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Profile: Donald Rumsfeld

 
  

Positions that Donald Rumsfeld has held:

  • US Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush


 

Quotes

 
  

Summary, 2:40PM (EST), September 11, 2001

   “[I want the] best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time. Not only UBL [Osama bin Laden].... Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.” [CBS News 9/4/02]

Associated Events

Quote, January 1, 2002

   “I do not feel the slightest concern at their treatment. They are being treated vastly better than they treated anybody else.” [BBC, 1/15/2002]

Associated Events

Quote, January 19, 2002

   “The test is, is Saddam cooperating or is he not cooperating. That is what ought to be measured. That's what the UN asked for. .. The President said time is running out and if the test is, are the Iraqis going to co-operate, that's something you're going to know in a matter of weeks, not in months or years.” [The Australian, 1/20/03, New York Times, 1/19/03, International Herald Tribune, 1/20/03]

Associated Events

Quote, January 22, 2002

   “I am telling you what I believe in every inch of my body to be the truth, and I have spent a lot of time on secure video with the people down there. ... I haven't found a single scrap of any kind of information that suggests that anyone has been treated anything other than humanely.” [Department of Defense, 1/22/2002]

Associated Events

Quote, February 8, 2002

   “In short, we will continue to treat [Afghan and al-Qaeda detainees] consistent with the principles of fairness, freedom and justice that our nation was founded on, the principles that they obviously abhor and which they sought to attack and destroy. Notwithstanding the isolated pockets of international hyperventilation, we do not treat detainees in any manner other than a manner that is humane.” [US Department of State, 2/08/2002]

Associated Events

Quote, August 20, 2002

   “Think of the prelude to World War Two. Think of all the countries that said, well, we don't have enough evidence. I mean, Mein Kampf had been written. Hitler had indicated what he intended to do. Maybe he won't attack us. Maybe he won't do this or that. Well, there were millions of people dead because of the miscalculations. The people who argued for waiting for more evidence have to ask themselves how they are going to feel at that point where another event occurs.... There are al-Qaeda in a number of locations in Iraq.... The suggestion that ... [Iraqi government officials] who are so attentive in denying human rights to their population aren't aware of where these folks [al-Qaeda] are or what they're doing is ludicrous in a vicious, repressive dictatorship.... it's very hard to imagine that the government is not aware of what's taking place in the country.” [Fox News, 8/20/03, New York Times 8/20/02, Telegraph 8/21/02, Guardian 8/22/02]

Associated Events

Quote, Fall 2002

   “If you [Source: worry about just] the cost, the money, Iraq is a very different situation from Afghanistan ... Iraq has oil. They have financial resources.” [Financial Times, 1/16/04]

Associated Events

Quote, September 3, 2002

   “We know that they were a lot closer than any of the experts had estimated they would be with respect to [developing] a nuclear weapon. To the extent that they have kept their nuclear scientists together and working on these efforts, one has to assume they've not been playing tiddlywinks.” [Associated Press 9/3/02, UPI 9/3/02, Centcom, 9/3/2002]

Associated Events

Quote, September 19, 2002

   “I was, for a period in late '83 and early '84, asked by President Reagan to serve as Middle East envoy after the Marines—241 Marines were killed in Beirut. As part of my responsibilities I did visit Baghdad. I did meet with Mr. Tariq Aziz. And I did meet with Saddam Hussein and spent some time visiting with them about the war they were engaged in with Iran. At the time our concern, of course, was Syria and Syria's role in Lebanon and Lebanon's role in the Middle East and the terrorist acts that were taking place. As a private citizen I was assisting only for a period of months.” [US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]

Associated Events

Summary, December 3, 2002

   Asked if the administration's policy objective in Iraq is disarmament, regime change, or both, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld replies: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It depends on who you talk to and when you talk to them.” [US Department of State, Washington Post, 12/5/02]

Associated Events

Quote, January 7, 2003

   “To the extent that prior to using force he were to reveal intelligence information in a way that damaged the ability to conduct the conflict, it would be, needless to say, unfortunately, risky for the coalition forces' lives engaged,” said Rumsfeld. “And I don't know what calibration would be made there. On the one hand, you have the advantage of persuading the publics in the world and countries of the facts of the matter, and on the other hand, by so doing, you weaken your ability to do that which you have decided to do.” [The Times of London 1/9/03]

Associated Events

Quote, January 29, 2003

   Saddam's regime had “the design for a nuclear weapon; it was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” [Washington Post, 8/8/03]

Associated Events

Quote, February 11, 2003

   “I honestly believe that every country ought to do what it wants to do .... It either is proud of itself afterwards, or it is less proud of itself.” [The Guardian, 2/11/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, March 24, 2003

   “We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that, in one case at least, the command and control arrangements have been established.” [Village Voice, 6/18/03]

Associated Events

Quote, March 27, 2003

   “When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community.” [Financial Times, 1/16/04]

Associated Events

Quote, March 30, 2003

   “We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” [Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 7/17/03]

Associated Events

Undefined, April 13, 2003

   “The task is to create an environment that is sufficiently permissive that the Iraqi people can fashion a new government. And what they will do is come together in one way or another and select an interim authority of some kind. Then that group will propose a constitution and a more permanent authority of some kind. And over some period of months, the Iraqis will have their government selected by Iraqi people.” [US Department of Defense, 4/13/2003]

Associated Events

Undefined, April 24, 2003

   “If you're suggesting, how would we feel about an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country, the answer is: That isn't going to happen.” [The Guardian, 4/25/2003, Asssociated Press, 4/25/2003]

Associated Events

Undefined, May 27, 2003

   “As Thomas Jefferson put it, ‘we are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.’ It took time and patience, but eventually our Founders got it right—and we hope so will the people of Iraq—over time.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/27/2003]

Associated Events

Undefined, May 29, 2003

   “[When asked: When do you think there might be a government in place, even a provisional government in place in Iraq? Rumsfeld reponds:] I don't know.” [Department of Defense, 5/29/2003]

Associated Events

Undefined, July 9, 2003

   “The coalition did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass murder. We acted because we saw the evidence in a dramatic new light, through the prism of our experience on 9/11.” [Washington Times, 7/10/2003, USA Today, 7/9/2003, BBC, 7/9/2003]

Associated Events

Quote, September 16, 2003

   “I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that” Iraq had a hand in the September 11 attacks. [Associated Press, 9/16/03]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

Donald Rumsfeld actively participated in the following events:

 
  

December 19, 1983      US-Iraq 1980s

       President Reagan dispatches US envoy to the Middle East, Donald Rumsfeld, to convey the administration's intention to “resume [US] diplomatic relations with Iraq.” [American Gulf War Veterans Association, 9/10/2001; Seattle Post Intelligencer, 9/24/2002]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan, Donald Rumsfeld
          

December 20, 1983      US-Iraq 1980s

       US Special Envoy Donald Rumsfeld—who at this time is CEO of the pharmaceutical company, GD Searle and Co.—personally meets with Saddam Hussein for 90 minutes in an attempt to reestablish diplomatic relations with Iraq. Rumsfeld also discusses US interest in the construction of the Iraq-Jordan Aqaba oil pipeline [to be built by Bechtel (see December 2, 1983)]. [New York Times, 4/14/03; Baltimore Sun 9/26/2001; Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03; The Times, 12/31/02; NBC News, 8/18/02; Washington Post,12/30/02; Newsweek, 9/23/2002 Sources: State Department memo summarizing Donald Rumsfeld's December 20 with Saddam Hussein, December 21, 1983, State Department memo concerning Rumsfeld's planned visit to Baghdad, December 10, 1983, Videotape of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein] Rumsfeld does not raise the issue of Iraq's use of chemical weapons with Saddam. [Sources: State Department memo summarizing Donald Rumsfeld's December 20 with Saddam Hussein, December 21, 1983] After his meeting with the Iraqi president, Rumsfeld meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz. They agree that “the US and Iraq ... [share] many common interests.” Rumsfeld briefly mentions US concerns about Iraq's chemical weapons, explaining that US “efforts to assist [Iraq] ... [are] inhibited by certain things that made it difficult for us.....” [Sources: State Department memo summarizing Donald Rumsfeld's December 20 with Saddam Hussein, December 21, 1983] On September 19, 2002, almost two decades later, Rumsfeld will be questioned in Congress about this visit (see September 19, 2002). [US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]
People and organizations involved: Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein, Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 24, 1984      US-Iraq 1980s

       The US State Department briefs Donald Rumsfeld who is preparing to make another visit to Baghdad (see (March 26, 1984)). In a memo to Rumsfeld, Secretary of State George Shultz laments that relations with Iraq have soured because of the State Department's March 5 condemnation (see March 5, 1984) of Iraq's use of chemical weapons and expresses considerable concern over the future of the Aqaba pipeline project [to be built by Bechtel (see December 2, 1983)] which the US is pushing. Shultz writes:“Two event have worsened the atmosphere in Baghdad since your last stop there in December: (1) Iraq has only partly repulsed the initial thrust of a massive Iranian invasion, losing the strategically significant Majnun Island oil fields and accepting heavy casualties; (2) Bilateral relations were sharply set back by our March 5 condemnation of Iraq for CW [chemical weapons] use, despite our repeated warnings that this issue would emerge [as a public issue] sooner or later. Given its wartime preoccupations and its distress at our CW statement, the Iraqi leadership probably will have little interest in discussing Lebanon, the Arab-Israeli conflict, or other matters except as they may impinge on Iraq's increasingly desperate struggle for survival. If Saddam or Tariq Aziz receives you against consider, and to reject, a pending application from Westinghouse to participate in a $160 million portion of a $1 billion Hyundai thermal power plant project in Iraq, this decision will only confirm Iraqi perceptions that ExIm [Export-Import Bank] financing for the Aqaba pipeline is out of the question. Eagleburger tried to put this perception to a rest, however, emphasizing to Kittani the administration's firm support for the line (see March 15, 1984). The door is not yet closed to ExIm or other USG [US government] financial assistance to this project....” At the very end of the cable, it is noted that “Iraq officials have professed to be at a loss to explain our actions as measured against our stated objectives. As with our CW statement, their temptation is to give up rational analysis and retreat to the line that US policies are basically anti-Arab and hostage to the desires of Israel.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03 Sources: US Department of State briefing to Donald Rumsfeld, March 24, 1984]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Donald Rumsfeld, Elda James, Esq., Lawrence Eagleburger
          

(March 26, 1984)      US-Iraq 1980s

       Donald Rumsfeld travels to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz. While in Iraq, Rumsfeld discusses the proposed Iraq-Jordan Aqaba pipeline [to be built by Bechtel (see December 2, 1983)], relays an Israeli offer to help Iraq in its war against Iran, and expresses the Reagan administration's hope that Iraq will obtain Export-Import Bank credits. [Common Dreams, 8/2/2002; American Gulf War Veterans Association 9/10/2001; Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]
People and organizations involved: Tariq Aziz, Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 26, 1998      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), an influential neoconservative think tank, publishes a letter to President Clinton urging war against Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein because he is a “hazard” to “a significant portion of the world's supply of oil.” In a foretaste of what eventually happens, the letter calls for the US to go to war alone, attacks the United Nations, and says the US should not be “crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.” The letter is signed by many who will later lead the 2003 Iraq war. 10 of the 18 signatories later join the Bush Administration, including (future) Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Undersecretaries of State John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky, presidential adviser for the Middle East Elliott Abrams, and Bush's special Iraq envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. [Sunday Herald, 3/16/03 Sources: January 26, 1998 Open Letter to Bill Clinton] Clinton does heavily bomb Iraq in late 1998, but the bombing doesn't last long and its long term effect is the break off of United Nations weapons inspections. [New York Times, 3/22/03]
People and organizations involved: William J. Bennett, Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, William Schneider Jr., Donald Rumsfeld, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Robert B. Zoellick, Peter Rodman, John R. Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, Jeffrey T. Bergner, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, William Kristol, Paula J. Dobriansky, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, Richard Perle
          

February 19, 1998      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Committee for Peace and Security publishes an open letter to President Bill Clinton outlining a 9-point “comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime.” The letter is signed by a litany of former US government officials known for their neoconservative viewpoints. Several of the signatories are also involved with the Project for the New American Century and had endorsed a similar letter published by that organization the previous month. [CNN, 2/20/98; Committee For Peace and Security, 2/19/98 Sources: February 19, 1998 Open Letter to Bill Clinton]
People and organizations involved: Richard Armitage, Peter Rodman, Roger Robinson, Paul Wolfowitz, Joshua Muravchik, Martin Peretz, Robert A. Pastor, Max Singer, Peter Rosenblatt, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Leon Wienseltier, Caspar Weinberger, Richard V. Allen, Frank Carlucci, Paula J. Dobriansky, William B. Clark, Jeffrey T. Bergner, Stephen Bryen, Richard Burt, Frank Gaffney, Jeffrey Gedmin, Sven F. Kraemer, Gary Schmitt, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Bernard Lewis, Frederick L. Lewis, Jarvis Lynch, Robert C. McFarlane, John R. Bolton, Fred C. Ikle, Stephen Solarz, David Wurmser, Dov S. Zakheim, Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Robert Kagan, Douglas Feith
          

September 2000: PNAC Report Recommends Policies That Need New Pearl Harbor for Quick Implementation      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

      
People involved in the 2000 PNAC report (from top left): Vice President Cheney, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim, and author Eliot Cohen.
PNAC drafts a strategy document, “Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” for George W. Bush's team before the 2000 Presidential election. The document was commissioned by future Vice President Cheney, future Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, future Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Florida Governor Jeb Bush (Bush's brother), and future Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby. [Sources: Rebuilding America's Defenses]
The document outlines a “blueprint for maintaining global US preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.”
PNAC states further: “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
PNAC calls for the control of space through a new “US Space Forces,” the political control of the Internet, and the subversion of any growth in political power of even close allies, and advocates “regime change” in China, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran, and other countries.
It also mentions that “advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”
However, PNAC complains that thes changes are likely to take a long time, “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/12/03] Notably, while Cheney commissioned this plan (along with other future key leaders of the Bush administration), he defends Bush's position of maintaining Clinton's policy not to attack Iraq during an NBC interview in the midst of the 2000 presidential campaign, asserting that the US should not act as though “we were an imperialist power, willy-nilly moving into capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments.” [Washington Post, 1/12/02] A British member of Parliament will later say of the report: “This is a blueprint for US world domination—a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world.” [Sunday Herald, 9/7/02] Both PNAC and its strategy plan for Bush are almost virtually ignored by the media until a few weeks before the start of the Iraq war (see February-March 20, 2003).
People and organizations involved: Aaron Friedberg, Steve Forbes, Elliott Abrams, Francis Fukuyama, Norman Podhoretz, Henry S. Rowen, Vin Weber, Eliot A. Cohen, Hasam Amin, William J. Bennett, Midge Decter, George Weigel, John Ellis ("Jeb") Bush, Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Project for the New American Century, Paula J. Dobriansky, Frank Gaffney, Donald Kagan, Steve Rosen, Saddam Hussein, Peter Rodman, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Dan Quayle, Syria, China, United States, Lybia, North Korea, Iraq, Fred C. Ikle
          

End of 2001-early 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld authorizes the creation of a “special-access program,” or SAP, with “blanket advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate ‘high value’ targets in the Bush administration's war on terror.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004; The Guardian, 9/13/2004] The operation, known as “Copper Green,” is approved by Condoleezza Rice and known to President Bush. [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004 Sources: Unnamed former US intelligence official] A SAP is an ultra secret project, the contents of which are known by very few officials. “We're not going to read more people than necessary into our heart of darkness,” a former senior intelligence official tells investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004; The New Yorker, 5/15/2004] The SAP is brought up occasionally within the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by the president and members of which are Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Powell. The former intelligence official tells Hersh, “There was a periodic briefing to the National Security Council giving updates on results, but not on the methods.” He also says he believes NSC members know about the process by which these results are acquired. Motive for the SAP comes from an initial freeze in the results obtained by US agents from their hunt for al-Qaeda. Friendly foreign intelligence services on the other hand, from countries in the Middle East and South-East Asia, which employ more aggressive tactics on prisoners, are giving up much better information by the end of 2001. By authorizing the SAP, Rumsfeld, according to Hersh, desires to adopt these tactics and thus increase intelligence results. “Rumsfeld's goal was to get a capability in place to take on a high-value target—a stand-up group to hit quickly,” the former intelligence official tells Hersh. The program's operatives were recruited from among Delta Force, Navy Seals, and CIA's paramilitary experts. They are given, according to Hersh, “blanket advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate high-value targets.” They are permitted to carry out “instant interrogations—using force if necessary—at secret CIA detention centers scattered around the world.” Information obtained through the program is sent to the Pentagon in real-time. The former intelligence official tells Hersh: “The rules are ‘Grab whom you must. Do what you want.’ ” [The Guardian, 9/13/2004] The operation, according to Seymour Hersh, “encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Richard B. Myers, George W. Bush, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Colin Powell
          

January 11, 2001      US Military

       The Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization, chaired by Donald Rumsfeld, issues its report to Congress warning that the US military's satellites are vulnerable to attack. The military has some 600 satellites that it depends on for photo reconnaissance, targeting, communications, weather forecasting, early warning and intelligence gathering. An attack on these satellites, or on those belonging to US businesses, would be disastrous for the US economy and military, the report says. The report argues that the US must establish a military presence in space to protect its assets from a “Space Pearl Harbor” and asserts that warfare in space is a “virtual certainty.” To counter this vulnerability, the commission recommends that the US develop “superior space capabilities,” including the ability to “negate the hostile use of space against US interests.” It must project power “in, from and through space,” the report says. The president should “have the option to deploy weapons in space to deter threats to and, if necessary, defend against attacks on US interests.” [Toronto Globe and Mail, 5/9/2001; Agence France Presse, 1/29/2004; MSNBC, 4/27/2001; American Foreign Services Association, 4/2001 Sources: Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, US Congress, Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization
          

