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FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY PAUL ONEILL SAYS INVASION OF IRAQ WAS PLANNED IN THE FIRST DAYS...
Drudge ^ | 1/10/04 | Drudge

Posted on 01/10/2004 6:44:24 AM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

The Bush Administration began laying plans for an invasion of Iraq including the use of American troops within days of President Bush's inauguration in January of 2001, not eight months later after the 9/11 attacks as has been previously reported. That is what former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says in his first interview about his time as a White House insider. O'Neill talks to Lesley Stahl in the interview, to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Jan. 11 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," he tells Stahl. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do is a really huge leap," says O'Neill.

O'Neill, fired by the White House for his disagreement on tax cuts, is the main source for an upcoming book, "The Price of Loyalty," authored by Ron Suskind. Suskind says O'Neill and other White House insiders he interviewed gave him documents that show that in the first three months of 2001, the administration was looking at military options for removing Saddam Hussein from power and planning for the aftermath of Saddam's downfall, including post-war contingencies like peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals and the future of Iraq's oil. "There are memos," Suskind tells Stahl, "One of them marked 'secret' says 'Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq.'" A Pentagon document, says Suskind, titled "Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," outlines areas of oil exploration. "It talks about contractors around the world from...30, 40 countries and which ones have what intentions on oil in Iraq," Suskind says.

In the book, O'Neill is quoted as saying he was surprised that no one in a National Security Council meeting questioned why Iraq should be invaded. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill in the book.

Suskind also writes about a White House meeting in which he says the president seems to be wavering about going forward with his second round of tax cuts. "Haven't we already given money to rich people," Suskind says the president uttered, according to a nearly verbatim transcript of an Economic Team meeting he says he obtained from someone at the meeting, "Shouldn't we be giving money to the middle?"

O'Neill, who was asked to resign because of his opposition to the tax cut, says he doesn't think his tell-all account in this book will be attacked by his former employers as sour grapes. "I will be really disappointed if [the White House] reacts that way," he tells Stahl. "I can't imagine that I am going to be attacked for telling the truth."

Developing...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: clintonhadonetoo; crybaby; invasion; iraq; iraqifreedom; oneill; pauloneill
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1 posted on 01/10/2004 6:44:25 AM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The whole story sounds made up. Who would talk like that about tax cuts?
2 posted on 01/10/2004 6:46:46 AM PST by Thebaddog (Woof!)
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To: Torie; Pubbie
hmmmmmmm...lol
3 posted on 01/10/2004 6:46:49 AM PST by KQQL (^@__*^)
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To: All
Support Free Republic!

4 posted on 01/10/2004 6:47:01 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This really isn't news to anyone who has been following the Iraq story closely.

J
5 posted on 01/10/2004 6:47:20 AM PST by J. L. Chamberlain
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This will futher anger those already angered. And that's about it. If Saddam had been taken out years ago, the Middle East would already be a much different place.
6 posted on 01/10/2004 6:47:55 AM PST by dirtboy (Howard Dean - all bike and no path)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I expect we'll see Mr. O'Neill in Iowa in the next few days wearing a "Dean for President" t-shirt.
7 posted on 01/10/2004 6:48:18 AM PST by babaloo
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To: KQQL
Bush savaged by former Treasury chief
By Alan Beattie in Washington
Published: January 9 2004 21:47 | Last Updated: January 9 2004 21:47


President George W. Bush's performance at cabinet meetings resembled that of "a blind man in a room full of deaf people", according to Paul O'Neill (pictured), who was fired as Treasury secretary in 2002.
http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1073280927272&p=1012571727088


8 posted on 01/10/2004 6:49:17 AM PST by KQQL (^@__*^)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do is a really huge leap," says O'Neill.

What a curious quote.

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them..."

Which law of nature, or of nature's God, does O'Neill think the invasion of Iraq violates?

9 posted on 01/10/2004 6:49:38 AM PST by Jim Noble
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I can't imagine that I am going to be attacked for telling the truth."

Another 'I'm the victim of Bush' story, even from O'Neill. Anyone know how close Bush and O'Neill were before he left? IMO, anyone who decides to tell inside info so soon after leaving has a huge grudge.

10 posted on 01/10/2004 6:49:55 AM PST by rintense
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
so this shows the Bush team took the Saddam threat seriously and was doing something about it earlier than we thought. that's good, not bad.
11 posted on 01/10/2004 6:50:30 AM PST by Flashlight
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Gee, where's the obligatory reference to "neocons"?
12 posted on 01/10/2004 6:50:49 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The plan was probably handed over from the Clinton Administration considering Clinton's determination that he had WMD's and we had bombed them with the British the last 2 years of his presidency, operation Desert Fox. Also, official US policy was that Regime Change was the policy when Bush Entered office IRAQ LIBERATION ACT.

O'Neill is not mentioning anything about this and trying to make it look like Bush cooked this whole thing up.
13 posted on 01/10/2004 6:51:10 AM PST by TheEaglehasLanded
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Wasn't he sworn to secrecy?
14 posted on 01/10/2004 6:52:22 AM PST by Print
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
......and THIS comes from someone who cavorted around Africa with Boner indulging his elitist pity "for-the-children" instead of "watching-the-store".
15 posted on 01/10/2004 6:52:37 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
We've had a plan for military action against Iraq for decades. Here's a news flash...we also have one for North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Cuba...
16 posted on 01/10/2004 6:52:42 AM PST by Rokke
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
It would be nice if the White House could provide an actual transcript. Then we'd know the truth.
17 posted on 01/10/2004 6:53:12 AM PST by DB ()
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Glad to hear they were planning way before. I'm hoping they have a plan for N Korea (and France haha) as well. A good manager develops plans for possible future events, even somewhat remote possibilities. That way you don't get caught off guard & unprepared when surprises like 9-11 come along. Best way to no move up in management is to be caught flat footed when events & circumstances change.

Rats complain GWB has no plan, now O'neill complains he had an advance plan. Sheesh.
18 posted on 01/10/2004 6:53:59 AM PST by handy
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To: DoctorMichael
Oops, sorry!

{/rhetorical statement}

19 posted on 01/10/2004 6:55:55 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: Print
Good catch. What a loser. Reveals contents of secret memos so the press will like him and he'll be popular at dinner parties. Sounds like he needed a little ego boost.
20 posted on 01/10/2004 6:56:29 AM PST by handy
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