It’s amazing the Administration would find Dick Clark’s comments about Rumsfeld’s desire to bomb Iraq in retaliation for 9/11 far-fetched. If you were following the Bush administration from the beginning, it was no secret they were looking hard for any chance to hit Hussein. And, let’s not forget to mention that a bombing campaign began almost before W’s Oval Office seat was warm.
The signs were everywhere. For example, an early “retrospective” article on ABCnews.com (April 4, 2001), recounting the new Administration’s “first international challenges,” stated the following:
“In February — less than a month after Bush was sworn in as president — a U.S. Navy submarine accidentally sunk a Japanese fishing boat, killing nine. Bush dispatched a top naval officer to Japan to issue a formal apology for the incident.
That same month, he ordered airstrikes against Iraqi command-and-control sites outside of Baghdad. The operation was the most aggressive military action undertaken against Iraq since Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. “
Even our own humble publication–admittedly in an early and rudimentary state–was on top of the story. Less than a full month into the new Administration, our February 19th issue (reproduced below) played up the idea that the fishing boat was something of an appetizer.