January 27, 2001: Al-Qaeda's Role in USS Cole Bombing Triggers No Immediate Response      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Washington Post reports that the US has confirmed the link between al-Qaeda and the October 2000 USS Cole bombing (see October 12, 2000). [Washington Post, 1/27/01] This conclusion is stated without hedge in a February 9 briefing for Vice President Cheney. [Washington Post, 1/20/02] In the wake of that bombing, Bush stated on the campaign trail, “I hope that we can gather enough intelligence to figure out who did the act and take the necessary action. ... There must be a consequence.” [Washington Post, 1/20/02] Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz later complains that by the time the new administration is in place, the Cole bombing was “stale.” Defense Secretary Rumsfeld concurs, stating that too much time had passed to respond. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B)] The new Bush administration fails to resume the covert deployment of cruise missile submarines and gunships on six-hour alert near Afghanistan's borders that had begun under President Clinton. The standby force gave Clinton the option of an immediate strike against targets in Afghanistan harboring al-Qaeda's top leadership. This failure makes a possible assassination of bin Laden much more difficult. [Washington Post, 1/20/02]
People and organizations involved: William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Bush administration, Paul Wolfowitz
          

(January 30, 2001): First National Security Council Meeting Focuses on Iraq and Israel, Not Terrorism      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Bush White House holds its first National Security Council meeting. The focus is on Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Bamford, 2004, pp 261 Sources: Paul O'Neill]
Israeli-Palestinian conflict - “We're going to correct the imbalances of the previous administration on the Mideast conflict,” Bush reportedly tells his national security team. “We're going to tilt it back toward Israel.” His view is that the Israeli government, currently headed by Ariel Sharon, should be left alone to deal as it sees fit with the Palestinians. “I'm not going to go by past reputations when it comes to Sharon. I'm going to take him at face value. We'll work on a relationship based on how things go.” Justifying his position, he recalls a recent trip he took to Israel with the Republican Jewish Coalition. “We flew over the Palestinian camps. Looked real bad down there. ... I don't see much we can do over there at this point.” Powell, surprised by Bush's intended policy towards the 50-year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, objects. According to Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neil, Powell “stresse[s] that a pullback by the United States would unleash Sharon and the Israeli army.” When Powell warns the president that the “consequences of that [policy] could be dire, especially for the Palestinians,” Bush shrugs. “Sometimes a show of strength by one side can really clarify things,” he suggests. [Bamford, 2004, pp 265-266]
Iraq - The meeting then moves on to the subject of Iraq. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice begins noting “that Iraq might be the key to reshaping the entire region.” She turns the meeting over to CIA director George Tenet who summarizes current intelligence on Iraq. He mentions a factory that “might” be producing “either chemical or biological materials for weapons manufacture.” The evidence he provides is a picture of the factory with some truck activity, a water tower, and railroad tracks going into a building. He admits that there is “no confirming intelligence.” [Bamford, 2004, pp 267] US Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill, later recalls: “From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go ... From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime. Day one, these things were laid and sealed.” O'Neill will say officials never questioned the logic behind this policy. No one ever asked, “Why Saddam?” and “Why now?” Instead, the issue that needed to be resolved was how this could be accomplished. “It was all about finding a way to do it,” O'Neill will explain. “That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this.’ ” [CBS News, 1/10/04; New York Times, 1/12/04; Guardian, 1/12/04; Vanity Fair, 5/04, pg 234 Sources: Paul O'Neill] Another official who attends the meeting will later say that the tone of the meeting implied a policy much more aggressive than that of the previous administration. “The president told his Pentagon officials to explore the military options, including use of ground forces,” the official will tell ABC News. “That went beyond the Clinton administration's halfhearted attempts to overthrow Hussein without force.” [ABC News, 1/13/04 Sources: Unnamed senior official of the Bush administration] The council does more than just discuss Iraq. It makes a decision to allow the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an Iraqi opposition group, to use $4 million to fund efforts inside Iraq to compile information relating to Baghdad's war crimes, military operations, and other internal developments. The money had been authorized by Congress in late 2004. The US has not directly funded Iraqi opposition activities inside Iraq itself since 1996. [Guardian, 2/3/2005] After Paul O'Neill first provides his account of this meeting in 2004, the White House will attempt to downplay its significance. “... The stated policy of my administration toward Saddam Hussein was very clear,” Bush will tell reporters during a visit to Mexico In January 2004. “Like the previous administration, we were for regime change. ... And in the initial stages of the administration, as you might remember, we were dealing with desert badger or fly-overs and fly-betweens and looks, and so we were fashioning policy along those lines.” [New York Times, 1/12/04]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Colin Powell, Richard B. Myers, Paul O'Neill, Iraqi National Congress, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 31, 2001: Bipartisan Commission Issues Final Report on Terrorism, but Conclusions Are Ignored      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Gary Hart (left) and Warren Rudman (right) testify before a Senate committee in 2002.
The final report of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart (D) and Warren Rudman (R) is issued. The bipartisan report was put together in 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Hart and Rudman personally brief National Security Adviser Rice, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Powell on their findings. The report has 50 recommendations on how to combat terrorism in the US, but all of them are ignored by the Bush administration. According to Senator Hart, Congress begins to take the commission's suggestions seriously in March and April, and legislation is introduced to implement some of the recommendations. Then, “Frankly, the White House shut it down... The president said ‘Please wait, We're going to turn this over to the vice president’ ... and so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day.” The White House announces in May that it will have Vice President Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism despite the fact that this commission had just studied the issue for 2 1/2 years. Interestingly, both this commission and the Bush administration were already assuming a new cabinet level National Homeland Security Agency would be enacted eventually, even as the public remained unaware of the term and the concept. [Salon, 9/12/01; Salon, 4/2/04] Hart is incredulous that neither he nor any of the other members of this commission are ever asked to testify before the 9/11 Commission. [Salon, 4/6/04]
People and organizations involved: Newt Gingrich, US Congress, Donald Rumsfeld, 9/11 Commission, Warren Rudman, Colin Powell, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Bush administration, Gary Hart, Commission on National Security/21st Century, Condoleezza Rice
          

February 1, 2001: Rumsfeld Envisions Post-Saddam Iraq      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Bush White House holds its second National Security Council meeting. Like the first meeting (see (January 30, 2001)), the issue of regime change in Iraq is a central topic. [CBS News, 1/10/04; New York Times, 1/12/04] Officials discuss a memo titled “Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,” which talks about troop requirements, establishing war crimes tribunals, and divvying up Iraq's oil wealth. [Sources: Paul O'Neill] Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argues that by removing Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration would “demonstrate what US policy is all about.” It would also help transform the Middle East, he claims. According to Paul O'Neill, Rumsfeld talks at the meeting “in general terms about post-Saddam Iraq, dealing with the Kurds in the north, the oil fields, the reconstruction of the country's economy, and the ‘freeing of the Iraqi people.’ ” [New York Times, 1/12/04 Sources: Paul O'Neill] Other people, in addition to O'Neill, Bush, and Rumsfeld, who are likely in attendance include Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers. [Sources: National Security Presidential Directives—NSPD-1, 2/13/01]]
People and organizations involved: Paul O'Neill, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Richard B. Myers, George Tenet, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld
          

June 1, 2001: New Policy: Only Defense Secretary May Approve Fighter Jet Launch      Complete 911 Timeline

       According to the New York Observer and government documents, the procedure for dealing with hijackings within the United States changes on this date. It requires that, with the exception of “immediate responses,” requests for military assistance must be forwarded to the defense secretary (Donald Rumsfeld) for approval. Rumsfeld later claims that protection against a domestic terrorist attack is not his responsibility; it is instead “a law-enforcement issue.” [Department of Defense, 6/1/01; CJCSI, 7/31/97; New York Observer, 6/17/04]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

July 3, 2001: Rare Discussion Takes Place Between National Security Advisers on Terrorism      Complete 911 Timeline

       This is one of only two dates that Bush's national security leadership discusses terrorism. (The other discussion occurs on September 4.) Apparently, the topic is only mentioned in passing and is not the focus of the meeting. This group, made up of the national security adviser, CIA director, defense secretary, secretary of state, Joint Chiefs of staff chairman and others, met around 100 times before 9/11 to discuss a variety of topics, but apparently rarely terrorism. The White House “aggressively defended the level of attention [to terrorism], given only scattered hints of al-Qaeda activity.” This lack of discussion stands in sharp contrast to the Clinton administration and public comments by the Bush administration. [Time, 8/4/02] Bush said in February 2001, “I will put a high priority on detecting and responding to terrorism on our soil.” A few weeks earlier, Tenet told Congress, “The threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.” [Associated Press, 6/28/02]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, US Congress, Bush administration, Clinton administration, al-Qaeda
          

September 4, 2001: Cabinet-Rank Advisers Discuss Terrorism, Approve Revised Version of Clarke's Eight Month-Old-Plan      Complete 911 Timeline

       President Bush's cabinet-rank advisers discuss terrorism for the second of only two times before 9/11. [Washington Post, 5/17/02] National Security Adviser Rice chairs the meeting; neither President Bush nor Vice President Cheney attends. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke later says that in this meeting, he and CIA Director Tenet speak passionately about the al-Qaeda threat. No one disagrees that the threat is serious. Secretary of State Powell outlines a plan to put pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting al-Qaeda. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld appears to be more interested in Iraq. The only debate is over whether to fly the armed Predator drone over Afghanistan to attack al-Qaeda. [Clarke, 2004, pp 237-38] Clarke's earlier plans to “roll back” al-Qaeda have been discussed and honed in many meetings and are now presented as a formal National Security Presidential Directive. The directive is “apparently” approved, though the process of turning it into official policy is still not done. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)] There is later disagreement over just how different the directive presented is from Clarke's earlier plans. For instance, some claim the directive aims not just to “roll back” al-Qaeda, but also to “eliminate” it altogether. [Time, 8/4/02] However, Clarke notes that even though he wanted to use the word “eliminate,” the approved directive merely aims to “significantly erode” al-Qaeda. The word “eliminate” is only added after 9/11. [Washington Post, 3/25/04 (B)] The Washington Post notes that the directive approved on this day “did not differ substantially from Clinton's policy.” [Washington Post, 3/27/04] Time magazine later comments, “The fight against terrorism was one of the casualties of the transition, as Washington spent eight months going over and over a document whose outline had long been clear.” [Time, 8/4/02] The primary change from Clarke's original draft is that the approved plan calls for more direct financial and logistical support to the Northern Alliance and other anti-Taliban groups. The plan also calls for drafting plans for possible US military involvement, “but those differences were largely theoretical; administration officials told the [9/11 Commission's] investigators that the plan's overall timeline was at least three years, and it did not include firm deadlines, military plans, or significant funding at the time of the September 11, 2001, attacks.” [Washington Post, 3/27/04; Reuters, 4/2/04]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Central Intelligence Agency, Colin Powell, al-Qaeda, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Northern Alliance, Richard A. Clarke, George W. Bush
          

September 6, 2001: Rumsfeld Threatens Veto If Democrats Allocate More Money to Fight Terrorism      Complete 911 Timeline

       Senator Carl Levin (D), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, seeks to transfer $600 million to counterterrorism from the missile defense program to fill budgetary gaps. However, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld sends a letter on this day saying he would urge Bush to veto the measure. Levin nonetheless pushes the measure through the next day on a party-line vote. It's unclear if a veto would have followed. [New York Times, 4/4/04 (B); Washington Post, 1/20/02; Time, 8/4/02]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, Carl Levin, Donald Rumsfeld
          

September 10, 2001: Rumsfeld Announces Defense Department Cannot Track $2.3 Trillion in Transactions      Complete 911 Timeline

       In a speech to the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announces that the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” CBS later calculates that 25 percent of the yearly defense budget is unaccounted for, and quotes a long-time defense budget analyst: “[Their] numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year.” Coverage of this rather shocking story is nearly nonexistent given the events of the next day. [Defense Department, 9/10/01; CBS News, 1/29/02] In April 2002 it will be revealed that $1.1 trillion of the missing money comes from the 2000 fiscal year. Auditors won't even quantify how much money is missing from fiscal year 2001, causing “some [to] fear it's worse” than 2000. The Department of the Army will state that it won't publish a stand-alone financial statement for 2001 because of “the loss of financial-management personnel sustained during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.” [Insight, 4/29/02] This $1.1 trillion plus unknown additional amounts continues to remain unaccounted for, and auditors say it may take eight years of reorganization before a proper accounting can be done. [Insight, 8/21/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, US Department of Defense, US Department of the Army
          

Shortly after September 11, 2001      US Military

       The Pentagon establishes what is later known as the Strategic Support Branch (SSB), or Project Icon, to provide Rumsfeld with tools for “full spectrum of humint [human intelligence] operations” in “emerging target countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, Philippines and Georgia.” It is said that Rumsfeld hopes the program will end his “near total dependence on CIA.” According to Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas O'Connell, a possible scenario for which the Strategic Support Branch might be called to action would be if a “hostile country close to our borders suddenly changes leadership.... We would want to make sure the successor is not hostile.” [Washington Post, 1/23/2005] When SBB's existence is revealed in early 2005, the Pentagon denies that the program was established to sideline the CIA, insisting that its sole purpose is to provide field operational units with intelligence obtained through prisoner interrogations, scouting and foreign spies, and from other units in the field. [Washington Post, 1/25/2005; CNN, 1/24/2005] As an arm of the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) nine-year-old Defense Human Intelligence Service, SSB operates under the Defense Secretary's direct control and consists of small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists who work alongside special operations forces. [Washington Post, 1/23/2005] However some SBB members are reported to be “out-of-shape men in their fifties and recent college graduates on their first assignments,” according to sources interviewed by the Washington Post. When the SSB's existence is revealed in 2005, its commander is Army Col. George Waldroup, who [Washington Post, 1/23/2005 [b]] reports to Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). SSB's policies are determined by Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone. [CNN, 1/24/2005] Critics say Waldroup lacks the necessary experience to run SSB and note that he was once investigated by Congress when he was a midlevel manager at the INS. [Washington Post, 1/23/2005 [b]] SSB includes two Army squadrons of Delta Force; another Army squadron, code-named Gray Fox; an Air Force human intelligence unit; and the Navy unit known as SEAL Team Six. According to sources interviewed by the Washington Post, the branch is funded using “reprogrammed” funds that do not have explicit congressional authority or appropriation, [Washington Post, 1/23/2005] though this is denied by the Pentagon when the unit's existence is revealed. [CNN, 1/24/2005]
People and organizations involved: Thomas O'Connell, George Waldroup, SEAL Team Six, Gray Fox, Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon, Donald Rumsfeld, Delta Force
          

(8:30 a.m.): Some US Leaders Are Scattered; Others in D.C.      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Secretary of State Colin Powell leaves his Lima, Peru hotel after hearing the news.
Just prior to learning about the 9/11 attacks, top US leaders are scattered across the country and overseas:
President Bush is in Sarasota, Florida. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
Secretary of State Powell is in Lima, Peru. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
General Henry Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is flying across the Atlantic on the way to Europe. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
Attorney General Ashcroft is flying to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Allbaugh is at a conference in Montana. [ABC News, 9/14/02 (B)] Others are in Washington:
Vice President Cheney and National Security Adviser Rice are at their offices in the White House. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is at his office in the Pentagon, meeting with a delegation from Capitol Hill. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
CIA Director Tenet is at breakfast with his old friend and mentor, former senator David Boren (D), at the St. Regis Hotel, three blocks from the White House. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
FBI Director Mueller is in his office at FBI Headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue. [Washington Post, 1/27/02]
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta is at his office at the Department of Transportation. [Senate Commerce Committee, 9/20/01]
Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke is at a conference in the Ronald Reagan Building three blocks from the White House. [Clarke, 2004, pp 1]
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, Henry H. Shelton, Robert S. Mueller III, Condoleezza Rice, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Joeseph M. Allbaugh, Richard A. Clarke, Norman Mineta, Donald Rumsfeld, David Boren, Colin Powell, George Tenet, George W. Bush
          

(Before 8:46 a.m.): Rumsfeld Reportedly Predicts Terror Attacks      Complete 911 Timeline

       Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and Representative Christopher Cox (R) are meeting in Rumsfeld's private Pentagon dining room, discussing missile defense. Rumsfeld later recalls, “I had said at an eight o'clock breakfast that sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy Defense Department that contributes to—that underpins peace and stability in our world.” [CNN, 12/5/01] Wolfowitz recalls, “And we commented to them that based on what Rumsfeld and I had both seen and worked on the Ballistic Missile Threat Commission, that we were probably in for some nasty surprises over the next ten years.” [Defense Department, 5/9/03] There are confused accounts that Rumsfeld says, “I've been around the block a few times. There will be another event,” just before the Pentagon is hit by Flight 77, but such comments may have been made around this time instead. Rumsfeld says, “And someone walked in and handed a note that said that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. And we adjourned the meeting, and I went in to get my CIA briefing ... right next door here [in my office].” [CNN, 12/5/01]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, Christopher Cox, World Trade Center, US Department of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
          

(After 9:03 a.m.): Wolfowitz Continues Routine Meeting, Rumsfeld Stays in Office      Complete 911 Timeline

       Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has recently left a meeting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld around 8:46 a.m (see (Before 8:46 a.m.)). Wolfowitz later recalls, “We were having a meeting in my office. Someone said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Then we turned on the television and we started seeing the shots of the second plane hitting, and this is the way I remember it. It's a little fuzzy. ... There didn't seem to be much to do about it immediately and we went on with whatever the meeting was.” [Defense Department, 5/9/03] Rumsfeld recalls, “I was in my office with a CIA briefer and I was told that a second plane had hit the other tower.” [9/11 Commission Report, 3/23/04] Deputy Defense Secretary Torie Clarke recalls, “A couple of us had gone into ... Secretary Rumsfeld's office, to alert him to that, tell him that the crisis management process was starting up. He wanted to make a few phone calls. So a few of us headed across the hallway to an area called the National Military Command Center [around 200 feet away]. He stayed in his office.” [Defense Department, 9/15/01 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Torie Clarke, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz
          

