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Profile: Condoleezza Rice

 
  

Positions that Condoleezza Rice has held:

  • US National Security Advisor during the administration of George W. Bush


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, July 2001

   “Saddam does not control the northern part of the country. We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” [The Mirror, 9/22/03]

Associated Events

Quote, July 2002

   “A decision has been made [about attacking Iraq]. Don't waste your breath.” [The Mirror, 9/22/03]

Associated Events

Quote, September 8, 2002

   “We do know that there have been shipments going ... into Iraq ... of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to—high-quality aluminum tools [sic] that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.” [New York Times, 7/20/2003, CNN Late Night with Wolf Blitzer, 9/8/2002, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, September 15, 2002

   “[Saddam Hussein]clearly has links to terrorism ... —Links to terrorism [that] would include al-Qaeda....” [Fox News, 9/15/2002, CNN, 9/26/2002, Islam OnLine, 9/15/2002, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, November 10, 2002

   “We have to have a zero-tolerance view of the Iraqi regime this time. The next material breach by Saddam Hussein has got to have serious consequences. I think it's pretty clear what that may mean.” [Chicago Tribune, 11/11/02]

Associated Events

Quote, January 23, 2003

   Iraq failed “to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad” in its December 2002 declaration to the UN. [US Department of State, 1/23/03]

Associated Events

Quote, February 5, 2003

   “There is no question in my mind about the al-Qaeda connection. It is a connection that has unfolded, that we're learning more about as we are able to take the testimony of detainees, people who were high up in the al-Qaeda organization. And what emerges is a picture of a Saddam Hussein who became impressed with what al-Qaeda did after it bombed our embassies in 1998 in Kenya and Tanzania, began to give them assistance in chemical and biological weapons, something that they were having trouble achieving on their own, that harbored a terrorist network under this man Zarqawi, despite the fact that Saddam Hussein was told that Zarqawi was there.” [CNN, 2/15/2003, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, February 16, 2003

   “Well, we are, of course, continually learning more about these links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and there is evidence that Secretary Powell did not have the time to talk about. But the core of the story is there in what Secretary Powell talked about. This poisons network with at least two dozen of its operatives operating in Baghdad, a man who is spreading poisons now throughout Europe and into Russia, a man who got medical care in Baghdad despite the fact that the Iraqis were asked to turn him over, training in biological and chemical weapons.” [Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004, Fox News, 2/16/2003]

Associated Events

Quote, March 9, 2003

   “Now the al-Qaida is an organization that's quite disbursed and—and quite widespread in its effects, but it clearly has had links to the Iraqis, not to mention Iraqi links to all kinds of other terrorists. And what we do not want is the day when Saddam Hussein decides that he's had enough of dealing with sanctions, enough of dealing with, quote, unquote, ‘containment,’ enough of dealing with America, and it's time to end it on his terms, by transferring one of these weapons, just a little vial of something, to a terrorist for blackmail or for worse.” [CBS, 3/9/2003, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Undefined, April 4, 2003

   “We will leave Iraq completely in the hands of Iraqis as quickly as possible.” [US Department of State, 4/4/2003]

Quote, May 28, 2003

   “We have found, in Iraq, biological weapons laboratories that look precisely like what Secretary Powell described in his February 5 report to the United Nations.” [White House, 5/28/2003, US Department of State, 5/28/2003, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, June 3, 2003

   “We know that these trailers look exactly like what was described to us by multiple sources as the capabilities for building or for making biological agents. We know that we have from multiple sources who told us that then and sources who have confirmed it now. Now the Iraqis were not stupid about this. They were able to conceal a lot. They've been able to scrub things down. But I think when the whole picture comes out, we will see that this was an active program.” [Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, June 8, 2003

   “The president quoted a British paper. We did not know at the time—no one knew at the time, in our circles—maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.” [Knight Ridder, 6/13/03, Washington Post, 6/13/03]

Associated Events

Quote, July 11, 2003

   “[I]f the CIA, the director of central intelligence, had said, ‘Take this out of the speech,’ it would have been gone, without question. What we've said subsequently is, knowing what we now know, that some of the Niger documents were apparently forged, we wouldn't have put this in the President's speech - but that's knowing what we know now.... If there were doubts about the underlying intelligence, those doubts were not communicated to the president, to the vice president or to me.” [White House, 7/11/2003, New York Times, 7/12/2003]

Associated Events

Quote, July 26, 2003

   “The intelligence community did not know at that time or at levels that got to us that this, that there was serious questions about this report [October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate].” [The Washington Post, 7/26/2003, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004, World Net Daily, 7/29/2003, ABC This Week, 6/8/2003]

Associated Events

Quote, July 30, 2003

   “[Saddam Hussein] had ...an active procurement network to procure items, many of which, by the way, were on the prohibited list of the nuclear suppliers group. There's a reason that they were on the prohibited list of the nuclear supplies group: Magnets, balancing machines, yes, aluminum tubes, about which the consensus view was that they were suitable for use in centrifuges to spin material for nuclear weapons.” [Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 7/30/2003, White House, 7/30/2003, Iraq Watch, 7/30/2003]

Associated Events

Quote, July 31, 2003

   “Going into the war against Iraq, we had very strong intelligence. I've been in this business for 20 years. And some of the strongest intelligence cases that I've seen, key judgments by our intelligence community that Saddam Hussein ... had biological and chemical weapons ....” [White House, 7/31/2003, Acronym Institute, 7/31/2003, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, September 7, 2003

   “[W]e know that there was training of al-Qaeda in chemical and perhaps biological warfare. We know that the Zarqawi was network out of there, this poisons network that was trying to spread poisons throughout.... And there was an Ansar al-Islam, which appears also to try to be operating in Iraq. So yes, the al-Qaeda link was there.” [Fox News, 9/7/2003, Global Views, 9/26/2003, Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]

Associated Events

Quote, September 28, 2003

   “Saddam Hussein—no one has said that there is evidence that Saddam Hussein directed or controlled 9/11, but let's be very clear, he had ties to al-Qaeda, he had al-Qaeda operatives who had operated out of Baghdad.” [Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004, NBC, 9/28/2003]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Condoleezza Rice 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
          

July 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice says, “Saddam does not control the northern part of the country. We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” [The Mirror, 9/22/03]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

