The Iraq War in Quotes

11/15/1999, Dick Cheney, CEO of Halliburton (later, Vice President)
Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two-thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.” (at the  London Institute of Petroleum)
10/11/2000, George W. Bush, Candidate for President
“I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation building.”
02/26/2001, L. Paul Bremmer III (became head of Iraq occupation)
“The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there’s a major incident and then suddenly say, `Oh, my God, shouldn’t we be organized to deal with this?’ “

Where are we headed now? In Afghanistan? In the election?

09 / 11 / 2001
10/29/2001, Michael Leeden, American Enterprise Institute
“Just wage a total war against these tyrants; I think we will do very well and our children will sing great songs about us years from now.”

02/13/2002, Kenneth Adelman, a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board

“Liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.”

09/18/2002,  Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense (before Congress)
“We do know that the Iraqi regime has chemical and biological weapons. His regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons — including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas. … His regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons—including anthrax and botulism toxin, and possibly smallpox.” (presentation to Congress)
10/7/2002, George W. Bush, President
“The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.”
11/01/2002, George W. Bush, President
“… for the sake of protecting our friends and allies, the United States will lead a mighty coalition of freedom-loving nations and disarm Saddam Hussein. See, I can’t imagine what was going through the mind of this enemy when they hit us. They probably thought the national religion was materialism, that we were so selfish and so self-absorbed that after9/11/2001 this mighty nation would take a couple of steps back and file a lawsuit.
11/14/2002, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
“I’m glad you asked. It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil.”
11/15/2002, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Five days or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last longer.”
01/10/2003, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
“… something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.”
02/08/2003, George W. Bush, President
“We also know that Iraq is harboring a terrorist network headed by a senior al Qaeda terrorist planner. This network runs a poison and explosive training camp in northeast Iraq, and many of its leaders are known to be in Baghdad.”
03/16/2003, Dick Cheney, Vice President
“My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . [in] weeks rather than months.”
03 / 19 / 2003.  Start of Iraq War
03/22/2003, General Tommy Franks
“There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.” 
03/27/2003, Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary
“There’s a lot of money to pay for this … the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
03/30/2003, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
We know where they are [Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction]. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”
05/01/2003, George W. Bush, President
“My fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”  Under the banner “Mission Accomplished.”
05/09/2003, Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary (phone interview with Vanity Fair)
“The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but — hold on one second… [Interrupted by DOD attorney].”
07/02/2003, George W. Bush, President
“There are some who feel like — that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring ’em on!  We’ve got the force necessary …” 
07/24/2003, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
“No. That’s someone else’s business. Quagmire is — I don’t do quagmires.”
09/14/2003, Dick Cheney, Vice President
“If we’re successful in Iraq … we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.
09/17/2003,  George W. Bush, President
Q: Mr. President, Dr. Rice and Secretary Rumsfeld both said yesterday that they have seen no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with September 11th. THE PRESIDENT: “We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th.”
06/28/2004, Dick Cheney, Vice President 
Two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraq.”
03/31/2005, President’s Commission on WMD

We conclude that the Intelligence Community was dead wrong in almost all of its pre-war judgments about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.  —Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (Letter of transmittal pdf)

06/29/2005, Dick Cheney, Vice President
I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.
03/18/2006, Dick Cheney, Vice President,
“Q: About a year ago, you said that the insurgency in Iraq was in its final throes. Do you still believe this? Cheney: Yes.
 05/22/2006, George W. Bush, President
“We have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror.”
09/10/2006, Dick Cheney, Vice President
“If we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing.” Q: Exactly the same thing? Cheney: Yes, Sir.
09/11/2006, US Government Accounting Office,(
Attacks against the coalition and its Iraqi partners reached an all time high during July 2006.”
01/18/2007, Henry Kissinger (Advisor to G. W. Bush; Secretary of State under Nixon and Ford)
“They [American forces] are there as an expression of the American national interest to prevent the Iranian combination of imperialism and fundamentalist ideology from dominating a region on which the energy supplies of the industrial democracies depend.”
9/9/2008, Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve through 2005. (from The Age of Turbulence, p.463)
“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”