3,644. 7/15/2002

As a buildup before the invasion of Iraq, “In the summer of [July] 2002, [President] Bush approved $700 million worth of ‘preparatory tasks’ in the Persian Gulf region such as upgrading airfields, bases, fuel pipelines and munitions storage depots to accommodate a massive U.S. troop deployment. The Bush administration funded the projects from a supplemental appropriations bill for the war in Afghanistan and old appropriations, keeping Congress unaware of the reprogramming of money and the eventual cost.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – William Hamilton, “Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11,” The Washington Post, April 17, 2004

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