Condoleezza Rice
Former US National Security Advisor

The "On or before Mar. 19, 2003" column lists key statements made before military operations began in Iraq. The "On or after Mar. 20, 2003" column lists statements made after the military operations in Iraq had been initiated on Mar. 19, 2003 at 9:34 pm Eastern Standard Time. The statements are provided solely as a background resource to the question, "Should the US have attacked Iraq?"

On or before Mar. 19, 2003
[listed in reverse chronological order: most recent]

Mar. 16, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview with Al-Jazeera:
  • "The problem is that Saddam Hussein has not disarmed. He has had 12 years to disarm. He has lost a war of aggression against his neighbors, against Kuwait. He has used weapons of mass destruction on his own people and on his neighbors. He has continually violated U.N. resolution after U.N. resolution. He represses his own people. This is a regime that no one should shed tears for. This is a regime that needed to be told in the clearest possible terms, either disarm or we will disarm you. And that's what Resolution 1441 said, it said one final opportunity to disarm."

  • "We're talking about 12 years of defiance, not a few months. And even with a very strong, Resolution 1441, on the table, and military force building up around him, Saddam Hussein continues to play games with the international community. He continues to refuse real interviews with the scientists. He continues to hide his weapons to try to deceive the inspectors. We really have to deal with this, is the credibility of the United Nations Security Council at stake? Indeed, this leader, a regime that is at fault for threatening his neighbors and bringing a lot of instability into the region."

  • "Well, Iraq is a special case because Iraq has been a serial abuser of U.N. Security Council resolutions. It's an outlaw regime that the Security Council has sanctioned many times. But let me be very clear, if we have to use military force in Iraq, it is our intention to help the Iraqi people liberate themselves, to be there, as the President said, as long as we're needed but not one minute longer, and to very early on, put in place with Iraqis -- from outside the country and inside the country -- an Iraq authority that can administer and run the country."
    Mar. 14, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

Jan. 23, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice, stated in the Op/Ed "Why We Know Iraq is Lying," published in The New York Times:

  • "Instead of a commitment to disarm, Iraq has a high-level political commitment to maintain and conceal its weapons, led by Saddam Hussein and his son Qusay, who controls the Special Security Organization, which runs Iraq's concealment activities. Instead of implementing national initiatives to disarm, Iraq maintains institutions whose sole purpose is to thwart the work of the inspectors. And instead of full cooperation and transparency, Iraq has filed a false declaration to the United Nations that amounts to a 12,200- page lie."

  • "For example, the declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture or specific fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the United NAtions in Iraq's accounting for more than two tons of the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other biological weapons."

  • "Iraq's declaration even resorted to unabashed plagiarism, with lengthy passages of United Nations reports copied word-for-word (or edited to remove any criticism of Iraq) and presented as original text. Far from informing, the declaration is intended to cloud and confuse the true picture of Iraq's arsenal. It is a reflection of the regime's well-earned reputation for dishonesty and constitutes a material breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, which set up the current inspections program."
    Jan. 23, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

Dec. 2002

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in the article "A Balance of Power that Favors Freedom," published in the U.S. National Security Strategy issue of U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, an electronic journal of the U.S. Department of State :

  • "The danger from Saddam Hussein's arsenal is far more clear than anything we could have foreseen prior to September 11th. And history will judge harshly any leader or nation that saw this dark cloud and sat by in complacency or indecision.

    The Iraqi regime's violation of every condition set forth by th U.N. Security Council for the 1991 cease-fire fully justifies - legally and morally -the enforcement of those condition."
    Dec. 2002 Condoleezza Rice

Sep. 8, 2002

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview with CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

  • "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a danger to the United States and to its allies, to our interests.

    It is also a danger that is gathering momentum, and it simply makes no sense to wait any longer to do something about the threat that is posed here."

  • "We've waited a very long time. It has been, after all, 11 years, more than a decade now, of defiance of U.N. resolutions by Saddam Hussein.Every obligation that he signed onto after the Gulf War, so that he would not be a threat to peace and security, he has ignored and flaunted.

