Selling the War in Iraq: A Look at Anonymous Sources

Often times politicians will speak off the record when they don't want to be held accountable for what they're saying.

So in the case of the build-up to the war in Iraq, there were many instances where the Bush Administration would use the cloak of anonymity to push forward their agenda, which was to convey to the American people through the press that the war was inevitable and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

For example, on January 13, 2003, ABC Pentagon Corresponent John McWethy reported the following:

Sources say the Bush Administration is preparing to take its case for war to the United Nations soon after January 27th. And, Peter, they say it doesn't matter what UN inspectors report.

Wow. It doesn't matter what the UN inspectors say? This is never something that the Bush Adminstration would come out and explicitly say, but their actions leading up to war certainly indicated that they were only interesting in proving that Iraq was in violation of UN Security Council resolutions to justify going to war.

Sometimes reporters would even explictly report that the US officials were saying that they were only interested in finding a tripwire for war like when CBS News White House correspondent John Roberts reported on 12/5/02:

The White House is providing some intelligence to the UN teams, but inspectors in Baghdad say if President Bush knows where Saddam is hiding his weapons, he's certainly not telling them. Officials say the president is holding the intelligence close, in part to lay a trap for Saddam in anticipation of a flagrantly false weapons declaration this weekend. Catching him in a lie would bolster the case for war, though the administration still hopes the Iraqi people get rid of Saddam before it comes to that.

ABC State Department correspondent Martha Raddatz also reported on 1/3/03:

US officials are well aware that the UN report may not contain any conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but some US officials don't think that matters. A US official told ABC News today that, despite the absence of definitive evidence, the US and a few other countries will likely say Iraq has failed to account for weapons of mass destruction it has been known to possess in the past. But what comes next is unclear. Some Bush Administration officials are arguing that the US should then simply tell the UN Security Council that the US is ready to attack Iraq, and urge the Council to support the effort. Other US officials argue that the inspection process is working and should continue."

It's interesting to note that there were anonymous Bush Administration sources who were willing to admit that there was not conclusive intelligence that Iraq had WMD -- even when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell were making very conclusive statements that Iraq did have stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. Here's another skeptical anonymously sourced report from Raddatz from 12/8/02:

But a senior official tells ABC News the US has no smoking gun that proves Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, although the official says the circumstantial evidence is strong and compelling.

"Circumstantial" -- Indeed.

Read through some of ABC and CBS television news' pre-war reporting that that was based upon anonymous sources below, and ask yourself, "Is this information reliable?" And if it's not reliable, then ask yourself, "What is motivating the sources to say what they're saying?"

The biggest surprise to me in looking over this time period was a report from March 13th, 2003 in this whopper of a story introduced by Dan Rather:

And US officials are telling CBS News tonight the war against al-Qaida, as they see it, has been won. And while that undoubtedly would be great news, they are quick to point out that the overall war on terror is far from over. CBS' Jim Stewart reports tonight on the apparent collapse of al-Qaida.

What? How in the world could the government say al-Qaida has been defeated? And why would they want to say this off the record right on the brink of going to war in Iraq? Could it be that they wanted to convey the message that going to war in Iraq wasn't going to interfere with the War on Terror? Could it be that they were trying to distract the American people and the news organizations from the fact that the second UN Security Council resolution aimed at authorizing the war was going down in flames?

I don't know, but it's certainly interesting to look at what messages were being conveyed to the media by anonymous sources during this time period.

Look at the collection of quotes below, and tell me What sticks out to you?

Feel free to compare these with their explicit talking points from this pre-war time period -- or with their specific on-the-record statements

What types of things were they saying off-the-record that they were not willing to say on-the-record?

