Just As I Thought

The War Conspiracy?

This should be good: I got an e-mail today that originated from ABC News Nightline touting tonight’s edition:

TONIGHT’S FOCUS: Several years ago, when President Clinton was still in the White House, and 9/11 was still not even a nightmare in anyone’s mind, a group of mostly Republicans wrote a letter outlining a foreign policy strategy that involved regime change in Iraq, by force if necessary. Now that several of those Republicans are in key positions in the Administration, some critics of the White House’s current Iraq policy smell something fishy.

Read the rest of the press release in the extended entry:

The Project for the New American Century. Never heard of it? Well, don’t feel bad. Few have. But have you heard of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz? Back in 1997, those three out-of-office politicians and several other like-minded, mostly conservatives, were frustrated with American foreign policy. So they formed this new organization and a year later wrote a letter to then-President Bill Clinton calling for a “comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime.”

Today, a 76-page paper written by the organization reads like a blueprint for the policy being carried out largely by Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. In fact, of the 40 people who signed that letter, 10 are currently in the Administration.

Is this a case of democracy in action? Influential thinkers who became policy makers? Or is it, as some international critics of the White House’s policy on Iraq have argued, a secretive organization pulling the strings of the President, with an imperialistic goal of dominating the world? Are these criticisms legitimate?

Tonight ABC News correspondent Jackie Judd will explore this conspiracy theory, and the influence and role of the Project for the New American Century. Ted Koppel will then speak with the Project’s founder and chairman, Bill Kristol, who served in both the first Bush and the Reagan Administrations.

Also tonight we’ll have another report from correspondent Mike Cerre with Marine Company Fox 2/5 in Kuwait. After 19 days in the desert, they got a shower and a hot meal. But more importantly, they also received their plans for their role in an invasion, if and when one is ordered. After months of training for war, they now know just what they’re going to do.

And finally, Nightline’s Chris Bury is in Kuwait this evening, the main staging area for the American invasion should it come. He’ll give us the latest news of the military’s preparations.

We hope you’ll join us.

Sara Just and the Nightline staff
Senior Producer

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