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FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY PAUL ONEILL SAYS INVASION OF IRAQ WAS PLANNED IN THE FIRST DAYS...
Drudge ^ | 1/10/04 | Drudge

Posted on 01/10/2004 6:44:24 AM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

The Bush Administration began laying plans for an invasion of Iraq including the use of American troops within days of President Bush's inauguration in January of 2001, not eight months later after the 9/11 attacks as has been previously reported. That is what former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says in his first interview about his time as a White House insider. O'Neill talks to Lesley Stahl in the interview, to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Jan. 11 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," he tells Stahl. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do is a really huge leap," says O'Neill.

O'Neill, fired by the White House for his disagreement on tax cuts, is the main source for an upcoming book, "The Price of Loyalty," authored by Ron Suskind. Suskind says O'Neill and other White House insiders he interviewed gave him documents that show that in the first three months of 2001, the administration was looking at military options for removing Saddam Hussein from power and planning for the aftermath of Saddam's downfall, including post-war contingencies like peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals and the future of Iraq's oil. "There are memos," Suskind tells Stahl, "One of them marked 'secret' says 'Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq.'" A Pentagon document, says Suskind, titled "Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," outlines areas of oil exploration. "It talks about contractors around the world from...30, 40 countries and which ones have what intentions on oil in Iraq," Suskind says.

In the book, O'Neill is quoted as saying he was surprised that no one in a National Security Council meeting questioned why Iraq should be invaded. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill in the book.

Suskind also writes about a White House meeting in which he says the president seems to be wavering about going forward with his second round of tax cuts. "Haven't we already given money to rich people," Suskind says the president uttered, according to a nearly verbatim transcript of an Economic Team meeting he says he obtained from someone at the meeting, "Shouldn't we be giving money to the middle?"

O'Neill, who was asked to resign because of his opposition to the tax cut, says he doesn't think his tell-all account in this book will be attacked by his former employers as sour grapes. "I will be really disappointed if [the White House] reacts that way," he tells Stahl. "I can't imagine that I am going to be attacked for telling the truth."

Developing...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: clintonhadonetoo; crybaby; invasion; iraq; iraqifreedom; oneill; pauloneill
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1 posted on 01/10/2004 6:44:25 AM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The whole story sounds made up. Who would talk like that about tax cuts?
2 posted on 01/10/2004 6:46:46 AM PST by Thebaddog (Woof!)
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To: Torie; Pubbie
hmmmmmmm...lol
3 posted on 01/10/2004 6:46:49 AM PST by KQQL (^@__*^)
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To: All
Support Free Republic!

4 posted on 01/10/2004 6:47:01 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This really isn't news to anyone who has been following the Iraq story closely.

J
5 posted on 01/10/2004 6:47:20 AM PST by J. L. Chamberlain
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This will futher anger those already angered. And that's about it. If Saddam had been taken out years ago, the Middle East would already be a much different place.
6 posted on 01/10/2004 6:47:55 AM PST by dirtboy (Howard Dean - all bike and no path)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I expect we'll see Mr. O'Neill in Iowa in the next few days wearing a "Dean for President" t-shirt.
7 posted on 01/10/2004 6:48:18 AM PST by babaloo
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To: KQQL
Bush savaged by former Treasury chief
By Alan Beattie in Washington
Published: January 9 2004 21:47 | Last Updated: January 9 2004 21:47


President George W. Bush's performance at cabinet meetings resembled that of "a blind man in a room full of deaf people", according to Paul O'Neill (pictured), who was fired as Treasury secretary in 2002.
http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1073280927272&p=1012571727088


8 posted on 01/10/2004 6:49:17 AM PST by KQQL (^@__*^)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do is a really huge leap," says O'Neill.

What a curious quote.

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them..."

Which law of nature, or of nature's God, does O'Neill think the invasion of Iraq violates?

9 posted on 01/10/2004 6:49:38 AM PST by Jim Noble
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I can't imagine that I am going to be attacked for telling the truth."

Another 'I'm the victim of Bush' story, even from O'Neill. Anyone know how close Bush and O'Neill were before he left? IMO, anyone who decides to tell inside info so soon after leaving has a huge grudge.