11/4/02 CBS Western Intelligence Sources Mark Phillips, "Western intelligence sources have also told CBS News they believe the killing of a US Marine by two gunmen during a training exercise in Kuwait was also a sign of renewed al-Qaida activity, as was the bombing of a French oil tanker off Yemen."
11/5/02 ABC Sources Martha Raddatz, "The greatest concern, Iraq, because a US attack there might prompt Saddam Hussein to unleash the deadly germs. Within the Administration, there is a divide, say sources. On one side, Vice President Dick Cheney, who sources say is advising quick, nationwide preemptive inoculation. On the other side, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who has suggested vaccine for health care and emergency personnel, and a voluntary nationwide program when the vaccine is licensed in two years.""
11/6/02 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "At the United Nations today, US diplomats offered a final draft of a revised Security Council resolution on Iraq. It makes further concessions to critics such as France and Russia, but leaves the Bush administration free to use force against Saddam Hussein without another resolution. US officials want the council to vote on it by the end of this week."
11/7/02 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Mr. Bush has been convinced, we are told, to some degree, to give the inspection regime, which Vice President Cheney and other Administration officials had expressed such deep skepticism about, calling it dangerous, to give that regime a chance. And perhaps it could do the trick of disarming Saddam Hussein. There are also Administration aides who describe the Iraqi regime as brittle and it might break under the pressure of a new inspection team."
11/8/02 ABC Top Administration Officials / Officials Terry Moran, "The second trigger for war, if Iraq allows the inspectors in, top Administration officials say they will look for a pattern of cheating or deceit by Baghdad, not a single, minor incident. The pattern would be determined by weapons inspectors or by the US alone, but officials left vague how they would define it."
11/8/02 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Today, we asked top Administration officials what ever happened to regime change? Their answer, the aim of that policy was always to eliminate what the Administration sees as the dire threat posed by the Iraqi regime, and Peter, they say this new resolution will eliminate that threat, one way or the other."
11/8/02 ABC Western Intelligence Officials Bob Woodruff, "But western intelligence officials tell ABC News they believe since inspectors were kicked out five years ago, Iraq has miniaturized its chemical and biological processing equipment, and moved supplies into private houses."
11/9/02 NBC Military Sources Jim Maceda, "But while US forces could launch a war within weeks, military sources tell NBC News that the optimal time to strike would be February. By then, the weather in the Iraqi desert will be more moderate, the days longer. Inventories of US precision-guided bombs, depleted in the war in Afghanistan, will be restocked. And most importantly, the logistical support will be in place to minimize casualties."
11/10/02 ABC Sources Martha Raddatz, "The US, Meanwhile, continues to build up for war, and to let Saddam Hussein know it. Today, in what appeared to be a clearly coordinated leak to 'The New York Times' and 'Washington Post,' the Pentagon detailed its battle plans, 200 to 250,000 troops, according to sources, would be part of an invasion force coming from the land, sea and air. A smaller strike force would lead the assault, backed up by the larger force, which will go into Baghdad if necessary."
11/10/02 CBS White House Officials / Sources John Roberts, "White House officials won't confirm it--they want to focus on plans for weapons inspections--but a Pentagon leak to two leading newspapers today says President Bush has signed off on war plans for a swift and massive campaign to take over Iraq and cut off Saddam. The Washington Post and New York Times quote sources as saying up to a quarter of a million US troops would take part in a combination air and ground campaign that Pentagon planners hope would take less time than the Persian Gulf War."
11/10/02 CBS US Officials Charles D'Agata, "Saddam Hussein met with his Cabinet members today and called an emergency session of the Iraqi parliament tomorrow. The agenda? How to proceed in the face of the United Nations Security Council unanimous vote demanding that he disarm and allow weapons inspectors back into Iraq. But US officials insist the parliamentary session is symbolic and the decision is Saddam's alone."
11/11/02 ABC Intelligence Sources John McWethy, "That's correct, Peter. ABC News has been told by various intelligence sources that Saddam Hussein's government has ordered its diplomats to use the cover of Iraqi embassies in order to conceal an aggressive new surveillance effort against US facilities overseas."
11/11/02 CBS Sources Wyatt Andrews, "Meanwhile, the war plan is almost complete. Sources tell CBS News the plan calls for a force of approximately 200,000. But unlike the Gulf War, the US will not preposition large numbers of troops in the desert in case Iraq counterattacks with chemical weapons."
11/11/02 CBS Federal Officials John Roberts, "Federal officials warn regularly that al-Qaida sleeper cells here in the United States may be planning major new attacks."
11/12/02 ABC Sources / One Offiical Terry Moran, "Sources say some in the Administration would prefer that Saddam Hussein quickly reject the UN resolution outright, since that would provide a clear justification for war. The Administration wants to avoid what one official called the subjectivity of a new Security Council debate on future Iraqi noncompliance."
11/12/02 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Today, the President also announced a policy of zero tolerance of any Iraqi noncompliance with the UN resolution, should Saddam Hussein decide to accept weapons inspections. And that, Peter, seems to contradict what senior Administration officials were telling us last week, that they would look for a pattern of defiance from Iraq."
11/12/02 ABC White House Officials Terry Moran, "White House officials dismissed the move by the Iraqi Parliament as, quote, pure political theater, unquote. And the President sought to keep up the pressure on Saddam Hussein."
11/12/02 ABC Bush Administration John McWethy, "One reason the Army practices this so much is because the Bush Administration believes Saddam Hussein, under pressure, might use chemical and biological weapons."
11/12/02 ABC Officials John McWethy, "This could all slow a US offensive, but officials insist a gas attack would not change the outcome."
11/12/02 ABC US Officials Peter Jennings, "US officials also tell ABC News today that the Iraqi government is trying to buy four to five million doses of the drug Atropine, which can be used, among other things, as a treatment for someone exposed to nerve gas. Sources also tell us they are trying to buy large amounts of Cipro, which can be, as we've heard before, used as a treatment for anthrax. It is the amount that Iraq is allegedly trying to buy that has officials in Washington rattled, because as we go down the road to a possible war, the US knows that chemical and biological weapons may be possible."
11/12/02 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "It appears Osama bin Laden is alive, or at least was very recently. US officials tell CBS News tonight that a new audio tape of bin Laden aired in the Arab world today is almost certainly authentic. On that tape, bin Laden praises terror attacks that occurred in October, in Bali and Moscow, and he says the United States is, quote, "hell-bent on hitting Baghdad." The tape surfaced on the day the Iraqi parliament rejected the UN Security Council resolution ordering Iraq to disarm, leaving the final decision to Saddam Hussein."
11/12/02 CBS US Analysts Jim Stewart, "No matter who's in charge, US analysts believe they've seriously disrupted al-Qaida, which no longer has a safe sanctuary anywhere, but the fact that bin Laden may have escaped is a serious concern, officials acknowledge, especially with Iraq on the horizon."
11/13/02 ABC Senior White House Official Terry Moran, "A senior White House official said the Iraqi reply was merely punching a ticket in complying with the resolution. The President wants to keep up the pressure on Iraq."
11/13/02 CBS Intelligence Analysts / US Officials David Martin, "Intelligence analysts say he is trying to capitalize on Muslim anger at the US for its campaign against Iraq and cast America's war against terror as a war against all of Islam. He is calling on Muslims everywhere to rise up against the US and its allies. In the past, messages like this have preceded major attacks, and US officials say the chatter among known and suspected terrorists about attacks in the works is almost as high as it was in the months leading up to 9/11. But just like then, there is nothing specific about where or when."
11/14/02 CBS Intelligence Officials Bob Orr, "The hospital warning comes as intelligence officials are picking up a level of chatter among terrorists that is nearly as high as it was before 9/11. The recent attack on a French tanker off Yemen, the bombing of a nightclub in Bali and the new bin Laden tape all ratchet up the fear. And officials worry tonight's scheduled execution of Aimal Kasi, the Pakistani man convicted of killing two CIA employees, could bring new attacks. Officials have been short on specifics, but frequent with their warnings."
11/14/02 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "But White House officials today said they, too, will be watching for a 'pattern of behavior.' As one official put it, 'We can't describe what we're looking for. But like the judge said about pornography, we'll know it when we see it.' White House officials also said today they expect to have an indication of how the process will go early on. And despite concerns at the United Nations about the outward hostility of Iraq's acceptance letter yesterday, the White House says it will ignore the rhetoric and judge Saddam on his actions."
11/15/02 CBS US Officials David Martin, "Dan, two days after accepting the UN Security Council resolution to resume weapons inspections, Iraq has fired on American planes patrolling the no-fly zone in the south of Iraq, and that, according to US officials, constitutes a violation of that resolution."
11/15/02 CBS White House Officials David Martin, "Paragraph eight of the resolution says, 'Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or any member state taking action to uphold any council resolution.' Since US and British aircraft are patrolling the no-fly zone to enforce an earlier UN resolution barring Saddam Hussein from oppressing his own people, firing on those aircraft would, according to White House officials, violate the president's zero tolerance policy toward Iraqi violations of the resolution."
11/15/02 CBS US Officials David Martin, "But the question is: Will this incident start a war with Iraq? The answer, according to US officials, is no. The US could report this incident to the UN Security Council, but it would be up to the Security Council to decide whether this constitutes a violation of the resolution. And that seems unlikely, since not all the members of the Security Council support the US and British operation in the no-fly zones. "
11/16/02 CBS US Officials Randall Pinkston, "Even before Blix's team arrives, Iraq is pressing its luck, firing on coalition jets in the no-fly zone. While US officials call it a material breach of the resolution, for now it's not expected to trigger military invasion."
11/18/02 ABC White House Officials Terry Moran, "Peter, it seems there are material breaches, and then there are material breaches. Tonight, White House officials are frank in acknowledging that the United States is not going to go to war because of this activity in the no-fly zones, even though they say that's a violation of the new UN resolution. And it's a practical issue, they say. That new UN resolution is about disarmament, not the no-fly zones. The goal of US policy right now is to pressure Saddam and get him to make a mistake, in terms of the disarmament policy."
11/18/02 ABC Western Intelligence Sources David Wright, "The inspectors hope to surprise the Iraqis. If they have weapons of mass destruction, western intelligence sources tell ABC News, it's likely they will already have cleared up any known sites, making the job of the inspectors that much more difficult. "
11/18/02 CBS US Officials David Martin, "The US will also give the inspectors its best intelligence on where Saddam Hussein is believed to be hiding chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The inspectors will need all the help they can get. The UN resolution requires Iraq to give them total access, but US officials say Saddam has already violated it."
11/20/02 ABC US Officials John McWethy, "US officials say the Iraqis fired first, trying to knock down American and British planes that are patrolling the no-fly zones. The response today was swift and powerful. Sources tell ABC News that a dozen US and British aircraft dropped 20 bombs on three air defense communication centers well south of Baghdad. In everything but name, it is already war."
11/20/02 ABC US Officials John McWethy, "I think there are some US officials that believe, in fact, the Iraqis are trying to goad the US in an effort to gain sympathy from much of the world because, as those US bombs drop, especially in Muslim countries and Arab countries, it doesn't look that good for the US."
11/20/02 ABC US Officials Terry Moran, "American officials claim Iraq is shooting at planes more often. The US and Britain are dropping more bombs. All this means if the US ends up invading Iraq, important first steps will have already been taken."
11/20/02 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "Officials say about 50 nations have now been asked what kinds of assistance, from troops and equipment to intelligence and transport, they would be willing to contribute in a campaign against Iraq. Mr. Bush made clear he wants a military option to be ready immediately should Saddam Hussein refuse to cooperate with the UN."
11/20/02 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Again and again, in recent days, Administration officials are pointing to December 8th as the crucial date for war or peace. That's when Iraq must fully declare all its weapons of mass destruction."
11/20/02 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "That reference to 'final stage,' a new twist for President Bush, would suggest that the mission is again moving from one of simply disarming Saddam back to taking him out. White House officials wouldn't tip their hand today, nor would they say how they plan to prove that Iraq is lying should it again claim to have no weapons of mass destruction."
11/20/02 NBC White House Sources David Gregory, "White House sources say the US is now negotiating with 50 different countries on how they can join the fight against Saddam."
11/20/02 NBC US Officials David Gregory, "But the president's emphasis on Iraq's December 8th deadline could once again put him at odds with other members of the Security Council who have said the US alone should not determine the trigger for war. Nevertheless, US officials say a denial from Iraq that it has an extensive weapons arsenal is a proofable lie and a violation of the UN resolution. "
11/25/02 ABC Officials Martha Raddatz, "Satellite imagery already raises questions about nuclear research centers such as Tuwaitha, which have undergone recent construction. These former chemical weapons bunkers, once protected by 19 anti-aircraft batteries, have been bulldozed in the past few years. Officials wonder whether the Iraqis are now hiding something new. "
11/25/02 ABC Officials Martha Raddatz, "Iraq was later forced to admit it hadn't told the truth. This time around, it is supposed to be different, but it will still be difficult. Officials do not think inspectors will find evidence of prohibited programs as quickly as the Bush Administration wants."
11/26/02 ABC Officials John McWethy, "Peter, these are people who have been recruited by the CIA and the State Department. The plan, which is now at the White House, calls for this training to begin in January. These people will not be brought to the US, we are told. They will be trained in Europe. And officials say Hungary has raised its hand to be the volunteer country to do the training."
11/27/02 ABC Sources John McWethy, "One area of disagreement involves US surveillance aircraft, the U2 spy plane and unmanned Predator, that can keep watch on a suspicious site for 24 hours at a time. The US wants to loan these planes to the UN, but sources say only if the US controls the intelligence output. Sources say the UN wants full control of what the surveillance planes collect."
11/27/02 ABC US Officials David Wright, "After the inspectors left, the Iraqis invited the press in. But journalists, obviously, lack the expertise of inspectors. Also today, a second inspection team drove 80 miles south of Baghdad to an industrial complex called Al Rafah, Iraq's main missile-testing range. These satellite photos, which inspectors may well have brought with them, show a new test stand there. US officials say it is designed to test long-range missile engines."