    We know that in the last four years there have been no weapons inspectors in Iraq to monitor what he is doing, and we have evidence, increasing evidence, that he continues his march toward weapons of mass destruction.

    No one can give you an exact time line as to when he is going to have this or that weapon, but given what we have experienced on September 11, I don't think anyone wants to wait for the 100 percent surety that he has a weapon of mass destruction that can reach the United States, because the only time we may be 100 percent sure is when something lands on our territory. We can't afford to wait that way."

  • "It's not just the United States that's making this case. This case is being made by independent analysts, as well, as to the forward march of the weapons of mass destruction programs of Saddam Hussein.

    This is a man who has attacked his neighbors twice, who represses his own people, who's tried to assassinate a former American president, who pays $25,000 to Hamas bombers -- by the way, some of whom blew up Hebrew University and, with it, five Americans. He has a long history."

  • "You will get different estimates about precisely how close he is. We do know that he is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon. We do know that there have been shipments going into Iran, for instance -- into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to -- high-quality aluminum tools that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.

    We know he has the infrastructure, nuclear scientists to make a nuclear weapon. And we know that when the inspectors assessed this after the Gulf War, he was far, far closer to a crude nuclear device that anybody thought, maybe six months from a crude nuclear device.

    The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

  • "We know that there are unaccounted-for SCUD and other ballistic missiles in Iraq. And part of the problem is that , since 1998, there as been no way to even get minimal information about those programs except through intelligence means.

    So, we know that he has stored biological weapons. We know that he has used chemical weapons. And we know that he has looked for ways to weaponize those and deliver them.

    "I can't give you a definitive answer on how he would mate his ballistic missile programs that he has developed and continues to develop to chemical and biological weapons, but we do know that he wants to do it. And I assume that he will eventually be able to do that, probably sooner than later."

  • "This is a regime that is very -- that very much wants to blackmail us, wants to blackmail us, the United States, because our interests clash. It wants to blackmail its neighbors, and it will eventually blackmail the entire international community.

    If we wait until that blackmail included the ability to blackmail with a nuclear weapon, we will have made a grave mistake."

  • "What we're hearing from everyone is that they understand that Saddam Hussein is a threat. They understand that he's been a threat for a long time. After all, France and China and Russia are members of the permanent five of the Security Council that voted for the 16 U.N. resolutions that he [Saddam Hussein] has repeatedly violated. So there is no confusion about the threat."

  • "There is certainly evidence that al Qaeda people have been in Iraq. There is certainly evidence that Saddam Hussein cavorts with terrorists.

    We know a great deal about his terrorist activity. We know that he, as I said before, tried to assassinate President George H.W. Bush. We know that he pays Hamas terrorists $25,000 for suicide bombings that led to suicide bombings against American citizens with five deaths at Hebrew University. We know that he is acquiring weapons of mass destruction, that he has extreme animous against the United States."

  • "And it's just more of a picture that is emerging that there may well have been contacts between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime. There are others. And we will be laying out the case. But I don't think that we want to try and make the case that he directed somehow the 9/11 events. That's not the issue here. The issue is, what kind of threat does he pose to America and to its interests? And he poses a clear threat to the United States. He poses a threat because he is trying to acquire the most terrible weapons, because he is not a status-quo actor."
    Sep. 8, 2002 Condoleezza Rice

Feb. 1, 2002

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in remarks

to the Conservative Political Action

Conference :

  • "In his State of the Union, the President was crystal clear about the growing danger posed by such states as North Korea, Iran and Iraq that pursue weapons of mass destruction. The President is calling on the world, on our friends and our allies, to join us in preventing these regimes from developing and deploying these weapons, either directly or through stateless terrorist surrogates. This is a serious matter and it requires a serious response."

