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Profile: Richard B. Myers

 
  

Positions that Richard B. Myers has held:

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


 

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Richard B. Myers actively participated in the following events:

 
  

January 30, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Bush White House holds its first National Security Council meeting. The lead discussion of the meeting centers on the need to remove Saddam Hussein from power. US Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill, recalling the meeting, will tell CBS News two years later: “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, 5/2004, pg 234 Sources: Paul O?Neill] After information of this meeting is revealed by Paul O'Neill, 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] But another official, who is also present at the meeting, will later say that the tone of the meeting implies 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] Other people, in addition to O'Neill and Bush, who are likely in attendance include Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 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: Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Paul O?Neill, Colin Powell, George Tenet, Richard B. Myers, George W. Bush
          

February 1, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Bush White House holds its second National Security Council meeting. Again, the issue of regime change in Iraq is a central topic. One of the memos discussed during the meeting is titled, “Plan for post-Saddam Iraq.” It reportedly discusses the need for troops in a post-Saddam occupation, war crimes tribunals, and how to divvy up Iraq's oil wealth. [CBS News, 1/10/04; New York Times, 1/12/04 Sources: Paul O?Neill] In attendance is Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who speaks in favor of removing Saddam Hussein. It would “demonstrate what US policy is all about,” he says, and contribute to the transformation of the Middle East. 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: Donald Rumsfeld, Paul O?Neill, George W. Bush, Colin Powell, George Tenet, Richard B. Myers, Condoleezza Rice
          

(Late 2001)      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 operation, known as “Copper Green,” is approved by Condoleezza Rice and known to President Bush. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004 Sources: Unnamed former US intelligence official] Less than two hundred operatives and officials, including Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, are “completely read into the program.” The operatives are given advanced approval 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 rules are ‘Grab whom you must. Do what you want,’ ” one former intelligence official will explain to journalist Seymour Hersh. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Richard B. Myers, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice
          

Late February 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Four-Star Marine General Carlton W. Fulford Jr., deputy commander of the US European Command, travels to Niger to investigate the security of that country's uranium and to remind Niger's president of the need to keep a close eye on its ore deposits. The trip is separate from, and independent of, retired diplomat Joseph Wilson's mission, which occurs at about the same time. On February 24, Fulford joins US ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, at a meeting with Niger's President Mamadou Tandja. He explains the importance of keeping Niger's ore deposits secure. Fulford's investigation concludes that Niger's uranium is safely in the hands of a French consortium and that there is little risk that the material will end up in the wrong hands. These findings are passed on to General Joseph Ralston who provides them to General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [The Washington Post, 7/15/03; Voce of America, 7/15/03; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 282 Sources: Carlton W. Fulford] The Pentagon will later say that Donald Rumsfeld was not informed about the trip or its conclusions. [Voice of America, 7/15/03]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, General Joseph Ralston, Carlton W. Fulford, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick  Additional Info 
          

November 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald H. 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 judged to be 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.” [New York Times, 6/17/2004; Reuters, 6/17/2004; Fox News, 6/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, Ricardo S. Sanchez, John P. Abizaid
          

Mid-April 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The Abu Graib prison photos are leaked to CBS. But the network delays broadcasting a “60 Minutes” program on the abuses at the request of General Richard Myers. [CBS, 5/6/2004; Sydney Morning Herald, 5/6/2004; CNS, 5/7/2004; Agence France Presse, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers
          

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