4,487. 2/5/2003

“On Wednesday, February 5 [2003], just after 7 am, several hours before [Secretary of State Colin] Powell’s UN presentation was scheduled, [President] Bush met with 20 key members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House. ‘Many of you have heard this before…There’s more information that we’re not certain of.’ He left the room, and [National Security advisor Condoleezza] Rice quickly summarized what Powell was going to say…Representative Ike Skelton of Missouri, the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, asked what would be done post-Saddam. ‘Humanitarian teams will accompany military force,’ Rice said. ‘We’ll deal with sectarian violence…Need to get the infrastructure up. We don’t want to be there forever.’ ‘How long will you be there?’ asked Senator Joseph Biden [DE], the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee. ‘We don’t know,’ Rice replied. ‘It depends on the results. We’ll have help from people inside and outside Iraq.’…’If we go in, and don’t find caches,’ Biden said, ‘we’ll have a serious perception problem.’ ‘I don’t want to give you a categorical answer,’ Rice said cautiously, but then added [regarding Saddam], ‘He’s hiding quite a lot. I’m certain we’ll find a lot of it.’ ”

 – Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, Pages 307-309

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