  • "Iraq continues to threaten its neighbors, the neighborhood, and its own people, and it continues to flaunt obligations that it undertook in 1991. And that can mean only one thing: It remains a dangerous regime, and it remains a regime determined to acquire these terrible weapons."
    Feb. 1, 2002 Condoleezza Rice

July 29, 2001

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview with CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

  • "Well, the president has made very clear that he considers Saddam Hussein to be a threat to his neighbors, a threat to security in the region, in fact a threat to international security more broadly."

  • "But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
    July 29, 2001 Condoleezza Rice

Oct. 12, 2000

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations :

  • "Well, but I think he [George W. Bush] made very clear that he thought that militaries are essentially for the purposes of deterring, fighting and winning wars, not for the purposes of civil administration and nation building and long term peace keeping."

  • "And if you focus on the military as somehow a nation builder or the carrier of democracy, you forget that non-governmental institutions are sometimes much more effective."

  • "[T]he Governor [George W. Bush] believes the United Nations has an important role to play, potentially even in peacekeeping. But I think that he's somewhat skeptical of the idea that the United Nations could become a major force ... I mean military force for peacekeeping. You need, somehow, the discipline of nations, of states, that do that. I think he's rather more attracted to the idea of regional powers that may be willing to do peacekeeping in their own regions."

  • "What Governor Bush has said is that several things have slipped [in Iraq] since '91. First of all, the coalition has slipped. And he means, not just the Permanent Five Coalition, but the Gulf Coalition itself. And I think, we're seeing some erosion of confidence in places like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the countries that were so important because they're not so certain we're going to continue to contain Saddam. Secondly, that the sanctions have begun to erode. Yes, three flights or whatever it was that the Vice President said, have been slightly within ... but come on, the sanctions have begun to erode when people start taking commercial flights into Baghdad. The third point is, is that you have to support the opposition. And very little of the money of the Iraqi liberation act has actually been spent. And, yes, the opposition may, at this point, be weak and somewhat fragmented, but that was also true of the opposition in Serbia. And so you have to support them. And what the Governor has finally said, is, if you get a chance, and Saddam very often gives you a chance because sometimes he's his own worst enemy.

    Go after his [Saddam Hussein] military targets in a way that matters. You know, when he attacked people in the north we shot a few cruise missiles in the south and the CIA director said he was stronger than before we attacked him. What does that say about the use of military force? Use it decisively if you get a chance to use it."
    Oct. 12, 2000 Condoleezza Rice

On or after Mar. 20, 2003
[this column in chronological order: oldest]

May 12, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview with Reuters:

  • "U.S. officials never expected that 'we were going to open garages and find' weapons of mass destruction."
    May 12, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

June 8, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanapolous :

  • "So there was plenty of evidence and plenty of assessment that they were there [Weapons in Iraq]. The assessmets also said that theses programs were being actively reconstituted. There were multiple sources that talked about, as we got ready for the run-up to war, Iraqi preparations to actually use chemical weapons, leading the president to deliver a very strong measure of deterrence to those who might in fact try and use them."

  • "If you connected the dots about everything that we knew about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs going back to 1991 and going all the way up until March 2003 when we launched the attack against Iraq, you could come to only one conclusion, and that was that this was an active program, that this was a dangerous program, this was a program that was effectively concealed."

  • "But when you look at the picture, and you ask yourself, did people believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Yes... He was clearly concealing a program and that's separable from what we will find out about the nature of that program, where these weapons are, what � how he was concealing it. We've always known that the strongest evidence about the Iraqi programs will come from talking to people who were involved in them."
    June 8, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

June 30, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview on PBS' NewsHour :

  • "What we knew going into the war was that this man was a threat. He had weapons of mass destruction. He had used them before. He was continuing to try to improve his weapons programs. He was sitting astride one of the most volatile regions in the world, a region out of which the ideologies of hatred had come that led people to slam airplanes into buildings in New York and Washington. Something had to be done about that threat and the president to simply allow this brutal dictator, with dangerous weapons, to continue to destabilize the Middle East."
    July 30, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

July 11, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in remarks to a press gaggle aboard Air Force One :

[QUESTION: Dr. Rice, there are a lot of reports, apparently overnight, that CIA people had informed the NSC well before the State of the Union that they had trouble the reference in the speech. Can you tell us specifically what your office had heard, what you had passed along to the President on that?]