11/28/02 NBC Administration Sources Campbell Brown, "Administration sources do say that the White House has been working on a road map toward achieving a final settlement, but that there is disagreement within the administration over what should be the priority right now, the situation in the Mideast or taking on Saddam Hussein."
12/1/02 ABC US Military Officials Carole Simpson, "In Iraq, US and British warplanes fired on targets in the northern and southern no-fly zones. US military officials said the strikes were in response to Iraqi anti-aircraft fire."
12/2/02 ABC White House Officials Terry Moran, "Publicly, White House officials are saying it's far too soon to say whether Iraq is truly cooperating with inspections. Behind the scenes, however, there is mounting concern that Saddam Hussein may be outmaneuvering the US."
12/2/02 ABC White House Officials Terry Moran, "White House officials had been pointing to the December 8th deadline for Iraq to fully declare its weapons as the critical moment in this confrontation. But now, Peter, officials say they expect Iraq that day to file a voluminous declaration in Arabic that could take days or weeks to sort through."
12/3/02 ABC American Intelligence Officials Brian Ross, "American intelligence officials confirmed for ABC News today they are investigating whether a Russian scientist transferred a particularly lethal strain of smallpox to the government of Iraq in the 1990s. As first reported in "The New York Times," the allegations involve a smallpox strain stored at this scientific institute in Moscow, and the institute's director, Nadia Maltseva, who died two years ago. Intelligence officials say an informant has reported she gave the Iraqis the smallpox on a trip there in 1990."
12/3/02 CBS Officials / Military Officer David Martin, "At the same time, officials tell CBS News Saudi Arabia, another key but reluctant ally, has promised to grant overflight rights to American warplanes and allow the US to use this sophisticated command center at Prince Sultan Air Base. It's part of what one military officer called 'a slow, deliberate process of war preparation' designed to pressure Saddam into giving up his weapons of mass destruction."
12/3/02 CBS US Officials David Martin, "US officials say Saddam is responding to the pressure by taking personal control of all dealings with the UN weapons inspectors, trying to look like he is cooperating without actually giving up any of his weapons. In other words, satisfy the UN, but defy the US. So far, it's working."
12/3/02 CBS US Officials Donald Rumsfeld, "The burden of proof is on the Iraqi regime to prove that it is disarming."
David Martin, "The first chance to prove it will come this weekend, when Iraq gives the UN an accounting of its weapons programs. US officials expect it will be hundreds, if not thousands, of pages long and will require lengthy analysis before anyone can accuse Saddam of refusing to come clean."
12/4/02 ABC Officials Peter Jennings, "But if the Iraqis deny it, formally, will the President have to prove it? ABC's Terry Moran is at the White House. Terry?"
Terry Moran, "Peter, as a practical matter, you're right, the US will have to provide proof to back up its accusations. For now, however, officials here are downplaying the Iraqi pronouncements, saying the only statement out of Baghdad that really matters is that declaration that Iraq must file by midnight Sunday."
12/4/02 ABC Official / Sources Terry Moran, "If Iraq does formally declare that it has no forbidden weapons, ABC News has learned the President has decided, after a fierce internal debate, to give the inspectors several weeks to take what one official called 'a first crack' at proving Iraq is lying. During that period, sources say, the US will provide new intelligence directing inspectors to the most sensitive sites, in order to challenge Saddam Hussein."
12/4/02 ABC Official Terry Moran, "There's also what one official called a "fallback position." If the inspectors find nothing, then the US will go to the Security Council to lay out a case against Saddam Hussein, using the most recent intelligence, and it's a case, Peter, that could well lead to war."
12/5/02 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "Much of what the administration regards as proof of Saddam's weapons program is from the last round of inspections, material that went unaccounted for by the UN, but Iraq claims it destroyed. White House officials also say there's new intelligence that leads them to believe Iraq has active biological, chemical and nuclear programs, though they admit the evidence does not constitute a smoking gun."
12/5/02 CBS Officials John Roberts, "The White House is providing some intelligence to the UN teams, but inspectors in Baghdad say if President Bush knows where Saddam is hiding his weapons, he's certainly not telling them. Officials say the president is holding the intelligence close, in part to lay a trap for Saddam in anticipation of a flagrantly false weapons declaration this weekend. Catching him in a lie would bolster the case for war, though the administration still hopes the Iraqi people get rid of Saddam before it comes to that."
12/6/02 CBS Senior Official David Martin, "US forces for war on the eve of the Iraqi declaration. But even if it's full of lies, the declaration, by itself, will not trigger a war. As one senior official put it, no one's going to war over a piece of paper. But will the declaration account for the large quantities of chemical and biological agents which Iraq once had and claims, but can't prove, it destroyed?"
12/8/02 ABC Senior Official Martha Raddatz, "Inspectors will get additional help from US satellite imagery and unmanned aerial vehicles. But a senior official tells ABC News the US has no smoking gun that proves Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, although the official says the circumstantial evidence is strong and compelling."
12/8/02 CBS Officials David Kay, "No weapons of mass destruction, no programs to develop them in the last four years, nothing left over from their previous program. I think that just doesn't meet the laugh test."
Wyatt Andrews, "It doesn't meet any test, officials say, because of one overriding question: Where are the weapons Iraq got caught holding in the '90s, the enriched uranium, the VX nerve gas, the weaponized anthrax? The US believes Iraq may still have everything, plus sophisticated, new ways to hide it."
12/9/02 ABC Senior Official Martha Raddatz, "Of course, the Bush Administration has still not seen the documents. A senior official I spoke to a short time ago, Carole, says he hopes that happens fairly soon."
12/9/02 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "Well, because, as Martha points out, the intelligence is fragmentary and opaque, there is no smoking gun. The officials have said that the best way to get a dramatic demonstration that Iraq is lying is to get a defector to blow the whistle on Saddam, and so the US is going to pressure Hans Blix, the Chief UN Weapons Inspector, and his team very hard to get Iraqi scientists and officers and other officials out of the country, to get them to defect and blow the whistle."
12/10/02 ABC Senior Administration Official Peter Jennings, "First, the declaration on weapons that the United States and several other countries are analyzing. A senior Administration official tells ABC News today that parts of the document are, word for word, the same as previous Iraqi declarations about their weapons of mass destruction, or the lack of them, as the Iraqis would say it. "
12/10/02 ABC Sources John McWethy, "They may be ready, but sources say an attack using just the forces there now is not likely, unless Saddam Hussein does something very provocative, invading a neighbor, for example, or shooting down an American plane. But the more likely scenario, if diplomacy fails, sources say the Bush Administration plans to quickly send 20,000 marines and at least 75,000 more army troops."
12/10/02 ABC Sources John McWethy, "This last buildup, sources say, will take 30 to 60 days at a minimum. The goal, have enough force to quickly defeat the Iraqi army and occupy the country."
12/11/02 CBS Pentagon Sources Allen Pizzey, "More than 10,000 US troops in Kuwait are part of an ongoing build-up in the region that Pentagon sources have said makes launching a war against Iraq possible within a month if necessary."
12/12/02 ABC Sources / Officials Martha Raddatz, "Sources tell 'The Washington Post,' that a transfer of a chemical weapon to al-Qaeda affiliates took place in Iraq in October or November. A courier, they suspect, then smuggled the VX gas out of Iraq, into Turkey and possibly beyond. 'The Post' said it talked to two officials who had firsthand knowledge of the report, who called the source of the information sensitive and credible. Today, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told ABC's John McWethy he had not read the article, but had seen information suggesting the possibility."
12/12/02 ABC US Official Martha Raddatz, "The Bush Administration has tried for a long time to make the case that al-Qaeda and Iraq are linked. But in reference to "The Post" article, a US official told ABC News today, that there is no link with Saddam Hussein. That should be knocked down completely."
12/12/02 CBS US Intelligence Dan Rather, "US intelligence officials told CBS News today they have no credible evidence that Iraq has given nerve gas to al-Qaida terrorists. The Washington Post today cited uncorroborated reports that Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaida obtained the gas in northern Iraq and may have smuggled it into Turkey."
12/13/02 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "US officials are saying they are not happy with this declaration. But the question is now, what does the US do about it?"
12/13/02 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "The UN wanted details about new Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs, if they exist. The Iraqis didn't provide any. The UN wanted information about weapons unaccounted for since the Gulf War, 550 mustard gas shells, 150 bombs filled with biological agents, among others. US officials say the declaration ignores the issue. They say the Iraqis have provided what is largely a carbon copy of past declarations and denials. But the UN is not making any snap judgments."
12/13/02 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "That would be the first time since the current crisis began that Iraq has tried to set a SAM trap, and Saddam Hussein may not understand the risk he is taking. Pentagon officials say if he were to succeed in shooting down an American plane now, the US would not wait any longer to go to war."
12/13/02 CBS US Officials David Martin, "The 12,000-page declaration Iraq turned over last week will not by itself trigger a war, even though US officials say it fails to account for hundreds of chemical and biological weapons. The UN resolution states it would take both false statements or omissions in the declarations, and failure to cooperate fully with the weapons inspections before Iraq could be found guilty. So far, Saddam seems to be cooperating with the inspections, although US officials expect that to end the moment the UN demands that dozens of Iraqi scientists and their families--hundreds of people in all--be brought out of Iraq for questioning."
12/18/02 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "'Material breach' is a term the US fought to include in the resolution to provide a trigger for war. Today, however, officials said this is not a trigger for war, that the US will continue to work with the UN and with inspectors, a reversal, based in part on lack of international support for war."
12/18/02 ABC Officials Peter Jennings, "Despite the political signals that the US will not rush into war, officials do tell ABC News that after the first of the year, the military will rapidly increase its buildup in the Persian Gulf."
12/18/02 ABC Military Sources John McWethy, "Peter, this is about shortening the time it would take to mount a full-scale invasion. If ordered today, for example, military sources say it could take two, at least two months. Now, ABC News has learned that the timetable, the plan is to shorten the timetable to two or three weeks."
12/18/02 ABC Officials Peter Jennings, "But first, a review of the main story tonight. The Bush Administration is going to say formally tomorrow that Iraq is in material breach of the United Nations resolution, which required Baghdad to provide a full accounting of its weapons programs. This does not mean war. Officials said today the US would continue to work with the United Nations."
12/18/02 CBS Administration Officials Bill Plante, "Yet administration officials say that even though the Iraqis are clearly in violation of the new UN resolution, it's too soon to pull the trigger."
12/18/02 CBS Officials Bill Plante, "Officials say the secretary of State and others believe that the US needs to spend more time building support and assembling a coalition for any military action. At the same time, it is pressuring the UN to begin interviewing Iraqi scientists outside the country. They are the people most likely to know of secret weapons programs."
12/18/02 CBS Officials David Martin, "In the two months it will take the US to position its forces around Iraq, there will be several key events which will determine the likelihood and timing of any war: the request by the UN weapons inspectors to take Iraqi scientists and their families out of the country so they could be interviewed without fear of reprisal. Those interviews could produce a host of new leads that would take the inspectors weeks, if not months, to track down. But if, as most officials expect, Saddam refuses to let his scientists go, it would be a further violation of the UN resolution."
12/19/02 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "It certainly it, Peter. The grim US assessment of the Iraqi declaration was paired with statements that the President still wants to work with the UN and inspectors. But officials also made clear, the time for a peaceful resolution of the crisis is running out."
12/19/02 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "After the public statements, the US released a catalog of what officials say are omissions in the declaration including, any explanation of why Iraq is making high energy fuels, suitable only for long-range missiles that Baghdad is prohibited from possessing, and a fuller description of mobile refrigeration vehicles and food testing laboratories, which the US suspects are biological weapons labs."
12/19/02 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "The Administration's focus will now shift to the inspectors. Officials say the US will now provide the inspectors with some intelligence information to help them get more aggressive. And they'll pressure the inspectors to interview Iraqi scientists out of Iraq. But Peter, at the same time, that huge US military buildup in the Persian Gulf will continue to accelerate."
12/19/02 CBS US Officials Lee Cowan, "US officials reportedly have evidence that Saddam Hussein is willing to destroy not only his own oil wells but his power plants, even food supplies, during an attack in order to blame it on US bombs and garner Arab support. It's a charge Iraq vehemently denies."
12/20/02 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "United Nations chief arms inspector Hans Blix complained today that the United States and Britain are not giving his teams the high-tech intelligence they need to do their job in Iraq. The US said it will provide more information over the weekend. Today, the inspectors paid another visit to Iraq's main nuclear site outside Baghdad, irritating the Iraqis by working on a Muslim day of rest. US officials said tonight they expect to give the inspectors as early as next week a list of Iraqi scientists to question about Iraq's weapons programs."
12/21/02 ABC US Officials Elizabeth Vargas, "This as US troops in Kuwait conducted their biggest military exercise since the Gulf War. The war games come as US officials announce they will give new intelligence on Iraq to United Nations weapons inspectors."
12/23/02 ABC Sources Bob Woodruff, "And sources tell ABC News that within the past month, the air force has added modified Stinger missiles to some its Predators over Iraq, which are capable of attacking Iraqi fighter jets in the air. Since last year, Iraq has downed at least two other Predators with ground-to-air missiles, the wreckage proudly displayed on Iraqi TV. But US officials have never described this as a violation of any UN resolutions. And today, they played it down again."
12/23/02 ABC Pentagon Sources Bob Woodruff, "Pentagon sources tell ABC News at least twice in the last month, unmanned Predators have fired their Stinger missiles at Iraqi fighter jets in or near the no-fly zone. But in each case, Charlie, they missed their targets."
