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Book: Bush Planned Iraq War Months After 9/11 - 2004-04-19


A new book says President Bush began military plans to attack Iraq just months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The book, entitled "Plan of Attack," was written by Washington Post assistant managing editor Bob Woodward. It says the Bush administration was secretly planning to invade Iraq, despite its public assurance that it was seeking a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iraq over its alleged weapons of mass destruction..

According to the book, President Bush decided in early 2003 that U.N. arms inspectors were ineffective, and an invasion was inevitable.

It also says CIA director George Tenet assured Mr. Bush that the case that Iraq had banned weapons was "a slam-dunk" (certainty).

The book also describes Vice President Cheney as being fixated on a war with Iraq. It says Mr. Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell are now barely on speaking terms because Mr. Powell believed Mr. Cheney was trying to portray ambiguous information on Iraq as fact.

The book comes just weeks after former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke published his own book which alleges President Bush did not take terrorism seriously enough before the September 11th attacks, and was obsessed with Iraq afterwards.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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