  • "The CIA cleared the speech. We have a clearance process that sends speeches out to relevant agencies -- in our case, the NSC, it's usually State, Defense, the CIA, sometimes the Treasury. The CIA cleared the speech in its entirety.

    Now, the sentence in question comes from the notion the Iraqis were seeking yellow cake. And, remember, it says, "seeking yellow cake in Africa" is there in the National Intelligence Estimate. The National Intelligence Estimate is the document the that Director of Central Intelligence publishes as the collective view of the intelligence agencies about the status of any particular issue.

    That was relied on to, like many other things in the National Intelligence Estimate, relied on to write the President's speech. The CIA cleared on it. There was even some discussion on that specific sentence, so that it reflected better what the CIA thought. And the speech was cleared.

    Now, I can tell you, if the CIA, the Director of Central Intelligence, had said, take this out of the speech, it would have been gone, without question. What we've said subsequently is, knowing what we now know, that some of the Niger documents were apparently forged, we wouldn't have put this in the President's speech -- but that's knowing what we know now.

    The President of the United States, we have a higher standard for what we put in presidential speeches. The British continue to stand by their report. The CIA's NIE continues to talk about efforts to acquire yellow cake in various African countries. But we have a high standard for the President's speeches. We don't make the President his own fact witness, we have a high standard for them. That's why we send them out for clearance. And had we heard from the DCI or the Agency that they didn't want that sentence in the speech, it would not have been in the speech. The President was not going to get up and say something that the CIA --"

[QUESTION: Dr. Rice, it sounds as if you're blaming the CIA here.]

  • "No, this is a clearance process. And a lot of things happen. We've said now we wouldn't have put it in the speech if we had known what we know now. This was a process that we've followed many, many times. But I can just assure you that if -- and I think -- maybe you want to ask this question of the DCI, but we've talked about it. If the DCI had said, there's a problem with this, we would have said it's out of the speech.

    For whatever reason -- and I'm not blaming anybody. The State of the Union -- people are writing speeches, a lot is going on. But I can assure you that the President did not knowingly, before the American people, say something that we thought to be false. It's just outrageous that anybody would claim that. He did not knowingly say anything that we thought to be false. And, in fact, we still don't know the status of Saddam Hussein's efforts to acquire yellow cake. What we know is that one of the documents underlying that case was found to be a forgery."

[QUESTION: Dr. Rice, given that, does the President -- given that the CIA cleared the speech, does the President remain confident in the CIA's Director?]

  • "Absolutely. The CIA Director, George Tenet, has been a terrific DCI and he has served everybody very, very well. And we have a good relationship with the CIA. We wouldn't put anything knowingly in the speech that was false; I'm sure they wouldn't put anything knowingly in the speech that was false. In this case, this particular line shouldn't have gotten in because it was not of the quality that we would put into presidential speeches, despite the fact that it was in the NIE --"

[QUESTION: But, Condi, it's apparently the case that the CIA didn't even check the documents, didn't even discover the forgery until after the speech. And now there's a report that in September of '02 -- if I have this correct -- the Post is saying the CIA was encouraging the British to back off of that claim. So I'm trying to understand the sequencing here. Are you saying -- so my question is, in hindsight, would you say that the CIA did not properly vet this alleged sale?]

  • "David, this was a complicated matter of a sale. There were other reports, as well, about Saddam Hussein trying to acquire yellow cake. It was not this Niger document alone. There are even other African countries that are cited in the NIE, not just Niger.