12/23/02 ABC US Officials Bob Woodruff, "Since last year, Iraq has downed at least two other Predators with ground-to-air missiles, the wreckage proudly displayed on Iraqi TV. But US officials have never described this as a violation of any UN resolutions. And today, they played it down again.
12/23/02 CBS US Officials John Roberts, "President Bush has branded them parts of a worldwide 'axis of evil,' and US officials say belligerent actions today by Iraq and North Korea can only strengthen American resolve to put an end to the threats that they pose, one way or another."
12/26/02 ABC US Officials Dan Harris, "US officials say the best way to get answers may be for the weapons inspectors to take Iraqi scientists out of the country for questioning."
12/26/02 CBS US Officials John Roberts, "In Iraq today, US and British warplanes bombed air defense sites in the southern no-fly zone. US officials said the targets were command centers southeast of Baghdad that directed Monday's downing of an unmanned US spy plane. Iraq claims the air strikes killed three civilians and injured 16 other people."
12/27/02 CBS US Officials Lee Cowan, "While continuing to support inspections, some US officials say better information could come from Iraqi scientists willing to defect once outside the country. At the very least, they could clarify the on-site surveys."
12/28/02 ABC US Officials Dan Harris, "US officials have said that they're worried that Iraqi government officials might intimidate the scientists."
1/2/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "Turkey recently elected a conservative Islamic government, and US officials are worried its parliament will not permit Turkish bases to be used for a war against Iraq. As long as Turkey refuses, US officials say, it will be impossible to open up a northern front, and that would significantly increase the risks of any war."
1/2/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "Jordan is also holding up approval to base American troops on its territory. The US wants to put Special Operations forces into Jordan from where they could be inserted into western Iraq to hunt for the Scud missiles, which in the last war Saddam launched against Israel and which this time could be armed with chemical or biological warheads. US officials are confident Jordan will eventually come through."
1/3/03 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "US officials are well aware that the UN report may not contain any conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but some US officials don't think that matters. A US official told ABC News today that, despite the absence of definitive evidence, the US and a few other countries will likely say Iraq has failed to account for weapons of mass destruction it has been known to possess in the past. But what comes next is unclear. Some Bush Administration officials are arguing that the US should then simply tell the UN Security Council that the US is ready to attack Iraq, and urge the Council to support the effort. Other US officials argue that the inspection process is working and should continue."
1/3/03 ABC Military Officials Elizabeth Vargas, "Military officials say a full scale invasion of Iraq could require a quarter of a million troops in the Middle East. Many of them would be reservists, facing the possibility of war for the first time."
1/3/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "But the Pentagon's war plans go far beyond that. Still to come, officials say, is another order for an additional 25,000 to 30,000 troops that would bring the total number of forces to roughly 200,000 and allow the US to invade Iraq not just from the south from the north and west as well."
1/3/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "But Jordan's king has not yet given his approval and Turkey's foreign minister said today his country may not allow its bases to be used to open up a northern front. ... And Pentagon officials say it won't stop the president from going ahead with an invasion, but it would increase the risks, and in military operations, risks are measured in lives."
1/6/03 ABC Officials John McWethy, "The United States now has a force of 65,000 in the Persian Gulf. Officials say that will grow to roughly 90,000 in two weeks. And by the middle of February, to nearly 200,000.
1/6/03 CBS Administration Officials David Martin, "Bush administration officials admit they have not yet made a compelling case for war. The CIA is being urged to make public more of its intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, but officials say there is still no smoking gun. Which is exactly what the UN official in charge of hunting for evidence Saddam is hiding a nuclear weapons programs said in public today."
1/6/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials insist the US will go to war alone if it has to, but they acknowledge that would fuel the growing perception that America is an arrogant superpower."
1/7/03 ABC Administration Officials John McWethy, "Administration officials say a war with Iraq, on the other hand, is one that Pentagon planners say they should be able to win quickly and without massive casualties.
1/8/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "As the US prepares for war, a crucial part of the plan may be breaking down. The US had hoped to put 10,000 to 15,000 American ground troops at bases in Turkey. But the Turkish government has been dragging its feet for more than a month on US requests, preventing an American survey team from even looking at possible bases. This could dramatically complicate a US invasion that sources say was to include American troops closing in on Baghdad from both the north and the south. Troops could still be brought in to northern Iraq by air, sources say, but heavy equipment and most supplies would have to come by road from the south."
1/8/03 CBS Pentagon Officials Dan Rather, "Inside Iraq today, US and British aircraft bombed Iraqi air defense sites after Iraqi jets violated again the southern no-fly zone. Pentagon officials say the Iraqis hope to shoot down another unmanned Predator spy plane. They got the first one two weeks ago, and CBS' David Martin has exclusive pictures of the dogfight that Predator lost."
1/9/03 ABC US Officials Terry Moran, "But dealing with Iraq is getting more complicated. First, the assessment from UN weapons inspectors that they have turned up nothing so far that would justify a war. And US officials admit it's unlikely inspectors will find any smoking gun."
1/9/03 ABC Administration Officials / Sources Terry Moran, "Nevertheless, Administration officials insist the President's timetable has not changed. Sources say the Administration will continue to support the weapons inspectors with intelligence information, continue the military buildup in the Persian Gulf and go back to the UN Security Council, Peter, shortly after that January 27th deadline to declare Iraq in material breach."
1/9/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials insist they'll be ready by the middle of February, but acknowledge that as long as UN weapons inspectors remain in Iraq, the war is unlikely to start."
1/10/03 ABC US Official Martha Raddatz, "Well, they are giving [the UN] a little bit of intelligence in the last couple of weeks. The reason they say they're not giving more, and one US official I talked to today said they have much better intelligence, is they say they're afraid there will be leaks to Iraq and also that sources and methods will be revealed, in other words how the United States gathers that intelligence. "
1/10/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "UN weapons inspectors were out looking for that elusive smoking gun again today while US officials debated what to do about this Iraqi missile, known as the Al-Samoud, which could ultimately trigger a confrontation between the UN and Iraq."
1/10/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "The Iraqis admit that in flight tests the fat missile flew about 20 miles over the limit, but they say it was a mistake, that the fat missile simply went further than they thought it would. US officials don't believe that, but they're not yet ready to demand that Iraq give up the fat missile. They don't want to let Saddam Hussein get away with anything, but they also don't want to start a war over a missile that exceeds the range limit by a measly 20 miles."
1/13/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Today, in Kuwait, US troops were honing their combat skills. In North Carolina, marines were shipping out. And in Texas this morning, more reservists got their orders. All snapshots of a buildup that sources tell ABC News could end up involving more than 350,000 troops for a war and subsequent occupation. Sources say the National Guard and reserve call up, 56,000 have already been mobilized, could also grow well beyond the 263,000 used in the Persian Gulf War more than a decade ago. The number of troops, sources say, will depend, at least in part, on whether there is large- scale resistance in Iraq."
1/13/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Sources say the Bush Administration is preparing to take its case for war to the United Nations soon after January 27th. And, Peter, they say it doesn't matter what UN inspectors report."
1/14/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "But President Bush is putting pressure on Saddam Hussein and on allies like Mr. Blair. Part of it, however, might be for show, Peter. Officials say that the main US goal over the next couple of weeks is to convince Saddam Hussein that he has no choice but to comply."
1/14/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "If and when President Bush decides to go to war, US officials say it won't start right away. The Pentagon would still need another week or more to deploy additional air and ground combat units, bringing the total invasion force to 250,000."
1/14/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "Soon they will have intelligence from American U-2 spy planes, which are about to start flying missions for the UN over both northern and southern Iraq. But in the past, Iraq has gone to great lengths to hide its weapons, and US officials do not believe the inspectors will find a smoking gun unless an Iraqi official can be spirited out of the country so he can tell the UN where to look."
1/15/03 ABC Administration Sources John McWethy, "Administration sources tell ABC News that the US has detected Iraq moving equipment and containers of suspected chemical and biological agents just before UN inspectors have arrived. Skeptics say, if the Bush Administration has that kind of specific evidence, it better find a way to make it public, because on the world stage, the US argument for going to war against Iraq is not selling."
1/16/03 ABC Officials / Aides Terry Moran, "Officials say the President, in Pennsylvania today, will wait to speak out on the discovery in Iraq until inspectors reach solid conclusions about the warheads. But aides said the fact that inspectors found the warheads in a bunker built in the mid-1990s and that they were in excellent condition indicated they may be part of an active stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. But the White House does not want to make too much of today's discovery. Instead, officials say they will use this as part of their case to take to the UN that war is justified, simply because Saddam Hussein is not actively cooperating."
1/16/03 ABC Most Officials Terry Moran, "Most officials here are deeply skeptical that the inspectors will ever be able to find anything that would count as a smoking gun, nevertheless they continue to pressure the inspectors, Peter, especially urging them to interview key Iraqi scientists outside Iraq."
1/16/03 CBS US Official Dan Rather, "UN weapons inspectors here in Iraq finally found something today. Not quite a smoking gun; one US official told CBS News it was more like a smoldering gun. It was found at an Iraqi military site about 50 miles south of the capital, and it is potentially a breach of the United Nations resolution that requires Iraq to disarm."
1/16/03 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "US officials say today's discovery only scratches the surface of what it believes Iraq may be hiding."
1/17/03 ABC Administration Officials Peter Jennings, "Today, Administration officials have said it is deeply troubling that empty chemical warheads were found by the UN weapons inspectors yesterday and that the Iraqi explanation doesn't wash."
1/17/03 ABC Officials / US Officials Martha Raddatz, "Officials tell ABC News the US will present pieces of evidence to the Security Council that they believe make a compelling case. Including, missing weapons. The US says that in addition to the 12 warheads, Iraq has failed to account for 30,000 chemical or biological weapons. No-fly zone violations, Iraq has continued to fire on US and allied warplanes. And US officials will argue that recent satellite surveillance shows Iraqis moving what officials believe may be containers of chemical agents just before the inspectors arrive. But those same officials admit the US has no definitive evidence and little to present that is new. A tough case to make to an already skeptical Security Council."
1/19/03 ABC American Officials Peter Jennings, "But American officials believe that the Iraqis will put in place what one general referred to as speed bumps to slow down an invading force."
1/20/03 ABC Officials Peter Jennings, "Terry, I grant you, it's the way it looks from here, but it is as if they have no doubts about it, they intend to attack."
Terry Moran, "Well, Peter, they have no doubts that Iraq must do more, much more in order to avoid an attack. And they are frankly dismissive of today's moves in Baghdad. Officials here say it's much more about public relations, than about genuine disarmament."
1/20/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "Powell has long been seen as a dove in the Administration on Iraq, but officials say he now backs a harder line."
1/20/03 ABC Administration Terry Moran, "But the Administration says that's not enough and over the course of the next week, senior Administration officials will lay out in a series of speeches the Administration's case that inspections aren't working and that will culminate, Peter, in the President's State of Union address next week."
1/20/03 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "In Washington today, US officials made a point of letting the impatience show, and chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports tonight they made it explicitly clear Saddam has very little room or time left to maneuver."
1/20/03 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "Eight weeks into UN inspections, White House officials said today it will be Iraq's cooperation with inspectors that will make the difference between war and peace, not evidence of a so-called smoking gun."
1/20/03 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "White House officials admit they don't know where Iraq may be hiding its weapons, but they are convinced Saddam never destroyed thousands of liters of anthrax and nerve gas."
1/20/03 CBS US Officials Byron Pitts, "Kuwaiti and US officials are concerned Kuwait City could be targeted by terrorists if there is a war with Iraq."
1/21/03 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Administration officials insist the crucial finding of the inspectors is already clear, the evidence shows, they say, Saddam Hussein is not complying and will never voluntarily give up his weapons of mass destruction. And that, Peter, they say alone justifies war."
1/21/03 CBS Officials John Roberts, "But Mr. Bush is pressing ahead despite the resistance, publishing today a 32-page document detailing what officials called Saddam's Apparatus of Lies, dispatching Colin Powell's right-hand man to say America cannot allow the fear of war let Saddam off the hook."
1/21/03 CBS Military Officials John Roberts, "Military officials tell CBS News tonight they now have a solid indication that Saddam plans to blow up Iraq's oil wells if it appears certain his regime will fall."
1/21/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials are betting that Turkey will eventually allow them to send in about 40,000 troops, including not just Army, but Air and Special Operations forces as well."
1/22/03 ABC Military Sources John McWethy, "Military sources say US forces could go to war immediately if they had to, but a full buildup will likely take at least another month. Despite orders directing more than 100,000 troops to the region, most of those troops are not there yet."
1/22/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials say they have received intelligence reports that some members of the Iraqi government are arguing among themselves about whether to fight if the US invades."
1/23/03 ABC US Military Sources John McWethy, "One obvious concern for the US is Turkey. If American ground troops are not able to use Turkish bases to help open a northern front against Iraq, US military sources say any war would take longer, cost more, and US casualties would likely be higher."
1/23/03 ABC American Sources John McWethy, "Losing support of a country like Germany, now a vocal critic, would complicate, but not cripple a military campaign. The US is now negotiating with other European allies so war supplies could flow through their bases if Germany refused. American sources say they do have crucial military support in the Persian Gulf itself, beginning with Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar."
