Monday, January 12, 2004
But what I want to know is: what will be the public's reaction to Mr. O'Neill's shocking display of Anti-Semitism?
Bush Sought to Oust Hussein From Start, Ex-Official Says
WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 - President Bush was focused on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq from the start of his administration, more than seven months before the terrorist attacks that he later cited as the trigger for a more aggressive foreign policy, Paul H. O'Neill, Mr. Bush's first Treasury secretary, said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
"From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," Mr. O'Neill said in an interview with the CBS program "60 Minutes."
Mr. O'Neill, who was dismissed by Mr. Bush more than a year ago over differences on economic policy, said Iraq was discussed at the first National Security Council meeting after Mr. Bush's inauguration. The tone at that meeting and others, Mr. O'Neill said, was "all about finding a way to do it," with no real questioning of why Mr. Hussein had to go or why it had to be done then.