3,165. 12/5/2001

“Early in December 2001, General Gregory Newbold, director of operations on the joint staff…received a request direct from [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld’s office to deliver a briefing on the military’s current plan for invading Iraq. Newbold, a three-star marine general whose job made him the key link between the Pentagon and all U.S. combat forces around the world, was surprised at the request. Like anyone who was paying attention to unbiased intelligence from the Middle East, he understood that Saddam was at most a minor irritant who had anyway gone ‘supernaturally quiet’ since 9/11. It also struck him as strange that he, rather than his colleague the director of operational plans, has been asked to deliver the briefing. Clearly, this was intended to be more than a routine update.” [The 5th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, Pages 151-152

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