1/23/03 ABC US Officials John McWethy, "Officials have assumed all along that the United States would carry most of the burden of actually fighting a war, with some important help from Britain. But US officials say the political backlash of doing it that way, especially if casualties are high, could be huge."
1/23/03 CBS Pentagon Sources John Roberts, "To strengthen its case for war, the White House put out yet another dossier today, listing more of Iraq's alleged lies and deceptions. The most shocking examples date back to the '90s, though Pentagon sources say there is evidence of very recent activity that Iraq is relocating weapons of mass destruction, and there is new intelligence that the infamous Iraqi intimidation is harsher than ever."
1/25/03 ABC Administration Sources Derek McGinty, "And in Washington, the White House released photos of President Bush working on his State of the Union address for Tuesday night when he will almost certainly once again lay out his arguments for regime change in Iraq. Administration sources say Tuesday night the President will tell the nation Iraq has massive piles of weapons of mass destruction and he will brace America for war."
1/25/03 CBS US Officials Thalia Assuras, "Two days before the UN weapons inspectors report on their investigations in Iraq, US officials are trying to convince world leaders to present a united front against Saddam Hussein. That, as President Bush prepares to once again make the case for military action against Iraq in his State of the Union address on Tuesday."
1/27/03 ABC Many Officials Peter Jennings, "As I said, Terry, before the speeches and after, pretty much the same message."
Terry Moran, "The same message, but Dr. Blix's presentation, Peter, vindicated, according to many, to many officials here, the US position. They say they felt vindicated. They also say they sense international momentum shifting and they want to keep the pressure on."
1/27/03 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Administration officials will provide more unclassified evidence they say will help prove two US claims, that Iraq currently possesses weapons of mass destruction and that there are current links between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al Qaeda."
1/27/03 ABC Senior White House Official Terry Moran, "A senior White House official says the President is still willing to engage in what he called serious diplomacy at the UN, but there are no plans for the US to work on a second resolution now to the UN Security Council. And, Peter, this aid says the President remains willing to leave diplomacy behind."
1/27/03 ABC US Officials Peter Jennings, "And now, we turn to the military dimension of all this. US officials said today they finally got agreement with Turkey allowing US ground troops to use Turkey as a base in the event of war. The US wants to use Turkey as a launching pad for a component of the invasion into Iraq that would come from the north."
1/27/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "US commanders are pressing ahead on a timeline all their own. There are 400 US military aircraft in the Persian Gulf today. And sources say that number is expected to double in the weeks ahead. There are 77,000 US troops there. That force is also expected to at least double before an invasion is likely. Sources say the buildup is expected to take at least another month. "
1/27/03 ABC Officials John McWethy, "As for the timing of any invasion, officials say there are many factors influencing the planning. One is a strong desire not to attack during the middle of the Haj, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to the holy City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The Haj ends in mid- February. More important may be the moon. Ideally, military commanders prefer the moon be in its darkest phase. The US trains to fight with night vision goggles. The darker it is, the greater the advantage."
1/27/03 CBS Sources John Roberts, "Over the next several weeks, President Bush will continue to build a case against Iraq, unveiling what sources tell CBS News is new intelligence culled from al-Qaida detainees and other sources that will help to prove the case that Saddam Hussein has both weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaida."
1/27/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "The National Security Agency has eavesdropped on Iraqis talking about hiding material from the inspectors, although officials say it's not always clear exactly what it is the Iraqis are hiding."
1/27/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "US officials say they also have evidence Iraq is harboring members of al-Qaida. One senior leader lost a leg to US bombing in Afghanistan and received medical treatment in Baghdad. He then went to northeastern Iraq and joined a group which has links to al-Qaida and is suspected of having provided the deadly biological agent ricin to alleged terrorists recently arrested in London."
1/27/03 CBS Officials David Martin, " The US has promised Turkey billions in economic aid and officials remain confident the new government there will eventually say yes. But they acknowledge that the holdup in approval is one of several factors likely to delay military action from early until late March. Another factor: Britain's Prime Minister Blair, America's chief ally, is running into increasing opposition at home. Like it or not, officials say, a delay of weeks now appears to be both a diplomatic and a military necessity."
1/28/03 ABC Senior US Officials Martha Raddatz, "There are no hidden chemical agents the US has uncovered, no cache of biological weapons to report. The first case the Administration will try to make is that Iraq is playing a shell game, moving banned weapons from one place to another so inspectors won't find them. Senior US officials say recent evidence includes, intercepted communications of Iraqi officials talking about hiding things at inspection sites, but there is no proof of what was being hidden. Satellite imagery showing trucks and equipment being moved from selected sites just hours or days before inspectors arrive. But again, not proof of what was being moved. An even tougher case, making a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. The evidence, a senior al- Qaeda leader, Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi, received medical treatment in Baghdad after losing a leg in the US-led bombing in Afghanistan. There is no proof that Iraqi officials knew about the treatment. A senior official adds that the al-Qaeda leader may have fled to northern Iraq and may have connections to a London al-Qaeda cell, recently found in position of the deadly biological agent, ricin."
1/28/03 ABC Some Officials Martha Raddatz, "But some officials concede that the evidence of a link is weak and much of it recycled."
1/28/03 ABC Senior Intelligence Official Martha Raddatz, "A senior intelligence official summed it up this way, if you believe that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, you will be reassured by this evidence. But, Peter, he said, if you don't, it won't change your mind."
1/28/03 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "White House officials say tonight's State of the Union address is just the first step toward preparing the American people for war."
1/29/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "Peter, officials here say that there is a window of diplomacy, now, that will last only for weeks, not months. And the Administration intends to use that time, by pressuring allies hard and by providing some new proof of its charges."
1/29/03 ABC Intelligence Community / Sources Peter Jennings, "Now, you also talked to your sources in the intelligence community, based on what the President said last night. What do they say today?"
Martha Raddatz, "The intelligence community is probably more skeptical of this than anyone. Most officials I talk to say there is no undeniable proof in Powell's presentation."
1/29/03 ABC US Officials Peter Jennings, "US officials acknowledge today, for the first time, that there are small groups of US forces already in northern Iraq. They're in areas controlled by the Kurds. They are, of course, laying the groundwork for war. And it is going on in a much, much larger scale to the south, next to Iraq in Kuwait. There's been a very rapid buildup of US troops there, and ABC's Bob Woodruff is on the scene."
1/30/03 ABC White House Officials Terry Moran, "Peter, White House officials say they had nothing to do with that letter, from eight European leaders backing the tough US line on Iraq. But it does serve the President's diplomatic strategy, now, pressuring France and other reluctant allies. And it sounds almost as if it could have been written here."
1/30/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "The Saudi Arabian foreign minister, who has been quietly trying to engineer Saddam's departure, met with Mr. Bush today. But the Saudis claim the subject did not come up. Few officials here or in the Saudi government believe Saddam would voluntarily relinquish power."
1/30/03 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "This is an idea being floated in some Arab countries. US officials say they have not been involved in any planning. But Secretary of State Colin Powell raised eyebrows yesterday when he suggested the US would help find a place for Saddam Hussein to go. The Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said recently that immunity for Saddam Hussein should be considered."
1/30/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Sources say the military is also considering sending trained dolphins to the Persian Gulf, to provide similar harbor security or to hunt for mines. Dolphins were used during the Persian Gulf War, but their handlers discovered as the weather heated up, and the water got warmer, the dolphins became sluggish and far less effective. Sea lions do not appear to be bothered as much by rising water temperature, and they have one other advantage. Unlike a dolphin, a sea lion could continue chasing an enemy, if it came to that, on to dry land."
1/30/03 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "In Congress today, US officials offered new details of their case against Saddam. And as CBS' David Martin reports, it included evidence of Iraqi support for al-Qaida."
1/31/03 ABC Administration Officials Peter Jennings, "'The Washington Times' newspaper, which has good sources in this Administration, reported today that President Bush had signed a directive allowing the use of nuclear weapons against Iraq if Iraq uses chemical or biological weapons against American troops. Even talking about it is chilling. But that may be the point. ABC's Martha Raddatz is at the State Department. Martha, what are we supposed to think about this? And more to the point, what are the Iraqis supposed to think about it?
Martha Raddatz, "Well, Peter, Administration officials will not even confirm or deny this report, but it is in their interest to remain vague about this policy."
1/31/03 ABC Officials Martha Raddatz, "Officials usually avoid the word "nuclear," but that is what is clearly implied."
1/31/03 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "US officials may now be leaking documents containing a specific nuclear option to frighten Saddam Hussein. But some experts say if the President is including this in his national strategy, he has crossed a dangerous line."
2/1/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "The weapons inspectors have agreed to go back to Baghdad, although officials here are not optimistic that there will be any kind of a breakthrough. And frankly, this Administration is looking past inspections, toward diplomacy at the Security Council where the Secretary of State will present a case against Iraq on Wednesday."
2/4/03 ABC Official Peter Jennings, "The Bush administration was asked today about the interview. One official said, we do not need to do a play-by-play on Saddam, as they called it. They are focusing on the presentation of Secretary of State Colin Powell, the one that he will make tomorrow to the United Nations."
2/4/03 CBS Bush Administration Bob Simon, "But beyond any links to al-Qaida, the Bush administration claims Saddam may be close to building nuclear weapons and probably has chemical and biological weapons, charges he continues to deny."
2/5/03 ABC Intelligence Sources John McWethy, "With Powell arguing that Al-Qaeda is now getting help from Iraq, intelligence sources say they are increasingly concerned by the possibility of terrorist attacks against key US bases in the Persian Gulf and Europe"
2/6/03 ABC US Intelligence Bush, "A UAV launched from a vessel off the American coast could reach hundreds of miles inland."
Terry Moran, "US intelligence sources say that scenario is not likely. But the White House argues the risk is real."
2/6/03 ABC Senior White House Official Terry Moran, "The diplomatic game plan from here is for Great Britain to carry the ball in trying to craft some kind of second UN resolution, with the US paradoxically supporting it by saying the President's willing to go to war without a new resolution. Peter, as one senior White House official put it, that's how we got the first one."
2/6/03 ABC FBI Officials Peter Jennings, "FBI officials briefed members of the Congress today. They said that al Qaeda is the number one threat to the country."
2/6/03 ABC Sources / US Officials Pierre Thomas, "And sources tell ABC News the US has received information from Arab allies that bin Laden will release a new recording, signaling a new wave of attacks against the US if it attacks Iraq. US officials are extremely worried, especially during the period leading up to possible war with Iraq."
2/6/03 CBS Sources John Roberts, "In fact, sources say the US could introduce a resolution soon after Blix and ElBaradei's next report to the UN on February 14. Before then, the White House fully expects Saddam to make another play for time by showing more cooperation with weapons inspections."
2/6/03 CBS Diplomatic Sources John Roberts, "Security Council members France and Russia restated their opposition to war today. But diplomatic sources say tonight they are confident that Russia will sign on with the United States, and they say there are indications that France is beginning to move their way, too."
2/6/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "It will take well into March for all of the 101st to get there. And officials say that if the Pentagon sticks to its current schedule, the war will already have started by then."
2/7/03 ABC Senior US Official Martha Raddatz, "Peter, as you know, there has been a lot of skepticism about whether the UN Security Council would pass a second resolution supporting action against Iraq. A senior US official tells ABC News tonight, we are confident we will get one. It will happen."
2/7/03 ABC US Officials / Senior US Official Martha Raddatz, "But US officials insist that members of the Security Council will ultimately support the US. The senior US official says the resolution would not likely contain language calling for all necessary means to be used against Iraq, an authorization for war. Instead, it would reinforce the last resolution, saying Iraq is in material breach and again warn of Iraq of serious consequences."
2/7/03 ABC Senior US Official Martha Raddatz, "It is expected that the Iraqis will tell the inspectors they will now allow U2 surveillance flights, but, Peter, a senior US official says, we want the whole loaf, not just another slice."
2/7/03 CBS US Official Jim Stewart, "In the past two days, the White House has been briefed on what one US official called, 'increasingly scary stuff,' suggesting even more terrorist cells were about ready to go operational."
2/7/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials say they see nothing in Iraqi troop deployments that concerns them. It's what they don't see that worries them."
2/10/03 ABC Officials Peter Jennings, "Terry, whatever the Bush Administration thinks privately about Saddam Hussein's concessions today, the public position is very consistent."
Terry Moran, "It is very consistent, Peter, and familiar. The official word out of the White House today in reaction to Baghdad's moves can be summed up in one word, skepticism. Officials say they do not believe that Saddam Hussein will follow through on these commitments. And they say even if he does, it's still not enough."
2/10/03 ABC Senior US Official Terry Moran, "Allowing the U-2 flights, a senior US official added, is 'an empty gesture."'"
2/10/03 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "US officials are fuming over the actions of the three NATO allies, but are determined it will not slow down any war efforts."
2/10/03 ABC US Intelligence "Brian Ross, ""The defector also says the Iraqi scientists being interviewed by the UN have been required to sign two written documents, one, public, pledging to cooperate with the UN, a second one, he says, is secret, holding the scientist responsible if the security of Iraq is harmed.""

