Cheney Eyed Iraq Oil, Says Bush Speech Writer

Cheney eyed Iraq oil before the war began, according to an article written by George W. Bush’s former speech writer.
Cheney Eyed Iraq Oil, Says Bush Speech Writer
A file photo of former US Vice President Dick Cheney participating in a discussion on the 9/11 attacks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 9, 2011. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Tara MacIsaac
3/18/2013
Updated:
10/1/2015

Cheney eyed Iraq oil before the war began, according to an article written by George W. Bush’s former speech writer. 

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David Frum, speech writer for former President George W. Bush, reflected on the beginnings of the Iraq war in an article for Newsweek published Monday.

In the article, Frum says then-Vice President Dick Cheney had his eye on Iraqi oil, although Frum does not claim this contributed to the decision to go to war.

Frum recounts his impressions of Ahmed Chalabi, a wealthy Iraqi Shiite who formed the Iraqi National Congress, an exile group opposed to Saddam Hussein.

“I was less impressed by Chalabi than were some others in the Bush administration. However, since one of those ‘others’ was Vice President Cheney, it didn’t matter what I thought,” wrote Frum.

Frum said that when Chalabi joined the summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute in Colorado in 2002, “He and Cheney spent long hours together, contemplating the possibilities of a Western-oriented Iraq: an additional source of oil, an alternative to U.S. dependency on an unstable-looking Saudi Arabia.”

Neither oil nor Cheney figure prominently in the rest of Frum’s article.

An article published in Wired magazine on Monday by a former CIA analyst expressed anger at Cheney for deceiving the public.

Nada Bakos, in the article “I Tried to Make the Intelligence Behind the Iraq War Less Bogus,” said her intelligence team was lead “down a rabbit hole.” Only one conclusion was acceptable, whether it was entirely true or not: Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda.

Bakos wrote: “On Sunday, March 16, 2003, I watched Cheney on ‘Meet The Press’ contradict our assessment publicly. ’We know that he [Saddam] has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups,‘ Cheney said, ’including the al-Qaeda organization.' Cheney was asserting to the public as fact something that we found to be anything but.”

“I found myself yelling at the TV like I was contesting a ref’s blown call in a football game,” Bakos recalled.

War happened without the kind of decision-making process one would expect, wrote Frum: “For a long time, war with Iraq was discussed inside the Bush administration as something that would be decided at some point in the future; then, somewhere along the way, war with Iraq was discussed as something that had already been decided long ago in the past.”

Then he was asked to write the “axis of evil” speech to seal the deal.

Tara MacIsaac is a senior reporter with the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times.
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