September 12, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       US President George Bush speaks privately with White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke in the White House Situation Room. According to Clarke, Bush tells him to investigate the possibility that Iraq had been involved in the attacks. “Go back over everything, everything,” Bush says. “See if Saddam did this.” When Clarke responds, “But Mr. President, Al-Qaeda did this,” Bush replies, “I know, I know, but... see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred.” Clarke insists that the CIA, FBI and White House had already concluded that there were no such links. As he exits the room, Bush “testily” reiterates, “Look into Iraq, Saddam.” [Washington Post, 3/22/2004 Sources: Richard Clarke] During a “60 Minutes” interview, Clarke will add that Bush's instructions were made in a way that were “very intimidating,” and which hinted that Clarke “should come back with that answer.” [New York Times, 3/23/04] White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan will later dispute Clarke's account. Bush “doesn't have any recollection” of such a meeting or conversation, McClellan will say on March 22, 2004. “There's no record of the President being in the Situation Room on that day that ... you know, when the President is in the Situation Room, we keep track of that.” [Associated Press, 3/22/04] After the meeting, Clarke collaborates with CIA and FBI experts producing a report which finds no evidence that Iraq had a hand in the attacks. But “it got bounced by the national-securty advisor, or deputy,” Clarke will explain. “ It got bounced and sent back, saying ‘Wrong answer .... Do it again.’ ” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 238]
People and organizations involved: Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice, Scott McClellan, George W. Bush, Richard Clarke  Additional Info 
          

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 20, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with President George Bush at the White House. During dinner that night, also attended by Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and British ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, Bush indicates that he is determined to remove Saddam Hussein from power. According to Meyers, Bush says, “... when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 238 Sources: Christopher Meyers]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Christopher Meyers, Colin Powell
          

November 21, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld speak in private. Bush asks the Defense Secretary what kind of plan the Pentagon has for invading Iraq. When Rumsfeld says its current plan is outdated, Bush instructs him to devise a new one. “Let's get started on this,” Bush will later tell Bob Woodward. “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 will say to Woodward. Bush does not share the details of his conversation with Condoleezza Rice, only telling her that Rumsfeld would be working on Iraq. [Woodward, 2004 cited in Associated Press, 4/16/2004; Woodward, 2004 cited in New York Times, 4/17/2004; Woodward, 2004 cited in Washington Post 1/18/2004 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, 4/16/2004 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: Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Thomas Franks
          

(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
          

2002-2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Bush administration develops plans for post-war Iraq. But the process is plagued with infighting between a small, highly secretive group of planners in the Pentagon and experts at the CIA and State Department who are involved with the “Future of Iraq Project” (see April 2002-March 2003). The two opposing groups disagree on a wide range of topics, but it is the Pentagon group which exerts the strongest influence on the White House's plans (see Fall 2002) for administering post-Saddam Iraq. One State Department official complains to The Washington Post in October 2002 “that the Pentagon is seeking to dominate every aspect of Iraq's postwar reconstruction.” The group of Pentagon planners includes several noted neoconservatives who work in, or in association with, the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans (see September 2002) and the Near East/South Asia bureau. The planners have close ties to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), two think tanks with a shared vision of reshaping the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East in favor of US and Israeli interests. The Pentagon planning group “had a visionary strategy that it hoped would transform Iraq into an ally of Israel, remove a potential threat to the Persian Gulf oil trade and encircle Iran with US friends and allies,” Knight Ridder Newspapers will later observe. The group's objectives put it at odds with planners at the CIA and State Department whose approach and objectives are much more prudent. The Pentagon unit works independently of the CIA and State Department and pays little attention to the work of those two agencies. Critics complain that the group is working in virtual secrecy and evading the scrutiny and oversight of others involved in the post-war planning process by confining their inter-agency communications to discussions with their neoconservative colleagues working in other parts of the government. The Pentagon planners even have a direct line to the office of Dick Cheney where their fellow neoconservative, Lewis Libby, is working. [Knight Ridder, 7/12/03; Washington Post, 4/2/03; Associated Press, 11/12/02] In the fall of 2002, the various groups involved in planning for post-war Iraq send their recommendations to the White House's Executive Steering Committee, which reviews their work and then passes on its own recommendations to the cabinet heads (see Fall 2002). According to a July 2003 report by Knight Ridder Newspapers, the ultimate responsibility for deciding the administration's post-war transition plans lay with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. [Knight Ridder, 7/12/03]
The Office of Special Plans -
The civilian planners at the Pentagon believe that the UN should exert no influence over the structure, make-up, or policy of the interim Iraqi post-Saddam government. They seek to limit the UN's role to humanitarian and reconstruction projects, and possibly security. The State Department, however, believes that the US will not be able to do it alone and that UN participation in post-Saddam Iraq will be essential. [Observer, 4/6/03; Los Angeles Times, 4/2/03]
The Pentagon group wants to install Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial Iraqi exile leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), as leader of post-Saddam Iraq. [American Prospect, 5/1/03; Knight Ridder, 7/12/03 Sources: Richard Perle] The group thinks that the Iraqis will welcome Chalabi, who claims he has a secret network inside and outside the Ba'ath government which will quickly fill in the power vacuum to restore order to the country. Chalabi is a notorious figure who is considered untrustworthy by the State Department and CIA and who has a history of financial misdealings. [Knight Ridder, 7/12/03] But the Pentagon is said to be enamored with Chalabi “because he [advocates] normal diplomatic relations with Israel” which they believe will “‘ [take] off the board’ one of the only remaining major Arab threats to Israeli security.” Another geopolitical benefit to installing Chalabi is that he can help the US contain “the influence of Iran's radical Islamic leaders in the region, because he would ... [provide] bases in Iraq for US troops,” which would “complete Iran's encirclement by American military forces around the Persian Gulf and US friends in Russia and Central Asia.” [Knight Ridder, 7/12/03 Sources: Unnamed Bush administration official] Danielle Pletka, vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, with close ties to the Pentagon's planning group, tells Robert Dreyfuss of American Prospect Magazine that the State Department's perception of Chalabi is wrong. “The [Defense Department] is running post-Saddam Iraq,” said Pletka, almost shouting. “The people at the State Department don't know what they are talking about! Who the hell are they? ... the simple fact is, the president is comfortable with people who are comfortable with the INC.” [American Prospect, 5/1/03]
The Pentagon's planning unit believes that the Iraqis will welcome US troops as liberators and that any militant resistance will be short-lived. They do not develop a contingency plan for persistent civil unrest. [Knight Ridder, 7/12/03] However the State Department's “Future of Iraq” planning project is more prudent, noting that Iraqis will likely be weary of US designs on their country. [New York Times, 10/19/03]
The Pentagon planners believe that Iraq's oil reserves—estimated to contain some 112 billion barrels of oil—should be used to help fund the reconstruction of Iraq. They also advocate a plan that would give the US more control over Iraq's oil. “[The Pentagon] hawks have long argued that US control of Iraq's oil would help deliver a second objective,” reports the Observer. “That is the destruction of OPEC, the oil producers' cartel, which they argue is ‘evil’—that is, incompatible with American interests.” The State Department, however, believes such aggressive policies will surely infuriate Iraqis and give credence to suspicions that the invasion is motivated by oil interests. One critic of the plan says “that only a puppet Iraqi government would acquiesce to US supervision of the oil fields and that one so slavish to US interests risks becoming untenable with Iraqis.” [Observer, 11/3/02; Insight, 12/28/02]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, American Enterprise Institute, Danielle Pletka, Project for the New American Century  Additional Info 
          

