Clinton Cabinet Member Sought Iraq Provocation But W. Himself Proposed Ruse
Juan Cole

Retired Gen. Hugh Shelton reveals in his new book that in the late 1990s a Clinton cabinet member asked him if was possible to fly a U2 spy plane low enough over Iraq to get it shot down, thus creating a pretext for the US to take out Saddam Hussein. The general says he was outraged at the idea of sacrificing a pilot’s life in that way and told the cabinet member off.

But note that there is no evidence that Bill Clinton himself approved of the cabinet member’s hideous suggestion, and clearly Clinton was not interested in getting up a war against Iraq.

In contrast, George W. Bush and British PM Tony Blair in January of 2003 considered having a plane painted in UN colors and having it fly low over Iraq in hopes it would be fired on, so as to create a pretext for an Anglo-American war on Iraq. This time the wild schemes were coming from the commander in chief, not a mere cabinet member, and he even decided he just did not need any UN authorization to go to war.


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