"In a memo that [Undersecretary of Defense for Policy] Doug Feith sent to [Deputy Director of Central Intelligence] John McLaughlin on September 6, 2002, he forwarded a cable summarizing his comments at a recent conference in Berlin. The cable quotes Feith as having told the gathering that 'war is not optional.' 'At stake,' he reportedly said, 'is the survival of the United States as an open and free society.' The summary went on to say that Feith told his colleagues that U.S. action was based on self defense. 'So with regard to Iraq, the question of whether one can prove a connection with Iraq and the September 11th attack is not (repeat not) of the essence.' "
– At the Center of the Storm, George Tenet with Bill Harlow, 9/6/2002
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