July 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Condoleezza Rice tells an unnamed Bush administration official who has doubts about invading Iraq: “A decision has been made. Don't waste your breath.” [The Mirror, 9/22/03 Sources: Unnamed Bush administration official(s) and/or US intelligence official(s)]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

August 15, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       In an interview broadcast by BBC Radio 4's Today Program, Condoleezza Rice says: “This is an evil man who, left to his own devices, will wreak havoc again on his own population, his neighbors and, if he gets weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, on all of us. There is a very powerful moral case for regime change. We certainly do not have the luxury of doing nothing.... Clearly, if Saddam Hussein is left in power doing the things that he is doing now, this is a threat that will emerge, and emerge in a very big way.... The case for regime change is very strong. This is a regime that we know has twice tried and come closer than we thought at the time to acquiring nuclear weapons. He has used chemical weapons against his own people and against his neighbors, he has invaded his neighbors, he has killed thousands of his own people. He shoots at our planes, our airplanes, in the no-fly zones where we are trying to enforce UN security resolutions.... History is littered with cases of inaction that led to very grave consequences for the world. We just have to look back and ask how many dictators who ended up being a tremendous global threat and killing thousands and, indeed, millions of people, should we have stopped in their tracks.” [Reuters, 8/15/2002; Telegraph, 8/16/2002; Times, 8/16/2002; Guardian, 8/15/02] Interestingly, Rice does not say Iraq has chemical, biological or nuclear arms. Instead, she speaks of the danger Saddam would pose, “if he gets weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.” [USA Today, 8/15/02]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice  Additional Info 
          

(After September 8, 2002)      Complete Iraq timeline

       President George Bush and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice learn that Department of Energy scientists disagree (see (Mid-July 2001)-August 17, 2001) with the CIA's assessment (see July 2001-2003) that a shipment of aluminum tubes intercepted on their way to Iraq (see July 2001) were to be used in a uranium enrichment program. [New York Times, 10/3/2004 Sources: Two unnamed Bush administration officials]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice, General Joseph Ralston
          

September 10, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Condoleezza Rice and George Tenet give a classified briefing to some members of Congress. After the briefing, several Democrats said they are unconvinced that Saddam Hussein poses an imminent threat to the US. Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi from California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, tells The Washington Post, “I did not hear anything today that was different about [Saddam Hussein's] capabilities,” save a few “embellishments.” Democratic Senator Richard J. Durbin from Illinois tells the newspaper: “It would be a severe mistake for us to vote on Iraq with as little information as we have. This would be a rash and hasty decision” adding that he has heard “no groundbreaking news” on Iraq's capabilities. Democrat Robert Menendez, a representative from New Jersey, says he also didn't hear any new evidence. “What was described as new is not new. It was not compelling enough,” he says. “Did I see a clear and present danger to the United States? No.” And an unnamed House Republican leader also seems to believe the case Tenet and Rice presented is weak. He says, “Daschle will want to delay this and he can make a credible case for delay” . [The Washington Post, 9/10/02; CNN, 9/10/02]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Nancy Pelosi, Richard Durbin, Condoleezza Rice, Robert Menendez
          

September 15, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       In response to Tony Snow's probing on Fox News Sunday as to whether or not President Bush was convinced there were links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, the National Security Advisor is circumspect until she's pressed. “ He clearly has links to terrorism ... —Links to terrorism [that] would include al-Qaeda....” [Fox News, 9/15/2002; CNN, 9/26/2002; Islam OnLine, 9/15/2002; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