(9:10 a.m.): Clarke Directs Crisis Response through Video Conference with Top Officials; 9/11 Commission and Others Barely Mention the Conference      Complete 911 Timeline

       Around this time, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke reaches the Secure Video Conferencing Center next to the Situation Room in the West Wing of the White House. From there, he directs the response to the 9/11 attacks and stays in contact with other top officials through video links. On video are Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, CIA Director Tenet, FBI Director Mueller, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson (filling in for the traveling Attorney General Ashcroft), Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (filling in for the traveling Secretary of State Powell), and Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers (filling in for the traveling Chairman Henry Shelton). National Security Adviser Rice is with Clarke, but she lets Clarke run the crisis response, deferring to his longer experience on terrorism matters. Clarke is also told by an aide, “We're on the line with NORAD, on an air threat conference call.” [Clarke, 2004, pp 2-4; Australian, 3/27/04] The 9/11 Commission says of this conference in a staff report: “The White House Situation Room initiated a video teleconference, chaired by Richard Clarke. While important, it had no immediate effect on the emergency defense efforts.” [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] The 9/11 Commission's Final Report covers the conference in greater depth and suggests begins about 15 minutes later than Clarke claims, at 9:25 a.m.(see 9:25 a.m.). Yet, as the Washington Post puts it, “everyone seems to agree” Clarke is the chief crisis manager on 9/11. [Washington Post, 3/28/04 (B)] Even Clarke's later opponent, National Security Adviser Rice, calls him 9/11's “crisis management guy.” [UPI, 4/10/04] The conference is where the government's emergency defense efforts are concentrated.
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, John Ashcroft, Richard Armitage, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Richard A. Clarke, Condoleezza Rice, Richard B. Myers, 9/11 Commission, Larry D. Thompson, Robert S. Mueller III, Jane Garvey, Henry H. Shelton, North American Aerospace Defense Command
          

(9:29 a.m.): Pentagon Command Center Begins High Level Conference Call      Complete 911 Timeline

      
The National Miilitary Command Center, inside the Pentagon.
Captain Charles Leidig is in command of the National Military Command Center (NMCC), “the military's worldwide nerve center.” [CNN, 9/4/02] Telephone links are established with the NMCC located inside the Pentagon (but on the opposite side of the building from where the explosion will happen), Canada's equivalent Command Center, Strategic Command, theater commanders, and federal emergency-response agencies. An Air Threat Conference Call is initiated and it lasts for eight hours. At one time or another, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, key military officers, leaders of the FAA and NORAD, the White House, and Air Force One are heard on the open line. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02; 9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] NORAD command director Captain Michael Jellinek claims this happens “immediately” after the second WTC hit. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02] However, the 9/11 Commission concludes it starts nearly 30 minutes later, at approximately 9:29 a.m. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] Brigadier General Montague Winfield, who later takes over for Leidig, says, “All of the governmental agencies that were involved in any activity going on in the United States at that point, were in that conference.” [ABC News, 9/11/02] The call continues right through the Pentagon explosion; the impact is not felt within the NMCC. [CNN, 9/4/02] However, despite being in the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld doesn't enter the NMCC or participate in the call until 10:30 a.m. (see (10:30 a.m.)).
People and organizations involved: Richard ("Dick") Cheney, National Military Command Center, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Mike Jellinek, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration, Charles Leidig, Montague Winfield
          

(9:35 a.m.): Treasury Department Evacuates; Pentagon and Other Washington Department Do Not      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Treasury Department is evacuated a few minutes before Flight 77 crashes. [9/11 Commission Report, 1/26/04] Yet, CNN notes that “after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned the military's air defense command that a hijacked airliner appeared to be headed toward Washington, the federal government failed to make any move to evacuate the White House, Capitol, State Department, or the Pentagon.” [CNN, 9/16/01] A Pentagon representative says, “The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way.” Even Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his top aides in the Pentagon remain unaware of any danger up to the moment of impact. [Newsday, 9/23/01] Senators and congresspeople are in the Capitol building, which is not evacuated until 9:48 a.m. (see 9:48 a.m.) Only Vice President Cheney, National Security Adviser Rice, and possibly a few others are evacuated to safety a few minutes after 9:03 a.m. (see (After 9:03 a.m.)). Yet, supposedly, since at least the Flight 11 crash, “military officials in a Command Center [the National Military Command Center] on the east side of the [Pentagon] [are] urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do.” [New York Times, 9/15/01] The White House is evacuated at 9:45 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.))
People and organizations involved: US Department of the Treasury, 9/11 Commission Report, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, US Department of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center, US Department of State
          

(Before 9:37 a.m.): Rumsfeld Said to Make Eerie Predictions, but Witness Who Gives Account Is Long Gone      Complete 911 Timeline

       Representative Christopher Cox later claims he is still meeting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. They are still discussing missile defense, apparently completely oblivious of the approaching Flight 77. Watching television coverage from New York City, Rumsfeld says to Cox, “Believe me, this isn't over yet. There's going to be another attack, and it could be us.” According to the Daily Telegraph, Flight 77 hits the building “moments later.” [Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01] In another telling, Cox claims that Rumsfeld says, “If we remain vulnerable to missile attack, a terrorist group or rogue state that demonstrates the capacity to strike the US or its allies from long range could have the power to hold our entire country hostage to nuclear or other blackmail. And let me tell you, I've been around the block a few times. There will be another event.” Rumsfeld repeats that sentence for emphasis. According to Cox, “Within minutes of that utterance, Rumsfeld's words proved tragically prophetic.” Cox also claims, “I escaped just minutes before the building was hit.” [Rep. Cox Statement, 9/11/01] However, Rumsfeld claims that this meeting with Cox ended before the second WTC crash, which occurred at 9:03 a.m. Cox himself said that after being told of the WTC, “[Rumsfeld] sped off, as did I.” Cox says he immediately headed to his car, making it impossible for him to still be in the Pentagon “just minutes before” it is hit. [Associated Press, 9/11/01] Another account puts Rumsfeld's “I've been around the block a few times. There will be another event” comment two minutes before the first WTC crash at 8:46 a.m., when Rumsfeld reportedly makes other predictive comments. [Associated Press, 9/16/01 (C)]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Christopher Cox
          

9:46 a.m.: NMCC Teleconference Still Looking to Include Rumsfeld and Myers      Complete 911 Timeline

       Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's office, and acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Myers' office, report to the NMCC teleconference that they are still trying to track down Rumsfeld and Myers, respectively, and bring them into the conference. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] Rumsfeld is apparently outside the Pentagon looking at the Flight 77 crash site (see (After 9:37 a.m.)), though counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke suggests Rumsfeld is elsewhere in the Pentagon for much of the time (see (Between 9:37-9:45 a.m.)). Myers' whereabouts in the period after the Pentagon crash have not been fully explained (see (Before 10:30 a.m.)). Rumsfeld and Myers do not enter the NMCC until about 10:30 a.m. (see (10:30 a.m.)).
People and organizations involved: National Military Command Center, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

9:53 a.m.: NSA Intercepts al-Qaeda Phone Call Predicting Fourth Attack      Complete 911 Timeline

       The National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly intercepts a phone call from one of bin Laden's operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number in the Republic of Georgia. The caller says he has “heard good news” and that another target is still to come (presumably, the target Flight 93 is intended to hit). [CBS News, 9/4/02] Since the 9/11 crisis began, NSA translators have been told to focus on Middle Eastern intercepts and translate them as they are received instead of oldest first, as is the usual practice. This call is translated in the next hour or two, and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld hears about it just after noon. [Bamford, 2004, pp 54; CBS News, 9/4/02]
People and organizations involved: National Security Agency, Donald Rumsfeld, al-Qaeda
          

(Between 10:00-10:30 a.m.): Rumsfeld Returns to the Pentagon and Speaks to Bush; Rumsfeld's Whereabouts Murky      Complete 911 Timeline

       Rumsfeld returns from the Pentagon crash site “by shortly before or after 10:00 a.m.” Then he has “one or more calls in my office, one of which was with the president,” according to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04 (B)] The commission later concludes that Rumsfeld's call with President Bush has little impact: “No one can recall any content beyond a general request to alert forces.” The possibility of shooting down hijacked planes is not mentioned. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] Then Rumsfeld goes to the Executive Support Center before finally entering the NMCC at 10:30 a.m. Acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers repeats all these details. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04 (B)] The Executive Support Center has secure video facilities [Washington Times, 2/23/04] , so it is possible Rumsfeld joins or rejoins the video conference that counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke claims Rumsfeld is a part of much of the morning (see (9:10 a.m.)).
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard A. Clarke, National Military Command Center, George W. Bush, Richard B. Myers
          

(10:10 a.m.): Military Put on High Alert      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Blast doors at NORAD headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.
All US military forces are ordered to Defcon Three (or Defcon Delta), “The highest alert for the nuclear arsenal in 30 years.” [ABC News, 9/11/02; CNN, 9/4/02; Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01; Clarke, 2004, pp 15] Rumsfeld claims that he makes the recommendation, but it is hard to see how he can do this, at least at this time. He later asserts that he discusses the issue with acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers in the NMCC first. However, they do not arrive at the PEOC until about 10:30 a.m. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/23/04] At 10:15 a.m., the massive blast doors to US Strategic Command, headquarters for NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, are closed for the first time in response to the high alert. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02; BBC, 9/1/02] In another account, acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers gives the Defcon order by himself. President Bush later contradicts both accounts, asserting that he gives the order. [Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, National Military Command Center, North American Aerospace Defense Command, George W. Bush, US Strategic Command, Donald Rumsfeld
          

(10:30 a.m.): Missing Rumsfeld Finally Enters NMCC      Complete 911 Timeline

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, missing for at least 30 minutes, finally enters the NMCC, where the military's response to the 9/11 attacks is being coordinated. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04; CNN, 9/4/02] Rumsfeld later claims that he only started to gain a situational awareness of what was happening after arriving at the NMCC. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] Rumsfeld was in his office only 200 feet away from the NMCC until the Pentagon crash at 9:37 a.m. (see 9:37 a.m.). His activities during this period are unclear. He went outside to the Flight 77 crash site and then stayed somewhere else in the Pentagon until his arrival at the NMCC. Brigadier General Montague Winfield later says, “For 30 minutes we couldn't find him. And just as we began to worry, he walked into the door of the [NMCC].” [ABC News, 9/11/02] Winfield himself apparently only shows up at the NMCC around 10:30 a.m. as well.
People and organizations involved: National Military Command Center, Montague Winfield, Donald Rumsfeld
          

10:39 a.m.: Cheney Brings Rumsfeld Up to Date, But Errs on Pilot Knowledge About Shootdown Order      Complete 911 Timeline

       Vice President Cheney tries to bring Defense Secretary Rumsfeld up to date over the NMCC's conference call, as Rumsfeld has just arrived there minutes before. Cheney explains that he has given authorization for hijacked planes to be shot down and that this has been told to the fighter pilots. Rumsfeld asks, “So we've got a couple of aircraft up there that have those instructions at the present time?” Cheney replies, “That is correct. And it's my understanding they've already taken a couple of aircraft out.” Then Rumsfeld says, “We can't confirm that. We're told that one aircraft is down but we do not have a pilot report that they did it.” Cheney is incorrect that this command has reached the pilots. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04]
People and organizations involved: Daniel Mayer, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard ("Dick") Cheney
          

12:05 p.m.: Rumsfeld Finds Evidence of al-Qaeda Role Not Good Enough      Complete 911 Timeline

       CIA Director Tenet tells Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about an intercepted phone call from earlier in the day at 9:53 a.m. An al-Qaeda operative talked of a fourth target just before Flight 93 crashed. Rumsfeld wrote notes to himself at the time. According to CBS, “Rumsfeld felt it was ‘vague,’ that it ‘might not mean something,’ and that there was ‘no good basis for hanging hat.’ In other words, the evidence was not clear-cut enough to justify military action against bin Laden.” [CBS News, 9/4/02] More evidence suggesting an al-Qaeda link comes several hours later.
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, al-Qaeda, Donald Rumsfeld
          

1:02 p.m.: Rumsfeld Calls for War      Complete 911 Timeline

       Defense Secretary Rumsfeld later claims that he says to President Bush on the phone, “This is not a criminal action. This is war.” [Washington Times, 2/23/04]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush
          

(2:40 p.m.): Rumsfeld Wants to Blame Iraq      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is provided information from the CIA indicating that three of the hijackers were suspected al-Qaeda operatives. Notes composed by aides who were with Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on 9/11 are leaked nearly a year later. According to the notes, information shows, “One guy is [an] associate of [USS] Cole bomber.” (This is a probable reference to Khalid Almihdhar or Nawaf Alhazmi.) Rumsfeld has also been given information indicating an al-Qaeda operative had advanced details of the 9/11 attack. According to the aide's notes, Rumsfeld wants the “best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time. Not only UBL [Osama bin Laden]. Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.” [Bamford, 2004, pp 285; CBS News, 9/4/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, National Military Command Center, al-Qaeda, Nawaf Alhazmi, Central Intelligence Agency, Khalid Almihdhar  Additional Info 
          

(3:00 p.m.): Bush Meets with Top Officials via Video Conference Call      Complete 911 Timeline

      
President Bush takes part in a video teleconference at Offutt Air Force Base. Chief of Staff Andrew Card sits on his left, and Admiral Richard Mies sits on his left.
President Bush begins a video conference call from a bunker beneath Offutt Air Force Base. He and Chief of Staff Andrew Card visually communicate directly with Vice President Cheney, National Security Adviser Rice, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, CIA Director Tenet, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, and others. [ABC News, 9/11/02; Washington Times, 10/8/02; Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01] According to Clarke, Bush begins the meeting by saying, “I'm coming back to the White House as soon as the plane is fueled. No discussion.” Clarke leads a quick review of what has already occurred, and issues that need to be quickly addressed. CIA Director Tenet states that al-Qaeda is clearly behind the 9/11 attacks. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld states that about 120 fighters are now above US cities. [Clarke, 2004, pp 21-22] The meeting ends at 4:15 P.M. [Washington Times, 10/8/02; Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Richard Armitage, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard A. Clarke, Norman Mineta, al-Qaeda, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Andrew Card
          

3:55 p.m.: Bush Said to Be at Undisclosed Location      Complete 911 Timeline

       White House adviser Karen Hughes briefly speaks to the media and says President Bush is at an undisclosed location, taking part in a video conference. This is possibly the only in-person media appearance by any Bush administration official since the attacks and until a news conference by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld at 6:40 p.m. [CNN, 9/12/01]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Karen Hughes
          

(9:00 p.m.): Bush Meets with Advisers, Declares War Without Barriers      Complete 911 Timeline

      
President Bush (below television screen) meeting with the National Security Council in a bunker below the White House. In the far row from left to right, are Attorney General Ashcroft, President Bush, Chief of Staff Card, CIA Director Tenet, and counterterrorism "tsar" Ckarke. In the near row, Secretary of State Powell can be seen waving his hand, and National Security Advisor Rice sits to his right.
President Bush meets with his full National Security Council in the PEOC beneath the White House for about 30 minutes. He then meets with a smaller group of key advisers. Bush and his advisers have already decided bin Laden is behind the attacks. CIA Director Tenet says that al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan are essentially one and the same. Bush says, “Tell the Taliban We're finished with them.” [Washington Post, 1/27/02] He goes on to say, “I want you all to understand that we are at war and we will stay at war until this is done. Nothing else matters. Everything is available for the pursuit of this war. Any barriers in your way, they're gone. Any money you need, you have it. This is our only agenda.” When Rumsfeld points out that international law only allows force to prevent future attacks and not for retribution, Bush yells, “No. I don't care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.” [Clarke, 2004, pp 23-24]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, National Security Council, George Tenet, George W. Bush, Taliban, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard A. Clarke, Condoleezza Rice
          

September 12, 2001: Bush Meeting Raises Iraq Attack Possibility      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke meets with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush, and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Rumsfeld suggests that the US should bomb Iraq in retaliation for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. “Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq,” Clarke will later recall in his book, Against All Enemies. “... We all said, ‘But no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan,’ and Rumsfeld said, ‘There aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq.’ ” [Clarke, 2004; Associated Press, 3/20/04; Reuters, 3/19/04; Washington Post, 3/22/2004 Sources: Richard A. Clarke] Powell agrees with Clarke that the immediate focus should be al-Qaeda. However, Powell also says, “Public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible.” Clarke complains to him, “Having been attacked by al-Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor.” President Bush notes the goal should be replacing the Iraqi government, not just bombing it, but the military warns an invasion would need a large force and many months to assemble. [Clarke, 2004] Rumsfeld's view is said to be closely aligned with that of his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, who believes Saddam, not Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda, should be the principal target of the “war on terrorism.” [Woodward, 2002, pp 49] Commenting on his feelings after the meeting, Clarke will later write: “At first I was incredulous that we were talking about something other than getting al-Qaeda. I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq.” [New York Times, 3/28/04; Associated Press, 3/22/04; Washington Post, 3/22/04] “They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12.” [Associated Press, 3/20/04; Reuters, 3/19/04; Clarke, 2004. Sources: Richard A. Clarke]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Richard A. Clarke, George W. Bush, Paul Wolfowitz  Additional Info 
          

