Monday, June 13, 2005

Iraq decision timeline:

Subject to updates. Larger diagram (1000 pixels wide) here. Yes, the 7 point font is small, but it's the only way to keep the image reasonably sized.

UPDATE: $700 million - it isn't the amount or the purpose (it's entirely reasonable to prepare for the possibility of war), but that the expenditure was taken without authorization from Congress.


We've been waiting for you to do this. Thanks.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/13/2005 11:40 AM  

Bush sold the joint resolution auuthorizing force by claiming only to need a strong hand to keep the peace. For example, press conference of Sept. 19, 2002:

"That will be part of the resolution, the authorization to use force. If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force. But it's -- this will be -- this is a chance for Congress to indicate support. It's a chance for Congress to say, we support the administration's ability to keep the peace. "

The pretext-hunt seems to have started even earlier:

From :

"According to an account by veteran CBS newsman David Martin last September, Rumsfeld was ”telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks” five hours after an American Airlines jet slammed into the Pentagon.

Martin attributed his account in part to notes that had been taken at the time by a Rumsfeld aide. They quote the defense chief asking for the ”best info fast” to ”judge whether good enough to hit SH (Saddam Hussein) at the same time, not only UBL (Usama bin Laden). The administration should ”go massive...sweep it all up, things related and not”, the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/13/2005 1:49 PM  

Wow...very nice. This needs to be on the front page of every major newspaper in the country. You have put it in one bite sized portion that is easily digestible by Soccer Mom and Commuting Dad as they head out the door in the morning.

Very cool.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/13/2005 2:48 PM  

Excellent, Q - thanks!

By Blogger Carl, at 6/13/2005 5:42 PM  


The one thing I'd like added would be the increasing number of troops on the border. It was my feeling that during the last months there was also a larger and larger number of US troops and that indicated to me that we planned to do something with them.

Also, though it is not directly appropriate to this chart, I have been looking for the time line of the Vetnam war, Troops and Deaths, so that I could compare that timeline to this one.

By Blogger Mike Liveright, at 6/13/2005 5:43 PM  

Don't forget the $700 million diverted from funds for Afghanistan!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/14/2005 4:00 AM  

"the 7 point font is small, but it's the only way to keep the image reasonably sized."

Obviously only a liberal traitor would use this font. Your whole premise is destroyed by your technical limitations. HA! - Assrocket

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/14/2005 9:57 AM  

I linked to you, Q, along with a link to the CNN article on the passing of the Oct. 11, 2002 War Resolution.

As always, very nice work.

By Blogger Bryan, at 6/14/2005 11:13 AM  

Some more tidbits:


From: National Journal, March 28, 2003
James Kitfield, "Army's race to Baghdad exposes risks in battle plan."

"The genesis of the battle plan was a what-if session over beers among a handful of Army majors nearly 17 months ago [i.e., October/November 2001]. They were all students at the Army's School for Advanced Military Studies, known colloquially as SAMS, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where the Army's most promising planners take a graduate course in strategic campaigns. The young majors brainstormed about a march on Baghdad to dispose of Saddam Hussein. In its earliest versions, the plan envisioned a 125-day campaign by a U.S. force nearly twice the size of that now in Iraq.

"Maj. Kevin Marcus, a SAMS graduate now attached to V Corps headquarters, helped develop the plan from a back-of-an-envelope exercise into a PowerPoint presentation that within days of being finished ended up on the desk of the president of the United States."



From NYT, April 28, 2002
U.S. Envisions Blueprint on Iraq Including Big Invasion Next Year

"In November [2001], Mr. Bush ordered that the government's Strategic Petroleum Reserve be filled to capacity. A review of the reserve's delivery schedule shows that many of the largest monthly deliveries are between September and January, another reason to put off any offensive against Iraq to early next year."
"R. Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, said the administration had examined the possible effects of a spike in oil prices caused by spreading unrest in the Middle East or an invasion of Iraq."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/14/2005 12:28 PM  

Thanks for doing this.

In August of '02, the White House sent some mid-level policy flaks to the Sunday talk show circuit to float a trial balloon. Namely, Bush did not have to seek further authorization for use of force, since any future action was really a continuation of previous action.

I really should search the archives of these shows, because more casual google searches haven't led to the transcripts.

By Anonymous mark, at 6/14/2005 5:35 PM  

I continue to be amazed by your ability to boil down a lot of blather into a clear graphical expression.

The case against the Bushrovers is pretty strong even if all we adduce is relatively uncontroversial and generally agreed facts and events. Doing so, we gain the best insulation against all the twisted rhetoric on the right (and we provide an alternative to the sometimes twisted rhetoric of the left for those who are independents).

Just the facts are an amazing and disgusting enough story...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/16/2005 8:28 AM  

So Franks was just flat out lying when he said his boss hadn't asked him for a plan yet? That's one I hadn't seen before

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/16/2005 11:18 AM  

Franks, from Washington Post - May 24 story - Military Bids to Postpone Iraq Invasion

Lead sentence: The uniformed leaders of the U.S. military believe they have persuaded the Pentagon's civilian leadership to put off an invasion of Iraq until next year at the earliest and perhaps not to do it at all, according to senior Pentagon officials.

Franks was quoted from a press conference in Tampa, Florida.

WashPost story has this follow-on sentence:

Franks's narrow response relied on the U.S. military definition of "plan" as a detailed, step-by-step blueprint for military operations. What Franks discussed with the Joint Chiefs and the president was a simpler outline for an attack that the military terms a "concept of operations."

By Blogger Quiddity, at 6/16/2005 11:42 AM  

It would be interesting to see a couple of other things in contrast to the graphic:

1. Military movements/logistic shifts related to Iraq - Rep Kaptur mentioned this in the DSM hearings today.

2. Public comments/statements by the admin saying they weren't planning war, they hadn't decided on war, etc.

By Anonymous gatb1, at 6/16/2005 3:33 PM  

Nice work as usual, Q.

You may want to add the dates when contracts were announced for KBR Services to build Guantanamo - July 26, 2002.

Even more interesting is when the contracts were awarded - nearly 2 years to the day previous. July 29, 2000.

By Anonymous stranger, at 6/17/2005 6:42 AM  

re: jan 2001 O'NEAL: bush began planning to invade iraq within days after entering white house.

i've read among bush's first executive orders was to escalate bombing over iraq's no fly zone.

By Anonymous hello, at 6/20/2005 3:44 PM  

You forgot the leaks to the press about war plans that occured during the summer of 2002. This what when I knew the war was pretty much going to happen.

By Blogger Terry Pinder, at 6/21/2005 9:48 PM  

Like the commenter above, I definitely think that awarding those contracts in 2000 should be included. When I first read about that little fact - about the time when the war was starting - it seemed to me that the existence of these contracts was a smoking gun, proving Bush's intent to attack Iraq long before the supposed justification was fixed and hyped. (Of course, at the time this was reported, without any analysis of the implications, the war hysteria drowned out all reasonable questions in the US media.)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/28/2005 11:32 AM  

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