September 16, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri meets with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Arab League Secretary-General Amir Moussa and gives them a letter expressing Baghdad's willingness to readmit the UN weapons inspectors without conditions. The offer is made after Saddam Hussein convened an emergency meeting in Baghdad with his cabinet and the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). [Associated Press, 9/16/02a; Independent, 9/17/02; New York Times, 9/17/02 Sources: Iraq's September 16, 2002 letter accepting the unconditional return of weapons inspectors] Iraq's letter is effectively an agreement to December 1999 UN Security Council Resolution 1284. [New York Times, 9/18/02] Kofi Annan tells reporters after the meeting, “I can confirm to you that I have received a letter from the Iraqi authorities conveying its decision to allow the return of the inspectors without conditions to continue their work and has also agreed that they are ready to start immediate discussions on the practical arrangements for the return of the inspectors to resume their work.” Annan credits the Arab League, which he says “played a key role” in influencing Saddam Hussein's decision to accept the inspectors, and suggests that Bush's speech also played a critical part in influencing Baghdad's decision. [UN, 9/16/02] UNMOVIC Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix also meets with Iraqi officials and it is reportedly agreed that weapons inspectors will return to Iraq on October 19. UNMOVIC spokesman Ewen Buchanan tells the BBC, “We are ready to discuss practical measures, such as helicopters, hotels, the installation of monitoring equipment and so on, which need to be put in place.” [BBC, 9/17/02] The Bush administration immediately rejects the offer, calling it “a tactical step by Iraq in hopes of avoiding strong UN Security Council action,” in a statement released by the deputy press secretary. [Associated Press, 9/16/02; White House, 9/16/2002] And Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, tells reporters: “We've made it very clear that we are not in the business of negotiating with Saddam Hussein. We are working with the UN Security Council to determine the most effective way to reach our goal.” He then claims Iraq's offer is a tactic to give “false hope to the international community that [President Saddam] means business this time,” adding, “Unfortunately, his more than decade of experience shows you can put very little into his words or deeds.” Two days later Bush will tell reporters that Saddam's offer is “his latest ploy, his latest attempt not to be held accountable for defying the United Nations,” adding: “He's not going to fool anybody. We've seen him before. . . . We'll remind the world that, by defying resolutions, he's become more and more of a threat to world peace. [The world] must rise up and deal with this threat, and that's what we expect the Security Council to do.” [Independent, 9/17/02; Agence France Presse, 9/19/02] Later that night, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice reportedly hold a conference call with Kofi Annan and accuse him of taking matters into his own hands. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 285] Britain supports the US position and calls for a UN resolution backed with the threat of force. [BBC, 9/17/03] Other nations react differently to the offer. For example, Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, says: “It's important that, through our joint efforts, we have managed to put aside the threat of a war scenario around Iraq and return the process to a political channel ... It is essential in the coming days to resolve the issue of the inspectors' return. For this, no new [Security Council] resolutions are needed.” [Independent, 9/17/02; BBC, 9/17/03]
People and organizations involved: Naji Sabri, Scott McClellan, Hans Blix, Kofi Annan, Amir Moussa, Saddam Hussein, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Dan Bartlett  Additional Info 
          

