1,862. 1/30/2001

“It was little wonder that during his first National Security Council meeting [on January 30, 2001], when the only topics on the agenda were Israel and Iraq, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill thought that all the issues had already been decided. ‘The meeting had seemed scripted,’ he thought. …[Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld had said little, [Vice President Dick] Cheney nothing at all, though both men had long entertained the idea of overthrowing Saddam. …What most concerned him was that the entire thrust of the meeting had been only about the ‘hows’ of the attack [against Iraq]. But it was the ‘whys’ that still confused him.”

 – James Bamford, A Pretext for War, Pages 265, 282

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