10 posted on 01/10/2004 6:49:55 AM PST by rintense
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
so this shows the Bush team took the Saddam threat seriously and was doing something about it earlier than we thought. that's good, not bad.
11 posted on 01/10/2004 6:50:30 AM PST by Flashlight
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Gee, where's the obligatory reference to "neocons"?
12 posted on 01/10/2004 6:50:49 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The plan was probably handed over from the Clinton Administration considering Clinton's determination that he had WMD's and we had bombed them with the British the last 2 years of his presidency, operation Desert Fox. Also, official US policy was that Regime Change was the policy when Bush Entered office IRAQ LIBERATION ACT.

O'Neill is not mentioning anything about this and trying to make it look like Bush cooked this whole thing up.
13 posted on 01/10/2004 6:51:10 AM PST by TheEaglehasLanded
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Wasn't he sworn to secrecy?
14 posted on 01/10/2004 6:52:22 AM PST by Print
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
......and THIS comes from someone who cavorted around Africa with Boner indulging his elitist pity "for-the-children" instead of "watching-the-store".
15 posted on 01/10/2004 6:52:37 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
We've had a plan for military action against Iraq for decades. Here's a news flash...we also have one for North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Cuba...
16 posted on 01/10/2004 6:52:42 AM PST by Rokke
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
It would be nice if the White House could provide an actual transcript. Then we'd know the truth.
17 posted on 01/10/2004 6:53:12 AM PST by DB ()
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Glad to hear they were planning way before. I'm hoping they have a plan for N Korea (and France haha) as well. A good manager develops plans for possible future events, even somewhat remote possibilities. That way you don't get caught off guard & unprepared when surprises like 9-11 come along. Best way to no move up in management is to be caught flat footed when events & circumstances change.

Rats complain GWB has no plan, now O'neill complains he had an advance plan. Sheesh.
18 posted on 01/10/2004 6:53:59 AM PST by handy
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To: DoctorMichael
Oops, sorry!

{/rhetorical statement}

19 posted on 01/10/2004 6:55:55 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: Print
Good catch. What a loser. Reveals contents of secret memos so the press will like him and he'll be popular at dinner parties. Sounds like he needed a little ego boost.
20 posted on 01/10/2004 6:56:29 AM PST by handy
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His comments frequently had an impact on financial markets, with one remark about the low likelihood of an IMF rescue package for Brazil causing a rapid fall in the Brazilian currency.
21 posted on 01/10/2004 6:56:30 AM PST by KQQL (^@__*^)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
In other words, Mr. O'Neil was aware of a contingency to invade Iraq (similar to many other contingencies created by those that do such things). Additionally, Mr. O'Neil has the wonderful ability to ad lib and take quotes out of context. Finally, he hired a ghost writer and found a willing publisher.
22 posted on 01/10/2004 6:56:45 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
in the first three months of 2001, the administration was looking at military options for removing Saddam Hussein from power and planning for the aftermath of Saddam's downfall, including post-war contingencies like peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals and the future of Iraq's oil

Wait a second, the left told me for months that there was no post-Iraq plan.

This is simply more indication that Bush's plans on Iraq were practically a seamless continuation of Clinton's policy and the near-unanimous opinion on Saddam held in Washington.

23 posted on 01/10/2004 6:57:11 AM PST by Monti Cello
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Another petty little corporate elitists with a overblown opinion of himself with a mouth to match.

Obviously the reason W. caned his a$$.

24 posted on 01/10/2004 6:58:47 AM PST by TUX (Domino effect)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Sounds like he is really trying to hype his book.

BTW, the US must have contingency plans to invade N. Korea, if circumstance would ever demand it.

I'm sure we 'have plans' to invade nearly every country in the world. We have plans to evacuate the capitol if it gets nuked, plans for burying the dead if the Andreas Fault finally ruptures and sends the West Coast into the ocean.

What's the big deal?
25 posted on 01/10/2004 6:59:12 AM PST by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I just wonder how long it'll be until O'Neill joins the crowd claiming that President Bush was directly responsible for setting up the 9/11 attacks, for the sole purpose of manufacturing a reason to attack Iraq.
26 posted on 01/10/2004 6:59:45 AM PST by CFC__VRWC (AIDS, abortion, euthanasia - don't liberals just kill ya?)
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To: babaloo
I think you may be right.
27 posted on 01/10/2004 6:59:49 AM PST by MEG33 (We Got Him!)
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To: Thebaddog
The whole story sounds made up. Who would talk like that about tax cuts?

