da Think Progress


Presiident Bush has not fired any of the architects of the Iraq war. In fact, a review of the key planners of the conflict reveals that they have been rewarded – not blamed – for their incompetence.


Role In Going To War: Wolfowitz said the U.S. would be greeted as liberators, that Iraqi oil money for pay for the reconstruction, and that Gen. Eric Shinseki’s estimate that several hundred thousand troops would be needed was “wildly off the mark.” [Washington Post, 12/8/05]

Where He Is Now: Bush promoted Wolfowitz to head the World Bank in March 2005. [Washington Post, 3/17/05]

Key Quote: “We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.” [Wolfowitz, 3/27/03]


Role In Going To War: As Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Feith spearheaded two secretive groups at the Pentagon — the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group and the Office of Special Plans — that were instrumental in drawing up documents that explained the supposed ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. The groups were “created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true.” Colin Powell referred to Feith’s operation as the Gestapo. In Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, former CentCom Commander Gen. Tommy Franks called Feith the “f***ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth.” [LAT, 1/27/05; NYT, 4/28/04; New Yorker, 5/12/03; Plan of Attack, p.281]

Where He Is Now: Feith voluntarily resigned from the Defense Department shortly after Bush’s reelection. He is co-chairman of a project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government to write an academic book on how to fight terrorism. Feith’s secretive groups at the Pentagon are under investigation by the Pentagon and the Senate Intelligence Committee for intelligence failures. [Washington Post, 1/27/05, 11/18/05; Washington Times, 3/3/06]

Key Quote: “I am not asserting to you that I know that the answer is — we did it right. What I am saying is it’s an extremely complex judgment to know whether the course that we chose with its pros and cons was more sensible.” [Washington Post, 7/13/05]


Role In Going To War: As then-Deputy National Security Advisor, Hadley disregarded memos from the CIA and a personal phone call from Director George Tenet warning that references to Iraq’s pursuit of uranium be dropped from Bush’s speeches. The false information ended up in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address. [Washington Post, 7/23/03]

Where He Is Now: On January 26, 2005, Stephen Hadley was promoted to National Security Advisor. [White House bio]

Key Quote: “I should have recalled at the time of the State of the Union speech that there was controversy associated with the uranium issue. … And it is now clear to me that I failed in that responsibility in connection with the inclusion of these 16 words in the speech that he gave on the 28th of January.” [Hadley, 7/22/03]


Role In Going To War: Richard Perle, the so-called “Prince of Darkness,” was the chairman of Defense Policy Board during the run-up to the Iraq war. He suggested Iraq had a hand in 9-11. In 1996, he authored “Clean Break,” a paper that was co-signed by Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and others that argued for regime change in Iraq. Shortly after the war began, Perle resigned from the Board because he came under fire for having relationships with businesses that stood to profit from the war. [Guardian, 9/3/02, 3/28/03; AFP, 8/9/02]

Where He Is Now: Currently, Perle is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where he specializes in national security and defense issues. He has been investigated for ethical violations concerning war profiteering and other conflicts of interest. [Washington Post, 9/1/04]

Key Quote: “And a year from now, I’ll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they’ve been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation.” [Perle, 9/22/03]


Role In Going To War: Abrams was one of the defendants in the Iran-Contra Affair, and he pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress. He was appointed Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs during Bush’s first term, where he served as Bush’s chief advisor on the Middle East. His name surfaced as part of the investigation into who leaked the name of a undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. [Washington Post, 5/27/03, 2/3/05]

Where He Is Now: Abrams was promoted to deputy national security adviser in February of 2005. [Slate, 2/17/05]

Key Quote: “We recognize that military action in Iraq, if necessary, will have adverse humanitarian consequences. We have been planning over the last several months, across all relevant agencies, to limit any such consequences and provide relief quickly.” [CNN, 2/25/03]


Role In Going To War: At the time of the war, Wurmser was a special assistant to John Bolton in the State Department. Wurmser has long advocated the belief that both Syria and Iraq represented threats to the stability of the Middle East. In early 2001, Wurmser had issued a call for air strikes against Iraq and Syria. Along with Perle, he is considered a main author of “Clean Break.” [Asia Times, 4/17/03; Guardian, 9/3/02]

Where He Is Now: Wurmser was promoted to Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs; he is in charge of coordinating Middle East strategy. His name has been associated with the Plame Affair and with an FBI investigation into the passing of classified information to Chalabi and AIPAC. [Raw Story, 10/19/05; Washington Post, 9/4/04]

Key Quote: “Syria, Iran, Iraq, the PLO and Sudan are playing a skillful game, but have consistently worked to undermine US interests and influence in the region for years, and certainly will continue to do so now, even if they momentarily, out of fear, seem more forthcoming.” [Washington Post, 9/24/01]


Role In Going To War: Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, Andrew Natsios, then the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, went on Nightline and claimed that the U.S. contribution to the rebuilding of Iraq would be just $1.7 billion. When it became quickly apparent that Natsios’ prediction would fall woefully short of reality, the government came under fire for scrubbing his comments from the USAID Web site. [Washington Post, 12/18/03; ABC News, 4/23/03]

Where He Is Now: Natsios stepped down as the head of USAID in January and is currently teaching at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh’s School of Foreign Service as a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and Advisor on International Development. [AP, 2/20/06; Georgetown, 12/2/05]

