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FEBRUARY 23 & 24, 2001 ? COLIN POWELL SAYS IRAQ IS CONTAINED: 'I think we ought to declare [the containment policy] a success. We have kept him contained, kept him in his box.' He added Saddam 'is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors' and that 'he threatens not the United States.' [Source: State Department, 2/23/01 and 2/24/01]
SEPTEMBER 16, 2001 ? CHENEY ACKNOWLEDGES IRAQ IS CONTAINED: Vice President Dick Cheney said that 'Saddam Hussein is bottled up' ? a confirmation of the intelligence he had received. [Source: Meet the Press, 9/16/2001]
SEPTEMBER 2001 ? WHITE HOUSE CREATES OFFICE TO CIRCUMVENT INTEL AGENCIES: The Pentagon creates the Office of Special Plans 'in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true-that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States?The rising influence of the Office of Special Plans was accompanied by a decline in the influence of the C.I.A. and the D.I.A. bringing about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community.' The office, hand-picked by the Administration, specifically 'cherry-picked intelligence that supported its pre-existing position and ignoring all the rest' while officials deliberately 'bypassed the government's customary procedures for vetting intelligence.' [Sources: New Yorker, 5/12/03; Atlantic Monthly, 1/04; New Yorker, 10/20/03]
2002: Intel Agencies Repeatedly Warn White House of Its Weak WMD Case
Throughout 2002, the CIA, DIA, Department of Energy "