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Profile: Paul Wolfowitz

 
  

Positions that Paul Wolfowitz has held:

  • Deputy Defense Secretary during the administration of George W. Bush
  • Dean of the John Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies


 

Quotes

 
  

Undefined, Mid-November 2002

   “If you're looking for a historical analogy, it's probably closer to post-liberation France [after World War II].” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/17/2002]

Quote, December 2, 2002

   “The bottom line is that Saddam Hussein and his regime must fundamentally change their attitude and finally implement a disarmament that they agreed to over a decade ago.” [Washington Post, 12/3/02]

Associated Events

Quote, January 23, 2003

   “There is no mention [in the declaration] of Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from abroad.” [Washington Post, 8/8/03]

Associated Events

Undefined, February 23, 2003

   “First-and this is really the overarching principle-the United States seeks to liberate Iraq, not occupy Iraq . . If the President should decide to use force, let me assure you again that the United States would be committed to liberating the people of Iraq, not becoming an occupation force.” [US Department of Defense, 2/23/2003]

Quote, MArch 27, 2003

   “There's a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people,” he says. “On a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50bn and $100bn over the course of the next two or three years.” [St. Petersburg Times, 4/2/03, Financial Times, 1/16/04]

Associated Events

Undefined, April 1, 2003

   “The goal is an Iraq that stands on its own feet and that governs itself in freedom and in unity and with respect for the rights of all its citizens. We'd like to get to that goal as quickly as possible.” [US Department of Defense, 4/1/2003]

Undefined, April 6, 2003

   “We come as an army of liberation, and we want to see the Iraqis running their own affairs as soon as they can.” [US Department of Defense, 4/6/2003]

Undefined, April 10, 2003

   “We want to see a situation where power and responsibility is transferred as quickly as possible to the Iraqis themselves, with as much international assistance as possible ... We have no desire to occupy Iraq ...” [US Department of Defense, 4/10/2003]

Quote, May 2003

   “For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.” He also said that an “almost unnoticed but huge” reason for war, was to eliminate the need to have troops stationed in Saudi Arabia. [Associated Press, 5/30/03, Washington Times, 5/30/03, Independent, 5/30/03]

Associated Events

Quote, August 1, 2003

   “I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it [9/11]. I think what the realization to me is—the fundamental point was that terrorism had reached the scale completely different from what we had thought of it up until then. And that it would only get worse when these people got access to weapons of mass destruction which would be only a matter of time.” [US Department of Defense, 8/1/03]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

Paul Wolfowitz actively participated in the following events:

 
  

March 8, 1992      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Defense Planning Guidance document, a “blueprint for the department's spending priorities in the aftermath of the first Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union,” is leaked to the New York Times. [New York Times, 3/8/92; Newsday, 3/16/03] The paper causes controversy, because it hadn't yet been “scrubbed” to replace candid language with euphemisms. [New York Times, 3/10/92; New York Times, 3/11/92; The Observer, 4/7/02] The document argues that the US dominates the world as sole superpower, and to maintain that role it “must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” [New York Times, 3/8/92; New York Times, 3/8/92 [B]] As the Observer summarizes it, “America's friends are potential enemies. They must be in a state of dependence and seek solutions to their problems in Washington.” [The Observer, 4/7/02] The document is mainly written by Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby, who hold relatively low posts at the time, but under Bush Jr. become Deputy Defense Secretary and Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, respectively. [Newsday, 3/16/03] The document conspicuously avoids mention of collective security arrangements through the United Nations, instead suggesting the US “should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted.” [New York Times, 3/8/92] It also calls for “punishing” or “threatening punishment” against regional aggressors before they act. Interests to be defended pre-emptively include “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, [and] threats to US citizens from terrorism.” [Harper's, 10/02] Senator Lincoln Chafee (R), later says, “It is my opinion that [Bush Jr.'s] plan for preemptive strikes was formed back at the end of the first Bush administration with that 1992 report.” [Newsday, 3/16/03] In response to the controversy, in May 1992 the US releases an updated version of the document that stresses the US will work with the United Nations and its allies (see also January 1993). [The Washington Post, 5/24/92; Harper's, 10/02]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Lincoln Chafee, Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz
          