Key Quote: “[T]he American part of this will be $1.7 billion. We have no plans for any further-on funding for this.” [Nightline, 4/23/03]


Role In Going To War: Dan Bartlett was the White House Communications Director at the time of the war and was a mouthpiece in hyping the Iraq threat. Bartlett was also a regular participant in the weekly meetings of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG). The main purpose of the group was the systematic coordination of the “marketing” of going to war with Iraq as well as selling the war here at home. [Washington Post, 8/10/03]

Where He Is Now: Bartlett was promoted to Counselor to the President on January 5, 2005, and is responsible for the formulation of policy and implementation of the President’s agenda. [White House]

Key Quote: “President Bush understands that the need to disarm Saddam Hussein is necessary. He has made that case to the United Nations Security Council. He’s made that case to the United States Congress. The entire world rallied behind this resolution that gives him one last chance. He has that chance, but time is running out.” [CNN, 1/26/03]


Role In Going To War: Mitch Daniels was the director of the Office of Management and Budget from January 2001 through June of 2003. In this capacity, he was responsible for releasing the initial budget estimates for the Iraq War which he pegged at $50 to $60 billion. The estimated cost of the war, including the full economic ramifications, is approaching $1 trillion. [MSNBC, 3/17/06]

Where He Is Now: In 2004, Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana. [USA Today, 11/3/04]

Key Quote: Mitch Daniels had said the war would be an “affordable endeavor” and rejected an estimate by the chief White House economic adviser that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion as “very, very high.” [Christian Science Monitor, 1/10/06]


Role In Going To War: As CIA Director, Tenet was responsible for gathering information on Iraq and the potential threat posted by Saddam Hussein. According to author Bob Woodward, Tenet told President Bush before the war that there was a “slam dunk case” that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. Tenet remained publicly silent while the Bush administration made pre-war statements on Iraq’s supposed nuclear program and ties to al Qaeda that were contrary to the CIA’s judgments. Tenet issued a statement in July 2003, drafted by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, taking responsibility for Bush’s false statements in his State of the Union address. [CNN, 4/19/04; NYT, 7/22/05]

Where He Is Now: Tenet voluntarily resigned from the administration on June 3, 2004. He was later awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom. [Washington Post, 6/3/04]

Key Quote: “It’s a slam dunk case.” [CNN, 4/19/04]


Role In Going To War: Despite stating in Feb. 2001 that Saddam had not developed “any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction,” Powell made the case in front of the United Nations for a United States-led invasion of Iraq, stating that, “There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction.” [Powell, 2/5/03; Powell, 2/24/01]

Where He Is Now: Shortly after Bush won reelection in 2004, Powell resigned from the administration. Powell now sits on numerous corporate boards. He is poised to succeed Henry Kissinger in May as Chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowship Program at the City College of New York. In September 2005, Powell said of his U.N. speech that it was a “blot” on his record. He went on to say, “It will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now.” [ABC News, 9/9/05]

Key Quote:
“‘You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,’ he told the president. ‘You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You’ll own it all.’ Privately, Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.” [Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack]


Role In Going To War: Prior to the war, Rumsfeld repeatedly suggested the war in Iraq would be short and swift. He said, “The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.” He also said, “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” [Rumsfeld, 11/14/02; USA Today, 4/1/03]

Where He Is Now: Despite increased calls for his resignation, Donald Rumsfeld continues to be the most vocal supporter of staying the course in Iraq. Recently, he claimed that an early U.S. pullout would be the equivalent of leaving Germany in the hands of Nazis. [Bill Kristol, Washington Post, 12/15/04; Reuters, 3/19/06]

Key Quote: “You go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” [CNN, 12/9/04]


Role In Going To War: As National Security Adviser, Rice disregarded at least two CIA memos and a personal phone call from Director George Tenet stating that the evidence behind Iraq’s supposed uranium acquisition was weak. She urged the necessity of war because “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” [Washington Post, 7/27/03; CNN, 9/8/02]

Where She Is Now: In December of 2004, Condoleezza Rice was promoted to Secretary of State and is being widely-mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. [ABC News, 11/16/04]

Key Quote: “We did not know at the time – 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. Of course it was information that was mistaken.” [Meet the Press, 6/8/03]


Role In Going To War: Among a host of false pre-war statements, Cheney claimed that Iraq may have had a role in 9/11, stating that it was “pretty well confirmed” that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence officials. Cheney also claimed that Saddam was “in fact reconstituting his nuclear program” and that the U.S. would be “greeted as liberators.” [Meet the Press, 12/9/01, 3/16/03]

Where He Is Now: Cheney earned another four years in power when Bush won re-election in 2004. Despite recent calls from conservatives calling for him to be replaced, Cheney has said, “I’ve now been elected to a second term; I’ll serve out my term.” [CBS Face the Nation, 3/19/06]

Key Quote: “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” [Larry King Live, 6/20/05]


Role In Going To War: Emphasizing Saddam Hussein’s supposed stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, supposed ties to al Qaeda, and supposed nuclear weapons program, Bush led the effort to build public support for an invasion of Iraq. [State of the Union, 1/28/03]

Where He Is Now: In November 2004, Bush won re-election. Since that time, popular support for the war and the President have reached a low point. [Washington Post, 3/7/06]

Key Quote: “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” [Bush, 10/7/02]

Giornalista di guerra e scrittrice

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