    We also knew, let's remember, that this is the context of a nuclear program in which the seeking of yellow cake is only a small piece of the story. It includes training of nuclear scientists; it includes rebuilding certain infrastructure that had been associated with nuclear weapons; it includes a clandestine procurement network. Things that we're finding out now -- for instance, that the scientist buried uranium -- I'm sorry, centrifuge pieces in his front yard. So one thing that you have to do is to put this piece about seeking yellow cake in the broader context of what was known to be an active effort by the Iranians to try and reconstitute their program.

    But let me just go to the point you made, David. The CIA -- I've read the reports that you've also read, that there were -- the British were told they shouldn't put this in the paper. I've read those reports. All that I can tell you is that if there were doubts about the underlying intelligence in the NIE, those doubts were not communicated to the President. The only thing that was there in the NIE was a kind of a standard INR footnote, which is kind of 59 pages away from the bulk of the NIE. That's the only thing that's there. And you have footnotes all the time in CIA -- I mean, in NIEs. So if there was a concern about the underlying intelligence there, the President was unaware of that concern and as was I."

[QUESTION: You just said that the sentence, itself, was constructed reflecting some thoughts that the CIA had on the doubt. If I recall, the President said in his speech that, the British are reporting this -- about the transfer. Should we infer from that that there were some doubts within the Agency about the veracity of the claim, so that in the speech it was safer to defer to what was the British intelligence that they were confident in?]

  • "The British document was an unclassified document, and so cite the unclassified document. The underlying intelligence to the British document is in the NIE, which is both talking about what a foreign service had said and talking about other attempts to acquire yellow cake. So the underlying documentation here is the NIE. The Agency cleared the speech and cleared it in its entirety.

[QUESTION: If I could just follow up. On that sentence, you said that the CIA changed the -- that things were done to accommodate the CIA. What was done?]

  • "Some specifics about amount and place were taken out.

[QUESTION: -- taken out then?]

  • "Some specifics about amount and place were taken out.

[QUESTION: Was "place" Niger?]

[QUESTION: You won't say what place --]

  • "No, there are several -- there are several African countries noted. And if you say -- if you notice, it says 'Africa,' it doesn't say 'Niger.'"

  • "... Let's go back over what it is we've said. We've said that given subsequent information abut the Niger documents, this -- and some of the apparent uncertainty that was out there -- it doesn't rise to the level that we would put in a presidential speech. We don't say it's false. And I heartily object to headlines that say it was false, because nobody has still said that this was false. There are still reports out there that they sought materials from the DROC, that they sought materials from Somalia. In fact, there is -- if you look at what has even come back on Niger, it says that the Niger government denies that they sold it. So I'm not standing here to say to you, we know that these claims about Africa are false."

  • "The President made a statement in the State of the Union that in the NIE was the judgment of the intelligence community. The President didn't exaggerate that statement, he didn't make it up. The NIE says Saddam Hussein was seeking this yellow cake, and there are reports that he's seeking it in other African countries. It goes into the State of the Union.

    The Secretary of State is putting together, on a somewhat parallel track, a presentation before the United Nations Security Council. And it's very broad and it's got lots of stuff in it. There is a lot of things the Secretary decided not to use and a lot of things that he decided to use. I'm going to tell you, we never really thought that this yellow cake issue was a major issue, because the overwhelming story about Iraqi nuclear reconstitution was really based fundamentally on every -- on these other factors. And so this yellow cake issue, we did not consider to be a major issue. So I'm also not surprised the Secretary didn't put it in."

  • "... I don't think there is a problem in that way, because the President told the American people early on that when we went to war to deal with the menace that was the Saddam Hussein regime, and that had defied the world on weapons of mass destruction for more than a decade, and that was known to have had unaccounted for stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction -- U.N. reporting, not our own -- a menace that President Clinton had tried to deal with, with actual military force in 1998, he told the American people, I'm doing this because I believe it's in the best security interest of the United States. He also said it's going to be hard, but we're staying there until there is a stable postwar Iraq. We have a commitment to the region for a stable postwar Iraq; we have a commitment to the Iraqi people, having helped them to throw off this bloody tyrant; we have a commitment to the entire region, which is very much now a region of great trouble and turmoil, leading directly to the attacks on the United States in September of 2001. The President would stand up and say that today, just as he said it in January, February and March of last year."
    July 11, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

July 13, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview with CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer :

  • "The president of the United States did not go to war because of the question of whether or not Saddam Hussein sought the uranium in Africa. He took the American people and American forces to war because this was a bloody tyrant, who for 12 years had defied the international community, who had weapons of mass destruction, who had used them in the past, who was threatening his neighbors, and who threatened our efforts to make the Middle East a place in which you would have stability and therefore not people with ideologies of hatred driving airplanes into the World Trade Center. That's why we went to war."

