4,830. 3/19/2003

On the morning of March 19, 2003, after speaking with Central Command leader General Tommy Franks and nine senior commanders stationed in the Persian Gulf, President “Bush then gave the command he had prepared for the occasion: ‘For the peace of the world and the benefit and freedom of the Iraqi people, I hereby give the order to execute Operation Iraqi Freedom. May God bless the troops.’ ”

 – Elisabeth Bumiller, Condoleezza Rice: An American Life, Page 208

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