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Profile: James Woolsey

 
  

Positions that James Woolsey has held:

  • Director of the Central Intelligence Agency


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, October 2001

   “The Czech confirmation seems to me very important. It is yet another lead that points toward Iraqi involvement in some sort of terrorism against the United States that ought to be followed up vigorously.” [New York Times, 10/27/01]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

James Woolsey actively participated in the following events:

 
  

January 26, 1998      Complete Iraq timeline

       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: Richard Perle, William Schneider Jr., Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, Jeffrey T. Bergner, William Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, Peter Rodman, Paula J. Dobriansky, John R. Bolton, Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, William J. Bennett, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, Robert B. Zoellick
          

2000      Complete Iraq timeline

       Former CIA director James Woolsey serves as a corporate officer for the Iraqi National Congress Support Foundation which manages the Iraqi National Congress' US funding. Also during this time, Woolsey and his former law firm, Shea and Gardner, provide the INC and Iraqi exiles with pro bono work. [Knight Ridder, 7/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Iraqi National Congress (INC), Shea and Gardner, James Woolsey
          

Early September 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       At the behest of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, former CIA director James Woolsey flies to London to look for evidence tying Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and evidence that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had worked with Iraqi intelligence to plan the September 11 attacks. Woolsey is advised to meet with Iraqi exiles and others who may have useful intelligence. [Observer 10/14/01; The Village Voice, 11/21/01; Observer, 12/2/01] Secretary of State Colin Powell and CIA director George Tenet are not informed of the visit. [The Village Voice, 11/21/01]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey
          

September 19, 2001-September 20, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       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. This is reported in detail by the New York Times three weeks later on October 12 [New York Times, 10/12/01] Among those attending the meeting are the 18 members of the Defense Policy Board, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld, Ahmed Chalabi, and Bernard Lewis. [New York Times 10/12/01; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 236] 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 Chalbi.” Chalabi argues that Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists and asserts that Saddam's regime has weapons of mass destruction. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 232] During another part of the meeting, the 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] They also discuss how to overcome some of the obvious diplomatic and political pressures that will impede a policy of regime change in Iraq. [New York Times 10/12/01] Bush reportedly rejects the 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: Adm. David E. Jeremiah, James Woolsey, Henry A. Kissinger, Newt Gingrich, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Harold Brown, Defense Policy Board, Dan Quayle, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, Bernard Lewis, James R. Schlesinger, Ahmed Chalabi
          

February 11, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Former CIA Director James Woolsey telephones Deputy Asistant Defense Secretary Linton Wells to arrange a meeting between Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analysts and Mohammad Harith, an Iraqi defector being supplied by the Iraqi exile group, the Iraqi National Congress. [Knight Ridder, 7/16/2004 Sources: Classified Pentagon report] After the phone call, Wells issues an “executive referral,” requesting that the Iraqi National Congress (INC) introduce Harith to the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). [Reuters, 2/18/04; Knight Ridder, 7/16/2004 Sources: Classified Pentagon report] Later in the day, two DIA officers meet with Ahmed Chalabi to arrange an interview with Harith. In an email to Knight Ridder Newspapers, Wells will later recall, “I discussed the issue of an individual with information on Iraq weapons of mass destruction with intelligence community members. They said they would follow up. I never met with any member of the INC.” [Knight Ridder, 7/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: James Woolsey, Iraqi National Congress (INC), Linton Wells, Mohammad Harith
          

September 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       James Woolsey tells the Washington Post: “It's pretty straightforward. France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them..... If they throw in their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraqi government to work with them.” [The Washington Post, 9/15/02]
People and organizations involved: James Woolsey  Additional Info 
          

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