"Haven't we already given money to rich people," Suskind says the president uttered, according to a nearly verbatim transcript of an Economic Team meeting he says he obtained from someone at the meeting, "Shouldn't we be giving money to the middle?"

You're right. Complete and utter BS.

28 posted on 01/10/2004 6:59:49 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Under penalty of law: This tag not to be removed except by the user.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
O'Neill, who was asked to resign because of his opposition to the tax cut, says he doesn't think his tell-all account in this book will be attacked by his former employers as sour grapes. "I will be really disappointed if [the White House] reacts that way," he tells Stahl. "I can't imagine that I am going to be attacked for telling the truth."

Is he arrogant, or just plain stupid?

29 posted on 01/10/2004 7:01:04 AM PST by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: babaloo
If not Dean, one of the other "Party of Treason" candidates. Excuse me if I totally discount this wild story of his. Perhaps a more important question might be: how did this twerp end up in such a high position in this admin? I can understand what's involved in getting rid of the Clinton holdovers, but that isn't what this jerk is. Someone should have done a more careful background check.
30 posted on 01/10/2004 7:01:31 AM PST by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"One of them marked 'secret'

Tell us Mr.Suskind, just WHO gave you this document?
31 posted on 01/10/2004 7:01:34 AM PST by tet68
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Suskind also writes about a White House meeting in which he says the president seems to be wavering about going forward with his second round of tax cuts. "Haven't we already given money to rich people," Suskind says the president uttered, according to a nearly verbatim transcript of an Economic Team meeting he says he obtained from someone at the meeting, "Shouldn't we be giving money to the middle?"
Oh, yeah. Verbatim. This sounds exactly like our President ... if he were Clinton or Gephart or Dean.
32 posted on 01/10/2004 7:01:52 AM PST by Asclepius (karma vigilante)
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To: Jim Noble
...the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do is a really huge leap...

What an idiot. All nations act unilaterally if they are sovergn. If they meet with opposition they might cease or fail to act but every action taken is, at first, unilateral action. In these terrifying modern times, if we must wait until attacked before defending ourselves, we will quite quickly cease to exist....unless we act unilaterally and pre-emptually!
33 posted on 01/10/2004 7:01:53 AM PST by cartoonistx
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Any administration serious about National Security should lay plans to oust any regime that is a threat to the US.

So what is the BFD?

34 posted on 01/10/2004 7:01:56 AM PST by lormand (Dead People Vote DemocRAT)
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To: TUX
O'Neil = nothing on radar


The man does not matter and does not deserve all this attention.

35 posted on 01/10/2004 7:02:18 AM PST by Erik Latranyi
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Saddam should have been taken out in 1991. If not then, then he should have been taken out when he violated the agreements which allowed him to remain in office subsequent to Desert Storm. Imagine if Germany had not honored the Treaty of Versailles?? "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
36 posted on 01/10/2004 7:03:23 AM PST by Thom Pain
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The Project for a New American Century had lobbied Clinton on Iraq in 98

Letter to Clinton

37 posted on 01/10/2004 7:03:35 AM PST by Zipporah (Write inTancredo in 2004)
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To: Rokke
Yep. I swear I've read before that as soon as GWB took office, he started outline scenarios for Saddam and Bin Laden. Big deal, O'Neill. At least this President saw the threat and actually developed a plan to get rid of it.
38 posted on 01/10/2004 7:04:36 AM PST by rintense
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Speaking about his first meeting with Mr Bush, which lasted about an hour, Mr O'Neill says: "I went in with a long list of things to talk about and, I thought, to engage [him] on.

"I was surprised it turned out me talking and the president just listening . . . It was mostly a monologue."


39 posted on 01/10/2004 7:06:02 AM PST by KQQL (^@__*^)
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To: Erik Latranyi
The man does not matter and does not deserve all this attention.

