clarke, have all been part of the larger stratagem of fixing intelligence and facts around the policy to go to war in Iraq. As pieces of evidence trickled forth, we now know the Bush administration’s hidden agenda in building up for the war and the complicity of Bush’s inner circle members for perpetuating systematic deceptions, distortions and disinformation about anything to do with the Iraq war.

Intelligence and Facts
Evidence of Deception/Distortion/ Disinformation
February 16, 2001
U.S. and British begin air assaults near Baghdad, the first attack on Iraq since 1998.
CNN (2/6/2001)

March 5, 2001

One of Vice President Cheney's Energy Task Force documents relates to the exploration of oil fields and a list of 30 countries interested in Iraq’s oil industry.
"Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts"

August 17, 2001

Energy Department publishes a secret Technical Intelligence Note raising doubts about the aluminum tube use in centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
David Barstow, William J. Broad and Jeff Gerth, "Skewed Intelligence Data in March to War in Iraq" (The New York Times, 9/8/2002)

September 17, 2001

President Bush signs a "top secret" document that outlined the plan for war in Afghanistan with a footnote directing the Pentagon to start planning military options for an invasion of Iraq.
Glenn Kessler, "U.S. Decision on Iraq Has Puzzling Past" (Washington Post, 1/12/2003)

February 16, 2002

Bush signs an intelligence finding that directed the CIA to help the military overthrow Hussein and conduct operations within Iraq.
William Hamilton, "Bush Began to Plan War Three Month After 9/11" (Washington Times, 4/17/2004)

March 1, 2002

Memo from the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) to then Secretary of State Colin Powell warns that Iraq-uranium claim is not credible.
Chronology of Bush Claim that Iraq Attempted to Obtain Uranium from Niger
March 14, 2002
(Downing Street Memos)
Memo from David Manning (UK Foreign Policy Advisor) to Prime Minister Tony Blair recounting Manning’s dinner with Condoleeza Rice (then National Security Advisor, now Secretary of State) reports that Bush had "yet to find the answers to the big questions: how to persuade international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified… [and]…what happens on the morning after?"
John Daniszewski, "New Memos Detail Early Plans for Invading Iraq" (LA Times, 6/15/2005)

March 15, 2002

(Downing Street Memos)
British M16 intelligence reports that "…Iraq retains some production equipment, and some small stocks of chemical warfare agent precursors, and may have hidden small quantities of agents and weapons. There is no intelligence on any biological agent production facilities."
Michael Smith, "Failure is not an option, but that doesn’t mean they will avoid it" (The Daily Telegraph, 9/18/2004)
March 18, 2002
(Downing Street Memos)
Memo from Christopher Meyer (UK ambassador to the US) to David Manning recounting Meyer’s meeting with Paul Wolfowitz (then US Deputy Secretary of Defense) cites Meyer’s remarks: "I then went through the need to wrong foot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN Security Council resolutions."
John Daniszewski, "New Memos Detail Early Plans for Invading Iraq" (LA Times, 6/15/2005)

March 24, 2002

Cheney states that Saddam Hussein "is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time."
Late Edition CNN (3/24/2002)

March 25, 2002

(Downing Street Memos)
Memo from Jack Straw (UK Foreign Secretary) to Blair in preparation for Blair’s visit to Bush’s Crawford ranch, states that the U.S. has "assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraq’s WMD threat, "but no assessment" has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better."
John Daniszewski, "New Memos Detail Early Plans for Invading Iraq" (LA Times, 6/15/2005)

March 27, 2002

Under a court order, the release of Department of Energy documents confirms "the intimate, secretive relationship between huge, politically connected corporations and the Cheney’s Energy Task Force."
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

April 7, 2002

Cabinet Office Paper reports that a meeting between Blair and Bush took place at the Texas ranch where Blair committed Britain to the war on Iraq.
"Cabinet Office Paper: Conditions for Military Action" (London Times-World, 6/12/2005)

July 23, 2002

(Downing Street Minutes written by Richard Dearlove. Meeting among the U.K. government officials, including the prime minister, and U.K. defense intelligence officials.)
The minutes state, "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin...Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." The minutes also note that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime.
"The Secret Downing Street Memo" (The Sunday Times-Britain, 5/1/2005)

July 2002

Bush approved the diversion of $750 million to Iraq from the $40 billion supplemental appropriations bill immediately after 9/11 attacks and the $25 billion appropriations bill of August 2, 2002 for the war in Afghanistan, keeping the Congress in the dark.
Pamela Hess, "$750 million possibly diverted to Iraq" (Washington Times, 4/19/2004)

September 8, 2002

Rice asserts that the aluminum tubes were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs."
 David Barstow, William J. Broad and Jeff Gerth, "Skewed Intelligence Data in March to War in Iraq" (The New York Times, 9/8/2002)

September 12, 2002

Bush tells U.N. that the US "will not allow any terrorist or tyrant to threaten civilization with weapons of mass murder" and "Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year."
"President’s Remarks at the United Nations General Assembly" (White House Transcript, 9/12/2002)

October 6, 2002

Memo from the CIA to the White House, including recipients, Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, claims that there is little evidence of Iraq’s attempt to purchase uranium from Niger. It also states that the alleged purchase "was not particularly significant."
Joseph Cirincone, "Niger Uranium: Still a False Claim" Carnegie Endowment.