September 15, 2001      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       George W. Bush, CIA Director George Tenet, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, Paul Wolfowitz, and perhaps other officials as well, meet at Camp David to discuss war plans in Afghanistan. The meeting reportedly begins at 9:30 AM with a prayer. [Vanity Fair, 5/04, pp 232; Washington Post, 1/31/02] There is discussion on a paper submitted by the Defense Department depicting Iraq, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda as priority targets. Paul Wolfowitz pushes for regime change in Iraq, claiming that there is a 10 to 50 percent chance that Iraq was involved in the attacks. [Washington Post, 7/23/04; Vanity Fair, 5/04, pp 232; Woodward, 2002, pp 83] Wolfowitz will later recall in an interview with Vanity Fair: “On the surface of the debate it at least appeared to be about not whether but when. There seemed to be a kind of agreement that yes it should be, but the disagreement was whether it should be in the immediate response or whether you should concentrate simply on Afghanistan first. To the extent it was a debate about tactics and timing, the president clearly came down on the side of Afghanistan first. To the extent it was a debate about strategy and what the larger goal was, it is at least clear with 20/20 hindsight that the president came down on the side of the larger goal.” [Defense Department, /29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Paul O'Neill, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Robert S. Mueller III, Paul Wolfowitz, George Tenet, George W. Bush  Additional Info 
          

September 19, 2001-September 20, 2001: Defense Policy Board Meets and Discusses Iraq      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Defense Policy Board (DPB) meets in secrecy in Rumsfeld's Pentagon conference room on September 19 and 20 for nineteen hours to discuss the option of taking military action against Iraq. [New York Times, 10/12/01] They also discuss how they might overcome some of the diplomatic and political pressures that would likely attempt to impede a policy of regime change in Iraq. [New York Times, 10/12/01] Among those attending the meeting are the 18 members of the Defense Policy Board, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Bernard Lewis, Ahmed Chalabi, and Chalabi's aide Francis Brooke. [New Yorker, 6/7/2004; Vanity Fair, 5/04, pp 236; New York Times, 10/12/01] Secretary of State Colin Powell and other State Department officials in charge of US policy toward Iraq are not invited and are not informed of the meeting. A source will later tell the New York Times that Powell was irritated about not being briefed on the meeting. [New York Times, 10/12/01] During the seminar, two of Richard Perle's invited guests, Princeton professor Bernard Lewis and Ahmed Chalabi, the president of the Iraqi National Congress, are given the opportunity to speak. Lewis says that the US must encourage democratic reformers in the Middle East, “such as my friend here, Ahmed Chalabi.” Chalabi argues that Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists and asserts that Saddam's regime has weapons of mass destruction. [Vanity Fair, 5/04, pp 232] He also asserts “there'd be no resistance, no guerrilla warfare from the Baathists, and [it would be] a quick matter of establishing a government.” [New Yorker, 6/7/2004] Attendees write a letter to President Bush calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein. “[E]ven if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism,” the letter reads. The letter is published in the Washington Times on September 20 (see September 20, 2001) in the name of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a conservative think tank that believes the US needs to shoulder the responsibility for maintaining “peace” and “security” in the world by strengthening its global hegemony. [Project for a New American Century, 9/20/01; Manila Times, 7/19/03] Bush reportedly rejects the letter's proposal, as both Cheney and Powell agree that there is no evidence implicating Saddam Hussein in the attacks. [New York Times, 10/12/01 Sources: Unnamed senior administration officials and defense experts]
People and organizations involved: Henry A. Kissinger, James Woolsey, Adm. David E. Jeremiah, Ahmed Chalabi, Bernard Lewis, James R. Schlesinger, Dan Quayle, Harold Brown, Newt Gingrich, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, Defense Policy Board, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Francis Brooke
          

Early October-Mid-November, 2001: Air Force Is Repeatedly Denied Permission to Bomb Top al-Qaeda and Taliban Leaders      Complete 911 Timeline

       In mid-November 2001, the Washington Post will report that senior Air Force officials are upset they have missed opportunities to hit top al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders since the start of the bombing of Afghanistan. According to these officials, the Air Force believes it has the leaders in its crosshairs as many as ten times, but they are unable to receive a timely clearance to fire. Cumbersome approval procedures, a concern not to kill civilians, and a power play between the Defense Department and the CIA contribute to the delays. One anonymous Air Force official later says, “We knew we had some of the big boys. The process is so slow that by the time we got the clearances, and everybody had put in their 2 cents, we called it off.” The main problem is that commanders in the region have to ask for permission from General Tommy Franks, based in Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida, or even Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and other higher-ups. Air Force generals complain to Franks about the delay problem, but never receive a response. For example, at one point in October, a Taliban military convoy is moving north to reinforce front line positions. Targeters consider it an easy mark of clear military value. But permission from Central Command is denied on the suspicion that the target is so obvious that “it might be a trick.” In another example, a target is positively identified by real-time imagery from a Predator drone, but Central Command overrides the decision to strike, saying they want a second source of data. An anonymous official calls this request for independent verification of Predator imagery “kind of ridiculous.” [Washington Post, 11/18/01] The London Times paraphrase officials who claim that, “Attempts to limit collateral damage [serve] merely to prolong the war, and force the Pentagon to insert commandos on the ground to hunt down the same targets.” [London Times, 11/19/01 (B)] By the end of the war, only one top al-Qaeda leader, Mohammed Atef, is killed in a bombing raid (see November 15, 2001), and no top Taliban leaders are killed.
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, US Department of Defense, Thomas Franks, Mohammed Atef, Donald Rumsfeld, al-Qaeda, Taliban
          

Late October 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       White House lawyers have become impatient with the interagency group's (see Before September 23, 2001) less than full endorsement of the use of military commissions to try suspected terrorists. By late October, Timothy E. Flanigan takes the task of designing a strategy for prosecuting terrorists away from the group and proceeds to focus on military commissions as the only preferable option. The White House lawyers now work more in secret, excluding many agencies and most of the government's experts in military and international law, but together with the lawyers of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), with the intention of drafting a presidential military order. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] There is a remarkable secrecy surrounding the drafting process. Both Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and his deputy, Larry D. Thompson, are closely consulted. But the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, Michael Chertoff is kept out of the loop. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is informed through his general counsel, Williams J. Haynes II. Other Pentagon experts, however, are excluded. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] When the order is signed many expressed surprise. “That came like a bolt from the blue,” a former Pentagon official says. “Neither I nor anyone I knew had any insight, any advance knowledge, or any opportunity to comment on the president's military order.” [The Guardian, 6/9/2004] “I can't tell you how compartmented things were,” retired Rear Adm. Donald J. Guter, the Navy's Judge Advocate General, later recalls. “This was a closed administration.” [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald J. Guter, William J. Haynes, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Chertoff, Larry D. Thompson, John Ashcroft
          

November 13, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       President Bush issues a 3-page executive order authorizing the creation of military commissions to try non-citizens alleged to be involved in international terrorism. The president will decide which defendants will be tried by military commissions. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld will appoint each panel and set its rules and procedures, including the level of proof needed for a conviction. A two-thirds vote is needed to convict a defendant and impose a sentence, including life imprisonment or death. Only the president or the secretary of defense has the authority to overturn a decision. There is no provision for an appeal to US civil courts, foreign courts, or international tribunals. Nor does the order specify how many judges are to preside on a tribunal or what qualifications they must have. [New York Times, 10/24/2004; US Department of Defense, 11/13/2001; Washington Post, 11/14/2001, pp A01] The order also adopts a rule of evidence stemming from the 1942 Supreme Court case of United States v. Quirin that says evidence shall be admitted “as would ... have probative value to a reasonable person.” This rule, according to Judge Evan J. Wallach, “was repeatedly used [in World War II and in the post-war tribunals] to admit evidence of a quality or obtained in a manner which would make it inadmissible under the rules of evidence in both courts of the United States or courts martial conducted by the armed forces of the United States.” [9/29/2004] Evidence derived from torture, for example, could theoretically be admitted. It should be noted that the order is unprecedented among presidential directives in that it takes away some individuals' most basic rights, while claiming to have the power of law, with the US Congress not having been so much as consulted. During the next few years, lawyers will battle over the exact proceedings of the trials before military commissions, with many of the military lawyers arguing for more rights for the defendants and with Haynes, and the Justice and White House lawyers, Gonzales, Addington, and Flanigan, taking a more restrictive line. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] Both Rice and Powell were left outside of the circle during the drafting of this directive (see November 6, 2001) (see November 9, 2001). Rice is reportedly angry about not be informed. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, David S. Addington, Timothy E. Flanigan, Alberto R. Gonzales, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Haynes  Additional Info 
          

November 14-November 25, 2001: US Secretly Authorizes Airlift of Pakistani and Taliban Fighters      Complete 911 Timeline

      
The main routes al-Qaeda and the Taliban escape US and Nothern Alliance forces.
At the request of the Pakistani government, the US secretly allows rescue flights into the besieged Taliban stronghold of Kunduz, in Northern Afghanistan, to save Pakistanis fighting for the Taliban (and against US forces) and bring them back to Pakistan. Pakistan's President “Musharraf won American support for the airlift by warning that the humiliation of losing hundreds—and perhaps thousands—of Pakistani Army men and intelligence operatives would jeopardize his political survival.” [New Yorker, 1/21/02] Dozens of senior Pakistani military officers, including two generals, are flown out. [PBS Now with Bill Moyers, 2/21/03] In addition, it is reported that the Pakistani government assists 50 trucks filled with foreign fighters to escape the town. [New York Times, 11/24/01] Many news articles at the time suggest an airlift is occurring. [BBC, 11/26/01; Independent, 11/26/01; New York Times, 11/24/01; Independent, 11/16/01; Guardian, 11/27/01; MSNBC, 11/29/01] Significant media coverage fails to develop, however. The US and Pakistani governments deny the existence of the airlift. [State Department, 11/16/01; New Yorker, 1/21/02] On December 2, when asked to assure that the US did not allow such an airlift, Rumsfeld says, “Oh, you can be certain of that. We have not seen a single—to my knowledge, we have not seen a single airplane or helicopter go into Afghanistan in recent days or weeks and extract people and take them out of Afghanistan to any country, let alone Pakistan.” [MSNBC, 12/2/01] Reporter Seymour Hersh believes that Rumsfeld must have given approval for the airlift. [PBS Now with Bill Moyers, 2/21/03] However, The New Yorker magazine reports, “What was supposed to be a limited evacuation apparently slipped out of control and, as an unintended consequence, an unknown number of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters managed to join in the exodus.” A CIA analyst says, “Many of the people they spirited away were in the Taliban leadership” who Pakistan wanted for future political negotiations. US intelligence was “supposed to have access to them, but it didn't happen,” he says. According to Indian intelligence, airlifts grow particularly intense in the last three days before the city falls on November 25. Of the 8,000 remaining al-Qaeda, Pakistani, and Taliban, about 5,000 are airlifted out and 3,000 surrender. [New Yorker, 1/21/02] Hersh later claims that “maybe even some of bin Laden's immediate family were flown out on those evacuations.” [PBS Now with Bill Moyers, 2/21/03]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Taliban, Pakistan, al-Qaeda, Donald Rumsfeld
          

November 19, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       When asked under what terms the US might be willing to accept a surrender from Taliban Leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, Rumsfeld reponds: “The United States is not inclined to negotiate surrenders, nor are we in a position, with relatively small numbers of forces on the ground, to accept prisoners. ... Any idea that those people in that town who have been fighting so viciously and who refuse to surrender should end up in some sort of a negotiation which would allow them to leave the country and go off and destabilize other countries and engage in terrorist attacks on the United States is something that I would certainly do everything I could to prevent. They're people who have done terrible things. ... The idea of their getting out of the country and going off to make their mischief somewhere else is not a happy prospect. So my hope is that they will either be killed or taken prisoner [by the Northern Alliance].” [Times of London, 11/20/2001; Department of Defense, 11/19/2001]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

November 20, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       When US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is asked by a reporter what the US might do to prevent Chechen and the Arab Taliban soldiers surrendering in Kunduz from going free, Rumsfeld responds, “It would be most unfortunate if the foreigners in Afghanistan—the al-Qaeda and the Chechens and others who have been there working with the Taliban—if those folks were set free and in any way allowed to go to another country and cause the same kind of terrorist acts.” [Associated Press, 11/22/2001; Fox News, 11/22/2001; Department of Defense, 11/20/2001]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

November 21, 2001: Bush Wants Iraq Invasion Plan      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld speak in private. Bush asks the Defense Secretary what kind of plan the Pentagon has for invading Iraq. “What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret,” Bush says. When Rumsfeld says its current plan is outdated, Bush instructs him to devise a new one. “Let's get started on this,” Bush says. “And get Tommy Franks looking at what it would take to protect America by removing Saddam Hussein if we have to.” Bush requests that discussion about Iraq remain low-key. “I knew what would happen if people thought we were developing a potential war plan for Iraq,” Bush later explains to journalist Bob Woodward. Bush does not share the details of his conversation with Condoleezza Rice, only telling her that Rumsfeld will be working on Iraq. [Woodward, 2004 cited in Associated Press, 4/16/04; Woodward, 2004 cited in New York Times, 4/17/04; Woodward, 2004 cited in Washington Post, 1/18/04; CBS News, 4/18/04 Sources: George Bush and other top officials interviewed by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward] When General Tommy Franks—who already has his hands full with the operation in Afghanistan—learns that the administration is considering plans to invade Iraq, he utters “a string of obscenities.” [Woodward, 2004 cited in Associated Press, 4/16/04 Sources: Top officials interviewed by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward] General Franks will meet with Bush and brief him on the plan's progress on December 28 (see December 28, 2001).
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Thomas Franks, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice
          

November 22, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Uzbek Northern Alliance leader General Abdul Rashid Dostum meets with Mullah Faizal, the Taliban commander in Kunduz, to discuss what should be done with the Taliban's fanatical “foreign legion.” They agree that the 5000 Afghan Taliban fighters “would be given safe passage after surrender, but the foreign fighters would be handed over to General Dostum.” [Guardian 11/27/2001; Times of London, 11/28/2001] This is in line with orders from Washington, which has demanded that the foreign fighters not be freed. Top US officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, have publicly opposed any plan that would allow the foreign Taliban troops to be freed in exchange for their surrender (see November 19, 2001). John Walker Lindh, an American Muslim, is among the legion of foreign fighters (see September 6, 2001). [Guardian, 12/1/2001; Guardian, 11/27/2001; Times of London, 11/28/2001 Sources: Prepared Statement of John Walker Lindh to the Court, 10/4/2002]
People and organizations involved: John Walker Lindh, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Donald Rumsfeld, Mullah Faizal
          

November 27, 2001      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       At the request of President Bush (see November 21, 2001), Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld telephones Gen. Tommy Franks with instructions to work on war plans for Iraq. “General Franks, the president wants us to look at options for Iraq,” the general will later recall being told. In his memoirs, Franks will write: “ ‘Son of a bitch,’ I thought. ‘No rest for the weary.’ ” Franks will brief Bush on the progress of his work a month later (see December 28, 2001). [Salon, 5/19/05; Franks, 2004 Sources: Thomas Franks] Over the next few months, Bush will ask for and receive increasingly detailed briefings from Franks about the forces that would be needed if the US were to move against Iraq. The need to prepare for an invasion of Iraq, according to insiders interviewed by the Atlantic Monthly, hinders the US effort against bin Laden and the Taliban. [Atlantic Monthly, 10/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Thomas Franks
          

November 30, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       After a number of survivors are discovered in the basement of the Qala-i-Janghi fortress, Northern Alliance soldiers drop artillery rockets into the basement and detonate them by fuses. [CCN Presents, n.d.; Newsweek, 12/1/2001] Northern Alliance soldiers then redirect an irrigation stream into the basement of a one-story building in the Qala-i-Janghi fortress where surviving Taliban soldiers are, flooding it with freezing cold water. John Walker Lindh almost drowns and suffers from hypothermia. Most of the remaining prisoners die because of the water, and throughout the basement “the stench from decaying human remains becomes particularly acute.” [Newsweek, 12/1/2001 Sources: Proffer of facts in support of defendant's suppression motions submitted June 13, 2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Donald Rumsfeld
          

December 2001      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US General Tommy Franks tells Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that US planes patrolling the Iraq “no-fly” zones should begin “spurts of activity followed by periods of inactivity.” “We want the Iraqis to become accustomed to military expansion, and then apparent contraction,” he later recalls telling the secretary. “As Phase I is completed, we could flow steadily for the next sixty days, while continuing spikes of activity to lend credence to our deception. During the sixty days we would increase kinetic strikes in the no-fly zones to weaken Iraq's integrated air defenses.” [Franks, 2004, pp 530; Raw Story, 6/30/2005 Sources: Thomas Franks]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Franks, Donald Rumsfeld
          

Morning, December 1, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Taliban survivors who have been holding out in the basement of a one-story building in the Qala-i-Janghi fortress surrender. [Newsweek, 12/1/2001] John Walker Lindh is found “with approximately 15 dead or dying persons on the floor.” [Sources: Proffer of facts in support of defendant's suppression motions submitted June 13, 2002] Of the more than 300 prisoners who arrived with Lindh a week before, only 86 survive. “Everyone was in poor health, and most of them were traumatized, with absent looks on their faces,” Oliver Martin, chief of the ICRC delegation at Mazar-i-Sharif, later recalls. “It must have been hell and horror for them.” [Sources: Proffer of facts in support of defendant's suppression motions submitted June 13, 2002] For around six hours, Lindh and many other wounded and dying prisoners are locked in an overcrowded dark container. He is then moved to the back of an open-air truck, from where he notices ICRC officials and members of the media. It then appears that Dostum intended to suffocate the prisoners inside the container, but that the presence of the ICRC and journalists has prevented that. [Sources: Proffer of facts in support of defendant's suppression motions submitted June 13, 2002] Lindh and the other surviving but wounded Taliban are taken to the town of Sheberghan. [Sources: Proffer of facts in support of defendant's suppression motions submitted June 13, 2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Donald Rumsfeld
          

