4,963. 4/15/2003

Deputy Secretary of Defense “Paul Wolfowitz had initially suggested that much of the long-neglected repair and upgrading of Iraq’s infrastructure would be paid for by its oil proceeds; [Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s Aide Lawrence] Di Rita stressed this with more passion [following his mid-April 2003 arrival in Kuwait to join Jay Garner’s Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance]. Garner’s team had projected no more than $3 billion in reconstruction costs over three years at the February Rock Drill, but as the reconstruction plan was being laid out Di Rita slammed his hand on the table and erupted: ‘We don’t owe these people a thing. We gave them their freedom.’ Rumsfeld’s loyal lieutenant was passionately championing his boss’s ‘Beyond Nation-Building’ doctrine. Di Rita’s views were much remarked on by Garner’s aides, though he later insisted he had not made the statement, or he had been misinterpreted.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II, Pages 532-533

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