Male One, ""The words 'being held responsible for harming the country's security' are well known for Iraqis. The penalty, killing and torture and going after the family.""

Brian Ross, ""American intelligence sources say the defector's information was included in Secretary of State Powell's UN speech last week."""

2/10/03 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "White House officials tell CBS News they have all but given up hope that Germany might come over to the United States and change its mind. Also, earlier optimism that France might be willing to join up has now all but evaporated, making it appear ever more likely that if President Bush wants to go to war soon, it will be without the United Nations."
2/10/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials refuse to discuss how the bomb might be used, but it seems unlikely a weapon that powerful would be dropped on a populated area. It seems more likely to be used as a way of shocking the Iraqis into surrendering by making them think the US had done the unthinkable and used a nuclear weapon."
2/11/03 ABC American Officials Peter Jennings, "The Administration was very quick to say that it proved a connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Not everybody agreed. ABC's Brian Ross has covered this story today. Brian?"
Brian Ross, "Peter, American officials knew the bin Laden audiotape was coming before it was broadcast. And they say they are certain it was authentic. It's his voice on the tape."
2/11/03 ABC Administration Officials Linda Douglass, "Administration officials said when a war on Iraq has ended, tens of thousands of American troops may have to stay there for two years or more, costing billions of dollars. But they were short on specifics."
2/11/03 ABC Officials Linda Douglass, "The officials outlined a plan to eventually turn the reins of power over to the Iraqis, though they acknowledge they must first figure out which Iraqis they can trust."
2/11/03 ABC Officials Linda Douglass, "Officials testified that an office inside the Defense Department is organizing plans for a post-war Iraq. It was set up three weeks ago."
2/11/03 CBS Sources John Roberts, "Dan, sources tell CBS News tonight that the White House may move to begin negotiations on a second United Nations resolution next Monday, three days after Hans Blix reports back to the Security Council. And they are optimistic that--despite threats from France and now Russia to veto any swift move toward war, that the president will get the resolution passed."
2/11/03 CBS Homeland Security Officials Bob Orr, "And for the first time, Homeland Security officials recommend citizens prepare 'disaster supply kits' to include: A three-day supply of water and food, flashlights, batteries and radios; even plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal windows and doors against a bio or chemical attack."
2/11/03 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "To hear the White House expressing optimism tonight would seem to be ignoring the facts. China today joined with France and Russia, creating a three-two split among the veto-bearing members of the Security Council. But White House officials insist tonight the public pronouncements are not necessarily reflective of the private conversations that are taking place at the highest levels."
2/12/03 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Looming over all of this is the issue of what a war with Iraq would do to the US economy and to the Federal budget. And to both of those questions, Peter, Administration officials have given no specific answer."
2/12/03 ABC Sources Pierre Thomas, "ABC News has been told the US government is aggressively pursuing intelligence that Saddam Hussein may have sent operatives to the United States."
Robert Gallucci (Georgetown University School of Foreign Services), "We should fully expect that he would use whatever capability he has to inflict harm on us or our allies. And that means, certainly us at home, if he can do it.
Pierre Thomas, "Sources tell ABC News that is one reason why the FBI launched a massive campaign to interview 50,000 Iraqi-Americans."
2/12/03 CBS Sources / Officials John Roberts, "Sources tell CBS News that the White House is working together with Britain on language for a very simple second resolution authorizing force against Iraq, and officials say negotiations with the Security Council will be short, nothing like last fall's seven and a half week long wrestling match."
2/12/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "A couple thousand more Marines came ashore in Kuwait today as the number of troops positioned for an attack on Iraq climbed above 150,000, the number Pentagon officials have said would set the stage for an invasion decision by the president."
2/12/03 CBS Senior Officials David Martin, "Senior officials say the president is not likely to make that decision for at least another 10 days, and the Pentagon is far from ready to open a northern front against Iraq."
2/13/03 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "And [Blix] will present evidence that Iraq's al Samoud missile exceeds the 93-mile range allowed under UN regulations, a conclusion that US officials seized on today as another argument for war."
2/13/03 CBS White House Sources John Roberts, "White House sources tell CBS News that tomorrow's critical UN weapons report will likely not be the slam dunk against Saddam Hussein that the United States was hoping for. The White House says Hans Blix is coming under pressure from dovish members of the Security Council to, quote, 'tone down his remarks, knowing that the consequences could be war.'"
2/13/03 CBS Sources / Official John Roberts, "The report appears to be far less damning than Blix's last presentation to the UN. He will acknowledge a new spirit of Iraqi cooperation and say Saddam seems to be finally taking inspections more seriously. But Blix will also declare there are still many unanswered questions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Sources say while Blix is well aware of the pressures and the consequences, he will present an unvarnished assessment of the facts, and those facts, one official told CBS News, would indicate Saddam is not complying enough, but added, 'That is up to the council to decide.'"
2/13/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Knowing what Saddam did to Kuwait's oil fields in 1991, Pentagon officials say one of the first objectives will be to secure the oil fields in both northern and southern Iraq. Oil is Iraq's most valuable asset and vital to putting the country back on its feet once Saddam is gone."
2/13/03 CBS State Department Official Colin Powell, "And during that period of time, when we would have responsibility for the country, we will protect this asset [oil] that belongs to the Iraqi people."
David Martin, "No one knows how long that will be, although one State Department official estimated a military occupation of Iraq might last two years."
2/13/03 CBS Official Estimate David Martin, "And a staggering bill. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says the Pentagon has already spent more than $2 billion moving troops into position around Iraq and that official estimate's put the cost of a war at $50 billion to $60 billion. Whatever the price of getting rid of Saddam, Rumsfeld says, it will be cheaper than 9/11."
2/14/03 ABC White House Officials / Aides Terry Moran, "Well, Peter, White House officials first characterized today's developments at the UN as unsurprising. But, Peter, an air of fatalism has settled over much of this Administration. Aides say the President remains determined to force a showdown over Iraq at the Security Council within the next couple of weeks."
2/14/03 ABC US Officials / Aides Terry Moran, "US officials are now demanding that Iraq destroy all the missiles under inspectors' supervision, as UN resolutions require. And as early as next week, aides say, the US, Great Britain, and possibly Spain, will propose a new, blunt UN resolution that will declare Iraq to be in material breach of all previous resolutions and decide that it now faces serious consequences, diplomatic code for war."
2/14/03 ABC Government Sources Peter Jennings, "In Washington today, government sources tell us that the official terrorism threat level might not be lowered for the foreseeable future. Earlier this week, as you know, the Department of Homeland Security recommended that people go out and prepare for a terrorist attack, including buying duct tape and plastic in order to prepare for an attack"
2/14/03 CBS White House Officials John Roberts, "Despite the opposition, the White House still plans to press ahead with a second United res--Na--Nations resolution authorizing force against Iraq; though, now perhaps not until later next week at the earliest. White House officials tell CBS News tonight they have no hope that France will support it. The question is: Will France veto it?"
2/14/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "US officials insist there's no change in their determination to disarm Saddam Hussein by force if necessary, but they admit anti-war sentiment both at the UN and in the streets is throwing sand in the gears of the march toward war."
2/16/03 ABC Administration Sources Tamala Edwards, "Administration sources tell ABC News they have their own plan that they are working on with the British to secure a new UN resolution. First, they will take their case public. They will argue, like National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice did today, that there were serious omissions in the Iraqi weapons report."
2/17/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "US warplanes are now bombing Iraqi air defenses almost everyday. Other aircraft are dropping millions of leaflets all over Iraq, warning people things are about to change. And small numbers of CIA and US military operatives are now secretly working inside Iraq. In many respects, the war has already begun. Sources say American commando teams have been operating in Iraq's western desert, where the US believes Saddam Hussein has hidden Scud missiles capable of hitting Israel or Jordan with nerve gas. These teams are dropped by helicopters in darkness. They stay for a day or two, hunting for missiles, scouting for future bases, and planting surveillance equipment. Other teams, operating more openly, have set up small bases in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq."
2/17/03 CBS Officials Bill Plante, "As the American U-2 reconnaissance aircraft swept above Iraq carrying the surveillance process to the next level, the Bush administration continued working to cut short the inspections and get UN sanction for war. The US and Britain won't offer a new resolution until late this week at the earliest, say officials. They're still working to find the nine votes needed in the Security Council and to avoid a French veto."
2/17/03 CBS Senior Administration Official Bill Plante, "A senior administration official tells CBS News, 'Washington wants a simple resolution, with no tests or conditions.' But if the Europeans finally decide some sort of ultimatum is necessary, former national security adviser Sandy Berger says it's worth the trouble."
2/18/03 ABC Military Sources John McWethy, "Military sources say any war with Iraq will begin with an intense, unrelenting bombardment. At the cutting edge, weapons guided by satellite, dropped from the B-2 Stealth bomber, both new since the last war with Iraq 12 years ago. And beyond that, a few weapons drawn from the government's most secret research programs."
2/18/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "Ships loaded with equipment for the US Army's 4th Infantry Division are waiting outside Turkish ports for permission to unload, and US officials say they need an answer within the next 48 to 72 hours, or they will have to divert the 4th Infantry Division to Kuwait."
2/18/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "The US has such overwhelming military power, it can work around almost any problem, but Pentagon officials say the loss of Turkey would greatly complicate their battle plan."
2/18/03 CBS US Officials Bill Plante, "The massive protests are another reason Mr. Bush's ally Tony Blair says he needs a second UN resolution. US officials are on board with the idea of a final challenge to Iraq. They say they'll take it to the Security Council as soon as they think they can make some progress."
2/19/03 ABC Diplomatic Sources Terry Moran, "Diplomatic sources tell ABC News that the US and Great Britain will introduce a final UN resolution on Iraq, either Friday or Monday. And when that resolution is introduced, the US will ask for a deadline. But not a deadline for Saddam Hussein, Peter, a deadline for the Security Council to vote on war."
2/19/03 ABC Military Sources John McWethy, "Once a ground assault begins, military sources say the US plans to rely on speed and overwhelming firepower. More than 100,000 American and British troops are expected to roll across the border of Kuwait into southern Iraq, the first major resistance is expected in the port City of Basra, but sources say no matter how that fight goes, most troops will continue to push north. Much smaller American units are expected to head toward Baghdad from the north and west. As the ground assault begins, the US expects many of Iraq's 2,000 tanks, along with tens of thousands of troops, to dig in near cities. The US will go after them with a combination of M-1 tanks and Apache helicopters, the same 1-2 punch that decimated Iraqi armor 12 years ago in the Persian Gulf War. The helicopter, now called Apache Longbow, has been upgraded, better radar, more firepower, longer range."
2/19/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Sources tell ABC News the US will also launch the largest offensive attack on computers and communications links ever attempted."
2/19/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "Officials say these deployment delays, coming on top of all the political and diplomatic opposition the Bush administration has encountered, are pushing the possible start date of a war further and further into March."
2/20/03 CBS Senior Administration Official Dan Rather, "In Washington today, a senior administration official said the United States will present a draft war resolution to the UN Security Council next week, but it is less certain when the council might vote on the resolution."
2/20/03 CBS Administration Officials Bill Plante, "In what amounts to an admission that the US has failed to convince most members of the UN Security Council, administration officials now say there is not likely to be a vote on the second resolution until after the next report from the chief UN weapons inspector, which is at least 10 days away. With only four of the 15 council members now in favor of a new resolution declaring Iraq in further material breach, the White House has little choice but to give in; effectively allowing the inspectors more time as most council members are demanding."
2/20/03 CBS UN Source Mark Phillips, "The inspectors have become so frustrated trying to chase down unspecific or ambiguous US leads that they've begun to express their anger privately in no uncertain terms. UN sources have told CBS News that American tips have lead to one dead end after another."
2/20/03 CBS Source (UN) Mark Phillips, "So frustrated have the inspectors become that one source here referred to the American intelligence they've been getting as 'garbage after garbage after garbage.' In fact, the source used another cruder word."
2/20/03 CBS Turkish Bill Plante, "A Turkish source denies his government is horse trading, pointing out that 95 percent of Turks are opposed to war with neighboring Iraq, and he says an answer is likely tomorrow."
2/20/03 CBS Senior Administration Official Dan Rather, "In Washington today, a senior administration official said the United States will present a draft war resolution to the UN Security Council next week, but it is less certain when the council might vote on the resolution. And as CBS' Bill Plante reports from the White House, that could well push back the Pentagon's invasion timetable."
2/20/03 CBS Administration Officials Bill Plante, "In what amounts to an admission that the US has failed to convince most members of the UN Security Council, administration officials now say there is not likely to be a vote on the second resolution until after the next report from the chief UN weapons inspector, which is at least 10 days away."
2/21/03 ABC White House Aides / Administration Official Terry Moran, "Well, White House aides say there are no financial inducements and diplomats in New York say the main arguments they are hearing from Americans are the ones heard in public, that this is a test of the Security Council but one Administration official admitted, as he put it, 'we don't have to be that crass. These are countries that don't want to bite the hand that feeds them.'"
2/21/03 ABC Officials Martha Raddatz, "The hope is that the US intelligence will be able to first identify Saddam Hussein, he does use doubles, and pick him up on the run. But officials admit that, too, is wishful thinking."
2/21/03 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "US officials are aware that the chances of getting Saddam Hussein under any circumstances are slim, which is one reason the Administration continues to publicly deny that would be a goal, if it comes to war."
2/21/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "US officials believe they have a deal with the Turkish government to allow tens of thousands of American troops into Turkey to open up a northern front against Iraq. But the agreement must still be submitted to the Turkish parliament, and that won't happen until Tuesday."
2/21/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials insist the president has not yet made a decision to go to war, but they are proceeding on the assumption the decision could come in a matter of days."
2/21/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "Secretary of State Powell said today there is still no sign Saddam Hussein is serious about disarming or making preparations to leave Iraq and go into exile. And other officials say they now see little chance war can be avoided."
2/21/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "US officials expect Iraq to destroy at least some of the missiles as a public show of cooperation, but they insist that won't be enough."
2/21/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "Despite the opposition of some key members of the Security Council, most notably France, US officials think they can draft a resolution that will get the nine votes and no vetoes needed to pass."
2/21/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "Officials refuse to say how many days they will give the resolution to pass, but after that there will be only one more step to war. President Bush will issue a final ultimatum giving Saddam Hussein a short time to disarm or else."