December 3-5, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       As soon as he hears the news, Lindh's father immediately hires James Brosnahan, a well-respected lawyer, on behalf of his son. On December 3, Brosnahan faxes a letter to Powell, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet. He introduces himself as Lindh's lawyer, expressing his wish to see him, and stating: “Because he is wounded and, based upon press reports, went for three days without food, I would ask that any further interrogation be stopped, especially if there is any intent to use it in any subsequent legal proceedings.” When Brosnahan receives no reply, he writes again, “I would ask that no further interrogation of my client occur until I have the opportunity to speak with him. As an American citizen, he has the right to counsel and, under all applicable legal authorities, I ask for the right to speak with my client as soon as possible.” On December 5, still having received no reply, he urges that “we have a conversation today.” Again, no reply comes. [World Socialist Web Site, 3/27/2002; New Yorker, 3/3/2003; Los Angeles Times, 3/23/2002]
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, George Tenet, James Brosnahan, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld
          

December 17, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US intelligence and Pentagon officials admit having lost track of Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora area in the Northwest of Afghanistan. “The chatter stopped,” says John Stufflebeem. According to commanders of the Northern Alliance, as many as 500 al-Qaeda members might still be at large. [St. Petersburg Times, 12/18/2001] The same day, Rumsfeld says he has heard that there were 30 or 31 persons being held in custody around Tora Bora as of December 16. It is unclear whether any high-ranking al-Qaeda members are among them. Meanwhile, a detention center is being built at Kandahar. [Associated Press, 12/17/2001]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Donald Rumsfeld, John Stufflebeem
          

December 27, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Rumsfeld makes a public announcement that he is planning to move Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station. The number of people in US custody and destined for Guantanamo is allegedly small. According to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, they number eight individuals aboard the USS Peleliu and thrity-seven at a US base near Kandahar airport. [Dawn Newspapers, 12/28/2001] Troops, earlier stationed at nearby Camp Rhino, where Lindh was detained, are being transferred to Guantanamo. [Global Security Website, 1/15/2005] The reason for choosing Guantanamo for detaining suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban members is unclear. Rumsfeld says, “I would characterize Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the least worst place we could have selected. Its disadvantages seem to be modest relative to the alternatives.” [Dawn Newspapers, 12/28/2001]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 1, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In response to criticisms from the public, media, and human rights organizations concerning the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld remarks, “I do not feel the slightest concern at their treatment. They are being treated vastly better than they treated anybody else.” [BBC, 1/15/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 8, 2002      US Military

       Congress receives an edited version of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a comprehensive review laying “out the direction for American nuclear forces over the next five to ten years.” [Sources: Nuclear Posture Review (Excerpts)] Congress requested the review in September 2000. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002] The classified document, signed by Donald Rumsfeld and now being used by the US Strategic Command to prepare a nuclear war plan, advocates that the US adopt a “New Triad” of weapon types for its strategic arsenal that would include an “offensive strike leg” (nuclear and conventional forces), “active and passive defenses” (anti-missile systems and other defenses) and “a responsive defense infrastructure” (ability to develop and produce nuclear weapons and resume nuclear testing). The new triad would replace the United States' current triad of bombers, long-range land-based missiles and submarine-launched missiles. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002; Globe and Mail, 3/12/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2002 Sources: Nuclear Posture Review (Excerpts)] The report asserts that the new strategy is necessary in order to assure “allies and friends,” “dissuade competitors,” “deter aggressors” like rogue states and terrorist organizations, and “defeat enemies.” [Globe and Mail, 3/12/2002 Sources: Nuclear Posture Review (Excerpts)] The review offers several possible scenarios where nuclear weapons might be used. For example, the document explains such weapons could be deployed to “pre-empt” the use of weapons of mass destruction against American or allied troops; in retaliation for an attack involving nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons; “in the event of surprising military developments;” or against targets that the US is incapable of destroying by conventional means, such as bunkers located deep underground. The NPR even names countries that could become targets of US nuclear weapons. For example, it says that they could be used against China, North Korea, Russia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, or any Arab country that threatens Israel. [Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2002; Telegraph, 3/10/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002] The NPR says that nuclear weapons could be deployed using ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, or other modified conventional weapons. US Special Forces on the ground could be used to pin-point the targets and direct the weapon's deployment. [Telegraph, 3/10/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/10/2002] Arms control advocates warn that the document shows that the Bush administration does not view its nuclear arsenal only as a weapon of last resort or as a deterrent. They also say that the new policy would encourage other countries to develop their own nuclear programs. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

January 11, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Guantanamo receives its first twenty prisoners from the Afghan battlefield. Rumsfeld, acting on the advice of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, publicly declares them “unlawful combatants” and thereby not entitled to the rights of the Geneva Conventions. “Unlawful combatants do not have any rights under the Geneva Convention,” Rumsfeld says. Though according to Rumsfeld, the government will “for the most part treat them in a manner that is reasonably consistent with the Geneva Conventions, to the extent they are appropriate.” [Reuters 1/11/2002, cited in Human Rights Watch, 6/2004] There is no reason to feel sorry for these detainees, is Gen. Richard B. Myers' message, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest ranking military officer in the US. He assures: “These are people who would gnaw through hydraulic lines at the back of a C-17 to bring it down.” [New York Times, 6/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

January 19, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Rumsfeld sends a memo to General Richard Myers informing him that Bush has declared the Geneva Conventions invalid with regard to conflicts with al-Qaeda and the Taliban (see January 18, 2002). In this “Memorandum for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Rumsfeld states: “The United States has determined that al-Qaeda and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense are not entitled to prisoner of war status for purposes of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” Nevertheless, “[t]he Combatant Commanders shall, in detaining al-Qaeda and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense, treat them humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” [Sources: Memo from Donald Rumsfeld to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1/19/2002] The same day, the memorandum is disseminated as an order by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [Sources: Order from Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1/19/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

January 20, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld describes the prisoners being held in Guantanamo as “hard-core, well-trained terrorists.” [Guardian, 2/21/2004; NBC News, 1/20/2002 cited in Amnesty International, 8/19/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 22, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, hold at a press conference. Rumsfeld answers several questions regarding the detainees at Guantanamo. In response to a comment from a reporter, Rumsfeld says: “These people are committed terrorists. We are keeping them off the street and out of the airlines and out of nuclear power plants and out of ports across this country and across other countries.” When asked about how they are being treated, he says: “I am telling you what I believe in every inch of my body to be the truth, and I have spent a lot of time on secure video with the people down there. ... I haven't found a single scrap of any kind of information that suggests that anyone has been treated anything other than humanely.” Commenting on criticisms coming from across the Atlantic, Rumsfeld says: “The allegations that have been made by many from a comfortable distance that the men and women in the US armed forces are somehow not properly treating the detainees under their charge are just plain false. ... It is amazing the insight that parliamentarians can get from 5,000 miles away.” [Department of Defense, 1/22/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Peter Pace  Additional Info 
          

January 27, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       During a visit to Guantanamo, Rumsfeld repeats his earlier viewpoint that the prisoners are “among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth.” [Fox News, 1/28/2002; American Forces Press Service, 1/27/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Vice President Dick Cheney prepares for a March trip to the Middle East. According to public statements by the Bush administration, Cheney will be conferring with Arab leaders on US Iraq policy. However, a senior Bush administration official tells the Philadelphia Inquirer: “He's not going to beg for support. He's going to inform them that the president's decision has been made and will be carried out, and if they want some input into how and when it's carried out, now's the time for them to speak up.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/13/02 Sources: Unnamed Bush administration official]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 7, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld publicly questions the relevance of the Geneva Conventions to modern day conflicts. “The reality is the set of facts that exist today with the al-Qaeda and the Taliban were not necessarily the set of facts that were considered when the Geneva Convention was fashioned.” [Human Rights Watch, June 2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 8, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says during a Pentagon press briefing that the US will “continue” to treat Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners humanely. “In short, we will continue to treat them consistent with the principles of fairness, freedom, and justice that our nation was founded on, the principles that they obviously abhor and which they sought to attack and destroy. Notwithstanding the isolated pockets of international hyperventilation, we do not treat detainees in any manner other than a manner that is humane.” [US Department of State, 2/08/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 19, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The New York Times is the first to report that the Office of Strategic Influence, a secret Pentagon office established shortly after the September 11 attacks (see Shortly after September 11, 2001), is “developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries.” The article reports that many inside the government are opposed to these plans. “[S]everal senior officials have questioned whether its mission is too broad and possibly even illegal,” the Times says. “[T]hey are disturbed that a single office might be authorized to use not only covert operations like computer network attacks, psychological activities, and deception, but also the instruments and staff of the military's globe—spanning public affairs apparatus.” Critics are also concerned that “disinformation planted in foreign media organizations, like Reuters or Agence France-Presse, could end up being published or broadcast by American news organizations.” [New York Times, 2/19/02] The Washington Post similarly reports that discussions on the use of disinformation “have sparked widespread concern inside the Defense Department among officials who feel that the new office, by seeking to manipulate information and even knowingly dispense false information, could backfire and discredit official Pentagon statements.” [Washington Post, 2/25/02] News of the Defense Department's initiative causes an immediate public outcry and the Pentagon denies that it is considering plans to disseminate disinformation. “The Department of Defense, this secretary and the people that work with me tell the American people and the people of the world the truth,” Donald Rumsfeld insists. [Washington Post, 2/21/02] Jim Wilkinson, deputy White House communications director and head of the Coalition Information Center (CIC) war room, likewise states, “The president is a plain-spoken, truthful man and he expects that same high standard from every public affairs spokesperson in the government.” [Washington Post, 2/25/02] Rumsfeld, facing mounting criticism, closes the office a few days later (see February 26, 2002).
People and organizations involved: Office of Strategic Influence, Donald Rumsfeld, James R. Wilkinson
          

February 20, 2002: Pentagon Office Designed for Telling Lies Revealed; Declared Closed      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Pentagon announces the existence of the new Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), which “was quietly set up after September 11.” The role of this office is to plant false stories in the foreign press, phony e-mails from disguised addresses, and other covert activities to manipulate public opinion. The new office proves so controversial that it is declared closed six days later. [CNN, 2/20/02; CNN, 2/26/02] It is later reported that the “temporary” Office of Global Communications will be made permanent (it is unknown when this office began its work). This office seems to serve the same function as the earlier OSI, minus the covert manipulation. [Washington Post, 7/20/02] Defense Secretary Rumsfeld later states that after the OSI was closed, “I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.” [US Department of Defense, 11/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Unknown, Office of Global Communications, US Department of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, Office of Strategic Influence
          

February 26, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announces the closure of the Office of Strategic Influence (see Shortly after September 11, 2001), after news of the Pentagon initiative causes a public stir (see February 19, 2002). “The office has clearly been so damaged that it is pretty clear to me that it could not function effectively,” he tells reporters. “So it is being closed down.” Asked if he instructed Rumsfeld to close the office, President Bush says, “I didn't even need to tell him this. He knows how I feel about this.” [New York Times, 2/27/02] Nine months later, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says that after the OSI was closed, “I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.” [US Department of Defense, 11/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Office of Strategic Influence, Donald Rumsfeld, James R. Wilkinson
          

March 2002      US Military

       Retired Lieutenant-General Brent Scowcroft leads a presidential panel which proposes that control of the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency be transferred from the Department of Defense to the director of central intelligence (DCI). The plan is favored by the Congressional 911 joint inquiry but opposed by Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney. For years experts have argued that the US intelligence community's 13 disparate agencies— “85 percent of whose assets reside in the Defense Department” —should be consolidated under the DCI. [Washington Post, 8/19/2004; US News and World Report, 8/12/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Brent Scowcroft
          

March 3, 2002: Powell Denies ISI Links to Daniel Pearl Murder      Complete 911 Timeline

       Secretary of State Powell rules out any links between “elements of the ISI” and the murderers of reporter Daniel Pearl. [Dawn, 3/3/02] The Guardian later calls Powell's comment “shocking,” given the overwhelming evidence that the main suspect, Saeed Sheikh, worked for the ISI. [Guardian, 4/5/02] Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called Saeed a possible “asset” for the ISI only a week earlier. [Times of London, 2/25/02] The Washington Post says, “The [ISI] is a house of horrors waiting to break open. Saeed has tales to tell.” [Washington Post, 3/28/02] The Guardian says Saeed “is widely believed in Pakistan to be an experienced ISI ‘asset.’ ” [Guardian, 4/5/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld
          

April 17, 2002: Failure to Capture bin Laden in Afghan War Is Gravest Error      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Washington Post reports that, “The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit US ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al-Qaeda,” allowing bin Laden to escape. The newspaper claims that while the administration has failed to acknowledge the mistake publicly, “inside the government there is little controversy on the subject.” [Washington Post, 4/17/02] The next day, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld denies this, and states he did not know at the time of the assault, “nor do I know today of any evidence that he was in Tora Bora at the time or that he left Tora Bora at the time or even where he is today.” [USA Today, 4/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 20-24, 2002: Government Terrorist Warnings Believed Political      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Bush administration issues a remarkable series of terror warnings that many believe are politically motivated. Vice President Cheney warns it is “not a matter of if, but when” al-Qaeda will next attack the US. [CNN, 5/20/02] Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge says the same thing. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says terrorists will “inevitably” obtain weapons of mass destruction. FBI Director Mueller says more suicide bombings are “inevitable.” [Washington Post, 5/22/02] Authorities also issue separate warnings that al-Qaeda militants might target apartment buildings nationwide, banks, rail and transit systems, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge. USA Today titles an article, “Some Question Motives Behind Series of Alerts.” [USA Today, 5/24/02] David Martin, CBS's national security correspondent, says, “Right now they're putting out all these warnings to change the subject from what was known prior to September 11 to what is known now.” It had been revealed the week before that Bush received a briefing in August 2001 entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” (see August 6, 2001). [Washington Post, 5/27/02] Remarkably, even Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says the alerts were issued “as a result of all the controversy that took place last week.” [Washington Times, 5/22/02; Village Voice, 5/23/02] Time notes, “Though uncorroborated and vague, the terror alerts were a political godsend for an administration trying to fend off a bruising bipartisan inquiry into its handling of the terrorist chatter last summer. After the wave of warnings, the Democratic clamor for an investigation into the government's mistakes subsided.” [Time, 5/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Tom Ridge, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, al-Qaeda, Ari Fleischer, Robert S. Mueller III, David Martin
          

June 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The CIA issues a classified report titled, “Iraq and al-Qaeda: A Murky Relationship,” which reportedly expresses doubts that Iraq is involved in international terrorism. [Washington Post, 10/20/02; New York Times, 4/28/04; Telegraph, 7/11/04] Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith informs Donald Rumsfeld that the report should be read “for content only—and CIA's interpretation should be ignored.” [Telegraph, 7/11/04]
People and organizations involved: Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfeld
          

June 9, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       President Bush designates Padilla, who has been in custody since May 8 (see May 8, 2002), an “enemy combatant” on advice from Rumsfeld and Ashcroft, and directs Rumsfeld to see that he his taken into military custody. Padilla is taken to the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina sometime during the middle of that night. At the time of the transfer, Padilla was awaiting a judgment on a request made by his counsel to have the material witness warrant (see May 8, 2002) vacated. [CNN, 6/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Jose Padilla, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft
          

June 10, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Attorney General John Ashcroft announces Padilla's arrest (see June 9, 2002), claiming that “in apprehending [Padilla] as he sought entry into the United States,” the US government has “disrupted an unfolding terrorist plot to attack the United States by exploding a radioactive ‘dirty bomb.’ ” [CBS News, 6/10/2002] Similarly, President Bush says: “This guy, Padilla, is a bad guy. And he is where he needs to be—detained,” along with many other “would-be killers” as part of the war on terrorism. And Rumsfeld too, states that Padilla “was unquestionably involved in terrorist activities.” [CNN, 6/11/2002] Padilla becomes publicly known as the “dirty-bomber.”
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, George W. Bush, Jose Padilla, Donald Rumsfeld
          

June 11, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In Doha, Qatar, Rumsfeld says the purpose of detaining Padilla is to obtain information from him. “Our interest, really, in this case, is not law enforcement,” he says. “It is not punishment. Because he was a terrorist or working with the terrorists, our interest at the moment is to try to find out everything he knows so hopefully we can stop other terrorist acts.” To illustrate his argument, Rumsfeld describes a recent situation in which intelligence gained from a prisoner in Kandahar led to the prevention of three terrorist attacks in Singapore. “If someone had said when we found that information or that person, ‘Well, now, let's arrest the person and let's start the process of punishing that person for having done what he did,’ we never would have gotten that information, and people would have died.” [American Forces Press Service, 6/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Jose Padilla
          

June 21, 2002      US Military

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sends his special assistant, Stephen A. Cambone, to the Armed Services Committee to deliver and explain a request that Congress create a new top-level Pentagon position—the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. The proposal is quietly slipped into the fiscal 2003 defense authorization bill as an amendment and approved by the Senate on August 1, by the Conference Committee on November 12 and signed by the president on December 2 (see December 2, 2002). The move is seen by some as an attempt to preempt the Scowcroft Plan (see March 2002). [US News and World Report, 8/12/2002; Washington Post, 8/19/2004; USA Today, 10/24/2004] US News and World Report calls it a “bureaucratic coup” that “accomplishes many Pentagon goals in one fell swoop” and notes that “members of Congress aren't even aware it is happening, let alone what it means.” [US News and World Report, 8/12/2002] Intelligence expert James Bamford warns about the implications of creating this new post in an October 24 op-ed piece: “Creating a powerful new intelligence czar under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld could shift [the] delicate balance [between CIA and the DoD] away from the more independent-minded Tenet and increase the chances that intelligence estimates might be ‘cooked’ in favor of the Pentagon.... [I]f the Pentagon runs the spy world, the public and Congress will be reduced to a modern-day Diogenes, forever searching for that one honest report.” [USA Today, 10/24/2004] In 1998, then-Deputy Defense Secretary John J. Hamre had proposed a similar idea, but Congress opposed the suggested reform “in part from concern at the CIA that the new Pentagon official would have too much power.” [Washington Post, 8/19/2004]
People and organizations involved: Stephen A. Cambone, Donald Rumsfeld, James Bamford, US Congress, John J. Hamre
          