June 3, 1997      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative think tank formed in the spring of 1997, issues its statement of principles. PNAC states that its aims are “to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests,” to achieve “a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad,” “to increase defense spending significantly,” to challenge “regimes hostile to US interests and values,” and to “accept America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.” [Sources: Statement of Principles, 6/3/97] The statement is significant because it is signed by a group who will become “a rollcall of today's Bush inner circle.” [Guardian, 2/26/03] ABC's Ted Koppel will later say PNAC's ideas have “been called a secret blueprint for US global domination” (see January 26, 1998) (see also September 2000, August 21, 2001 (B)). [ABC News, 3/5/03 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Donald Kagan, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Lewis Libby, Fred C. Ikle, Dan Quayle, Frank Gaffney, Eliot A. Cohen, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Paula J. Dobriansky, Peter Rodman, Steve Rosen, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, George Weigel, Midge Decter, Henry S. Rowen, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Norman Podhoretz, Steve Forbes, Elliott Abrams, Hasam Amin, Vin Weber
          

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

February 19, 1998      Complete Iraq timeline

       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. [Committee For Peace and Security, 2/19/98; CNN, 2/20/98 Sources: February 19, 1998 Open Letter to Bill Clinton]
People and organizations involved: Jarvis Lynch, Robert C. McFarlane, Joshua Muravchik, Frederick L. Lewis, Robert A. Pastor, Bernard Lewis, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Frank Gaffney, Jeffrey Gedmin, Fred C. Ikle, Sven F. Kraemer, Martin Peretz, Roger Robinson, Peter Rodman, Leon Wienseltier, Peter Rosenblatt, Max Singer, Caspar Weinberger, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Paula J. Dobriansky, William B. Clark, Richard Burt, Frank Carlucci, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Gary Schmitt, Michael Ledeen, Robert Kagan, Dov Zakheim, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, John R. Bolton, Stephen Solarz, David Wurmser, Stephen Bryen, Jeffrey T. Bergner, Richard Armitage, Richard V. Allen
          

September 2000      Complete Iraq timeline

       The neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century writes a “blueprint” for the “creation of a ‘global Pax Americana’ ” (see also June 3, 1997). The document, titled, Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century, was written for the Bush team even before the 2000 Presidential election. It was written for future Vice President Cheney, future Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, future Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Florida Governor and President Bush's brother Jeb Bush, and future Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby. The report calls itself 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.” The plan shows that the Bush team intended to take military control of Persian Gulf oil whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power and should retain control of the region even if there is no threat. It says: “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.” The report calls for the control of space through a new “US Space Forces,” the political control of the internet, 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.” (see also Spring 2001 and April 2001 (D)). [Sunday Herald, 9/7/02 Sources: Rebuilding America's Defenses] However, the report complains that these 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] In an NBC interview at about the same time, Vice Presidential candidate Cheney defends Bush Jr.'s position of maintaining Clinton's policy not to attack Iraq because 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] This report and the Project for the New American Century generally are mostly ignored until a few weeks before the start of the Iraq war (see February-March 20, 2003).
People and organizations involved: Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Martinage, James Lasswell, Phil Meilinger, Mark Lagon, Robert Killebrew, Donald Kagan, Fred Kagan, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Mackubin Owens, Steve Rosen, Gary Schmitt, Abram Shulsky, Dan Goure, Michael Vickers, Dov Zakheim, Barry Watts, David Fautua, Thomas Donnelly, Stephen Cambone, Eliot A. Cohen, Devon Gaffney Cross, Alvin Bernstein, Roger Barnett, Lewis Libby, Jeb Bush, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, David Epstein, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz  Additional Info 
          