October 1, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       The National Intelligence Council, a board of senior analysts who prepare reports on crucial national security issues, completes a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq. The purpose of an NIE is to provide policy-makers with an intelligence assessment that includes all available information on a specific issue so that they can make sound policy decisions. The formal document is supposed to be the result of a collaborative effort of the entire intelligence community and is supposed to be untainted by political interests. The decision to produce the assessment on Iraq followed criticisms that the administration had already decided to invade Iraq without having received—or even called for—an assessment from its multi-billion dollar intelligence apparatus on the supposed threat posed by Iraq. Congress wanted the NIE completed prior to voting on a bill authorizing the President to use force against Iraq and was formally requested by Senator Bob Graham. NIEs such as this usually take months to prepare, however this document took a mere three weeks. The person in charge of preparing the document was weapons expert Robert Walpole. According to the Independent of London, Walpole has a track record of tailoring his work to support the preconceived conclusions of his superiors. “In 1998, he had come up with an estimate of the missile capabilities of various rogue states that managed to sound considerably more alarming than a previous CIA estimate issued three years earlier,” the newspaper will report. “On that occasion, he was acting at the behest of a congressional commission anxious to make the case for a missile defense system; the commission chairman was none other than Donald Rumsfeld ....” [Independent, 11/3/03; New York Times, 10/3/2004]
Summary of NIE Conclusions - After the document is completed, two different versions will be released. An abridged declassified version is posted on the CIA's website for the public, while the classified version is disseminated within the administration and to Congress (see (8:00pm) October 1, 2002). The two versions portray the threat posed by Saddam Hussein very differently. The classified version of the NIE on Iraq provides a far less alarmist view of the threat allegedly posed by Iraq than that which is presented in the public version of the document. According to US intelligence and congressional sources who read the classified document, the intelligence estimate contains “cautionary language about Iraq's connections with al-Qaeda and warnings about the reliability of conflicting reports by Iraqi defectors and captured al-Qaeda members about the ties.” And notably, the second paragraph of the “key judgment” section states that the estimate lacks “specific information” on Iraq's alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Though the document does say that Iraq probably has chemical and biological weapons, it also says that US intelligence analysts believe that Saddam Hussein would only launch an attack against the US if he felt a US invasion was inevitable. The intelligence estimate also concludes that Saddam would only provide terrorists with chemical or biological agents for use against the United States as a last resort in order to “exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him.” A senior intelligence official will later tell The Washington Post in June 2003: “There has always been an internal argument within the intelligence community about the connections between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. The NIE had alternative views.” The NIE also concludes that Iraq does not have nuclear weapons. The public version of the report—which is presented to Congress before it votes on a resolution conditionally authorizing Bush to use military force against Iraq—contains language that is far less qualified and nuanced than the classified version. [Washington Post, 6/22/03; Agence France Presse, 11/30/03 Sources: Stuart Cohen, US intelligence and congressional sources, INR's alternative view in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq]
Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium from Africa - The document makes a reference to the allegation that Iraq has sought to procure uranium from Africa. “A foreign government service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons of ‘pure uranium’ (probably yellowcake) to Iraq. As of early 2001, Niger and Iraq reportedly were still working out arrangements for this deal, which could be for up to 500 tons of yellowcake. We do not know the status of this arrangement. Reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” But the alternative view—endorsed by the State Department's bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)—says that it is doubtful Iraq sought to procure uranium from Africa. “(T)he claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious,” it reads. [US Government, 10/02; Washington Post, 7/19/03 Sources: Wissam al-Zahawie]
Iraqi attempts to obtain aluminum tubes - The document provides a very misleading assessment of the tubes case. For instance, it includes a chart which compares the dimensions of the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq with those that would be needed for a “Zippe-type” centrifuge. The comparison makes the two tubes appear similar. However, the chart fails to note that the aluminum tubes are an exact match to those used in Iraq's 81-millimeter rocket. The estimate also claims that the tubes are not suitable for rockets. The assertion ignores the fact that similar tubes are used in rockets from several countries, including the United States. [New York Times, 10/3/2004] In addition to the assessment's misleading statements about the tubes, there are interesting differences between the classified and declassified versions of the NIE with regard to the tubes. The declassified, public version of the NIE states: “Iraq's aggressive attempts to obtain proscribed high-strength aluminum tubes are of significant concern. All intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons and that these tubes could be used in a centrifuge enrichment program. Most intelligence specialists assess this to be the intended use, but some believe that these tubes are probably intended for conventional weapons programs. Based on tubes of the size Iraq is trying to acquire, a few tens of thousands of centrifuges would be capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a couple of weapons per year.” However the classified version of the document presents a more nuanced assessment. In the main text of the document, it says that the Energy Department “agrees that reconstitution of the nuclear program is underway but assesses that the tubes probably are not part of the program.” At the bottom of the page, in a lengthy footnote by the State Department's INR, the alternative view states that the agency agrees with the DOE's assessment that the tubes are not meant for use in a gas centrifuge. The footnote reads: “In INR's view Iraq's efforts to acquire aluminum tubes is central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors. INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the US Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose. INR considers it far more likely that the tubes are intended for another purpose, most likely the production of artillery rockets. The very large quantities being sought, the way the tubes were tested by the Iraqis, and the atypical lack of attention to operational security in the procurement efforts are among the factors, in addition to the DOE assessment, that lead INR to conclude that the tubes are not intended for use in Iraq's nuclear weapon program.” [US Government, 10/02; Washington Post, 7/19/03; USA Today, 7/31/03 Sources: Wissam al-Zahawie]
Reconstituted nuclear weapons programs - The intelligence estimate says that “most” of the US' six intelligence agencies believe there is “compelling evidence that Saddam [Hussein] is reconstituting a uranium enrichment effort for Baghdad's nuclear weapons program.” The classified version of the document includes the dissenting position of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) which states: “The activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons. Iraq may be doing so, but INR considers the available evidence inadequate to support such a judgment. Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons programs, INR is unwilling to ... project a timeline for the completion of activities it does not now see happening.” It is later learned that nuclear scientists in the Department of Energy's in-house intelligence office were also opposed to the NIE's conclusion and had wanted to endorse the State's alternative view. However, the person representing the DOE, Thomas Ryder, silenced the views of those within his department and inexplicably voted to support the position that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program (see September 2002). The DOE's vote was seen as critical, since the department's assessment was supposed to represent the views of the government's nuclear experts. [US Government, 10/02; Washington Post, 7/19/03; Knight Ridder, 2/10/04; Knight Ridder, 2/10/04 Sources: Wissam al-Zahawie]
Chemical and Biological Weapons - The classified version of the estimate uses cautionary language to conclude that Iraq probably does have chemical and biological weapons. It states: “We judge Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating BW agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives.” But the document also highlights the belief that it is unlikely that Iraq has any intention to use these against the US. “... Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [Chemical/Biological Weapons] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington with a stronger case for making war.” Iraq would probably only use such weapons against the United States if it “feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge.” [Sources: 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq] The last two observations are conspicuously absent from the declassified, public version of the estimate, which reads only, “Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating BW agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives, including potentially against the US Homeland.” [Knight Ridder, 2/10/04; Washington Post, 2/7/03]
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - The NIE claims that Iraq has unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which can be used to deploy biological and chemical weapons. “Baghdad's UAVs—especially if used for delivery of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents—could threaten Iraq's neighbors, US forces in the Persian Gulf, and the United States if brought close to, or into, the US Homeland.” [Sources: 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq] But this view is not held unanimously among the various intelligence agencies. Significantly, the Air Force's National Air and Space Intelligence Center disagrees with this assessment. The Center, which controls most of the American military's UAV fleet, says in a dissenting opinion that there is little evidence that Iraq's drones are related to the country's suspected biological weapons program. Current intelligence suggests that the drones are not capable of carrying much more than a camera and a video recorder. The Air Force believes that Iraq's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are for reconnaissance, like its counterparts in the US. The dissenting opinion reads: “... The Director, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, US Air Force, does not agree that Iraq is developing UAVs primarily intended to be delivery platforms for chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents. The small size of Iraq's new UAV strongly suggests a primary role of reconnaissance, although CBW delivery is an inherent capability.” [Associated Press, 8/24/03; Washington Post, 9/26/03; Knight Ridder, 2/10/04 Sources: US Government officials and scientists] This important statement is not included in the public version of the document. [Knight Ridder, 2/10/04 Sources: 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq] Bob Boyd, director of the Air Force Intelligence Analysis Agency, will tell reporters in August 2003 that his department thought the allegation in the NIE “was a little odd,” noting that Air Force assessments “all along” had said that reconnaissance, not weapons delivery, was the purpose of Iraq's drones. “Everything we discovered strengthened our conviction that the UAVs were to be used for reconnaissance,” he will explain. “What we were thinking was: Why would you purposefully design a vehicle to be an inefficient delivery means? Wouldn't it make more sense that they were purposefully designing it to be a decent reconnaissance UAV?” [Associated Press, 8/24/03; Washington Post, 9/26/03 Sources: Bob Boyd] The NIE's conclusion is apparently also based on accounts from defectors and exiles as well as information suggesting that Iraq is attempting to obtain “commercially available route-planning software,” containing topographic data of the United States. According to the NIE, this data “could facilitate targeting of US sites.” But Air Force analysts were not convinced by the argument, noting that this sort of information could easily be retrieved from the Internet and other highly accessible sources. “We saw nothing sinister about the inclusion of the US maps in route-planning software,” Boyd will tell reporters. [Washington Post, 9/26/03 Sources: Bob Boyd] Analysts at the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency are said to back the Air Force's National Air and Space Intelligence Center's position. [Associated Press, 8/24/03 Sources: US Government officials and scientists]
Aftermath - After the completion of the National Intelligence Estimate, the Bush administration will continue to make allegations concerning Iraq's weapons capabilities and ties to terrorism, but will include none of the qualifications and nuances that are present in the classified version of the assessment. After excerpts from the classified version of the NIE are published in the press in July of 2003 (see July 11, 2003) and the public learns that the document's conclusions had actually been much less alarmist than the public version, administration officials will claim that neither Bush, Rice nor other top officials were informed about the alternative views expressed by the DOE, INR, and the Air Force intelligence agency. They will also assert that the dissenting views did not significantly undermine the overall conclusion of the NIE that Iraq was continuing its banned weapons program despite UN resolutions. [Washington Post, 7/19/03; Washington Post, 7/27/03; New York Times, 7/19/03] But this claim is later disputed in an article by The Washington Post, which reports: “One person who has worked with Rice describes as ‘inconceivable’ the claims that she was not more actively involved. Indeed, subsequent to the July 18 briefing, another senior administration official said Rice had been briefed immediately on the NIE—including the doubts about Iraq's nuclear program—and had ‘skimmed’ the document. The official said that within a couple of weeks, Rice ‘read it all.’ ” [Washington Post, 7/27/03 Sources: two unnamed administration officials] Additionally, senior CIA analyst Stuart Cohen, the acting chairman of the National Intelligence Council at this time, who helped write the document, will tell the Agence France Presse, “Any reader would have had to read only as far as the second paragraph of the Key Judgments to know that as we said, ‘we lacked specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD program.’ ” [Agence France Presse, 11/30/03 Sources: Michael Hayden] A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation will determine in July 2004 that “Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community's October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting.” [Sources: Senate Intelligence Report on Iraq, 7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Bob Boyd, George W. Bush, Stuart Cohen, Bob Graham, Condoleezza Rice  Additional Info 
          