July 2002      US Military

       President George Bush issues an executive order transferring control of the covert operation Gray Fox (it now has a new codename) from the Army to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa at the insistence of Rumsfeld's office. [New Yorker, 1/24/2005 Sources: unnamed former high-level intelligence official interviewed by Seymour Hersh]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld
          

August 20, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, citing various “intelligence reports,” claims that the Iraqi government is “hosting, supporting or sponsoring” an al-Qaeda presence in Iraq. When asked if he has evidence to support this claim Rumsfeld responds: “There are al-Qaeda in a number of locations in Iraq.... The suggestion that ... [Iraqi government officials] who are so attentive in denying human rights to their population aren't aware of where these folks [al-Qaeda] are or what they're doing is ludicrous in a vicious, repressive dictatorship.” He also says, “It's very hard to imagine that the government is not aware of what's taking place in the country.” [US Department of Defense, 8/20/02; New York Times, 8/20/02] Shortly after the defense secretary's allegations, an unnamed intelligence official tells the Guardian, “They are not the official guests of the government,” adding that any al-Qaeda in the region are still “on the run.” A month later, Knight Ridder reports that according to an anonymous US official, Rumsfeld's charge is based on information from Kurdish opposition groups which are feeding information to the Pentagon. [Knight Ridder, 9/25/02; Guardian, 8/22/02 Sources: Unnamed US official, Unnamed US intelligence official]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

August 27, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Speaking to US Marines of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton in California, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says: “Leadership in the right direction finds followers and supporters.... It's less important to have unanimity than it is making the right decision and doing the right thing, even though at the outset it may seem lonesome.” [US Department of Defense, 8/27/03; Associated Press, 8/28/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

September/October 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       A CIA analyst visits Guantanamo and returns convinced that war crimes are being committed there. According to a former White House official, the analyst concludes that “if we captured some people who weren't terrorists when we got them, they are now.” The CIA agent estimates at least more than half of the prisoners at Guantanamo do not belong there. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004] John A. Gordon, Deputy National Security Adviser for combating terrorism, a former deputy director of the CIA and a retired four-star general, reads the highly critical report on Guantanamo by the CIA analyst in the early autumn of 2002. The analyst's account of US activities at Guantanamo, he says, is “totally out of character with the American value system.” He says he also believes “that if the actions at Guantanamo ever became public, it'd be damaging to the president.” He is convinced the report is important material. “We got it up to Condi [Condoleezza Rice],” he recalls. Gordon is most concerned about whether many of the prisoners at Guantanamo are not in fact innocent. “It was about how many more people are being held there that shouldn't be,” a former White House official tells Seymour Hersh. “Have we really got the right people?” The briefing for Rice does not center on the treatment of the prisoners, but on questions of practicality: “Are we getting any intelligence? What is the process for sorting these people?” The concerns are serious enough for Rice to call a meeting at the White House with Gordon and Rumsfeld. Rice allegedly says, “Let's get the story right.” Rumsfeld seems to be agreeing and looks willing to deal with the problem. However, according to the disappointed White House official, “The Pentagon went into a full-court stall.” He says, “I was naive enough to believe that when a cabinet member says he's going to take action, he will.” [The Guardian, 9/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, John A. Gordon
          

September 3, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       During a Defense Department news briefing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says: “We know that they were a lot closer than any of the experts had estimated they would be with respect to [developing] a nuclear weapon. To the extent that they have kept their nuclear scientists together and working on these efforts, one has to assume they've not been playing tiddlywinks.” [Associated Press 9/3/02; UPI 9/3/02; Centcom, 9/3/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

September 4, 2002 or September 5, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Bush administration invites two dozen senators from both parties to the Pentagon to discuss Iraqi policy with Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George J. Tenet. [New York Times, 9/7/2002]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, George W. Bush
          

10:30 a.m. September 8, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appears on CBS' “Face the Nation” and talks about Iraq. He tells host Bob Schieffer, “[President Bush] has decided to go to the Congress and to the United Nations later this week and make the case of what Iraq has done for 11 years. It has invaded its neighbors; it's violated almost every single UN resolution that relates to Iraq. And against the agreement they had to disarm, they proceeded to develop weapons of mass destruction—chemical, biological and nuclear.” When asked if the government has “smoking gun” evidence that Iraq is developing nuclear weapons, Rumsfeld responds: “The smoking gun is an interesting phrase. It implies that what we're doing here is law enforcement, that what we're looking for is a case that we can take into a court of law and prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The problem with that is, the way one gains absolutely certainty as to whether a dictator like Saddam Hussein has a nuclear weapon is if he uses it, and that's a little late. It's not late if you're interested in protecting rights of the defendant in a court of law, but it's a quite different thing if one thinks about it.” Schieffer then asks the defense secretary whether or not the administration has information that has not yet been shared with the public. Rumsfeld says: “The problem we have, of course, is a real one. Intelligence, we spend billions of dollars gathering intelligence. And to do it, you have to have methods of doing it and sources from whom you get this information. And to the extent you take that intelligence and spread it out in the public record, what you do is you put people's lives at risk, the sources of that information, because people can connect the dots there and say, well, who knew that, and then they go out and they stop people from helping us learn that type of information, or if it's a source, a satellite or some other thing. To the extent that we reveal the information and show our capability, we then lose that capability because they find ways to deceive and deny us from gaining access to it. So there's a very good reason for not taking all the information.” [CBS Face the Nation, 9/8/2002]
People and organizations involved: White House Iraq Group, Donald Rumsfeld
          

September 10, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       In an appearance on Good Morning America with Charlie Gibson, Rumsfeld dismisses the notion that the administration needs to disclose evidence about Iraq's banned weapons to the public before going to war. Gibson asks: “One of the sentinel moments of my life was when John Kennedy went on television and showed satellite photos of Soviet missiles on Cuban soil. Isn't it going to take and do you have that kind of direct evidence?”In response, Rumsfeld states: “You know, the idea of direct evidence is not like a court of law under Article 3 of our Constitution where your goal is to punish somebody for doing something wrong. That really isn't the case here. This is self defense, and the United States task is to see that we don't allow an event to happen that then one has to punish someone.” Gibson then follows with another question: “But you can't go to war without American public support and I'm asking don't you need that kind of direct evidence? Or do you have it, to get the American public support or to get a coalition?” Rumsfeld replies: “The evidence is certainly there. The President has to decide what precisely he believes is the best approach. And one thing he'd say is, the one course of action that's not acceptable is doing nothing.” [Financial Times, 9/11/02; US Department of Defense, 9/11/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

September 16, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says that President Bush has not decided to go to war. [Associated Press, 9/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush
          

September 18, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warns the House Armed Services Committee of the serious and imminent threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the West. He says: “No terrorist state poses a greater and more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein.” He adds: “What has not changed is Iraq's drive to acquire those weapons of mass destruction, and the fact that every approach that the United Nations has taken to stop Iraq's drive has failed. This is a critical moment for our country and for the world. Our resolve is being put to the test. It is a test unfortunately the world's free nations have failed before in recent history with unfortunate consequences.” [US Department of Defense, 9/18/02; Telegraph, 9/19/02; Agence France Presse, 9/19/02] The Secretary of Defense also says that Congress must authorize the president to use military force against Iraq before the Security Council votes on the issue. “Delaying a vote in the Congress would send a message that the US may be unprepared to take a stand, just as we are asking the international community to take a stand and as we are cautioning the Iraqi regime to consider its options,” argues Rumsfeld, adding, “Our job today—the president's, the Congress' and the United Nations'—is to ... anticipate vastly more lethal attacks before they happen and to make the right decision as to whether or not it's appropriate for this country to take action.... The goal is not inspections, the goal is disarmament.” [US Department of Defense, 9/18/02; Associated Press, 9/19/02] He also tries to discredit Iraq's September 16 (see September 16, 2002) offer to admit UN inspectors without conditions. He says: “There's no doubt in my mind but that the inspection program that currently is on the books wouldn't work because it's so much weaker than the earlier one. The more inspectors that are in there, the less likely something is going to happen. The longer nothing happens, the more advanced their weapons programs go along.” [US Department of Defense, 9/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, US Congress
          

September 19, 2002      US-Iraq 1980s

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is subjected to intense questioning by Senator Robert Byrd about the United States' role in providing Iraq with the materials for its chemical and biological weapons and Rumsfeld's December 20, 1983 visit to Baghdad (see December 20, 1983). [Sources: US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]
Sen. Robert Byrd - “Mr. Secretary, to your knowledge, did the United States help Iraq to acquire the building blocks of biological weapons during the Iran-Iraq War? Are we, in fact, now facing the possibility of reaping what we have sown?” [Sources: US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]
Defense Secr. Donald Rumsfeld - “Certainly not to my knowledge. I have no knowledge of United States companies or government being involved in assisting Iraq develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.” [Sources: US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]
Sen. Robert Byrd - “[After reading Mr. Rumsfeld excerpts from a Newsweek article] Let me ask you again: Did the United States help Iraq to acquire the building blocks of biological weapons during the Iran-Iraq War? Are we, in fact, now facing the possibility of reaping what we have sown?” [Sources: US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]
Defense Secr. Donald Rumsfeld - “I have not read the article.... I was, for a period in late '83 and early '84, asked by President Reagan to serve as Middle East envoy after the Marines—241 Marines were killed in Beirut. As part of my responsibilities I did visit Baghdad. I did meet with Mr. Tariq Aziz. And I did meet with Saddam Hussein and spent some time visiting with them about the war they were engaged in with Iran. At the time our concern, of course, was Syria and Syria's role in Lebanon and Lebanon's role in the Middle East and the terrorist acts that were taking place. As a private citizen I was assisting only for a period of months. I have never heard anything like what you've read, I have no knowledge of it whatsoever, and I doubt it.” [Sources: US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Robert C. Byrd
          

September 26, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Rumsfeld claims the US government has “bulletproof” confirmation of ties between Baghdad and al-Qaeda members, including “solid evidence” that al Qaeda maintains a presence in Iraq. The allegation refers to Abu Mussab Al Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born Palestinian who is the founder of al-Tawhid, an organization whose aim is to kill Jews and install an Islamic regime in Jordan (see Late 2001-May 2002). No evidence ever surfaces to suggest that the group works with al-Qaeda. Rumsfeld's statement is based on intercepted telephone calls in which Al Zarqawi was overheard calling friends or relatives. But Knight Ridder Newspapers reports that according to US intelligence officials, “The intercepts provide no evidence that the suspected terrorist was working with the Iraqi regime or that he was working on a terrorist operation while he was in Iraq.” [Knight Ridder Newspapers, 10/7/02 Sources: Unnamed US Intelligence Officials]
People and organizations involved: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

October 9, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Gen. Rick Baccus is relieved of his duties at Guantanamo and also as an officer in the Rhode Island National Guard. With regard to the latter position, his commanding officer in the Rhode Island National Guard, Maj. Gen. Reginald Centracchio, says he has fired him for reasons that “culminated in my losing trust and confidence in him.” One of those reasons, a National Guard spokesman says, is failing to keep headquarters up to date with reports on the well-being of troops. Baccus denies the allegation and expresses surprise. “I'm a little amazed that after being deployed for seven months, separated from my wife, family, and my job and being called to active duty, this is the kind of reception I'm getting.” [The Guardian, 10/16/2002] In response to the allegation that his treatment of prisoners made it more difficult for the interrogators, Baccus states that “in no instance did I interfere with interrogations.” [The Guardian, 10/16/2002] Paradoxically, this is exactly what the Pentagon is planning to change. Baccus's sacking coincides with the merger of his Joint Task Force (JTF) 160 with military intelligence unit JTF-170 into a new JTF-GTMO. By doing this Rumsfeld will give military intelligence control of all aspects of the camp, including the MPs. [Newsweek International, 5/24/2004] Military police, now called the Joint Detention Operations Group (JDOG), and the Joint Intelligence Group report directly to the commander of JTF-GTMO. The MPs are fully incorporated into a joint effort of extracting information from prisoners. Vice Admiral Albert T. Church III, naval inspector general, will later describe the arrangement during a press briefing in May 2004: “They monitor the detainees, they monitor their behavior, they monitor who the leaders are, who the followers are, they monitor what is said and they ask for an interpreter if there's a lot of conversation going on. They'll know eating habits, and they'll record this in a management information system, which could be useful to the intelligence group, during the interrogations.” [US Department of Defense, 5/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Rick Baccus, Reginald Centracchio, Albert T. Church III, Donald Rumsfeld
          

November 18, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US and British warplanes attack sites northeast of Mosul after Iraqi defense forces fire anti-aircraft artillery at coalition aircraft patrolling the so-called “no-fly” zones. In a separate incident, warplanes attack two Iraqi air defense communications facilities and one air defense radar site in southern Iraq in Wassit and Dhi Oar after “Iraqi air defenses fired multiple surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery at coalition aircraft.” [Reuters, 11/19/02; Associated Press, 11/20/02; Scotsman, 11/19/02; New York Times, 11/19/2002] According to Iraqi authorities, four Iraqi civilians were wounded as a result of the attacks in southern Iraq. [Associated Press, 11/20/02] White House spokesperson Scott McClellan says in a press briefing, “The United States believes that firing upon our aircraft in the no-fly zone, or British aircraft, is a violation—it is a material breach.” [White House, 11/18/02; New York Times, 11/19/02] And Donald Rumsfeld, who is in Chile, says: “I do find it unacceptable that Iraq fires. It is for the president of the United States and the UN Security Council to make judgments about their view of Iraq's behavior over a period of time.” [CNN, 11/23/02; Telegraph, 11/19/02; New York Times, 11/19/02] This is the second time the US has bombed Iraq since the passing of UN resolution 1441. The US will conduct at least 22 more aerial attacks on Iraq before the March 19, 2003 invasion. [Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace] UN officials disagree with Washington's assessment. Secretary-General Kofi Annan states, “Let me say that I don't think that the council will say this is in contravention of the resolution of the Security Council.” [Reuters, 11/19/02; Reuters, 11/19/02; Peoples Weekly World News, 11/23/02; Independent, 11/20/02; Associated Press, 11/20/02] Responding to Annan's remarks, Rumsfeld argues, “I don't know that he (Annan) necessarily reflects the UN, the center of gravity of the Security Council, on any particular issue at any particular time.... Whenever resolutions are passed, they tend to be compromises, and there tend to be calculated ambiguities written into them to gain votes. So it does not come as a surprise to me.... The United Nations sat there for years with 16 resolutions being violated. So, just as we've seen a pattern of behavior on the part of Saddam Hussein, we've seen a pattern of behavior on the part of the United Nations.” [US Department of Defense, 11/19/02; CNN, 11/19/02] No comments supporting the US position are made by the British. [Telegraph, 11/19/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Scott McClellan, Kofi Annan  Additional Info 
          

November 25, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       18 international arms monitors, including 12 inspectors from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and 8 from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, arrive in Baghdad with their cargo of high-tech sensors, computers and other gear. [New York Times, 11/25/2002; Independent, 11/24/2002; Associated Press, 11/25/2002]
Make-up of Inspection Team - The complete roster of UN inspectors expected to participate in the inspections includes some 300 chemists, biologists, missile and ordnance experts and other specialists of UNMOVIC, as well as a few dozen engineers and physicists from the IAEA. Hans Blix of UNMOVIC will head the effort to search for chemical and biological weapons and Jacques Baute of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency will lead the team seeking to determine if Iraq has reconstituted its nuclear weapons program. [Associated Press, 11/25/2002]
Purpose of Inspections - The stated purpose of the inspections, according to the UN resolution, is to bring “to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council.” [Sources: UN Resolution 1441] However, since the passing of the resolution the Bush administration has maintained that the purpose of inspections is much broader. For instance, US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld will claim in January that inspectors are not to act as “discoverers” trying to locate things. Rather the purpose of the inspections, according to Rumsfeld, is to determine whether Iraq is cooperating. [BBC, 1/22/03]
Methods - The inspectors will “revisit the previously monitored sites to check if the equipment installed [by the previous weapons inspectors] is still functional,” explains a UN spokesperson. “It will take some time to do that work. We can't rule out other activities, but it's quite likely we will start with that.” Inspectors also says that they will not immediately conduct “intrusive” inspections into Iraq's more sensitive areas. As an aide to Hans Blix explains to The Washington Post, “We're not going to do in-your-face inspections. He [Blix] wants effective inspections. It's not our job to provoke, harm or humiliate.” The inspections teams will also investigate new sites that the US and Britain allege are involved in the development of weapons of mass destruction. Inspectors will have the option to interview Iraqi scientists without the presence of Iraqi officials. The interviews may be conducted outside of Iraq. [The Washington Post, 11/23/02]
People and organizations involved: Jacques Bautes, Donald Rumsfeld, Hans Blix
          

November 27, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes sends Donald Rumsfeld an action memo to approve for use, at General James T. Hill's discretion, all techniques from Categories I and II, and the “mild, non-injurious contact” from category three that were suggested by the Guantanamo legal staff (see October 25, 2002). With regard to the remaining harsh techniques in category three, the death threats, and use of wet towels, Haynes writes that they “may be legally available [but] as a matter of policy, a blanket approval ... is not warranted at this time.” Haynes mentions having discussed the matter with “the deputy, Doug Feith and General Myers,” who, he believes, join him in the recommendation. He adds, “Our Armed Forces are trained to a standard of interrogation that reflects a tradition of restraint.” [Sources: DoD action memo from General Counsel Haynes to Donald Rumsfeld, 11/27/2002]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Douglas Feith, James T. Hill, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