April 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       During a National Security Council deputy principals meeting, Paul Wolfowitz is challenged by White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke after asserting that Iraq is involved in terrorism. Recalling the meeting, Clarke tells The Guardian in a March 2004 interview: “April was an initial discussion of terrorism policy writ large and at that meeting I said we had to talk about al-Qaeda. And because it was terrorism policy writ large [Paul] Wolfowitz said we have to talk about Iraqi terrorism and I said that's interesting because there hasn't been any Iraqi terrorism against the United States. There hasn't been any for 8 years. And he said something derisive about how I shouldn't believe the CIA and FBI, that they've been wrong. And I said if you know more than I know tell me what it is, because I've been doing this for 8 years and I don't know about any Iraqi-sponsored terrorism against the US since 1993. When I said let's start talking about bin Laden, he said bin Laden couldn't possibly have attacked the World Trade Center in '93. One little terrorist group like that couldn't possibly have staged that operation. It must have been Iraq.” [The Guardian, 3/23/04]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Clarke
          

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: James Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz
          

Shortly after September 11, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       According to White House counterterrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, asks during a meeting, “Why we are [sic] beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden?” Clarke responds with an explaination that only al-Qaeda “poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States.” Wolfowitz then claims that Iraqi terrorism poses “at least as much” a danger. According to Clarke, FBI and CIA representatives who are present at the meeting agree that there is no evidence to support Wolfowitz's assertion. [Washington Post, 3/22/2004 Sources: Richard Clarke]
People and organizations involved: Richard Clarke, Paul Wolfowitz
          

September 15, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       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. [Washington Post, 1/31/02; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 232] During the meeting, there is some discussion about taking military action against Iraq, with Paul Wolfowitz pushing for regime change. He claims that there is a 10 to 50 percent chance that Iraq had been involved in the attacks. [Woodward, Bob. Bush at War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002. Pg. 83; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 232]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, Robert S. Mueller III, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, George Tenet, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul O?Neill  Additional Info 
          

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 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, Dan Quayle, James R. Schlesinger, James Woolsey, Henry A. Kissinger, Newt Gingrich, Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Policy Board, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, Harold Brown, Ahmed Chalabi, Donald Rumsfeld, Bernard Lewis
          

January 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz orders the CIA to conduct an investigation of Hans Blix, chairman of the new UN weapons inspection team (UNMOVIC) that will go to Iraq if Saddam Hussein agrees to re-admit the weapons inspectors. Wolfowitz feels that past investigations of Saddam's declared nuclear power plants under the authority of Hans Blix were not sufficiently aggressive. The CIA reports back in late January that Blix conducted his past investigations “fully within the parameters he could operate” as chief of the agency. There are two opposing accounts of how Wolfowitz responds to the report's conclusion. According to an anonymous former State Department official, Wolfowitz “hit the ceiling” upon learning the results because it did not provide a pretext for undermining Blix and UNMOVIC. However an administration official disputes this, claiming that he “did not angrily respond.” [The Washington Post 4/15/02; Guardian 4/23/02; Independent 5/10/02 Sources: Unnamed administration official, Unnamed former State Department official] The Washington Post notes, “[T]he request for a CIA investigation underscored the degree of concern by Wolfowitz and his civilian colleagues in the Pentagon that new inspections—or protracted negotiations over them—could torpedo their plans for military action to remove Hussein from power” and ultimately lead to the suspension of sanctions. [The Washington Post 4/15/02]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, Hans Blix
          

Summer 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz secretly meets with Francis Brooke, the Iraqi National Congress' lobbyist, and Khidir Hamza, the former chief of Iraq's nuclear program. Wolfowitz asks Hamza if he thinks the aluminum tubes (see July 2001) could be used in centrifuges. Hamza—who has never built a centrifuge and who is considered an unreliable source by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (see July 30, 2002) —looks at the tubes' specifications and concludes that the tubes are adaptable. Wolfowitz disseminates Hamza's assessment to several of his neoconservative colleagues who have posts in the administration. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 281]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz, Francis Brooke, Khidir Hamza
          