October 5, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       The CIA sends a four-page memo to Bush administration officials, including Bush's deputy national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, and the chief speechwriter, Michael Gerson, expressing doubt over claims that Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium from Niger. On page 3 of the memo, the CIA says that the amount of uranium alleged to have been sought by Iraq is in “dispute.” Furthermore, notes the CIA, it is not even clear that the uranium could “be acquired from the source.” The agency also mentions that Iraq already had a supply of uranium. [The Washington Post, 7/23/03] Stephen Hadley will later claim in July 2003 that he did not brief Condoleezza Rice on the memo. [The Washington Post, 7/27/03]
People and organizations involved: Michael Gerson, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley
          

October 6, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       The CIA sends a second memo in two days, warning the White House that there is little evidence behind the Africa-uranium claim. The memo also notes that the alleged purchase “was not particularly significant.” The memo's recipients include National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley. [The Washington Post, 7/23/03]
People and organizations involved: Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice
          

Early January 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       According to Bob Woodward's book, Plan of Attack, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice visits George Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Bush tells her: “We're not winning. Time is not on our side here. Probably going to have to, we're going to have to go to war.” [Woodward, 2004 cited in The Washington Post, 4/17/2004] When the contents of Woodward's book are reported in mid-April 2004, many people interpret Bush's statement as a decision to go to war. But Rice will deny that that was the case. “... I just want it to be understood: That was not a decision to go to war,” she will say. “The decision to go to war is in March. The president is saying in that conversation, I think the chances are that this is not going to work out any other way. We're going to have to go to war.” [Woodward, 2004 cited in Associated Press, 4/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice
          

January 15, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice flies to New York City to meet with Hans Blix. She attempts to discourage him from his plans to revert to the provisions of UN Resolution 1284 after his January 27 report to the UN Security Council—the last update required by UN Resolution 1441. She also attempts to persuade him to press ahead with plans to aggressively interview Iraqi scientists. [Sydney Morning Herald, 1/16/03; New York Times, 1/16/03] At a Council luncheon, US ambassador to the UN John Negroponte attempts to convince delegates of the other member states that the inspections timetable should not be based on the 1999 resolution. But they disagree, seeing no reason to ignore the process outlined in Resolution 1284. A few days later, the London Observer reports, “US officials have made it clear that they will try to foil further reports and say that an accumulation of evidence of military activity in Iraq will be enough for Saddam to be in material breach of the orders to Saddam to disarm.” [Reuters, 1/16/03b; New York Times, 1/17/03; Observer, 1/19/03]
People and organizations involved: Hans Blix, John Negroponte, Condoleezza Rice
          

January 19, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Top Bush administration officials appear to suggest that war can be avoided if Saddam Hussein steps down. Donald Rumsfeld, speaking on ABC's “This Week” says, “I ... personally would recommend that some provision be made so that the senior leadership in that country and their families could be provided haven in some other country, and I think that that would be a fair trade to avoid a war.” He also says that if Saddam goes into exile he might be granted immunity from prosecution for war crimes. Similarly, Colin Powell says on CNN, “I think the Iraqi people would be a lot better off, and this whole situation would be resolved, if Saddam Hussein ... his sons and the top leadership of the regime would leave.” [ABC, 1/19/03; New York Times, 1/20/03; New York Times, 1/20/03b; CNN, 1/19/03; CNN, 1/20/03; Agence France Presse, 1/19/03] It is not clear, however, if Rumsfeld and Powell's comments are sincere, or if they are just trying to appear as though they are providing Saddam Hussein with an alternative to military confrontation. Their comments are seemingly contradicted by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice who says on NBC's “Meet the Press” , “I ... think that it is unlikely that this man is going to come down in any other way than to be forced.” [International Herald Tribune, 1/20/03; New York Times, 1/20/03; New York Times, 1/20/03b; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,75993,00.html]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell
          

January 23, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       The New York Times publishes an op-ed piece written by Condoleezza Rice, titled, “Why we know Iraq is Lying,” in which the National Security Council advisor writes that “Iraq has filed a false declaration to the United Nations that amounts to a 12,200-page lie,” [New York Times, 1/23/03] citing among other things, its failure “to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad.” [New York Times, 1/23/03] She says that Iraq has reneged on its commitment to disarm itself of its alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Instead of full cooperation and transparency, Iraq has “a high-level political commitment to maintain and conceal its weapons,” she claims. Iraq is maintaining “institutions whose sole purpose is to thwart the work of the inspectors,” she adds, asserting that the country is not allowing inspectors “immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted access” to the “facilities and people” involved in its alleged weapons program. [New York Times, 1/23/03]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

