In order for the United States of America to retain any moral standing in the world, we must return the nation to a lawful standard. Under the Cheney Administration we witnessed a degradation of these values in favor of a cowboy diplomacy focused through a lens of revenge. The Cheney Administration authorized several criminal actions including invading a sovereign country based on intelligence that was counter to the recommendations and facts presented by intelligence officials, torture of apprehended suspects, wiretapping of US citizens, soldiers and officials, outing a CIA operation to seek revenge on a critic, repeatedly threatening countries that had not attacked the US in violation of the Constitution, and many other crimes.
1992I. Lewis ‘Scooter Libby guides the production of the first Defense Planning Guidance document drafted after the end of the Cold War. It calls for preventing any country from growing strong enough to rival the United States. It is considered the first expression of neoconservative policy and is one reason behind Dick Cheney’s respect for Scooter Libby.
August 1995Saddam Hussein’s brother-in-law Hussein Kamet defects to Jordan and reveals full extent of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction IWMDI programs, but tells U.S and international weapons inspectors that Iraq destroyed them all.
January 24, 1998Weapons inspector Scott Ritter briefs Iraqi defector Ahmed Chatabi on UN weapons inspectors’ expectations in Iraq. Ritter provided Chatabi a detailed description of inspectors’ suspicions about mobile bioweapons labs IMBLsb
January 26, 1998Members of the Project for the New American Century IPNACI, a group closely tied to the hawkish neoconservative movement, send President Bill Clinton a letter urging him to support a policy for regime change in Iraq. Signatories to the letter include:• Elliott Abrams, who would become George W. Bush’s tap Middle East advisor and tater his deputy national security advisor• Richard Armitage, who would serve as deputy secretary of state under Colin Powell• John Bolton, future undersecretary of state and UN ambassador• Pentagon advisor Richard Perve• Donald Rumsfeld, who would become Bush’s secretary of defense• Paul Wodowitz, deputy secretary of defense under Rumsfeld and later president of the World Bank• Pentagon advisor James WoolseyAlmost all of these PNAC members pushed the Bush administration to adopt a hawkish policy on Iraq.
August 15, 1998Judith Miller, with James Risen, publishes a story in The New York Times on Khidir Heron, an expatriate Iraqi nuclear scientist connected to Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. Hamza claimed Iraq could develop a bomb a year or two after inspectors withdrew and sanctions ended. He is later discredited as a fraud.
October 31, 1998The Iraq Liberation Act is signed into law. The law sets aside $97 million to support opposition groups in hopes of effecting a Democratic transition in Iraq. It makes “regime change” the official policy of the U.S. and starts the policy of funding the defectors who would provide dodgy intelligence to justify the war.
December 1998UN weapons inspectors IUNSCOMI withdraw from Iraq to prepare for U.S. bombing campaign on Iraq. After the withdrawal of inspectors, the U.S. loses much of its ability to collect intelligence on Iraq.
1999Joe Wilson conducts trip for the CIA to learn whether Pakistani nuclear scientist A. O. Khan attempted to acquire uranium from Niger.
February 1999Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican, Wissam al-Zahawie, visits Niger to invite the Nigerien president to visit Iraq. It would later be alleged that this visit pertained to arranging a uranium deal.
Spring 1999Retired ambassador Joe Wilson coaches members of Niger’s military government to help their transition to civilian rule.
November 1999Iraqi defector -Curvebalt” arrives in Germany, telling stories about his personal involvement with MBLs.
February 2000Antonio Nucera of SISMI, the Italian intelligence agency, introduces con an Martino Rocco to SISMI source La Signora. The meeting would lead to the production and circulation of forgeries alleging an Iraq-Niger uranium deal
March 2000A Defense Intelligence Agency medical technician first raises concerns about Curveball, believing him to be an alcoholic.
January 2, 2001A break-in is reported at the Nigerien Embassy in Rome. The thieves may have provided cover for the SISMI agents producing the Niger forgeries: they may also have collected materials in the production of those forgeries.
January 30, 2001At his first National Security Council meeting, President George W. Bush makes regime change in Iraq a top security policy. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld promises to examine military options: CIA Director George Tenet commits to improving intelligence on Iraq.
February 24, 2001Secretary of State Colin Powell asserts that the sanctions regimeagainst Saddam has worked—he has not developed any significantWMD capabilities.
March 2001The Information Collection Program, a propaganda and intelligence program, authorizes the Iraqi National Congress to to provide information to the U.S. about Saddam Hussein’s regime. Under this program, the INC connected defectors—some of them fabricators— with U.S. intelligence agencies.
April 10, 2001The first CIA analysis on Iraq’s aluminum tubes determines they are intended for uranium enrichment.