December 2, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approves General Counsel William J. Haynes' recommendation (see November 27, 2002) and signs the action memo. [Associated Press, 6/23/2004] He adds in handwriting: “However, I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?” In signing the memo, Rumsfeld adds for use at Guantanamo Bay 16 more aggressive interrogation procedures to the 17 methods that have long been approved as part of standard US military practice. [New York Times, 8/25/2004] The additional methods, like interrogation sessions of up to 20 hours at a time and the enforced shaving of heads and beards, are otherwise prohibited under US military doctrine. [NBC News, 6/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Haynes
          

December 3, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Iraq reiterates its claim that it has no weapons of mass destruction in the country, foreshadowing the content of its formal declaration, which is due in five days. Responding to the statement, US Secretary of Defense says, “Any country on the face of the earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.” And Bush says, “He [Saddam Hussein] says he won't have weapons of mass destruction; he's got them.” [BBC, 12/4/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

December 11, 2002      US Military

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sends President Bush a memo requesting authority to appoint US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) commander Adm. James O. Ellis Jr. in charge of all of the United States' “strategic” warfare options to combat terrorist states and organizations. By giving STRATCOM warplanners jurisdiction over the full range of the country's warfare options, the president would effectively remove a decades-old firewall between conventional and nuclear weapons which had served to prevent nuclear arms from being anything but a weapon of last resort. According to William Arkin, a columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the request, if approved, would remove “nuclear weapons out of their long-established special category and [lump] them in with all the other military options.” Bush approves the request early the following month (see Early January 2003). [Los Angeles Times, 1/26/2003 Sources: Memo obtained by the LA Times, Unnamed senior military officials at US Central Command]
People and organizations involved: James O. Ellis Jr, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush
          

Late December 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signs a directive, ordering the deployment of an additional 50,000 reinforcements to the gulf region. The order includes some 4,000 soldiers from the Third Infantry Division, who are specialists in desert warfare. Orders to deploy or prepare for deployment are also given to several naval ships and Air Force squadrons. [Times, 1/2/03; New York Times, 1/1/03] Military “experts” tell the Guardian of London that given the amount of resources that have so far been allocated in preparation for invading Iraq, it is very unlikely that war can be avoided. An unnamed source from the neoconservative Project for a New American Century tells the newspaper, “It's very hard for a country to mobilize for war, and not to go for war without a very serious reason. If you signal to the world that you're serious, and you don't do anything, then you're saying you're not a serious country.” [Guardian, 12/31/01 Sources: Unnamed source from the Project for a New American Century]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 7, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       At a press briefing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says, “There is no doubt in my mind but that they currently have chemical and biological weapons.” [AP, 1/7/03b]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 12, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes reportedly meets with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to discuss concerns over the use of interrogation techniques at Guantanamo that were approved by Rumsfeld in December (see December 2, 2002). Rumsfeld, according to Dell'Orto, calls Gen. James T. Hill and suspends the use of the category two and the single category three technique. [White House, 6/22/2004]
People and organizations involved: Daniel J. Dell'Orto, Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Haynes, James T. Hill
          

January 15, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In a memo to General Counsel William J. Haynes, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, without an explanation, rescinds his authorization for the majority of the interrogation methods he approved in December (see December 2, 2002). The remaining methods can only be used with his express approval and on an individual basis. [New York Times, 8/25/2004] He also forms a panel of top Defense Department officials, known as the General Counsel Interrogation Working Group, “to assess the legal, policy, and operational issues relating to the interrogations of detainees held by the US Armed Forces in the war on terrorism.” This should ultimately result in the development of proper interrogation techniques. [NBC News, 6/23/2004] The working group will consist of people working in the offices of William Haynes, Douglas Feith, the military departments, and the Joint Staff. Haynes will be the panel's chairman. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 19, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Appearing on Fox News, Donald Rumsfeld, responding to a question, says, “... the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up [sic] with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the US burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.” [US Department of Defense, 10/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 22, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       During a joint press conference, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announce that they intend to work together to oppose the Bush administration's plan to invade Iraq. Schroeder says to a crowd of hundreds of French and German students in Berlin, “We are both of the opinion... that one can never accept it when it is said that war is unavoidable.” [BBC, 1/23/03; BBC, 1/22/03] Back in Washington, a reporter asks Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if he thinks the actions of France and Germany would leave the United States without European support. To this Rumsfeld, responds: “Now, you're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the center of gravity is shifting to the east.... Germany has been a problem, and France has been a problem.... But you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe. They're not with France and Germany on this, they're with the United States.” [BBC, 1/23/03; Department of Defense, 1/22/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder
          

January 29, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Donald Rumsfeld says at the beginning of a press conference that Saddam's “regime has the design for a nuclear weapon; it was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” [The Washington Post, 8/8/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 5, 2003      US Military

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, inform the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee that they intend to seek permission from George Bush to use calmative agents (see February 12, 2001-March 30, 2001) against Iraqi civilians, in cave systems or to take prisoners. [Independent article; Newsmax, 2/6/2003] Rumsfeld calls the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) a “straightjacket” [Baltimore Sun, 3/27/2003; The Guardian, 4/8/2003] and insists that “there are times when the use of non-lethal riot agents is perfectly appropriate.” [The Guardian, 3/12/2003; The Guardian, 4/8/2003; Christian Science Monitor 2/14/2003; Newsmax, 2/6/2003] Under the provisions of the CWC, military use of chemicals—including non-lethal gases like tear gas—is prohibited. The treaty only permits the use of non-lethal agents for law enforcement purposes. [Christian Science Monitor 2/14/2003; Newsmax, 2/6/2003]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers, George W. Bush
          

February 11, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In Munich, in reference to the imminent war on Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is asked whether the US is bound by any international system, legal framework or code of conduct. Avoiding a direct answer, Rumsfeld replies: “I honestly believe that every country ought to do what it wants to do .... It either is proud of itself afterwards, or it is less proud of itself.” [The Guardian, 2/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 27, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Iraq agrees to destroy all the equipment associated with its Al Samoud missile program, including warheads, SA-2 missile engines, machinery to produce missile motors, fuel, launchers, testing equipment, components as well as all software and documentation. The UN had earlier concluded that the missile program was in violation of UN resolutions because the range of the missiles exceeds the 150km limit imposed in 1991 after the Gulf War (see February 12, 2003). Responding to news of Iraq's decision, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer dismisses any suggestion that it is an example of Iraqi cooperation. Instead he describes it as “deception.” He says, “This is the deception the president predicted. We do expect that they will destroy at least some of their missiles.” He also says that Iraq's actions is “propaganda, wrapped in a lie, inside a falsehood.” And Donald Rumsfeld offers a similar interpretation of Iraq's actions. He says: “I don't see a change in the pattern at all. You know, this is exactly what's been going to for years.... They refuse to cooperate, don't cooperate, drag it out, wait until someone finally nails them with one little piece of the whole puzzle and refuse to do anything about it and then finally when they see the pressure building, they say well, maybe we'll do some of that.” Bush similarly states: “The discussion about these rockets is part of [Saddam's] campaign of deception. See, he'll say, ‘I'm not going to destroy the rockets,’ and then he'll have a change of mind this weekend and destroy the rockets and say, ‘I've disarmed.’ ” And Powell says: “I think it's just more indication of the reality that we have been trying to convey to the world, that Saddam Hussein is trying to string it out, trying to divert attention, trying to pretend he is cooperating when he is not cooperating, try[ing] to use process as an excuse for not cooperating and not complying with the will of the international community.” [Fox News, 2/28/03; BBC, 1/28/03; New York Times, 3/1/03; ABC News, 2/28/03]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Demetrius Perricos, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle
          

March 6, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       A working group appointed by the Defense Department's general counsel, William J. Haynes II, completes a 100-page-plus classified report justifying the use of torture on national security grounds. The group—headed by Air Force General Counsel Mary Walker and including top civilian and uniformed lawyers from each military branch—consulted representatives of the Justice Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies in drafting the report. It was prepared for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and was meant to respond to complaints from commanders working at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba who claimed that conventional interrogation tactics were inadequate. The conclusions in the report are similar to those of an August 1, 2003 memo (see August 1, 2002) drafted by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OFC). The OFC is said to have also contributed to this report. [Los Angeles Times, 6/10/2004; Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004 Sources: March 16 draft Working Group Report on Detainee Intertogations in the Global War on Terorrism]
Conclusions of the report -
One of the main conclusions of the report is that the president's authority as commander-in-chief permits him during times of war to approve almost any physical or psychological interrogation method—including torture—irrespective of any domestic or international law. The draft report clearly states that neither Congress, the courts, nor international law has jurisdiction over the president's actions when the country is waging war. The report asserts that “without a clear statement otherwise, criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the president's ultimate authority” to wage war. Furthermore, “any effort by Congress to regulate the interrogation of unlawful combatants would violate the Constitution's sole vesting of the commander-in-chief authority in the president.” According to the document, the federal Torture Statute simply does not apply. “In order to respect the president's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign ... (the prohibition against torture) must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his commander-in chief authority,” the report states (The parenthetical comment is in the original document). A career military lawyer will later tell the Wall Street Journal that many lawyers disagreed with these conclusions, but that their concerns were overridden by the political appointees heading the drafting of the report. The lawyer explains that instead, military lawyers focused their efforts on limiting the report's list of acceptable interrogation methods. [Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004]
The draft report lists several possible arguments that US civilian or military personnel might use to defend themselves against charges of torture or other war crimes. According to the administration's lawyers, one argument would be that such actions were “necessary” in order to prevent an attack. This rational however seems to ignore very clear statements in the Convention Against Torture—ratified by the US in 1994—which states that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” Another line of defense, the report says, would be to claim that the accused had been acting under “superior orders” and that therefore no “moral choice was in fact possible.” Likewise, the report cites a Justice Department opinion, which the draft report says “concluded that it could not bring a criminal prosecution against a defendant who had acted pursuant to an exercise of the president's constitutional power.” However, as the Wall Street Journal notes, this contradicts the Convention against Torture which states that orders from superiors “may not be invoked as a justification of torture.” The authors of the report also suggest in the draft report that accused officials could argue that they had “mistakenly relied in good faith on the advice of lawyers or experts,” adding, “Good faith may be a complete defense.” The memo also argues that the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights (ICCPR), to which the US is a party, “does not apply outside the United States or its special maritime and territorial jurisdiction (SMTJ), and that it does not apply to operations of the military during an international armed conflict,” as the US “has maintained consistently.” Since the “Guantanamo Bay Naval Station (GTMO) is included within the definition of the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States,” the ICCPR does not apply to Guantanamo Bay. The authors are also convinced that officials would not be prosecutable under US law, concluding that “constitutional principles” precluded the possibility that officials could be punished “for aiding the president in exercising his exclusive constitutional authorities” and neither Congress nor the courts had the authority to “require or implement the prosecution of such an individual.” [Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004]
The document attempts to define the parameters of lawful interrogation methods in terms of the degree of pain or psychological manipulation they cause. The report states that the infliction of physical or mental suffering does not constitute torture. To violate Section 2340 A of the US Code, prohibiting physical torture, suffering must be “severe,” the lawyers advise, noting that according to a dictionary definition, this would mean that the pain “must be of such a high level of intensity that ... [it] is difficult for the subject to endure.” It must also be “inflicted with specific intent,” they say, meaning that the perpetrator expressly intends to cause severe pain and suffering. But if the defendant simply used pain and suffering as a means to an end, such specific intent would not exist. Under certain circumstances, the lawyers explain, the US would be justified in resorting to illegal measures like torture or homicide. They argue that such measures should be considered “self-defense” in cases where officials “honestly believe” that such actions would prevent an imminent attack against the US. “Sometimes the greater good for society will be accomplished by violating the literal language of the criminal law,” the draft document asserts. “In sum,” the panel determines, “the defense of superior orders will generally be available for US Armed Forces personnel engaged in exceptional interrogations except where the conduct goes so far as to be patently unlawful.” Civil law suits, the panel notes, by a foreign victim of torture will not apply to the US government. [Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004 Sources: March 16 draft Working Group Report on Detainee Intertogations in the Global War on Terorrism]
People and organizations involved: Mary Walker, William J. Haynes, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

(March 19, 2003-July 16, 2003)      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US air war planners, who are required to get pre-approval for air strikes they believe may kill more than 30 civilians, send more than 50 such requests to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld approves all of the strikes. [New York Times, 7/20/2003]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 24, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says on CBS's “Face the Nation” : “We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that, in one case at least, the command and control arrangements have been established.” [Village Voice, 6/18/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 27, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says during a Senate hearing, “When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community.” [Financial Times, 1/16/04]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 30, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells George Stephanopolous of ABC News: “We know where they [the chemical and biological weapons] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” [US Department of Defense, 4/30/03; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 7/17/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

(April 2003)      US Military

       An unnamed intelligence source tells reporter Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post, “Rumsfeld is in a death fight with DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) to get control” of intelligence assets. [Washington Post, 4/20/2003]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

April 13, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says on NBC's “Meet the Press”: “The task is to create an environment that is sufficiently permissive that the Iraqi people can fashion a new government. And what they will do is come together in one way or another and select an interim authority of some kind. Then that group will propose a constitution and a more permanent authority of some kind. And over some period of months, the Iraqis will have their government selected by Iraqi people.” [US Department of Defense, 4/13/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

April 16, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signs a memo on interrogation methods approving 24 of the 35 techniques recommended by the Pentagon working group (see April 4, 2003) earlier in the month. The new set of guidelines, to be applied to prisoners at Guantanamo and Afghanistan, is a considerably softer version of the initial interrogation policy that Rumsfeld approved in December 2002 (see December 2, 2002). [The Age, 5/13/2004; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Truthout, n.d; Washington Post, 5/13/2004; Newsweek International, 5/24/2004; Los Angeles Times, 5/22/2004; Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004; NBC News, 6/23/2004 Sources: Human Rights letter to National Security Advisor, May 3, 2004] Several of the techniques listed are ones that the US military trains Special Forces to prepare for in the event that they are captured by enemy forces. [New York Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed US intelligence officials and other US officials] The list is divided into two classes: tactics that are authorized for use on all prisoners and special “enhanced measures” that require the approval of Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez. The latter category of methods includes tactics that “could cause temporary physical or mental pain,” like “sensory deprivation,” “stress positions,” “dietary manipulation,” forced changes in sleep patterns, and isolated confinement. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Washington Post, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed US intelligence officials and other US officials] Other techniques include “change of scenery down,” “dietary manipulation,” “environmental manipulation,” and “false flag.” The first 18 tactics listed all appear in the 1992 Field Manual (FM) 34-52, with the exception of the so-called “Mutt-and-Jeff” approach, which is taken from an obsolete 1987 military Field Manual (1987 FM 34-52). [USA Today, 6/22/2004] The use of forced nudity as a tactic is not included in the list. The working group rejected it because its members felt it might be considered inhumane treatment under international law. [Associated Press, ABC News, 6/23/2004] The memo, marked for declassification in 2013, [Truthout, n.d] is the outcome, according to Deputy General Counsel Dell'Oro, of discussions between Rumsfeld, William Haynes, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Gen. Richard Myers. [White House, 6/22/2004] One US official explains, “There are very specific guidelines that are thoroughly vetted. Everyone is on board. It's legal.” However in May 2004, it will be learned that there was in fact opposition to the new guidelines. Pentagon lawyers from the Army Judge Advocate General's office had objected (see May 2003) (see October 2003) and many officials quietly expressed concerns that they might have to answer for the policy at a later date (see (April 2003)). [Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Washington Post, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed US intelligence officials and other US officials]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard B. Myers, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Daniel J. Dell'Orto  Additional Info 
          

April 24, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells the Associated Press, “If you're suggesting, how would we feel about an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country, the answer is: That isn't going to happen.” [Asssociated Press, 4/25/03; The Guardian, 4/25/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

May, 2003      US confrontation with Iran

       Iranian officials disclose to Afghanistan's special representative to the U.N, Lakhdar Brahimi, that they have several Al Qaeda members in custody including Operational Planner Saif Al Adel. US officials express concern the members may be given safe haven rather than face prosecution. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that there was no question that there are senior Al Qaeda in Iran and that "they're busy". [CNN, May 25, 2003]
People and organizations involved: Saif Al Adel, Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 27, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld writes in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal: “As Thomas Jefferson put it, ‘we are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.’ It took time and patience, but eventually our Founders got it right—and we hope so will the people of Iraq—over time.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/27/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 29, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says in a “Town Hall meeting” with Infinity Radio: “[When asked: When do you think there might be a government in place, even a provisional government in place in Iraq? Rumsfeld reponds:] I don't know.” [Department of Defense, 5/29/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

After June 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Several Bush administration officials back off earlier claims of an alliance between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda. [Associated Press, 1/8/04; Independent, 1/11/04; US Department of Defense, 8/1/03; Associated Press, 9/16/03]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz  Additional Info 
          

July 9, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Facing criticisms that the Bush administration lacked accurate and specific intelligence about Iraq's alleged aresenal of illicit weapons, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld provides the Senate Armed Services Committee with a new reason for why it was necessary for the US to invade Iraq. “The coalition did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass murder,” he says. “We acted because we saw the evidence in a dramatic new light, through the prism of our experience on 9/11.” [BBC, 7/9/03; Washington Times, 7/10/03; USA Today, 7/9/03] When asked when he learned that the reports about Iraq attempting to obtain uranium from Niger were false, Rumsfeld replies, “Oh, within recent days, since the information started becoming available.” [Slate, 7/10/03; Worldnet Daily, 7/15/2003] He later revises his statement twice, first saying that he had learned “weeks,” and then “months,” before. [Worldnet Daily, 7/15/2003]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

August 18, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld directs his undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Stephen Cambone, to send Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller to Iraq to review the US military prison system in Iraq and make suggestions on how the prisons can be used to obtain “actionable intelligence” from detainees. Cambone passes the order on to his deputy Lt. Gen. William Boykin who meets with Miller to plan the trip. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004; Newsweek, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, William Boykin, Stephen A. Cambone, Geoffrey D. Miller
          