2/22/03 ABC American Officials John Cochran, "American officials say a resolution that avoids any reference to military action might win the Council's approval. The vote may not come until mid-March."
2/23/03 ABC Aides John Cochran, "Well, the hard sell is under way and will only intensify this week as the President and top officials lobby members of the Security Council. The President's aides believe they will get the votes they need to pass a new resolution, but they don't have them yet."
2/23/03 ABC Administration Officials John Cochran, "Administration officials tell ABC News that regardless of what the Security Council does, the President and Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, may give Saddam Hussein one last chance to leave Iraq for exile in another country."
2/23/03 ABC Diplomatic Sources Carole Simpson, "France is still officially opposed for now to a second UN Security Council resolution on Iraq. Diplomatic sources say President Jacques Chirac still thinks UN weapons inspectors need more time to complete their work."
2/23/03 ABC US Officials Josh Gerstein, "US officials have repeatedly said the two cases required different approaches, because North Korea already has the ability to inflict massive casualties if the US resorts to military force."
2/24/03 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Peter, Administration officials are calling this new draft UN resolution an efficient resolution. They say it was written to provide very little room for negotiation at the UN. The White House simply wants a vote on war, soon."
2/24/03 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Administration officials have been saying for weeks that the military buildup and the diplomacy are closely intertwined, and it's clear both are nearly complete. Driving that point home tonight, Peter, the National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, when she was asked about the French proposal for more time, she said bluntly, that's not going to be acceptable."
2/25/03 ABC Officials Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R, IL), "I have personally talked to the President about this. And if we had intelligence on where he was now, and if we had a clear shot to assassinate him, we would probably do that. President Bush would probably sign an executive order, repealing the executive order put in place by President Ford that forbid the assassination of foreign leaders."
Terry Moran, "The White House does not deny this account. But officials insist there has been no change in that law banning assassinations, which has been on the books for nearly three decades."
2/25/03 ABC Administration Officials Terry Moran, "Administration officials say if it came to war, it would not be a hypothetical. Under the laws of war, Saddam Hussein would be fair game, because he is part of the Iraqi military command and control structure."
2/25/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Peter, it is getting more intense. In fact, sources tell ABC News the Administration has a plan to further intensify these air strikes, whether Iraqi, whether the Iraqis are shooting at American planes or not. The goal here is to take out as much of the Iraqi air defenses in these zones as the US can, before a potential invasion."
2/25/03 ABC Military Sources John McWethy, "Military sources say all the ships the Navy needs to go to war are now in the region, nearly 100 of them, including five aircraft carriers."
2/25/03 ABC Military Officials John McWethy, "Peter, there is a new monster weapon that military officials are saying could be used in the first few nights of this war."
2/25/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Sources say MOAB, still experimental, is a 21,000-pound bomb that will be pushed out the back of a C-130 transport and guided by satellite. Its massive explosive punch, sources say, is similar to a small nuclear weapon."
2/25/03 ABC Officials John McWethy, "But, Peter, one of the potentials of this weapon, officials say, is psychological. They hope that it will freeze Iraqi troops in their tracks."
2/26/03 ABC Senior Official Martha Raddatz, "France, Russia, and China still want more inspections. Although a senior official told ABC News today that the US does not expect the Russians or the Chinese to use their veto power, although neither country has made any commitment."
2/26/03 ABC US Officials Martha Raddatz, "US officials are still working on those votes. But, Peter, the Administration continues to say it will disarm Iraq, with or without the approval of the United Nations Security Council."
2/26/03 CBS Sources Wyatt Andrews, "Loren Thompson is one of a handful of analysts who's been briefed on the occupation plan. After victory, the US will anoint a military commander of Iraq, either wartime General Tommy Franks or, some sources believe, his deputy, Army Lieutenant General John Abizaid, who is fluent in Arabic."
2/26/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "The US is still hoping to win this war without firing a shot and is actually calling senior Iraqis on the phone and warning them they will be tried as war criminals if they follow Saddam's orders. Soon, US officials say, they will begin offering amnesty to Iraqi leaders who desert Saddam."
2/26/03 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "As US officials plan for the rebuilding of Iraq, the US-backed leader of Afghanistan appealed today for more help in rebuilding his country."
2/27/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "At the UN Security Council today, the Bush Administration's hard line contributed to what diplomats said was an unusually bitter debate that yielded no consensus and left smaller nations feeling intense pressure from both the US and France."
Sir Jeremy Greenstock (UK UN Ambassador), "They're concerned to be put between two camps. They're concerned about the unity of the council."
Terry Morna, "But the Bush Administration is, frankly, not very sympathetic about those concerns. Officials say that they are determined to continue pressuring those smaller nations to vote with the United States. And, Peter, they aren't going to let up."
2/27/03 ABC Bush Administration / State Department Official Martha Raddatz, "The Bush Administration insists it's not making any deals. But a lot can be said with a wink and a nod."
Susan Rice (Fmr. Ast. Secretary of State), "My favorite quotation from a State Department official was that we're not cutting any deals, but we'll be good to those that are good to us, and nice to those that are nice to us."
2/27/03 ABC Intelligence John McWethy, "There are also new trenches around Baghdad that US intelligence sources say are likely to be filled with burning oil. The idea, analysts say, is the smoke would throw off American laser- guided bombs that were so devastating in the Persian Gulf War. Of course, the US now has satellite-guided bombs that are unphased by smoke."
2/27/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "During the last war, thousands surrendered without a fight. Now, sources say, members of the Elite Republican Guard have been added to these units as stiffeners, to stiffen their resolve to fight, by letting them know they will be shot if they don't."
2/27/03 CBS Senior US Official Bob Orr, "A senior US official told CBS News the government lowered the threat level to yellow so that it can be hiked back up again to orange at the outbreak of any hostilities with Iraq."
2/28/03 ABC Military Sources John McWethy, "Three times in the last week, Iraq has flown Mig-25s deep into the southern no-fly zone, and today, all the way to the border with Saudi Arabia. Military sources say a decision was made not to intercept the plane. The US wanted to see if the Iraqi pilot was trying to defect. At the last minute, he turned his aircraft and raced back to safety. "
2/28/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "An unmanned Predator aircraft fired a Hellfire missile at a mobile radar. Sources tell ABC News the Predator attack was flown by controllers at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, 12,000 miles away. When the Iraqis shot at the Predator, the US ordered a second strike with a manned aircraft, using a bunker-buster bomb, they destroyed an important command complex, deeply buried under a building. In the last month, the US has bombed targets in southern Iraq every other day, on average. It's one of the busiest months in years, with the US going after nearly 30 targets."
2/28/03 CBS British Sources John Roberts, "The US and Britain are urging their Security Council colleagues to not be duped by a, quote, 'show' of Iraq destroying a few missiles this weekend, and British sources say that, behind closed doors, they have been providing new intelligence to council members that shows Iraq continues to manufacture poison gas and conceal weapons, but so far, none of the big holdouts appears to be convinced."
2/28/03 CBS Officials John Roberts, "The White House today dismissed Iraq's promise to destroy its prohibited Al Samoud missiles. 'Not enough,' declared officials. 'It's nothing more than another tactic of deception."
3/3/03 ABC Washington Sources Peter Jennings, "On 'World News Tonight', sources in Washington begin to talk about an attack on Iraq as early as next week. For one thing, the White House says there is virtually nothing that Saddam Hussein can do about it anymore."
3/3/03 ABC Civilian Military Sources John McWethy, "Peter, from military, civilian sources, here in Washington and overseas, we're getting a sense that things are coming to a head, that the US could go to war against Iraq as early as late next week. One of the clues that we're all going to get is a public announcement by the Administration saying that UN inspectors, journalists, and humanitarian workers need to get out of Iraq within three days."
3/3/03 ABC Military Sources John McWethy, "But military sources say the US has a plan "B," that involves far fewer American troops, almost no tanks and helicopters, just light infantry forces that can be flown into airfields in Kurdish- controlled northern Iraq, like this one."
3/3/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Sources warn without a strong US force in the north, any war with Iraq could take longer."
3/3/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "All the signals today were that the weapons inspectors have essentially ended their job, that their course has run, and that there's nothing that the current Iraqi regime could do in the way of disarmament to avoid war. And that's because officials say this current regime is not credible."
3/3/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "But the real diplomatic complication now, Peter, is Turkey, where the Parliament voted not to allow US troops to be based, and where, today, officials were pessimistic that they can get the Turks to change their minds."
3/3/03 ABC Several Senior Officials Martha Raddatz, "The US is expecting more incidents [with North Korea], especially if the US goes to war with Iraq. And, Peter, several senior officials I talked to say there really isn't a plan in place to deal with that."
3/3/03 ABC Washington Sources Peter Jennings, "Now, just a brief review of the lead. Washington sources telling us the Bush Administration may, repeat, may, begin the full- scale war against Iraq as early as the end of next week. The White House is saying today that nothing short of Saddam Hussein's exile could prevent a war."
3/3/03 CBS Military Sources Richard Roth, "Despite Turkey's decision blocking deployment of 62,000 US troops, a few GIs today were moving closer to the Iraqi border. But for now, military sources tell CBS News American troops, along with 30 ships offshore, will wait, hoping Turkey hurries up and reconsiders. If it doesn't, the 101st Airborne Division, now arriving in Kuwait, could be used to secure northern Iraq, the sources say, but the logistics of an air assault would be, quote, 'hellish.'"
3/4/03 ABC US Officials John McWethy, "Peter, when you send 24 heavy bombers, I suppose it's open to interpretation. US officials are insisting, though, this is not intended to escalate tension between the US and North Korea. But they're admitting in private it almost certainly will."
3/4/03 CBS Sources Bill Plante, "The vote next week will depend, to some degree, on what chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix has to say when he appears before the Security Council on Friday. But US officials expect to hear more of the same: 'Iraq is cooperating, but could do more, and inspections should continue.' Whichever way the vote goes next week, sources say the president won't wait long to speak out. At that point, Mr. Bush will either give Saddam Hussein a final deadline or simply tell him that the game is up and war could come at any time."
3/4/03 CBS US Officials Bill Plante, "The vote next week will depend, to some degree, on what chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix has to say when he appears before the Security Council on Friday. But US officials expect to hear more of the same: 'Iraq is cooperating, but could do more, and inspections should continue.'"
3/4/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials say waiting for Turkey to allow the US to offload some 30 ships crammed with battle gear would, at this late date, force a delay in the war plan."
3/5/03 ABC US Officials Terry Moran, "Then, came the Pope's envoy, Pio Cardinal Laghi, an old friend of the Bush family, met with the President for 40 minutes in the Oval Office, bringing with him a letter from the Pope, who strongly opposes any war. Later, Cardinal Laghi said US officials prevented him from speaking at the White House."
3/5/03 ABC US Officials Peter Jennings, "ABC News has learned that the United States is expelling two Iraqi diplomats from the Iraqi mission at the United Nations here in New York City. US officials said they were involved in activities considered harmful. We may actually be seeing the beginning of a US offensive against Iraqis around the world. We have an exclusive tonight from ABC's John McWethy, who is at the Pentagon. John, how many countries involved?"
John McWethy, "Many countries, Peter. US intelligence sources say that the US is launching this operation, called, code named, "Imminent Horizon." The effort here is to try to disrupt Iraqi agents around the world. These are people the US fears may be trying to plot terrorist attacks against American interests. As American military preparations accelerate, intelligence sources tell ABC News the US is secretly asking for help from more than 60 countries, working from a list of about 300 suspected Iraqi agents. Sources say most of these people are hidden in Iraqi embassies, using diplomatic jobs as cover. The US will ask the host nation to expel them. A much smaller number are said to be posing as businessmen or students. The US will ask they be arrested. If there is no cooperation, sources say the US will mount its own harassment campaign, letting suspected Iraqi agents know they are now being watched. In law enforcement terms, it's called 'shaking the tree,' creating doubts, trying to rattle potential terrorists."
3/5/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "Sources say the CIA, the FBI, and various military intelligence agencies have been working on this for more than a year, Peter. This is a period, they say, during which evidence about Iraq's intentions have been mounting."
3/5/03 ABC Frustrated Senior US Official Martha Raddatz, "There are some in the Administration who believe the US reached the crisis stage with North Korea many months ago, but that the fixation on Iraq means North Korea will continue to be ignored. One frustrated senior US official told ABC News, "there is an absence of diplomacy" with North Korea right now, which leaves North Korea to set the agenda."
3/5/03 CBS Officials David Martin, "Franks has developed a backup plan for flying troops into the north. Officials admit that is not nearly as good as coming through Turkey, but with the clock ticking down and the troops of the 4th Infantry Division still back at their home base in Texas, the war could well start without them."
3/5/03 CBS Aides (White House) Bill Plante, " The president is expected to speak to the nation after the UN votes next week. Aides suggest that he'll do what he did before US troops went into Afghanistan: lay down a series of final, non-negotiable demands and then say nothing more until he announces that military operations are under way."
3/5/03 CBS Aide (Pentagon) David Martin, " And early next week, General Franks will leave the States and head once again to his forward command post in the Persian Gulf. Only this time, an aide says, he won't be coming back until the final showdown with Saddam is over one way or the other."
3/6/03 CBS Top Central Command Official Dan Rather, "A top official at the US military's Central Command said today Saddam Hussein is acquiring US and British uniforms. This official won't say how he knows, but he says Saddam plans to order disguised Iraqi paramilitary troops to attack Iraqi civilians and blame it on the allies."
3/7/03 CBS Senior Official Bill Plante, "The White House hopes to call for a vote on the deadline resolution early next week. If it passes, then by March 17th, says a senior official, Saddam Hussein will finally be out of final opportunities. But even if it doesn't pass, the president has left no doubt that he's ready to go to war."
3/7/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "The US has all but given up on plans to send 40,000 of its own troops through Turkey. Pentagon officials say all they want now is permission to fly air strikes through Turkish air space and to position search-and rescue units on the border."
3/7/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, " The lack of Iraqi preparations is a measure of just how weak Saddam's military is. But Pentagon officials say it is also an ominous sign he may decide his only hope is to use chemical or biological weapons."
3/8/03 ABC Aides (White House) John Cochran, "Terry, the President's aides believe that new material in Hans Blix's written report backs up old accusations by American officials."
3/8/03 ABC US Officials / American Official John Cochran, "While US officials are pleased that Blix's written report specifically mentions the new drone, they are not happy that he made no mention of it yesterday when the world was listening to him. One American official called Blix "disingenuous" for not emphasizing that Iraq may also possess 10,000 liters of anthrax and scud missile warheads with biological and chemical agents."
3/8/03 ABC Aides (White House) John Cochran, "Terry, the President is not calling more foreign leaders this weekend to try to win their votes at the UN. Is Mr. Bush conceding defeat? No, say his aides, but they admit they do not yet have the votes."