  • "I think we had a lot of evidence going in that a procurement network, efforts to reestablish scientists, groups of scientists who had worked on the programs before, the fact that he still had the designs, the fact that he clearly had sought weapons of mass -- nuclear weapons in the past, that all of those things made a compelling case for nuclear reconstitution."
    July 13, 2003 Condolezza Rice

July 13, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated on FOX News Sunday :

  • "I believe that we will find the truth, and I believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."
    July 13, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

Aug. 7, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in remarks at the 28th Annual Convention of the National Association of Black Journalists :

  • "Confronting Saddam Hussein's Iraq was also essential. Let us be very clear about why we went to war with Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein's regime posed a threat to the security of the United States and the world. This was a regime that pursued, had used and possessed weapons of mass destruction. He had links to terror, twice invaded other nations; defied the international community and seventeen UN resolutions for twelve years and gave every indication that he would never disarm and never comply with the just demands of the world. That threat could not be allowed to remain unaddressed."
    Aug. 7, 2003 Condolezza Rice

Aug. 25, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in remarks at the 104th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars :

  • "Confronting Saddam Hussein was also essential. His regime posed a threat to the security of the United States and the world. This was a regime that pursued, had used, and possessed weapons of mass destruction."

  • "He [Saddam Hussein] had links to terror; had twice invaded other nations; defied the international community and seventeen UN resolutions for twelve years; and gave every indication that he would never disarm and never comply with the just demands of the world. That threat could not be allowed to remain -- and to grow."
    Aug. 25, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

Sep. 28, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press:

  • "There was no doubt going into the was [sic] that successive administrations, the United Nations, intelligence services around the world, knew that Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass destruction, that he had them, that he continued to pursue them."

  • "The premise of the war was that Saddam Hussein was a threat, that he had used weapons of mass destruction, that he was continuing to try to get them and that was everyone's premise, the United Nations intelligence services, other governments, that was the logic that led the Clinton administration to air strikes in 1998. And no one would have to believe that somehow, after Saddam Hussein made it impossible for the inspectors to do their work in 1998, that things got better, that he suddenly destroyed the weapons of mass destruction and them carried on this elaborate deception to keep the world from knowing that he destroyed the weapons of mass destruction. It's just not logical."

  • "You have to put into context the period between 1998 and 2003 when indeed the information was being enriched from new information that was coming in, but it was not that alone. It had to be in context of 12 years of deception, 12 years of finding out unpleasant surprises about his biological weapons program in 1994 and 1995, reports from the United Nations in 1999 that he had not accounted for large stockpiles of weapons. No, this was the threat that the president of the United States could no longer allow to remain there. We tried containment. We learned that he had increased his capacity to spend resources on weapons of mass destruction form $500 million in illegal oil revenues to $3 billion. No, all of the dots added up to a program and to weapons and a weapons program that was dangerous and getting more so."

  • "Well, weapons of mass destruction, of course, come in two other types, chemical and biological. And on chemical and biological, the national intelligence estimate was unequivocal, that he had biological and chemical weapons. He's of course, used chemical weapons. His biological weapons program was, of course, discovered in '94, '95."

  • "And the estimate, the national intelligence estimate gave the following judgment: that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein would have a nuclear weapon by the end of the decade. That's something to which the president had to react, but by no means was this case made on a nuclear case alone. It was made on the weapons of mass destruction as a whole, his ability to deliver them in the past and the dangers of having those weapons, particularly biological and chemical weapons, which he was known to have had, in the hands of this bloody tyrant."

