O'Neill Speaks Out


Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill was fired from the Bush cabinet for disagreeing with Bush about tax cuts too many times. That in itself isn't all that surprising.

What is surprising is that O'Neill paints a very unflattering portrait of Bush, and shows him being coerced and pushed towards certain agendas, despite his reluctance to do so at times_

The former treasury secretary accuses Vice President Dick Cheney of not being an honest broker, but, with a handful of others, part of "a praetorian guard that encircled the president" to block out contrary views. "This is the way Dick likes it," says O�Neill.
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and others in the administration seem to be manipulating Bush to further their agenda, which included the idea that Hussein had to be desposed_
"From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says O�Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime," says Suskind. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed."
So this war wasn't about Saddam's supposed ties to Al Qaeda (which were never established), or about his supposed weapons of mass destruction (which were never found). It was about the neoconservative ideaology, espoused by Cheney, Rumsfeld, and their cronies, that Saddam had to go.

Whether fueled by a desire for revenge or in the hopes of stablizing the Middle East doesn't matter as much as the fact that Americans were fed twisted information and outright lies from the administration in an effort to justify this predetermined act of agression.

Why don't more people care about this?

The full CBS News story can be found here.

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