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Charleston (WV) Gazette
October 2, 2006

War In Iraq Was Not A Secret Plot


A recent editorial (“Iraq: War planned in 1990s,” Sept. 16) purports to lay out “a chronology of what caused the Iraq war,” and boldly asserts that “Bush insiders,” “neoconservatives,” “advisers to Israel” and an “Iran-Contra conspirator” secretly “plotted the Iraq war for at least a decade.” Unfortunately, the cherry-picked quotations in the editorial omit key facts that any honest chronology would include.

In 1998, the U.S. Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act, which declared “it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.” President Clinton, 360 congressmen and 100 senators supported this measure.

Then, in 2002, the U.S. Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution. President Bush, 296 congressmen and 77 senators supported this measure. As Sen. Hillary Clinton noted, “[Saddam] has also given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaida members. ... This much is undisputed.”

These pieces of legislation, passed overwhelmingly by members of Congress from both parties, and signed by Presidents Clinton and Bush respectively, put lie to the claim the war was “planned in secret” by “neoconservatives.”

Bryan Whitman, Deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, Washington, D.C.

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