Bush Advisers Planned Iraq War
by Joe Taglieri,
From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com. All
Rights Reserved. May be distributed, reposted on the internet
or distributed for non-profit purposes only]
Oct. 1, 2002, 17:00 PDT (FTW)
-- The George W. Bush Administration's intentions of removing
Saddam Hussein from power are not a recent development
by any stretch of the imagination. Top White House officials
affiliated with conservative think tanks and past administrations
have been developing strategies for removing the Iraqi
leader since the 1990s.
One such think tank, the Project
for the New American Century (PNAC), published a report
in September 2000 recommending policies for preserving
and expanding U.S. dominance in world affairs, including
an aggressive policy for deposing Saddam Hussein. Members
of this group include Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, convicted Iran-Contra perjurer
and current National Security Council (NSC) staffer Elliot
Abrams, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and I.
Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff and assistant for
national security affairs.
Referring to the Persian Gulf
region the report states, "Indeed, the United States has
for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf
regional security. While the unresolved conflict with
Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for
a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends
the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
The crux of the report advocates
bulking up America's military so it can be "able to rapidly
deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars."
It lists southern Europe, the Middle East, Central- and
East Asia as targets for increased military deployments.
Gary Schmitt, one of the report's
project co-chairmen and a former Reagan policy adviser,
told FTW that a U.S. invasion of Iraq is
inevitable. "We will definitely be involved in Iraq for
two reasons," said Schmitt. "One is because of issues
myself, the administration and others have laid out for
a number of years, and two, there isn't a snowball's chance
in hell Saddam will allow inspections that matter."
ALL THE VICE PRESIDENT'S
U.S. military action against
Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein has long been a goal of members
of the present Bush Administration. The PNAC report was
based upon a 1992 draft of the Pentagon's Defense Planning
Guidance, which was prepared for then-Defense Secretary
Cheney, Wolfowitz and Libby. At the time Libby and Wolfowitz
were part of Cheney's policy staff.
Libby has an extensive background
in international relations and defense policy. He joined
President Reagan's State Department in 1981 as a member
of the Policy Planning Staff and then became the director
of special projects in the department's Bureau of East
Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Libby was a deputy undersecretary
for policy in President George H. W. Bush's Defense Department
headed by Cheney.
He has a law degree from Columbia
University and during the Clinton years was a managing
partner for the Washington, D.C. international law firm
Dechert, Price & Rhoads. Libby was also a legal consultant
for the "Cox Committee," the congressional body that investigated
Chinese breaches of U.S. national security and trade secrets
Wolfowitz has worked for the
government as a defense policy strategist since 1973.
He was head of the State Department's Policy Planning
Staff from 1981 to 1982 and was deputy assistant secretary
of defense for regional programs from 1977 to 1980.
During his time with regional
programs Wolfowitz helped establish the force that would
become the United States Central Command. He also contributed
to the creation of the Navy's Maritime Pre-positioning
Ships, which his Defense Department bio describes as the
supply ships program that provided "the backbone of the
initial U.S. deployment twelve years later in Operation
Under Reagan, Wolfowitz served
as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia and assistant secretary
of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, where he
was responsible for shaping U.S. relations with all Far
Along with five fellow signatories
of PNAC's 1997 statement of principles, Wolfowitz is affiliated
with Johns Hopkins University. He was the dean and professor
of international relations at the university's Paul H.
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Thomas Donnelly, the principle
author of the 2000 report advocating aggressive U.S. military
policies, holds a masters degree from the Nitze School.
SAIS is also home to foreign
policy behemoth Zbigniew Brzezinski, the author of a 1997
book foretelling current U.S. conflicts with Iraq and
terrorists called "The Grand Chessboard." Brzezinski,
a trustee of the Trilateral Commission and a member the
Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank,
is billed by SAIS as a Robert E. Osgood professor of American
PNAC member Elliot Abrams is
a former assistant secretary of state who was a major
player in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s. He was
convicted of several felony offenses including lying to
Congress but was later pardoned by President George H.
Abrams has recently served
on the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom and was appointed
to the NSC staff position several months into George W.
Bush's tenure. Given his controversial background, it
was widely known that Abrams would never have survived
a Senate confirmation hearing for a deputy or assistant
secretary position at either the Department of Defense
or State Department.
'RICHARD'S STRING OF PERLES'
Richard Perle is another key
Bush policy maker at the center of the administration's
push toward war with Iraq. He is the chairman of the Defense
Policy Board, which reports policy recommendations to
Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.
Perle was assistant secretary
of defense for international security policy during both
terms of the Reagan Administration. He has been a frequent
contributor to national media publications and television
He is also a resident fellow
of the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank which
has a member list that reads like a who's who of conservative
politicians, academics, and policy makers.
Some contend Perle is a major
puller of defense policy strings. Jude Wanniski, an analyst
who focuses on the politics of "supply-side economics,"
claims Perle controls the "brass" of the Bush Administration's
defense policy team -- Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby and
National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice.
"It is a badge of honor among
the Warrior Class to be identified as one of Richard's
String of Perles," Wanniski wrote in a memo posted on
his Polycomomics, Inc. website.
Two PNAC men cited by Wanniski
as faithful Perlites are William Kristol and Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney is a Washington Times
columnist and a contributor to Defense News and Investor's
Business Daily. During the Reagan Administration he was
an assistant secretary of defense under Perle.
Gaffney, who holds a Masters
Degree from Johns Hopkins' SAIS, is the founder and president
of yet another think tank known as the Center for Security
Conservative commentator Kristol
is the editor of the Weekly Standard magazine and a frequent
pundit on TV news programs. He is also the PNAC chairman
and, according to Wanniski, part of a network of opinion
makers who answer to Perle. Kristol's network consists
of many editorial page writers and journalists for national
publications and television programs.
The vast majority of PNAC's
money comes from funds forwarded through the New Citizenship
Project, another organization founded by Kristol. Watchgroup
Media Transparency reports PNAC has received a total of
$600,000 between the organization's founding in 1997 and
The New Citizenship Project
is primarily funded by grants from the Lynde and Harry
Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the
Sarah Scaife Foundation. All are conservative philanthropic
Tim Barker, FTW Staff, contributed
to this report.