  • "But the key here is you cannot put a price tag on security. Iraq was a threat. Saddam Hussein was a threat to the region, he was a threat to America, to American interests, he was a haven and supporter of terrorism around the world and he had launched wars, used weapons of mass destruction. He was a threat. He is gone now."

  • "Saddam Hussein�no one has said that there is evidence that Saddam Hussein directed or controlled 9/11, but let's be very clear, he had ties to al-Qaeda, he had al-Qaeda operatives who had operated out of Baghdad."

  • "Now, there's no question this guy had invested billions in developing illegal programs of weapons of mass destruction. And don't let anybody tell you that this was not a significant threat. He's used it previously. We knew from past history that it was only a matter of time until he would be in a position to do so once again."
    Sep. 28, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

Sep. 28, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview on FOX News Sunday:

  • "The president believes that he had very good intelligence going into the war, and stands behind what the director of Central Intelligence told him going into war."

  • "There was enrichment of the intelligence from 1998 over the period leading up to the war. And nothing pointed to reversal of Saddam Hussein's very active efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, to have very good programs in weapons of mass destruction. It was very clear that this had continued and that it was a gathering danger."

  • "Given that this brutal dictator is gone, this man who used weapons of mass destruction at Halabjah, in really one of the great crimes against humanity in this century � given that this man who's invaded his neighbors and sits in the middle of the Middle East is gone, I think we're starting to see people come on board to say, 'It was a good thing that he was removed, and now let's move on to make it work.'
    Sep. 28, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

Oct. 8, 2003

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in remarks to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations:

  • "Saddam is the only tyrant of our time not only to possess weapons of mass destruction .... but to use them in acts of mass murder. And he maintained ties to terror, harboring known terrorists within his borders, and subsidizing Palestinian suicide bombers."

  • "We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11th attacks. Yet the possibility remained that he might use his weapons of mass destruction or that terrorists might acquire such weapons from his regime, to mount a future attack far beyond the scale of 9/11. This terrible prospect could not be ignored or wished away."

  • "When the President went to the United Nations in September 2002, there was little controversy about the nature of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. The intelligence agencies of most governments agreed on Saddam's capabilities and appetites, the United Nations and other international organizations had -- again and again -- documented Saddam's aggressions against his neighbors, tortures of the Iraqi people, and violations of international law. The UN Security Council passed resolution after resolution -- 17 in all -- laying out Saddam's obligations to the world, and demanding that he comply or face the consequences."

  • "Increasingly, the killing fields are yielding up their dead. The mass graves are being discovered. The Iraq Survey Group is finding -- and recording -- proof that Iraq never disarmed, and never complied with UN inspectors."

    "We now have hard evidence of facts that no one should ever have doubted. Right up until the end, Saddam Hussein continued to torture and oppress the Iraqi people. Right up until the end, Saddam Hussein lied to the Security Council. And -- let there be no mistake - right up until the end, Saddam Hussein continued to harbor ambitions to threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction, and to hide his illegal weapons programs."
    Oct. 8, 2003 Condoleezza Rice

Mar. 8, 2004

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in remarks at the McConnell Center for Political Leadership :

  • "The United States is now confronting the threat posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction with aggressive new policies that are already yielding results. The decision to hold the Iraqi regime accountable after twelve years of defiance restored the credibility of the international community and increased the security of America and of all free nations."

  • "The former Iraqi regime was not only a state sponsor of terror. It was also for many years one of the world's premier WMD-producing states. For twelve years, Iraq's former dictator defied the international community, refusing to disarm, or to account for his illegal weapons and programs. We know he had both because he used chemical weapons against Iran and against his own people. Because, long after those attacks, he admitted having stocks and programs to UN inspectors. The world gave Saddam one last chance to disarm. He did not and now he is out of power."

