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Saturday, May 3, 2014

11 Years Ago, Bush on WMD in Iraq: 'We'll Find Them'

UPDATE  Condi Rice today canceled her upcoming commencement speech at Rutgers U. after protests and sit-ins targeted her role in planning and selling the Iraq invasion. 

Earlier:   Three NYT items from this weekend in 2003, from new e-book edition of my So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits and the President Failed on Iraq. 
WASHINGTON, May 4 -- With his administration under growing international pressure to find evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed banned weapons, President Bush told reporters today that ''we'll find them,'' but cautioned that it would take some time because, he said, Mr. Hussein spent so many years hiding his stockpiles.
Mr. Bush's comments came after his senior aides, in interviews in recent days, had begun to back away from their prewar claims that Mr. Hussein had an arsenal that was loaded and ready to fire.

They now contend that he developed what they call a ''just in time'' production strategy for his weapons, hiding chemical precursors that could be quickly loaded into empty artillery shells or short-range missiles.
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Letter to the Editor
Some unanswered questions remain: Where are the weapons of mass destruction? What evidence makes Iraq ''an ally of Al Qaeda''? Where is Saddam Hussein? Where is Osama bin Laden? Who is next?

Martin Deppe
Chicago

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WASHINGTON, May 3-- The structure of the American administration of postwar Iraq remained unresolved today, as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a strong endorsement of Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant general whose job seemed about to be eclipsed by a former State Department official, L. Paul Bremer.

There was no announcement from the White House today about a plan to install Mr. Bremer, a former counterterrorism director for the State Department during the Reagan administration, as the country's day-to-day overseer. Some administration officials said issues involving the extent of Mr. Bremer's planned authority were still being debated.

Asked at a news conference in London today to explain Mr. Bremer's planned role, Mr. Rumsfeld said, ''I could, but I won't.''




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