Rumsfeld 5 Hours After 9/11, "My Interest Is To Hit Saddam Hussein"

You may remember DoD staffer, Stephen Cambone, during a meeting with Rumsfeld on 9/11 jotted down "best info fast...judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time - not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]." What we weren't told about at the time was that he also jotted down, "Hard to get a good case." To me, Rummy acted like a child with a $1,000,000 gift certificate to Toys R' Us. "I want that one, and that one, and that one." Certainly not someone concerned about the well-being of Americans affected by that tragic day. More like someone waiting for the opportunity. - Jon

NBC's Pentagon reporter weighs in on Tenet book


By Tom Mooney
Journal Staff Writer
12:36 AM EDT on Wednesday, May 2, 2007

PROVIDENCE - Just hours after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Bush administration officials began talking of including Iraq in any retaliatory attack, even though all indications pointed at al-Qaida as the guilty party.

So says Jim Miklaszewski, NBC's chief Pentagon correspondent, who yesterday in a speech before the annual Business Expo at the Rhode Island Convention Center advanced a theme garnering attention since former CIA director George J. Tenet made his public revelations last week.

In his new book, At the Center of the Storm, Tenet says White House and Pentagon officials were determined to attack Iraq long before 9/11, and afterward spun intelligence information to build a case for war with Saddam Hussein.

Miklaszewski said that while the opening anecdote in Tenet's book is wrong - Tenet writes of having an exchange with military consultant Richard Perle at the White House a day after the attacks when, actually, Perle was in France then - the veteran television newsman says Tenet is right about the president's intentions.

"Some things are right on the mark, when he says the Bush administration appeared predisposed to attack Iraq."

How does Miklaszewski - whom the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce paid $30,000 for his talk - know for sure?

His information, Miklaszewski told an audience of about 200 people, comes from some "off the record" notes taken in the White House situation room in the hours after the attacks. Miklaszewski said someone gave him the notes two years ago. He did not say who nor explain why, if they were "off the record" he was now sharing them with an audience.

However, the notes describe, Miklaszewski said, then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld vowing to avenge the terrorist attacks and voicing frustration that attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 and the attack on the Cole, in 2000, had gone unavenged.

Reading from his notes, Miklaszewski quoted Rumsfeld as saying five hours after the terrorist attacks: "My interest is to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time we go after al-Qaida."

"We ought not to look only" at Osama bin Laden, Rumsfeld allegedly said before holding a conference call with President Bush. During the conversation, "Rumsfeld says not to focus solely on al-Qaida, consider all those range of options. And the president's response was yes."

Said Miklaszewski: "So there is no question that Tenet got the time wrong [with meeting Perle in the White House] but there is no question in my mind, and with subsequent conversations I had with officials in the Pentagon, that the Bush administration had their sights set on attacking Saddam Hussein and Iraq long before there was even an effort to gather any evidence … that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attack. And all the evidence says quite the opposite."

Miklaszewski, just the latest celebrity journalist to espouse a personal opinion before the annual business gathering, also shared some inside political analysis that even the most casual follower of the news would have considered stale. Among them: that former First Lady and Sen. Hillary Clinton is "one tough cookie" who White House staffers feared and that North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is a "loser" for trying to defend a $400 haircut.

Miklaszewski seemed more comfortable talking about what he knows best: the military and terrorism.

Quoting from a recent public-opinion poll, Miklaszewski said while 50 percent of people still think the Iraq war is a priority, only 18 percent mentioned terrorism as a concern.

"The American people have begun to forget about 9/11," he said. "This is a very patient enemy. They can certainly wait out America's attention span and that troubles me."


George W. Bush...

"We've been offered a unique opportunity, and we must not let this moment pass."

State Of The Union, January 29th, 2002

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

Jon, I don't see

any links to sources where Rumsfeld also wrote down "Hard to get a good case."

Where did you see that?

Click on...


Good work.


Aren't there other references of Neocons referring to the attacks as an "opportunity?" I could have sworn there was one from Wolfowitz.

Incidentally, it was Stephen Cambone that wrote it down. Not Rummy...

Edit: Never mind...

Snatched from "Possible Motives Of The Bush Administration" by DRG...

The 9/11 Attacks As "Opportunities"
One way to approach this question would be to ask whether these attacks brought benefits to this administration that could reasonably have been anticipated.

There is no doubt that the attacks brought benefits. Indeed, several members of the Bush administration publicly said so. The president himself declared that the attacks provide "a great opportunity."2 Donald Rumsfeld stated that 9/11 created "the kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the world." Condoleeza Rice had said the same thing in mind, telling senior members of the National Security Council to "think about 'how do you capitalize on these opportunities' to fundamentally change...the shape of the world."3 The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, issued by the Bush administration in September 2002, said: "The events of September 11, 2001, opened vast, new opportunities."4

Of course, the fact that these members of the Bush administration described attacks as opportunities after the fact does not necessarily mean that they could have anticipated in advance that attacks of this nature would bring such opportunities. However, all of these statements, except for the last one, were made shortly after 9/11. If the benefits could be seen so soon after the attacks, we can assume that, if these people were thinking about such attacks ahead of time, they could have anticipated that they would create these opportunities.

It would seem, therefore, that the Bush administration's description of the attacks as providing opportunities, along with the fact that at least some of these opportunities could have been anticipated, were important parts of the "events surrounding 9/11" that "the fullest possible account" would have included. These descriptions of the attacks of 9/11 as opportunities, however, are not mentioned in The 9/11 Commission Report.5

In any case, the idea that members of the Bush administration could have anticipated benefits from catastrophic attacks of the type that occurred on 9/11 does not rest entirely on inference from the fact that the attacks were seen as opportunities immediately after 9/11. Critics have referred to a pre-9/11 document that speaks of benefits that could accrue from catastrophic attacks. We need to see how the Commission responded to this part of the facts and circumstances surrounding 9/11.

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

You missed the main story

The big deal here is not that the notes say that Rummy wants to hit Saddam (although that's pretty interesting), but that they say the US was following 3 of the American 77 hijackers for nearly two years before 9/11. They say:

AA 77—3 indiv have been followed
since Millennium + Cole
1 guy is assoc of Cole bomber
3 entered US in early July
(2 of 3 pulled aside and interrogated?)

Presumably, they mean the Alhazmi brothers and Almihdhar.

Cambone is involved with Able Danger, but I couldn't tell you how relevant that is to these notes. My understanding is that this information comes from Langley, who seem to have had something of a relationship with Khalid and Nawaf.

I know about that...

Oh, right

Sorry then.


Nothing wrong with posting good info.

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up