January 31, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Frank Koza, chief of staff in the “Regional Targets” division of the US National Security Agency (NSA), which “spies on countries that are viewed as strategically important for United States interests,” emails a memo to senior NSA officials and the intelligence officials of certain unspecified foreign governments. The memo calls for the surveillance of the New York City homes and offices of UN delegates from countries such as Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea and Pakistan. According to The Observer, the memo suggests that the surveillance operation should include the “interception of ... [their] home and office telephones and the emails....” The memo discusses the need to learn how the member states would vote on future resolutions submitted to the UN Security Council by the US and Britain. It refers to the importance of learning and understanding the “policies,” “negotiating positions,” “alliances” and “dependencies” —the “whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to US goals or to head off surprises.” Intelligence resulting from the surveillance would be used for the United States' “QRC,” or Quick Response Capability, “against” the key delegations. In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, London Observer reporter Martin Bright, who helps expose the operation, will say that he believes the US motive for extending surveillance to the homes of UN delegates might have been to obtain incriminating personal information— “information which could be used against those delegates.” The spy operation is requested by US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. Other Bush administration officials, however, reportedly oppose the operation because of fears that its discovery could result in serious consequences. According to Professor John Quigley of Ohio University, “While the bugging of foreign diplomats at the UN is permissible under the US Foreign Intelligence Services Act, it is a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.” US intelligence experts interviewed by The Observer say that an operation like this would have been known to Donald Rumsfeld, CIA director George Tenet and NSA Chief General Michael Hayden. [The Observer, 3/2/03; Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3/6/03; The Observer, 3/9/03 Sources: January 31, 2003 NSA Memo]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Hayden, Donald Rumsfeld, Frank Koza  Additional Info 
          

February 1, 2003-February 4, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       On February 1, Secretary of State Colin Powell begins rehearsing for his February 5 presentation to the UN Security Council (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003) in which he will argue that Iraq represents a serious and imminent threat to the US. Powell is assisted by members of his staff, including his chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. [Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ), 4/29/2004; US News and World Report, 6/9/2003] Several other officials drop in during the pre-speech sessions, including George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Lewis Libby, and CIA deputy director John McLaughlin. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230] Cheney's staff continues to pressure Powell to include several unsubstantiated and dubious allegations. For example, the group insists that Powell “link Iraq directly to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington” and include the widely discredited allegation (see October 21, 2002) that Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer (see April 8, 2001). [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230.; US News and World Report, 6/9/2003] But Powell and his staff reject a good portion of the hawks' material. At one point, during one of the rehearsals, Powell says, “I'm not reading this. This is bullshit.” [US News and World Report, 6/9/03; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230] “[W]e fought tooth and nail with other members of the administration to scrub it and get the crap out,” Larry Wilkerson, Powell's Chief of Staff later tells GQ. [Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ), 4/29/2004]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Larry Wilkerson, Richard Armitage, John McLaughlin, Colin Powell, Lewis Libby
          

February 5, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       When asked on Larry King Live, CNN, if there is a clear connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, Rice replies:“There is no question in my mind about the al-Qaeda connection. It is a connection that has unfolded, that we're learning more about as we are able to take the testimony of detainees, people who were high up in the al-Qaeda organization. And what emerges is a picture of a Saddam Hussein who became impressed with what al-Qaeda did after it bombed our embassies in 1998 in Kenya and Tanzania, began to give them assistance in chemical and biological weapons, something that they were having trouble achieving on their own, that harbored a terrorist network under this man Zarqawi, despite the fact that Saddam Hussein was told that Zarqawi was there.” [CNN, 2/15/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

February 16, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Asked for concrete evidence that Hussein has links to al-Qaeda, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice points to the presence of terrorist operatives allegedly being hosted in Iraq. “Well, we are, of course, continually learning more about these links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and there is evidence that Secretary Powell did not have the time to talk about. But the core of the story is there in what Secretary Powell talked about. This poisons network with at least two dozen of its operatives operating in Baghdad, a man who is spreading poisons now throughout Europe and into Russia, a man who got medical care in Baghdad despite the fact that the Iraqis were asked to turn him over, training in biological and chemical weapons.” [Fox News, 2/16/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

March 9, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice goes on to speculate on CBS Face the Nation that Hussein may eventually decide to “enlist” al-Qaeda to attack the United States. “Now the al-Qaida is an organization that's quite disbursed and—and quite widespread in its effects, but it clearly has had links to the Iraqis, not to mention Iraqi links to all kinds of other terrorists. And what we do not want is the day when Saddam Hussein decides that he's had enough of dealing with sanctions, enough of dealing with, quote, unquote, ‘containment,’ enough of dealing with America, and it's time to end it on his terms, by transferring one of these weapons, just a little vial of something, to a terrorist for blackmail or for worse.” [CBS, 3/9/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

(May 2003-May 2004)      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       At “various times throughout this period,” Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld relay the Red Cross' concerns about the Coalition's treatment of prisoners directly to President George Bush. [Baltimore Sun, 5/12/2004 Sources: Unnamed aid to Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 28, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       In a press briefing prior to the President's trip to Europe and the Middle East, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice suggests the US military has discovered laboratories capable of developing weapons of mass destruction supporting Powell's claim (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003).“We have found, in Iraq, biological weapons laboratories that look precisely like what Secretary Powell described in his February 5 report to the United Nations.” [White House, 5/28/2003; US Department of State, 5/28/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

June 3, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       On CNBC's Capital Report, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice asserts having information from “multiple sources” which confirm the existence of weapons-producing units “exactly like” the discovered trailers. “We know that these trailers look exactly like what was described to us by multiple sources as the capabilities for building or for making biological agents. We know that we have from multiple sources who told us that then and sources who have confirmed it now. Now the Iraqis were not stupid about this. They were able to conceal a lot. They've been able to scrub things down. But I think when the whole picture comes out, we will see that this was an active program.” [Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

June 8, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Asked why a claim previously deleted from a presidential speech at the urging of CIA director, George Tenet, was reinserted for Bush's State of the Union Address, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice claims to have “other sources” which support her contention that Hussein was determined to obtain “yellow cake” from somewhere in Africa. “At the time that the State of the Union address was prepared, there were also other sources that said that they were, the Iraqis were seeking yellow cake, uranium oxide from Africa.” [ABC News, 6/8/2003, cited in Carnegie Endowment for Peace, 1/8/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

June 9, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Responding to the public fury that followed the revelation (see May 6, 2003) of former diplomat Joseph Wilson's 2002 trip to Niger (see Late February 2002), Condoleezza Rice says during an appearance on “Meet the Press,” “Maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.” [Washington Post, 6/13/03; Knight Ridder, 6/13/03; ABC News, 6/12/03]
People and organizations involved: Joseph C. Wilson, Condoleezza Rice  Additional Info 
          