October 7, 2002

Bush states, "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
 "President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat,” (White House Transcript, 10/7/2002)

October 10, 2002

Congress passes a Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of Force in Iraq, which specifically states, "(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."
"Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq" (White House, 10/2/2002)

December 19, 2002 

Congressional subcommittee, citing a State Department inspector general's report, found Undersecretary of State John Bolton had ordered and received updates on the "Fact Sheet" that claimed Iraq had been trying to procure uranium from Niger.
Ray McGovern, "John Bolton’s Yellowcake" (12/13/2005) (

January 28, 2003

In his State of the Union Address, Bush states "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
"President Delivers State of the Union" (White House Transcript, 1/28/2003)

February 5, 2003

At the U.N., Powell displays satellite photos of Iraqi chemical weapons depots and states, "One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq's biological weapons is the existence of mobile production facilities"
"U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council" (White House Transcript, 2/5/2003)
March 7, 2003
The International Atomic Energy Agency exposes the Niger documents as bogus.
"Transcript of ElBaradei’s U.N. Presentation" (CNN, 7/7/2003)

March 17, 2003

Bush addresses the Nation: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised" and "should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it."
Speech by George W. Bush

March 19, 2003

Invasion of Iraq officially begins.

March 30, 2003

In an ABC interview, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld pinpoints the location of WMD: "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
"Secretary Rumsfeld Remarks on ABC ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’" (Department of Defense, 3/30/2003)

May 1, 2003

Aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln standing beneath the "Mission Accomplished" banner, Bush states, "In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed," and "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."
"President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended" (White House Transcript, 5/1/2003)

May 28, 2003

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Wolfowitz admits, "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."
"Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz interview with Karen DeYoung" (Department of Defense, 5/28/2003)

July 6, 2003

Ambassador Wilson writes in an op-ed piece, "Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."
Joseph C. Wilson IV, Ambassador, "What I didn’t find in Africa" (New York Times Editorial, 7/6/2003)

July 7, 2003

Powell receives a State Department memo containing information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "S" for secret.
"Plame’s identity marked as secret" (The Washington Post, 7/21/2005)

July 11, 2003

In Matthew Cooper’s e-mails to his bureau chief, he notes that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove told him on the phone that Joseph Wilson’s trip to Africa to investigate the Niger uranium claim was not authorized by Cheney but by Wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on WMD.
Michael Isikoff, Matt Cooper’s email: "What Karl Rove Told Time Magazine’s Reporter" (Newsweek, 7/18/2005)
July 14, 2003
Robert Novak reveals Valerie Plame’s identity in his column: "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report."
Robert Novak, "Mission to Niger" (7/14/2003)

July 17, 2003

American Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley at Nellis Airbase, Nevada, admits a secret air war campaign against Iraq has started in June 2002 under cover of patrols of the southern no-fly zone.

September 14, 2003

On Meet the Press, Cheney asserts, "If we’re successful in Iraq…we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under the assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." 
Meet The Press (9/14/2003)
September 23, 2003
The Justice Department, appointing U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as a special prosecutor, launches a probe on national security leak - Valerie Plame as a CIA agent.
Bill Gertz, "CIA officer named prior to column" (Washington Times, 7/22/2004)

October 3, 2003

David Kay, CIA official responsible for the search for WMD, releases an interim report stating that weapons of mass destruction have not been found.
"US team finds no weapons of mass destruction" (BBC News, 10/3/2003)
January 13, 2004
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill releases his book, "The Price of Loyalty," accusing the Bush administration of planning for Iraq war in the earliest days of Bush's presidency.

February 6, 2004

The White House had charged O’Neill with wrongdoing in the use of classified documents but he was later cleared of any charges.
 "O’Neill cleared in use of classified documents" (CNN, 2/6/2004)

March 21, 2004

Former National Security Council Official Richard Clarke releases his book, "Against All Enemies," asserting that the Bush Administration was obsessed with Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein.

March 22, 2004

A propaganda campaign tries to discredit Clarke, accusing him of "profiteering" and "perjury."
"[Clarke] was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cyber security side of things" and "Well, [Clarke] wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff…"
Vice President Dick Cheney on Rush Limbaugh (3/22/2004)
July 6, 2005
The New York Times reporter Judith Miller is jailed for refusing to testify about her source on Valerie Plame leak before a federal grand jury.

CNN (7/6/2005)
July 13, 2005
Matthew Cooper testifies before the grand jury, confirming that his source on the Plame leak was Karl Rove. He also testifies that he spoke with Vice President's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby on July 12th.
"Transcript of Remarks By Matt Cooper and Attorney After Testifying Today." (Editor and Publisher, 7/13/2005)

July 15, 2005
Karl Rove testified to a grand jury last year that "he originally learned about the operative from the news media (Robert Novak) and not government sources."

"Rove Learned CIA agent's name from Novak" (USA Today, 7/15/2005)

July 18, 2005

President Bush comments on the Valerie Plame leak, "And if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration." Bush has altered his words from "firing anyone" who leaked the information in an earlier statement to anyone "committing a crime."
"Bush vows to fire anyone who committed crime in CIA leak" (CNN, 7/18/2005)
Besides the war in Iraq, an ongoing domestic war has been waging in public -- LIES  v. TRUTHS. It’s not a matter of politics -- Republicans v. Democrats, conservatives v. liberals, or red states v. blue states -- but a matter of REALITY. All Americans must face the same reality -- with or without the spin. We know for certain that the national debt is slipping into deeper red, precious lives are continuing to be lost in an illegal war, long hard fought civil liberties are gradually being buried by neoconservative judges, America has lost its image as a global leader, and the world is not safer than it was at the beginning of the "war against terror." Under the Bush administration, the United States has plunged from its height of glory to its depth of darkness -- all due to the Iraq war.

The question is -- Can you trust this administration?

(First published on, August 1, 2005)