4,467. 2/3/2003

"On February 3, 2003, the White House press spokesman, Ari Fleischer, responded to a question about the president's [Bush's] views on the exile of Saddam: 'Well, as the president said, if Saddam Hussein were to leave Iraq and to take, as the President put it, his henchmen with him, that would be a very desirable event. That would save the lives of many. It would improve the lives and the fortunes of the Iraqi people and give them, for the first time in decades, the freedoms that they are entitled to. And the President views that, if it were to happen—and the President holds no high hopes that it would happen–but the President, of course, and I think people around the world would welcome that event, no matter how evil Saddam Hussein is.' "

 – Hide and Seek, Charles Duelfer, 2/3/2003

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