We know that, but since he's a former administration "crony" who has "seen the light" and is now loudly proclaiming his Bush hatred, the media will roll out the red carpet for him and saturate the airwaves.

Sadly, these kind of "drive-bys" on the president are only going to happen more frequently as the election draws nearer. We've seen nothing yet.

40 posted on 01/10/2004 7:06:15 AM PST by CFC__VRWC (AIDS, abortion, euthanasia - don't liberals just kill ya?)
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To: TheEaglehasLanded
I think you are right about the plan probably existing for a long while. One of the expert commentators on Fox once said, during the war phase, that these plans exist as contingencies, and include a lot of countries, some of which we currently regard as allies. These plans are revised and updated regularly, but it doesn't mean we're going to put them into use unless provoked.

I wonder if these are the ones O'Neill is talking about, and then he trumped them up to make President Bush look bad?
41 posted on 01/10/2004 7:06:57 AM PST by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: babaloo
I expect we'll see Mr. O'Neill in Iowa in the next few days wearing a "Dean for President" t-shirt.

Actually, you've picked up on the silver lining to all this. The 60 Minutes piece will help Dean bounce back in the early primaries. Good news for the GOP.

42 posted on 01/10/2004 7:07:21 AM PST by Zechariah11 (so they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver Zech 11:12)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Sounds like O'Neill has been hanging out with Bono too much.
43 posted on 01/10/2004 7:07:58 AM PST by GnL
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To: CFC__VRWC
Mr O'Neill was and is a RINO , so what's new ? I was suprised W hired him in the first place,
44 posted on 01/10/2004 7:08:37 AM PST by KQQL (^@__*^)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
""""""""""""
The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill in the book.
""""""""""""

Um, isn't that the definition of leadership? And by the way, doesn't this totally contradict his description of Bush as a blind man in a room full of deaf people?

Which is it? Bush says nothing, or Bush says "go find me a way to do this?"

This guy has a massive chip on his shoulder, and something shoved up something else too
45 posted on 01/10/2004 7:10:23 AM PST by Bronco_Buster_FweetHyagh
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To: handy
Right on! Bush was so right to get rid of this traitor to his administration. The economy has done much better since he was forced out. Maybe CBS will employ him now. They love losers.
46 posted on 01/10/2004 7:10:31 AM PST by trustandobey
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To: CFC__VRWC
Sadly, these kind of "drive-bys" on the president are only going to happen more frequently as the election draws nearer. We've seen nothing yet.

That's OK. With 8 months to go, this means nothing to the electorate.

Let your enemies attack like a hurricane while you bend like the grass. When the wind is exhausted, you will stand tall again.

47 posted on 01/10/2004 7:10:59 AM PST by Erik Latranyi
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To: Rokke
"We've had a plan for military action against Iraq for decades. Here's a news flash...we also have one for North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Cuba..."

Zactly. I had a brother-in-law in intelligence, and I saw him the week after we liberated Grenada. I jokingly asked him who we planned to invade next.

He looked at me steely-eyed and replied, "We have plans to invade EVERYbody."
48 posted on 01/10/2004 7:11:00 AM PST by Eccl 10:2
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To: Thebaddog
The whole story sounds made up. Who would talk like that about tax cuts?

Exactly. This is why in politics, regardless of the feelings of the liberal press (and some here) as President you DO award your friends with these positions. Your friends are the only ones in which you have a degree of trust that they won't make up stuff like this.

49 posted on 01/10/2004 7:12:49 AM PST by ClintonBeGone
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Suskind also writes about a White House meeting in which he says the president seems to be wavering about going forward with his second round of tax cuts. "Haven't we already given money to rich people," Suskind says the president uttered, according to a nearly verbatim transcript of an Economic Team meeting he says he obtained from someone at the meeting, "Shouldn't we be giving money to the middle?"
 
This almost verbatim sounds more like Mr. Oneil than President Bush
 
(1) It is us vs them
(2) Their money to distribute, just a matter of how much to who
 
Bush is a leader and the nearly verbatim above is crawfishing with a turkey neck, and why couldn't he use THE verbatim transcript?
 

50 posted on 01/10/2004 7:13:19 AM PST by TexasTransplant (Only fools, cowards, criminals and terrorists are afraid of good men with guns.)
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