(Late August or September 2003)      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone decide that they will extend the scope of “Copper Green,” originally created for Afghanistan (see End of 2001-early 2002), to Abu Ghraib. According to Seymour Hersh, “The male prisoners could [now] be treated roughly, and exposed to sexual humiliation.” A former intelligence official will tell Hersh: “They weren't getting anything substantive from the detainees in Iraq. No names. Nothing that they could hang their hat on. Cambone says, I've got to crack this thing and I'm tired of working through the normal chain of command. I've got this apparatus set up—the black special access program—and I'm going in hot. So he pulls the switch, and the electricity begins flowing... . And it's working. We're getting a picture of the insurgency in Iraq and the intelligence is flowing into the white world. We're getting good stuff. But we've got more targets [prisoners in Iraqi jails] than people who can handle them.” In addition to bringing SAP rules into the Iraqi prisons, Cambone decides that Army military intelligence officers working inside Iraqi prisons will be brought under the SAP's auspices, and in fact allowed the use of more aggressive interrogation techniques. “So here are fundamentally good soldiers—military intelligence guys—being told that no rules apply,” Hersh's source also says. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004; The Guardian, 9/13/2004] Knowledge of aggressive interrogation techniques may also have slipped inside the walls of Abu Ghraib via Special Forces soldiers delivering and interrogating prisoners and private contractors who used to be members of Special Forces. Many of Special Forces soldiers have gained this knowledge inter alia because they have been taught how to resist these techniques if subjected to them. Such training is given to both British and US Special Forces. An anonymous former British officer later recognizes the techniques used at Abu Ghraib as the type of tactics used for these trainings. The characterizing feature of the techniques they are trained to withstand is sexual humiliation through nudity and degrading poses. During training sessions, female soldiers mocked naked detainees and forced cruel sexual jokes on them to “prolong the shock of capture,” according to the British officer. The techniques included hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation, and lack of warmth, food, and water. “[T]he whole experience is horrible,” according to the British ex-officer. “Two of my colleagues couldn't cope with the training at the time. One walked out saying ‘I've had enough,’ and the other had a breakdown. It's exceedingly disturbing.” [The Guardian, 5/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Stephen A. Cambone, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

September 10, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       A team of military lawyers in Iraq issues a memo detailing a new set of interrogation rules entitled, CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy (ICRP). The team—headed by the highest legal expert within the US military apparatus in Iraq, Col. Marc Warren, the staff judge advocate for Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 7—includes Capt. Fitch, the command judge advocate with Col. Thomas M. Pappas' 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, and Maj. Daniel Kazmier and Maj Franklin D. Raab, both from the CJTF-7 Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA). In crafting the memo, Fitch “copie[s]” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's April 16, 2003 memo (see April 16, 2003), intended for Guantanamo, “almost verbatim.” The draft is then sent to the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion for comment. The 519th adds techniques from its own August 27, 2003 memo (see August 27, 2003), including “the use of dogs, stress positions, sleep management, sensory deprivation, ... yelling, loud music, and light control.” The techniques listed in the final version of the memo apply to all categories of detainees. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Sleep management and sensory deprivation are also part of the Guantanamo set of interrogation techniques. The other more aggressive methods—the use of dogs, stress positions, and yelling, loud music, and light control—are extras.
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Franklin D. Raab, Marc Warren, Daniel Kazmier, Brent Fitch, Thomas M. Pappas
          

September 14, 2003-September 17, 2003: Cheney Links Iraq to 9/11; Bush, Rumsfeld, and Rice All Disavow Cheney's Claim      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Vice President Cheney says on NBC's “Meet the Press”, “I think it's not surprising that people make [the] connection” between Iraq and 9/11. He adds, “If We're successful in Iraq . . . then we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of The Base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.” However, two days later, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld states that he hasn't “seen any indication that would lead” him to believe there was an Iraq-9/11 link. [Asssociated Press, 9/16/03] National Security Adviser Rice says the administration has never accused Hussein of directing the 9/11 attacks. [Reuters, 9/16/03] The next day, Bush also disavows the Cheney statement, stating, “We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th . . . [but] there's no question that Saddam Hussein has al-Qaeda ties.” [Associated Press, 9/17/03; Washington Post, 9/18/03]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, George W. Bush
          

October 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales asks the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to provide an opinion on protected persons in Iraq and more specifically on the status of the detained Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul, an Iraqi prisoner being held in Afghanistan. In a one-page memo, Jack L. Goldsmith, head of the OLC, rules that Rashul is a “protected person” with rights under the Fourth Geneva Convention and therefore has to be returned to Iraq. Goldsmith also decides that non-Iraqis, who came to Iraq after the invasion, do not qualify for protection under the Geneva Conventions. [Washington Post, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul, International Committee of the Red Cross, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet
          

November 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at the request of George J. Tenet, orders military officials in Iraq to keep a high-value detainee being held at Camp Cropper off the records. The order is passed down to Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then to Gen. John P. Abizaid, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, and finally to Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the ground commander in Iraq. “At each stage, lawyers reviewed the request and their bosses approved it,” the New York Times will report. “This prisoner and other ‘ghost detainees’ were hidden largely to prevent the International Committee of the Red Cross from monitoring their treatment, and to avoid disclosing their location to an enemy,” the newspaper will report, citing top officials. The prisoner—in custody since July 2003—is suspected of being a senior officer of Ansar al-Islam, an Islamic group with ties to al-Qaeda. Shortly after being captured by US forces, he was deemed an “enemy combatant” and thus denied protection under the Geneva conventions. Up until this point, the prisoner has only been interrogated once. As a result of being kept off the books, the prison system looses track of the detainee who will spend the next seven months in custody. “Once he was placed in military custody, people lost track of him,” a senior intelligence official will tell the New York Times. “The normal review processes that would keep track of him didn't.” [Fox News, 6/17/2004; Reuters, 6/17/2004; New York Times, 6/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Richard B. Myers, John P. Abizaid, George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld
          

Shortly after the 2004 election      US Military

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meets with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and tells them that George Bush's reelection demonstrates the American public's approval of the administration's neoconservative policies. He also makes it clear that the administration will keep US troops in Iraq and that there will be no second-guessing. [New Yorker, 1/24/2005 Sources: unnamed former high-level intelligence official interviewed by Seymour Hersh]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 12, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Human Rights Watch writes to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “to express concern about incidents in which US forces stationed in Iraq detained innocent, close relatives of wanted suspects in order to compel the suspects to surrender, which amounts to hostage-taking, classified as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.” [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

January 13, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agent who received the Abu Ghraib prison photographs from Spc. Joseph Darby (see January 13, 2004), calls his boss, a colonel, who takes them to Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez. [Signal Newspaper of Santa Clara, 7/4/2004] Within three days, a report on the photos makes its way to Donald Rumsfeld, who informs President Bush. [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004] Within the Pentagon, few people are informed—unusually few—according to Hersh, who will later write that knowledge of the abuses were “severely, and unusually restricted.” A former intelligence official will tell him: “I haven't talked to anybody on the inside who knew; nowhere. It's got them scratching their heads.” Rumsfeld and his civilian staff, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez and Gen. John P. Abizaid, reportedly try to suppress the issue during the first months of the year. “They foresaw major diplomatic problems,” according to a Pentagon official. [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004] According to one former intelligence official, the Defense Secretary's attitude is: “We've got a glitch in the program. We'll prosecute it.” The former official explains to Seymour Hersh, “The cover story was that some kids got out of control.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: John P. Abizaid, George W. Bush, The New Yorker, Criminal Investigation Division, Donald Rumsfeld, Seymour Hersh, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

February 10, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Human Rights Watch sends a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressing concern about the treatment of detainees in Iraq. The organization asks that the administration make information on the detainees publicly available. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 3, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba out-briefs the findings of his investigation to Gen. David McKiernan. [New York Times, 5/10/2004; Slate, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Peter Pace, Donald Rumsfeld, David D. McKiernan, Antonio M. Taguba
          

March 12, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba presents his report (see February 26, 2004) on prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib to his commanders. [Truthout, no date] The report is “very closely held” among the Army's senior leadership and the report is only accessible to top officials on a secure computer network. Congress is not informed of the report or its findings. [Baltimore Sun, 5/6/2004] It is classified as “Secret / No Foreign Dissemination.” Neither the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, nor the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will later say they know why the report was classified when asked at a Pentagon press briefing on May 4. Such a classification may be in violation of US law. Section 1.7 of Executive Order 12958 reads: “In no case shall information be classified in order to ... conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error [or to] prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency ....” [Secrecy News, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba, Peter Pace, US Congress, Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 3, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld directs Albert T. Church III, the Naval Inspector General, to conduct a review “to ensure that his ... orders with respect to detainees at GTMO [Guantanamo] and Charleston [are] being carried out.” [US Department of Defense, 5/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Albert T. Church III, Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 4, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       To a question regarding allegations of abuse at Guantanamo, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld answers: “That is a pattern and a practice of terrorists, to allege abuse.” When a reporter uses the word “torture” in relation to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, he responds: “I'm not a lawyer. My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture.” He adds: “I don't know if ... it is correct to say ..., that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word.” [US Department of Defense, 5/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 6-7, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Vice Adm. Albert T. Church III, the navy inspector general, visits Guantanamo Bay in order “to ensure that [Donald Rumsfeld's] orders with respect to detainees at GTMO [Guantanamo] and Charleston were being carried out” (see May 3, 2004) He conducts over 100 interviews among Guantanamo prison staff and does 43 at random under oath testimonies. Questions asked include: “Have you seen any abuse, have you heard of any abuse, do you know anybody who has seen abuse, would you report abuse if you saw it, would you feel free to come forward if you see anything that doesn't look right.” [US Department of Defense, 5/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Albert T. Church III
          

May 7, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says in a testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, “Any suggestion that there is not a full, deep awareness of what has happened, and the damage it has done, I think, would be a misunderstanding.” [Washington Post, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

June 4, 2004: Rumsfeld Says US Lacked Intelligence to Stop 9/11      Complete 911 Timeline

       Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says the US would have stopped 9/11, but “We lacked the intelligence that might have prevented it.” He blames the lack of “a source inside the group of people that had planned and executed those attacks. ... Had we had a source inside there, we undoubtedly would have been able to stop it. We did not.” [Newsday, 6/4/04]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, al-Qaeda
          

June 28, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In the case of Jose Padilla v. Donald Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court votes 5 to 4 in favor of the government, declining to rule on the basis of a technicality. The majority argues that his petition was incorrectly filed in New York rather than in South Carolina where he is currently held. While Padilla was held in New York in preparation for an appearance before a grand jury, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld designated him an enemy combatant. Padilla was thereupon transferred to military custody and sent to a naval brig in South Carolina to be detained indefinitely. His lawyer meanwhile, unaware of her client's transfer, filed a habeas corpus petition in New York against Rumsfeld. This was wrong say five justices who rule that Padilla has to re-file his petition in South Carolina. [Sources: Rasul et al. v. Bush et al., Supreme Court opinion on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 6/28/2004] Four dissenting judges condemn the “secret transfer” of Padilla. Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the minority of justices, declares, “At stake in this case is nothing less than the essence of a free society.” Stevens also condemns the use of “incommunicado detention for months on end” as a means “to extract information” and places it among the “tools of tyrants.” [Sources: Rasul et al. v. Bush et al., Supreme Court opinion on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 6/28/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jose Padilla, Donald Rumsfeld, Jose Padilla, Donald Rumsfeld, John Paul Stevens
          

July 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reportedly pressures the Army to conclude the investigations (see August 25, 2004) of Generals George Fay and Anthony R. Jones by late August, before the Republican Convention in New York. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004 Sources: Scott Horton]
People and organizations involved: George R. Fay, Donald Rumsfeld, Anthony R. Jones
          

Fall 2004      US Military

       At the request of Donald Rumsfeld, President George Bush issues an Executive Order on the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) authorizing the military “to find and finish” terrorist targets, including certain al-Qaeda network members, al-Qaeda senior leadership, and other high-value targets. The order was cleared by the national-security bureaucracy. [New Yorker, 1/24/2005 Sources: unnamed pentagon consultant]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld
          

November 30, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), based in New York, and the Republican Lawyers' Association in Berlin, file a criminal complaint in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Stephen A. Cambone, Ricardo S. Sanchez, and Janis Karpinski, alleging responsibility for war crimes at Abu Ghraib. The German 2002 Code of Crimes Against International Law grants German courts universal jurisdiction in cases involving war crimes or crimes against humanity. The center is representing five Iraqis who claim they were victims of mistreatment that included beatings, sleep and food deprivation, electric shocks, and sexual abuse. [Deutsche Welle, 11/30/2004] Though German law stipulates that prosecution can be dismissed in cases where neither the victim nor the perpetrator are German citizens or are outside Germany and cannot be expected to appear before court, [Deutsche Welle, 11/30/2004] that fact that Sanchez is based at a US base in Germany makes it possible that the case will be heard. [Deutsche Welle, 11/30/2004]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, Center for Constitutional Rights, Stephen A. Cambone, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Janis L. Karpinski
          

December 2004      US confrontation with Iran

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visits Kabul, Afghanistan. During his visit Afghan President Hamid Karzai consents to Washington's decision to establish nine more permanent military bases in the country. The bases, to be manned by 2,200 troops, will be constructed in Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia. In the provinces of Khost and Paktia, there will be two bases. [News Insight, 3/5/2005] Observers note that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had little choice in the matter given that his government's continuing existence is dependent upon the private security forces provided by the US. [Asia Times, 3/30/2005]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Hamid Karzai
          

December 24, 2004: Rumsfeld Comment that Flight 93 Was ‘Shot Down’ Raises Eyebrows      Complete 911 Timeline

       In a speech given on this day, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld describes terrorists as “the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon...” His comment that Flight 93 was “shot down” draws attention. A few days later, CNN reports, “A Pentagon spokesman insisted that Rumsfeld simply misspoke, but Internet conspiracy theorists seized on the reference to the plane having been shot down.” [CNN, 12/27/04; CNN, 12/24/04]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon
          

(Early January 2005)      US confrontation with Iran

       Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh interviews a government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon about the administration's plans to invade Iran. He says that Pentagon officials, including Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, believe that a limited attack on Iran would inspire a secular revolution in the country. “The minute the aura of invincibility which the mullahs enjoy is shattered, and with it the ability to hoodwink the West, the Iranian regime will collapse,” the consultant says. [New Yorker, 1/24/2005; CNN, 1/17/2005]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz
          

March 22, 2005      Haiti Coup

       While in Argentina, Donald Rumsfeld gives a speech praising foreign participation in the UN mission to Haiti. Rumsfeld says that Argentina in particular is “playing a truly vital role in the multinational peacekeeping forces in Haiti.” In response to Donald Rumsfeld's speech, sociologist Emilio Taddei denounces the UN intervention in Haiti saying that the US and France are pressuring Latin American armies to intervene. Taddei adds that “humanitarian missions are the new disguise for the old colonial invasions that served to legitimise a coup d'etat.” [Inter Press Service, 3/22/2005]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 15, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       The Washington Post reports that during the summer of 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved a top secret Interim Global Strike Alert Order (see July 2004), code-named CONPLAN 8022, “directing the military to assume and maintain readiness to attack hostile countries that are developing weapons of mass destruction, specifically Iran and North Korea.” [Shreveport Times (2004 archive), 9/8/2004; Washington Post, 5/15/2005]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

June 1, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warns governments in Middle East not to help Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, recently reported to have been seriously injured in Iraq. “Were a neighboring country to take him in and provide medical assistance or haven for him, they, obviously, would be associating themselves with a major linkage in the al-Qaeda network and a person who has a great deal of blood on his hands.” [US Department of Defense, 6/1/05] Zarqawi is rumored to have fled to Iran for treatment (see May 29, 2005).
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

September 21, 2005: Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Public Hearing on Able Danger Unit; Key Officers Barred From Testifying      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Sen. Arlen Specter.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Arlen Specter (R), holds a public hearing to investigate an intelligence program called Able Danger, to explore allegations that it identified Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers more than a year before 9/11, and to learn why the Pentagon disbanded it and destroyed the information it had gathered. [UPI, 9/21/05; Government Computer News, 9/21/05; New York Times, 9/21/05] The committee is seeking testimony from several former Able Danger members. Among these are Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, Dr. Eileen Preisser, and civilian analyst James D. Smith; all but Preisser have recently come forward with allegations about the unit (see August 17, 2005; August 22-September 1, 2005). However, the day before the hearing, Defense Department lawyers ordered them and other former Able Danger members not to testify. [UPI, 9/21/05; Jerry Doyle Show, 9/20/05] Shaffer says in an interview, “I was told by two [Defense Department] officials today directly that it is their understanding that [Defense Secretary Rumsfeld] directed that we not testify...” [Jerry Doyle Show, 9/20/05] The Defense Department's only reason for doing so, offered by a spokesman, is that they have “expressed [their] security concerns and believe it is simply not possible to discuss Able Danger in any great detail in an open public forum open testimony of these witnesses.” [New York Times, 9/21/05] Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter says, “That looks to me like it may be obstruction of the committee's activities, something we will have to determine.” He complains that the Pentagon only delivered hundreds of pages of documents related to Able Danger late on the eve of the hearing, leaving no time for committee staff to review the material. [Reuters, 9/21/05] Furthermore, the Pentagon's representative at the hearing, William Dugan, admits that he has very limited knowledge of Able Danger. Arlen Specter tells him, “You were sent over—perhaps with the calculation you wouldn't have the information.” [Associated Press, 9/21/05; Government Computer News, 9/21/05]
People and organizations involved: Eileen Preisser, US Department of Defense, Anthony Shaffer, Donald Rumsfeld, William Dugan, Arlen Specter, James D. Smith, Mohamed Atta, Able Danger, Senate Judiciary Committee, Scott Phillpott
          

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