June 25, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US Senator Arlen Specter writes to Condoleezza Rice asking for “clarification about numerous stories concerning alleged mistreatment of enemy combatants in US custody” and requesting that she explain how the administration ensures that detainees rendered to other countries are not tortured. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Arlen Specter, Condoleezza Rice
          

July 11, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Referring to Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, CIA director George Tenet says in a written statement, “These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president.” But Tenet denies that the White House is responsible for the mistake, putting the blame squarely on his own agency. And comments by Condoleezza Rice also blame the CIA, “If the CIA: the director of central intelligence, had said, ‘Take this out of the speech,’ it could have been gone, without question. If there were doubts about the underlying intelligence, those doubts were not communicated to the president, to the vice president or to me.” Another senior White House official, defending the president and his advisors, tells ABC news: “We were very careful with what the president said. We vetted the information at the highest levels.” But an intelligence official, interviewed by the news network, dismisses the claim. [The Washington Post, 7/12/2003; New York Times, 7/12/03; CNN, July 11, 2003 Sources: Unnamed intelligence official] Following Tenet's statement, a barrage of news reports citing unnamed CIA officials reveal that the White House had in fact been explicitly warned not to include the African-uranium claim. These reports indicate that at the time Bush delivered his State of the Union address, it had been widely understood in US intelligence circles that the Africa-uranium claim had little evidence supporting it. [The Washington Post, 7/20/03; Associated Press, 6/12/03; Knight Ridder Newspapers, 6/12/03; Boston Globe, 3/16/03; New York Times, 3/23/03; Newsday, 7/12/03; Associated Press, 6/12/03; Knight Ridder, 6/13/03; Knight Ridder, 6/16/03] For example, CBS News reports, “CIA officials warned members of the President's National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.” And a Washington Post article cites an unnamed intelligence source who says, “We consulted about the paper [September 2002 British dossier] and recommended against using that material.” [CBS News, 7/10/03; CNN, 7/10/03; The Washington Post, 7/11/03 Sources: Unnamed intelligence official] White House officials respond that the dossier issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: “Iraq has ... sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa” and that the officials had argued that as long as the statement was attributed to the British Intelligence, it would be technically true. Similarly, ABC News reports: “A CIA official has an idea about how the Niger information got into the president's speech. He said he is not sure the sentence was ever cleared by the agency, but said he heard speechwriters wanted it included, so they attributed it to the British.” The same version of events is told to the New York Times by a senior administration official, who claims, “The decision to mention uranium came from White House speechwriters, not from senior White House officials” . [New York Times, 7/19/03; New York Times, 7/14/03; http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0710-12.htm; ABC News, 6/12/03 Sources: Unnamed CIA official, Unnamed administration official] But according to a CIA intelligence official and four members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who are investigating the issue, the decision to include the Africa-uranium claim was influenced by the people associated with the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans (see September 2002). [Information Clearing House, 7/16/03 Sources: four members of the Senate's intelligence committee, Unnamed CIA official]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet  Additional Info 
          

July 26, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       When confronted with evidence that should have warned that the Niger document was a probable forgery, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice suggests her assistant, Steve Hadley, who earlier received both memos from the CIA (see October 5, 2002) (see October 6, 2002), had left her and the president “out of the loop.” “The intelligence community did not know at that time or at levels that got to us that this, that there was serious questions about this report.” [The Washington Post, 7/26/2003; World Net Daily, 7/29/2003; ABC This Week, 6/8/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

July 30, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice offers the discovery of aluminum tubes as proof of Hussein's intentions to develop nuclear weapons on PBS' NewsHour with Jim Lehrer “[H]e had ...an active procurement network to procure items, many of which, by the way, were on the prohibited list of the nuclear suppliers group. There's a reason that they were on the prohibited list of the nuclear supplies group: Magnets, balancing machines, yes, aluminum tubes, about which the consensus view was that they were suitable for use in centrifuges to spin material for nuclear weapons.” [Iraq Watch, 7/30/2003; White House, 7/30/2003; PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 7/30/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

July 31, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Defending the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice tells ZDF television that there was “very strong intelligence” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction “Going into the war against Iraq, we had very strong intelligence. I've been in this business for 20 years. And some of the strongest intelligence cases that I've seen, key judgments by our intelligence community that Saddam Hussein ... had biological and chemical weapons ....” [White House, 7/31/2003; Acronym Institute, 7/31/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

September 7, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Condoleezza Rice tells Tony Snow there is “absolutely” a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda “[W]e know that there was training of al-Qaeda in chemical and perhaps biological warfare. We know that the Zarqawi was network out of there, this poisons network that was trying to spread poisons throughout.... And there was an Ansar al-Islam, which appears also to try to be operating in Iraq. So yes, the al-Qaeda link was there.” [Fox News, 9/7/2003; Global Views, 9/26/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

September 28, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Appearing on Meet the Press, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice presumes to link Hussein to Osama bin Laden. “Saddam Hussein—no one has said that there is evidence that Saddam Hussein directed or controlled 9/11, but let's be very clear, he had ties to al-Qaeda, he had al-Qaeda operatives who had operated out of Baghdad.” [NBC, 9/28/2003; Iraq on the Record database, 3/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

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
          

Late March 2004      Haiti Coup

       US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice demands that Jamaica expel Jean-Bertrand Aristide from the region, claiming that his presence in the Caribbean will increase tension in Haiti. She also threatens Jamaica, saying that if anything happens to US soldiers in Haiti, that Jamaica would be blamed and subjected to the full force of the US. [Democracy Now!, 4/25/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Condoleezza Rice
          

May 3, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Human Rights Watch sends a letter to US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice informing her that the ill treatment and torture of prisoners by the US military in Iraq is not limited to isolated incidents. The organization emphasizes that it is a systemic and widespread problem and urges the US to take immediate action to ensure that imprisonment and interrogation practices comply with international law. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004 Sources: Human Rights letter to National Security Advisor, May 3, 2004]
People and organizations involved: Human Rights Watch, Condoleezza Rice
          

October 3, 2004      Complete Iraq timeline

       Responding to a New York Times article which described how the CIA and the White House ignored expert opinions that the tubes were not meant for use as rotors in a gas centrifuge, Condoleezza Rice says on ABC's “This Week” program: “As I understand it, people are still debating this. And I'm sure they will continue to debate it.” [The Washington Post, 10/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

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