Early August 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Several Pentagon officials, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, meet with the FBI's assistant director for counterterrorism, Pat D'Amuro, to discuss the latest intelligence concerning the alleged April 2001 (see April 8, 2001) meeting between 9/11 plotter Mohammed Atta and Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani. Wolfowitz pressures the two agencies' analysts to confirm that the Prague meeting had in fact happened. The FBI concedes that the occurrence of the meeting, though not proven, was at least possible. [Time, 9/2/02 Sources: Unnamed CIA and FBI officials]
People and organizations involved: Mohammed Atta, Paul Wolfowitz, Pat D'Amuro, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani
          

September 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, adamant hawks, rename the Northern Gulf Affairs Office on the Pentagon's fourth floor (in the seventh corridor of D Ring) the “Office of Special Plans” (OSP) and increase its four-person staff to sixteen. [Knight Ridder Newspapers, 8/16/02; Los Angeles Times, 11/24/02; New Yorker, 5/5/03; Inter Press Service, 8/7/03; American Conservative, 12/1/03; Tom Paine [.com], 8/27/03; Mother Jones, 1/04 Sources: Greg Thielmann, Unnamed administration official, Karen Kwiatkowski] William Luti, a former navy officer and ex-aide to Vice President Cheney, is put in charge of the day-to-day operations. [Guardian, 7/17/03; Mother Jones, 1/04] The Office of Special Plans is staffed with a tight group of like-minded neoconservative ideologues, who are known advocates of regime change in Iraq. Notably, the staffers have little background in intelligence or Iraqi history and culture. [Salon, 7/16/03; Inter Press Service, 8/7/03; American Conservative, 12/1/03; Mother Jones, 1/04 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski, Greg Thielmann, A Pentagon adviser] They hire “scores of temporary ‘consultants’ ... including like-minded lawyers, congressional staffers, and policy wonks from the numerous rightwing think-tanks in the US capital.” Neoconservative ideologues, like Richard Perle and Newt Gingrich, are afforded direct input into the Office of Special Plans. [Guardian, 7/17/03; Mother Jones, 1/04] The office works alongside the Near East and South Asia (NESA) bureau, also under the authority of Douglas Feith [Inter Press Service, 8/7/03; Mother Jones, 1/04 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski] The official business of Special Plans is to help plan for post-Saddam Iraq. The office's staff members presumably “develop defense policies aimed at building an international coalition, prepare the secretary of defense and his top deputies for interagency meetings, coordinate troop-deployment orders, craft policies for dealing with prisoners of war and illegal combatants, postwar assistance and reconstruction policy planning, postwar governance, Iraqi oil infrastructure policy, postwar Iraqi property disputes, war crimes and atrocities, war-plan review and, in their spare time, prepare congressional testimony for their principals.” [Insight, 12/2/03] But according to numerous well-placed sources, the office becomes a source for many of the administration's prewar allegations against Iraq. It is accused of exaggerating, politicizing, and misrepresenting intelligence, which is “stovepiped” to top administration officials who use the intelligence in their policy decisions on Iraq. [Knight Ridder Newspapers, 8/16/02; Los Angeles Times, 11/24/02; New Yorker, 5/5/03; Inter Press Service, 8/7/03; American Conservative, 12/1/03; Tom Paine [.com], 8/27/03; Mother Jones, 1/04; Telegraph, 7/11/2004; CNN, 7/11/2004 Sources: Unnamed administration official, Karen Kwiatkowski, Greg Thielmann] Colin Powell is said to have felt that Cheney and the neoconservatives in this “Gestapo” office had established what was essentially a separate government. [Woodward, 2004 cited in Washington Post 1/18/2004 Sources: Top officials interviewed by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward] Some of the people associated with this office were earlier involved with the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group, also known as the “Wurmser-Maloof” project (see Shortly after September 11, 2001). Among the claims critics find most troubling about the office are:
The office relies heavily on accounts from Iraqi exiles and defectors associated with Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC), long considered suspect by other US intelligence agencies. [Inter Press Service, 8/7/03; Guardian, 7/17/03; Salon, 7/16/03; New Yorker, 5/5/03; Independent, 9/30/03; Mother Jones, 1/04 Sources: Greg Thielmann, Unnamed administration official] One defector in particular, code-named “Curve Ball,” provides as much as 98% of the intelligence on Iraq's alleged arsenal of biological weapons. [CNN, 7/11/2004] Much of the information provided by the INC's sources consists of “misleading and often faked intelligence reports,” which often flow to Special Plans and NESA directly, “sometimes through Defense Intelligence Agency debriefings of Iraqi defectors via the Defense Human Intelligence Service and sometimes through the INC's own US-funded Intelligence Collection Program, which was overseen by the Pentagon.” [Mother Jones, 1/04] According to Karen Kwiatkowski, the movement of intelligence from the INC to the Office of Special Plans is facilitated by Colonel Bruner, a former military aide to Gingrich. [Newsweek, 12/15/03; Mother Jones, 1/04; Salon, 3/10/2004 Sources: Memo, Karen Kwiatkowski] Bruner “was Chalabi's handler,” Kwiatkowski will tell Mother Jones. “He would arrange meetings with Chalabi and Chalabi's folks.” [Mother Jones, 1/04 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski]
The Office of Special Plans purposefully ignores intelligence that undermines the case for war while exaggerating any leads that support it. “It wasn't intelligence,—it was propaganda,” Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked at the NESA desk, will later explain. “They'd take a little bit of intelligence, cherry-pick it, make it sound much more exciting, usually by taking it out of context, often by juxtaposition of two pieces of information that don't belong together.” [New Yorker, 5/5/03; New York Times, 10/24/02; Inter Press Service, 8/7/03; Guardian, 7/17/03; Salon, 7/16/03; Independent, 9/30/03; Mother Jones, 1/04 Sources: Ellen Tauscher, Unnamed former intelligence official, Greg Thielmann]
The OSP bypasses established oversight procedures by sending its intelligence assessments directly to the White House and National Security Council without having them first vetted by a review process involving other US intelligence agencies. [Guardian, 7/17/03; Salon, 7/16/03; New Yorker, 5/5/03; Mother Jones, 1/04 Sources: Unnamed senior officer who left the Pentagon during the planning of the Iraq war, David Obey, Greg Thielmann] The people at Special Plans are so successful at bypassing conventional procedures, in part, because their neoconservative colleagues hold key positions in several other agencies and offices. Their contacts in other agencies include: John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International; Bolton's advisor, David Wurmser, a former research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute, who was just recently working in a secret Pentagon planning unit at Douglas Feith's office (see Shortly after September 11, 2001); Elizabeth Cheney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs; Stephen Hadley, the deputy national security adviser; Elliott Abrams, The National Security Council's top Middle East aide; and Richard Perle, Newt Gingrich, James Woolsey and Kenneth Adelman of the Defense Policy Board. The office provides very little information about its work to other US intelligence offices. [Inter Press Service, 8/7/03; Guardian, 7/17/03; Salon, 7/16/03 Sources: David Obey, Greg Thielmann, Karen Kwiatkowski, Unnamed An unnamed senior officer who left the Pentagon during the planning of the Iraq war]
Lastly, the people involved in Special Plans openly exhibit strong pro-Israel and anti-Arab bias. The problem, note critics, is that the analysis of intelligence is supposed to be apolitical and untainted by ideological viewpoints. [American Conservative, 12/1/03 Sources: Karen Kwiatkowski] According to a CIA intelligence official and four members of the Senate's Intelligence Committee, Special Plans is the group responsible for the claim Bush will make in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had attempted to procure uranium from an African country (see January 28, 2003). [Information Clearing House, 7/16/03; The Nation, 6/19/03] After the existence of the Office of Special Plans is revealed to the public, the Pentagon will deny that it served as a direct conduit to the White House for misleading intelligence, instead claiming that its activities had been limited to postwar plans for Iraq. [New Yorker, 5/5/03] And a December 2003 opinion piece published in Insight magazine will call the allegations surrounding the Office of Special Plans the work of conspiracy theorists. [Insight, 12/2/03]
People and organizations involved: Elliott Abrams, Colin Powell, Stephen Hadley, David Wurmser, Richard Perle, Colonel Bruner, Newt Gingrich, James Woolsey, Elizabeth Cheney, Kenneth Adelman, Paul Wolfowitz, Abram Shulsky, Karen Kwiatkowski, Douglas Feith  Additional Info 
          

