Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill drops a bombshell:
“From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” O’Neill said in the “60 Minutes” interview scheduled to air on Sunday.
He alleges that the President favored regime change in Iraq even before 9/11, and that he was looking for an opportunity to make it happen.
So, luckily for Bush, terrorists attacked New York City and Washington, DC, in 2001? Is that what he and others who like to nod knowingly and claim that Bush is just taking advantage of 9/11 to do what he wants are getting at?
I’ve never been real clear on the “Bush freed up by 9/11” claim. Bush and members of his administration, as well as the military, Congress, and the population of America at large all thought Saddam was a bad guy and contributed to the problems in the Middle East. (I won’t even bother pointing out that the previous administration also believed so and that they believed Iraq possessed stockpiles of WMD that threatened US interests. They believed it to the point of unilaterally attacking Iraq in 1998.)
9/11 changed the world because it changed America.
Bush thought Saddam must go. He couldn’t do it before 9/11 because America and the world didn’t feel threatened enough by terrorists and rogue states to justify action. He could do so after 9/11 because America and the world (some of it, anyway) changed their mind when they saw what an organized enemy sponsored by national governments was capable of.
This claim by O’Neil is akin to claiming that FDR thought Hitler and Hirohito were bad, and that he planned war against them, well before 12/7/41.
Nothing to see here. Please disperse.