Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Corroboration for O'Neil - Where does that leave Rummy?
President Bush ordered the Pentagon to explore the possibility of a ground invasion of Iraq well before the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, an official told ABCNEWS, confirming the account former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill gives in a book written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind.

The official, who asked not to be identified, was present in the same National Security Council meetings as O'Neill immediately after Bush's inauguration in January and February of 2001.

"The president told his Pentagon officials to explore the military options, including use of ground forces," the official told ABCNEWS. "That went beyond the Clinton administration's halfhearted attempts to overthrow Hussein without force."

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld disputed O'Neill's account today. "I don't know what meetings he could have been in," Rumsfeld told reporters during a Pentagon briefing.
I don't know either Rummy, but it appears he wasn't alone in those meetings.


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