  • "Iraq and Afghanistan are vanguards of this effort to spread democracy and tolerance and freedom throughout the Greater Middle East. Fifty million people have been liberated from two of the most brutal and dangerous tyrannies of our time. With the help of over sixty nations, the Iraqi and Afghan peoples are now struggling to build democracies, under difficult conditions, in the rocky soil of the Middle East."

  • "Every day Iraqis take more responsibility for their nation's security -- from guarding facilities, to policing their streets, to rebuilding the infrastructure that Saddam Hussein neglected for decades. The Iraqi people are making daily progress toward democracy. We are working with Iraqis and the United Nations to prepare for a transition to full Iraqi sovereignty. And today, members of Iraq's Governing Council signed a new Transitional Administrative Law. This historic document protects the rights of all Iraqis and moves the country toward a democratic future."

  • "Every day Iraqis take more responsibility for their nation's security -- from guarding facilities, to policing their streets, to rebuilding the infrastructure that Saddam Hussein neglected for decades. The Iraqi people are making daily progress toward democracy. We are working with Iraqis and the United Nations to prepare for a transition to full Iraqi sovereignty. And today, members of Iraq's Governing Council signed a new Transitional Administrative Law. This historic document protects the rights of all Iraqis and moves the country toward a democratic future."

  • "In Iraq, the work of building democracy is opposed by hold-outs among their former oppressors and by foreign terrorists. These killers seek to advance their ideology of murder by halting all progress toward democracy and a better future. They are trying to shake the will of our country and our friends. They are killing innocent Iraqis. They are sowing a reign of terror. But we and the people of Iraq will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins because America and her forces will stay the course until the job is done."
    Mar. 8, 2004 Condoleezza Rice

Mar. 28, 2004

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes :

  • "The war on terrorism is a broad war, not a narrow war. And Iraq, one of the most dangerous regimes - I think the most dangerous regime in the world's most dangerous region in the Middle East - is a big reason, or was, under Saddam Hussein a big reason for instability in the region, for threats to the United States; he was firing at our aircraft practically every day as we tried to keep his forces under control; he had used weapons of mass destruction; he had the intent and was still developing the capability to do so. Saddam Hussein's regime was very dangerous. And now that Iraq has been liberated and that Iraq has a chance to be a stable democracy, the world is a lot safer and the war on terrorism is well-served by the victory in Iraq."

  • "Everything that has happened so far shows that they want a democracy in Iraq. They're learning to compromise, they're learning to negotiate with each other - Shia and Sunnis and Kurds and others. They've put together a really terrific interim document called the Transitional Administrative Law that is, by far, the most liberal document, from the point of view of protection of human and democratic rights, rights of women, freedom of religion. They're off to a very good start, but it's going to take a very long time.

    And, Ed, when Iraq is democratic, you're going to have one of the lynchpins of a very different kind of Middle East. And after what happened to us on September 11th, I think all Americans would agree that we've got to have a different kind of Middle East, because it was the center of gravity from which al Qaeda came."

  • "This is a sophisticated society, and everything demonstrates so far that what they want is to be perhaps the first really great democracy in the Middle East."
    Mar. 28, 2004 Condoleezza Rice

Apr. 8, 2004

Dr. Condoleezza Rice stated in opening remarks to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States :

  • "We are confronting the nexus between terror and weapons of mass destruction. We are working to stop the spread of deadly weapons and prevent them from getting into the hands of terrorists, seizing dangerous materials in transit, where necessary. Because we acted in Iraq, Saddam Hussein will never again use weapons of mass destruction against his people or his neighbors."

  • "Today, along with many allies, we are helping the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to build free societies. And we are working with the people of the Middle East to spread the blessings of liberty and democracy as the alternatives to instability, hatred, and terror. This work is hard and dangerous, yet it is worthy of our effort and our sacrifice. The defeat of terror and the success of freedom in those nations will serve the interests of our Nation and inspire hope and encourage reform throughout the greater Middle East."
    Apr. 8, 2004 Condoleezza Rice