December 2, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Bush administration officials launch what appears to be a concerted effort to discredit the inspections after press reports indicate that inspections are going well and that Iraq is cooperating. The Washington Post reports, “In speeches in London, Washington and Denver, Bush, Vice President Cheney and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz sought to increase pressure on Hussein in advance of a Sunday deadline for the Iraqi leader to declare his inventory of weapons and missiles.” The paper adds, “The coordinated speeches ... seemed designed to preempt any positive sign from the UN inspection teams about Iraqi compliance and to set the stage for an early confrontation with Hussein.” [Washington Post, 12/3/02]
People and organizations involved: Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush  Additional Info 
          

December 13, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz receives a draft report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment which, according to a source interviewed by Newsday, recommends that “the cost of the occupation, the cost for the military administration and providing for a provisional administration, all of that would come out of Iraqi oil.” The report was commissioned by Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon's influential director of Net Assessment. [Newsday, 1/10/03] This contradicts a report titled, Potential Costs of a War with Iraq and Its Post War Occupation, which is published by the Center two months later on February 25, 2003. It notes that “given the enormity of Iraq's reconstruction requirements and the size of its foreign debt, if the Bush Administration's goal is to turn Iraq into a stable, pro-US democracy, it would probably prove counterproductive to use Iraqi oil revenues to reimburse DoD for its costs.” [Potential Costs of a War with Iraq and Its Post War Occupation, 2/5/03]
People and organizations involved: Andrew Marshall, Paul Wolfowitz
          

January 14, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Executive directors of leading human rights organizations write to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz urging that the Bush administration publicly denounce the use of torture in any form and pledge not to seek intelligence obtained through torture in a third country. The letters also ask the US to provide clear guidelines to US forces. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

January 23, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Criticizing Iraq's December 2003 declaration to the UN, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz says in a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations: “There is no mention of Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from abroad.” [The Washington Post, 8/8/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

March 27, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary, tells the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that Iraq's oil wealth will help fund post-war reconstruction. “There's a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people,” he says. “On a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 billion and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years.” [St. Petersburg Times, 4/2/03; Financial Times, 1/16/04]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

After June 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       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; Associated Press, 9/16/03; US Department of Defense, 8/1/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz  Additional Info 
          

August 1, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Paul Wolfowitz says in an interview with Nancy Collins of the Laura Ingraham Show: “I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it [9/11]. I think what the realization to me is—the fundamental point was that terrorism had reached the scale completely different from what we had thought of it up until then. And that it would only get worse when these people got access to weapons of mass destruction which would be only a matter of time.” [US Department of Defense, 8/1/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

January 15, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), meets with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and says that the ICRC has “serious concerns about detainees in Iraq.” though according to a senior State Department official, he does not detail them. During his visit, Kellenberger also meets with Condoleezza Rice and, reportedly, with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, though it is unclear what precisely is discussed. A White House spokesman, Sean McCormack, will later say that “Iraq was not mentioned” during the meeting with Rice. Rather the main topic of discussion was Guantanamo, he says. [Baltimore Sun, 5/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Jakob Kellenberger, Sean McCormack, Colin Powell
          

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