3/8/03 CBS Senior Administration Official Sharyl Attkisson, "President Bush is spending the weekend working to get last-minute backing for military action against Iraq from key members of the UN Security Council, who so far are reluctant to endorse war. The president has dismayed some allies with his tough talk over the past weeks, and now it's crunch time. A senior administration official quotes Mr. Bush's typical personal phone pitch to dubious Security Council members as beginning with, 'I need you.'"
3/10/03 CBS US Officials Bill Plante, "US officials also criticized chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, suggesting that he should have told the council in public last week about two findings by his team. One is a cluster bomb apparently modified to disperse chemical weapons; the other, a pilotless plane fitted with tanks modified to spray chemical or biological agents."
3/10/03 CBS US Intelligence / Officials David Martin, "US intelligence is already predicting substantial numbers of Iraqi army troops will surrender as soon as the first shot is fired. Officials hope a successful test of what is unofficially called the mother of all bombs will encourage further surrenders."
3/10/03 CBS Officials David Martin, " The US originally had planned on a bombing campaign of four or five days before the ground war began, but officials now say the invasion by Army and Marine divisions could begin almost at the same time as the air campaign and that commando raids might actually take place before the bombing starts."
3/11/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "At the White House, officials rejected the proposal to extend the March 17th deadline by anything like 45 days."
Ari Fleischer, "Well, the President thinks that there is a little room for a little more diplomacy, but not much time. Any suggestion of 30 days, 45 days is a nonstarter."
Terry Moran, "Officials say the President is now willing to push back the March 17th deadline by only a few more days."
3/11/03 ABC Officials Terry Moran, "But there was another sign of another possible setback, after announcing last week that the President of Cameroon, a key Security Council nation, would be coming to the White House tomorrow, officials now say he's not coming. And, Peter, they called the change a mix-up."
3/11/03 ABC Officials / Pentagon Officials John McWethy, "One day, the US would be fighting Iraqi troops, and the next, officials say, many of the same Iraqi soldiers could find themselves on the US payroll. That's part of the plan, Pentagon officials said today, for rebuilding Iraq, creating a new Iraqi army"
3/11/03 ABC US Officials John McWethy, "US officials say they are considering sending cargo planes loaded with bundles of American one dollar bills, to pay Iraqi soldiers and thousands of other Iraqi citizens to stay on the job"
3/11/03 CBS Sources Bill Plante, "Dan, sources tell CBS News that Britain, the US' closest ally, may find it politically impossible to commit its military to a US-led attack on Iraq."
3/11/03 CBS Independent Military Sources Dan Rather, "As for fierce sandstorms picking up in frequency and force where US troops are now and will have to go in case of war, several independent military sources told CBS News today waiting in the desert very long will adversely affect US equipment and the morale of troops."
3/11/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "According to US officials, there are already secret surrender negotiations under way with the commanders of some Iraqi military units."
3/13/03 ABC US Intelligence Charles Gibson, "Good evening. ABC News has learned that American intelligence officials now believe Saddam Hussein may be preparing preemptive attacks on US forces, on his neighbors, and on his own oil fields. The expectation is that the attacks would come once Hussein is certain the Bush Administration is going to invade. So, the US military is considering whether to strike sensitive targets inside Iraq before any invasion. ABC's John McWethy has this exclusively from his sources."
3/13/03 ABC Intelligence John McWethy, "There is an accumulation of intelligence that has raised official concerns. This includes some troubling new details that has US officials focusing on three specific areas. New evidence of Iraqi activity in the western desert shows the strong likelihood that there are Scud missiles hidden there. These missiles could easily reach Israel, carrying chemical or biological warheads which could draw Israel into any war. Detailed new intelligence from the southern Iraqi oil fields shows that many of the 700 wells have now been wired with explosives. These explosives appear to be connected to a central command post, sources say, presumably so Saddam Hussein could easily set the wells ablaze. Near the border with Kuwait, where there are now 135,000 US troops, recent surveillance indicates Iraqi artillery batteries have been moved dangerously close. The artillery is capable of firing shells filled with poison gas. Sources tell ABC News that the US is now considering moving against all three of these targets before any war begins, in an effort to prevent Saddam Hussein from acting first."
3/13/03 ABC Sources / American Officials John McWethy, "Sources tell ABC News that the US is now considering moving against all three of these targets before any war begins, in an effort to prevent Saddam Hussein from acting first. But in taking such actions, especially if the US tries to seize and protect the oil fields, American officials acknowledge they may end up starting the war."
3/13/03 ABC Administration sources President Bush, "No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam."
Terry Moran, "Why the turnaround? Administration sources say British Prime Minister Tony Blair, fighting for his political life as his party revolts against his tough stance on Iraq, has told the President he cannot afford to lose a vote at the UN, and would rather withdraw the resolution than see it defeated, as now seems likely."
3/13/03 ABC US Officials Charles Gibson, "Recapping our top stories tonight, ABC News has learned that US officials believe Saddam Hussein may be planning preemptive attacks on US forces. Now the US might attack sensitive targets within Iraq before any war begins."
3/13/03 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "Tonight's headlines: US officials tell CBS News al-Qaida is basically defeated.
3/13/03 CBS US Officials Dan Rather, "It has been one and a half years now since the attack on America; one and a half years since the United States declared war on the terror network behind the murders of nearly 3,000 people. And US officials are telling CBS News tonight the war against al-Qaida, as they see it, has been won. And while that undoubtedly would be great news, they are quick to point out that the overall war on terror is far from over. CBS' Jim Stewart reports tonight on the apparent collapse of al-Qaida"
3/13/03 CBS Several Senior US Officials Jim Stewart, "But privately, several senior US officials have concluded that al-Qaida has effectively been defeated, and are now planning on how to battle its successor. Officials say they have detected that supporters of al-Qaida have also begun exploring a post-bin Laden future."
3/13/03 CBS Official / Officials Jim Stewat, "One official said some of those potential leaders have already been identified by US authorities. Bin Laden himself, these officials believe, is still alive, but has essentially lost tactical control of his fast-shrinking organization. One by one, the men he counted on to run it have been killed or captured, and the arrest of latest, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, has given the best clues yet about bin Laden's whereabouts, officials said."
3/13/03 CBS Administration Officials Jim Stewart, "Publicly, administration officials continue to insist that al-Qaida is still a capable terrorist force"
3/13/03 CBS Senior Officials Jim Stewart, "But senior officials now feel an optimism that has been carefully shielded from the public. Even if al-Qaida does strike again, which they feel is almost a certainty, it will never be with the power it once had. 'These guys have insurmountable problems,' said one official, and are quite literally running for their lives."
3/13/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "American Special Operations Forces on a reconnaissance mission; scanning the desert through night-vision goggles and high-powered scopes. They told the cameraman who shot these pictures they were actually inside Iraq. But he had no way of verifying that, and Pentagon officials insists no military units have crossed into enemy territory yet."
3/14/03 ABC US Officials Peter Jennings, "The US has been attacking inside Iraq for a long time, John, but there is one thing at least different today."
John McWethy, "A pair of B-1 bombers were used in this particular situation, Peter. These are aircraft that have not been used to patrol the southern no-fly zone. US officials say they went after a number of mobile radar that were near the border with Jordan and Syria. This is an area of Iraq, of course, that the US has been scrutinizing carefully because perhaps there are Scud missiles there that might threaten Israel."
3/14/03 ABC US Officials John McWethy, "US officials say they went after a number of mobile radar that were near the border with Jordan and Syria. This is an area of Iraq, of course, that the US has been scrutinizing carefully because perhaps there are Scud missiles there that might threaten Israel."
3/14/03 CBS Government Source Bob Schieffer, "CBS News correspondent Bob Orr has learned of a possible terror threat to US and British targets in east Africa. A government source there says there's been a significant uptick in intelligence about this in the past 36 hours. The source says that the threat is not against military forces and does not appear connected to the looming war, but there is concern about a possible surface-to-air missile attack against aircraft."
3/14/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "Twenty-five UN weapons inspectors leaving Baghdad today. The UN calls it a normal rotation, but US officials say the weapons inspectors have begun to drawn down their numbers in Iraq even though President Bush has promised to issue a public warning so weapons inspectors and journalists can get out before the bombing starts, but officials are concerned Saddam Hussein will use that final warning as a signal to seize citizens of the US, Britain and Australia--the three countries sending troops to the war--and hold them as hostages or human shields."
3/14/03 CBS Senior Officials David Martin, "No one can read Saddam's mind, but senior officials say there now appears to be at least a chance he will decide to go into exile."
3/14/03 CBS Pentagon Officials David Martin, "Pentagon officials say there is evidence family members of senior Iraqi leaders are already leaving the country, presumably with Saddam's knowledge and permission."
3/14/03 CBS Pentagon Intelligence Officer David Martin, "One Pentagon intelligence officer described the Iraqi leadership as very brittle, meaning it is likely to break under pressure, but Iraqi intelligence could very well be saying the same thing about the international coalition against Saddam."
3/15/03 ABC Military Sources Lisa Sylvester, "Dean, military sources say they now have an A-day to mark the start of a possible air war and a Go-day for the start of the ground war. Both are dates, marks on a calendar the military is using as a theoretical time line. They need it for planning purposes to be combat ready if and when the President decides to go to war. Even the smallest units of the army are now being told to be ready. It requires a high degree of coordination, everything from programming targets to deciding the sleep schedules of pilots."
3/15/03 ABC Officials / Official John Cochran, "Dean, the British Foreign Secretary said, there is still faint hope that Saddam Hussein will disarm or go into exile. Officials here at the White House agree. Hope is faint. One official said, even that may be optimistic."
3/16/03 CBS Pentagon Officials Allen Pizzey, "Pentagon officials believe the rigs that sit on 10 billion barrels of known reserves have been wired with explosives. Saddam Hussein ordered Kuwaiti oil fields set ablaze at the end of the Gulf War and military planners don't believe the Iraqi leader's claims that he will not burn his own."
3/17/03 ABC US Officials Peter Jennings, "And a prominent Democrat on the House of Representatives says today, he believes that he may have been misled into supporting war against Iraq. Congressman Henry Waxman of California, says he believes Mr. Bush based some of his arguments for war on information he may have known was false. At issue, are allegations that Iraq was trying to acquire nuclear material from Niger, in Africa. An accusation which the UN weapons inspectors said, and US officials now agree, was fabricated."
3/17/03 ABC Military Sources / Officials John McWethy, "But military sources say an invasion is still days away. There are reasons, they say, not to rush. One, allow time for hundreds of UN weapons inspectors, aid workers and journalists to get out of Iraq. And that could take days. Two, keep Saddam Hussein guessing, though a US-led invasion is not likely to be a surprise, exactly when an attack would begin still can be. Three, nervous days of waiting can eat away at the confidence of Iraqi troops, officials say, and exhaust them."
3/17/03 ABC Intelligence Sources / US Officials John McWethy, "As it turns out, Saddam Hussein himself may determine the timing. Intelligence sources say that some artillery shells filled with nerve gas may have been handed out to some Iraqi, various Iraqi military units. This is the same thing US officials are saying they almost hope that Saddam Hussein uses these weapons, the weapons that he promised the world he did not have."
3/17/03 CBS Administration Officials Bob Schieffer, "The purpose of tonight's speech lay down that 48-hour deadline and set the ultimatum. Then if Saddam Hussein does not agree to all of that, the president will go back on the air on Wednesday and announce that he is taking military action. Congressmen have been trying to find out how much all of this is going to cost, but administration officials told them today they won't find out until after the war is under way. At that point, they were told the president will ask for an emergency appropriation and the price tag will be $90 billion to $100 billion."
3/18/03 ABC White House Officals Terry Moran, "But White House officials are insisting that all troops in what will be the theater of operations fall under the coalition's unified command structure. When officials are asked, however, what would happen if Turkey goes in anyway, Peter, their answer is, we don't think that will happen."
3/18/03 ABC Sources Peter Jennings, "The White House said today that if the Iraqi leader and his sons left, the US would still go into Iraq. John McWethy is at the Pentagon today. John, everyone is waiting for the signal to go. And there are some reasonably encouraging signals from Iraq."
John McWethy, "Some encouraging signs, Peter, but also some growing tensions. Sources say this war could begin as early as tomorrow night."
3/18/03 ABC Intelligence Sources / Officials John McWethy, "There is growing hope that the coalition land force can push rapidly up the main highway toward Baghdad, without meeting heavy resistance. Here's why, intelligence sources tell ABC News that the US is now getting clear signals from some senior leaders of the elite Republican Guard that they are looking for a way to cooperate. Officials say this follows efforts by leaders of some regular Iraqi army units to let the US know they do not want to fight. "
3/18/03 ABC Intelligence Offials Pierre Thomas, "And Intelligence officials tell us tonight, they fear that Saddam Hussein has sent agents to commit acts of terrorism, overseas and in the US."
3/18/03 ABC Sources Pierre Thomas, "Sources tell ABC News the government will begin detaining dozens of suspected Saddam Hussein sympathizers in at least five US cities this week."
3/18/03 ABC FBI Bulletin Pierre Thomas, "An FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News says, Iraqi agents have the expertise to 'construct sophisticated improvised explosive devices.'"
3/18/03 ABC Senior State Department Official Pierre Thomas, "And a senior State Department official says the threat from al Qaeda remains."
3/18/03 ABC Senior FBI Officials Pierre Thomas, "Senior FBI officials tell us tonight they fear the greatest threat may be from what they call lone wolves, individuals attacking in public places, incited by images of war."
3/18/03 CBS Western Intelligence Sources Tom Fenton, "The crew of Commando Solo call it a weapon of mass persuasion. It's not the only psychological weapon in America's arsenal. Today Iraq was bombed with almost two million leaflets carrying similar messages, and Western intelligence sources believe the messages are getting through."
3/18/03 CBS US Officials David Martin, "US officials say so many Iraqi army units seem ready to surrender, it is possible American ground forces will not encounter any serious resistance, until they come up against the Republican Guard divisions defending Baghdad"
3/18/03 CBS US Intelligence David Martin, "According to US intelligence, senior Iraqi officials intend to ride out the bombing, not by hiding in underground shelters, but by taking shelter in private homes, which will be safe from air attack by American planes intent on avoiding civilian casualties."
3/18/03 CBS Sources Bob Orr, "Sources say 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed told interrogators before his capture, al-Qaida was planning attacks to coincide with a US invasion of Iraq. "
3/18/03 CBS Officials Bob Orr, "The hike in the terror threat level back up to code orange was always part of the Bush administration's war plans, but officials say intelligence reports do point to an increased risk of terrorist attacks and from more than one group."
3/18/03 CBS Officials Jim Stewart, "At least one potential Iraqi saboteur has been caught trying to enter the US. Officials will not provide any details and, frankly, believe he will not be the last."
3/19/03 ABC Military Officials John McWethy, "Today, there were still more reports of Iraqi troops signaling their desire not to fight, 17 Iraqi soldiers defected to Kuwait. Elsewhere, military officials say there were e-mail exchanges between American and Iraqi units facing each other across the border"
3/19/03 ABC Sources John McWethy, "For more than 140,000 combat troops, the way into Iraq is up this road and across Kuwait's border. But sources tell ABC News thousands of other US troops are likely to parachute into Iraq, in what will be the largest such airborne operation in decades. Sources say their targets will be primarily airfields in northern and western Iraq. Some may secure crucial bridges or command centers. There is no faster way to get large numbers of troops on the ground, ready to fight."
3/19/03 ABC US Sources John McWethy, "As for the timing of this US-led invasion, Peter, US sources are saying, before the weekend, probably Friday night. But they say dust storms could be a factor."