May 2001The Department of Energy IDOEI explains that the aluminum tubes almost exactly match known Iraqi rocket casings.
June 2001CIA operatives—including Valerie Plame Wilson—work with Jordan to intercept a shipment of aluminum tubes.
July 2001The International. Atomic Energy Agency HAEAI agrees with DOE’s judgment that the aluminum tubes are intended for a conventional rocket program.
September 20, 2001President Bush first raises the prospect of war on Iraq with British PrimeMinister Tony Blair.
October 2001Creation of the Counter-Terrorism Evaluation Group, a parallel intelligence organization developing the argument supporting the hawks’ case for war, under Cheney ally David Wurmser. The group evolves into the Office of Special Plans.
October 15, 2001The first SISMI report on Nigerien uranium is sent to CIA.
December 20, 2001Judith Miller publishes a story on INC defector Adnan Haideri, who claims Iraq had renewed its interest in nuclear weapons.
January 29, 2002President Bush names Iraq as part of the “Axis of Evil.”
February 2002Senator Bob Graham learns that military resources are being pulled out of Afghanistan to prepare for war against Iraq.
February 5, 2002SISMI shares a second report on Nigerien uranium. This report would spark Vice President Cheney to ask for more information on the Nigerien uranium allegations, which would lead to Joe Wilson’s Niger trip.
February 19, 2002A meeting is held at CIA headquarters in Langley. Virginia, to determine whether Joe Wilson can help determine the accuracy of the Nigerian uranium claim. Valerie Wilson introduces her husband. Bureau of Intelligence and Research [INRI analyst Douglas Rohn takes notes— inaccurate notes—that will form the INR memo.
March 25, 2002Third SISMI report on Nigerien uranium.
March 2002Dick Cheney tells Republican senators that the U.S. will go to waragainst Iraq.
June 2002Cheney and his national security advisor, Scooter Libby, make unprecedented trips to CIA to pressure analysts.
June 1, 2002Bush announces a new policy of preemptive war.
July 23, 2002The -Downing Street memo” is written by British foreign secretary Jack Straw. It states that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” and forecasts that the campaign to build support for war to begin a month before congressional elections.
August 2002The Office of Special Plans is founded, to cult raw intelligence reports anddevelop talking points to support the war.White House chief of staff Andrew Card founds the White House Iraq Group to build support for war. Its members include Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matatin, Scooter Libby, and Condoleezza Rice. WHIG’s July 2003 papers would be subpoenaed in the CIA leak investigation.
August 26, 2002Cheney gives a speech that has not been vetted by the CIA, nor approved by Bush. In it, he declares, ‘There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.’ The speech forces the administration to adopt a confrontational stance even sooner than the White House had planned on doing.
September 2002CIA’s head of operations for Europe, Tyler Drumheller, learns the Germans believe Curveball may be a fabricator and may have psychological problems.
September 5, 2002Senator Bob Graham of Florida, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, learns the Bush administration has not planned to produce a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Graham requests one.
September 8, 2002New York Times reporters Michael Gordon and Judith Miller write an article describing Iraqi attempts to acquire aluminum tubes, supposedly for a uranium enrichment program. On the same day, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld appear on Sunday morning talk shows to make the case for war. Rice, Rumsfeld, and the New York Times article all use the phrase -mushroom cloud- to describe the threat of an Iraqi nuclear program.
September 12, 2002Bush’s speech to the UN calls for a resolution against Iraq andweapons inspectors.
September 24, 2002A British white paper on the threat from Iraq is released. This was the first public mention of the Nigerien uranium allegation. The dossier would later be described as “sexed up.”
October 1, 2002The National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, the intelligence community’s best summary of what it knows about Iraq, is published. Cheney gives Bush a one-page summary. including details of the debate about the aluminum tubes.
October 4-6, 2002CIA sends the National Security Council repeated warnings against Niger uranium claims.
October 7, 2002CIA refuses to allow President Bush to use Niger claims in a speech in Cincinnati.
October 9, 2002Italian journalist Elsabetta Burba receives forged documents alleging an Iraq-Niger uranium deal She vets them with the U.S Embassy, from which they are eventually forwarded to Cheney ally John Bolton at Department of State
October 11, 2002The Iraq War resolution is approved by the U.S. Congress.
October 15, 2002A State Department INR analyst debunks the uranium documents.
November 27, 2002Weapons inspectors return to Iraq.
December 2002CIA’s Berlin station chief warns George Tenet that Curveball may be unreliable.
December 19, 2002A fact sheet drafted in John Bolton’s department repeats the Niger allegation. This is the first public mention of an alleged sale of Nigerien uranium to Iraq.