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tv   Why We Did It  MSNBC  August 30, 2014 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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or everyone. there's not one way to do something. no details too small. american express open forum. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. almost exactly one year ago, president obama announced that he wanted to begin air strikes in syria because the syrian government had used chemical weapons. president said he wanted those air strikes but he wanted congress to vote to authorize them. and congress did nothing. congress never voted on that. in theory, the president is still waiting for that vote from congress. but now a year later, the white house is, again, openly considering air strikes in syria. the target this time would not be the syrian regime, but instead, isis. the al qaeda splinter group that has seized control of territory inside both syria and iraq. isis last week beheaded an american journalist they had captured in syria, jim foley.
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they also threatened to kill another american journalist who they are holding. over the past month, the united states has responded to the advance of isis with air strikes in iraq. more than 700 u.s. service members have also been sent back into iraq. and president obama has now approved surveillance flights over syria. without the consent of the syrian regime. so the u.s. has boots on the ground in iraq right now and pilots at risk over iraq and syria right now. and now congress, again, faces the question of whether they're going to debate this and vote on the whether to authorize it. in the house, republican speaker john boehner has been saying it's not his job, it's not congress' job to tell the president what to do about something like isis. on the senate side we've now got anonymous democratic aides carping about calls from their own senator, tim kaine, that congress ought to vote on this issue. they're saying they don't want to, not in an election year. our decade of war in iraq deposed a sunni government in that country and left a power vacuum there. isis is filling that regional vacuum with chaos and violence.
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but that war may also have left another vacuum. in the part of our government where congress takes responsibility for decisions on war and peace like the constitution says. we deserve the best debate, the most well-considered decisions we are capable of when it comes to war and peace, but we rarely get it. what you're about to see is a look at how we with got into the disastrous war in iraq, what american leaders were thinking at the time and ultimately why we did it. i will swear to not only uphold the laws of this land. >> summer, the year 2000. >> in order to lift the spirit of this country when i put my hand on the bible, i will also swear to uphold the honor and the integrity of the office to which i have been elected, so help me god.
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>> we love you, bush! >> as the presidential race heat up, the turbo charged u.s. economy of the roaring '90s is threatening to stall. the problem is energy costs. oil costs. a looming new u.s. energy crisis. >> and in the united states and throughout the world tonight, the rising prices of oil are beginning to be a drag on the boom economic times. the high price of oil and the soaring price at the pump have been at the top of the national conversation for months now. >> with global energy demand on the rise, and u.s. dependence on foreign oil at an all-time high, george w. bush turns america's looming crisis into a central issue for the presidential campaign. >> we got a potential crisis in the energy markets. because we've had no energy plan. and it's, to me, that's the -- that's a possible problem for the next administration. >> when it's clear that he will be the republican nominee, and with energy taking center stage in the campaign, bush taps dick cheney, a man with deep experience in both politics and the oil industry, to be his
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running mate. >> i believe you're looking at the next vice president of the united states. >> the two running mates make the case that the clinton administration did not know how to handle the issue of oil. but a george w. bush administration would. >> those gasoline prices are going up. you know why? there's been no energy plan. >> the fact we don't have an energy policy out there is one of the major storm clouds on the horizon for our economy. >> rewind a year before that election. dick cheney is ceo of the oil services firm halliburton. speaking at the institute of petroleum's fall conference in london. he says, for your over 100 years, we as an industry have had to deal with a pesky problem that once you find oil and pump it out of the ground, you have to turn around and find more or go out of business."
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looking ahead to 2010, by which time he says the world's energy needs will have increased by millions of barrels of oil per day, cheney asks, "where is the oil going to come from?" "the middle east with 2/3 of the world's oil and the lowest cost, it's still where the prize ultimately lies." arguing that oil is the fundamental building block of the world's economy, the future vice president says, "governments and the national oil companies are obviously controlling about 90% of the assets." "companies are anxious for greater access there" he says, "but progress continues to be slow." >> they saw oil that was not accessible because of political circumstances. oil that if it could be accessible was abundant and easy to market. >> when dick cheney gave that speech in london when he was talking about the industry's interests, later he was talking about the government's interests but the conclusion of both of those was the same, we need to get into the middle east. >> in the summer of 2000, iraqi lead saddam hussein and his state-run oil company, control about 10% of the world's oil
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reserves. >> experts say saddam has terrific leverage now because with demand for oil high, and u.s. supplies at a 24-year low, the 2 million barrels a day of oil iraq produces matter. >> my big fear is that saddam hussein is going to take the advantage of this tight market to cut oil production and that could send prices up much higher. >> god bless you all. and god bless america. >> on the campaign trail, bush and cheney zero in on saddam's control of vital oil resources as a potential threat to america's security. >> on the clinton/gore watch, saddam hussein's iraq has become a major supplier of oil to america. this means that one of our worst enemies is gaining more and more control over our country's economic future.
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>> i think if we were to look for something that could develop, it's the possibility that we might find ourselves without adequate supplies of energy in the future, and there would be no quicker way to shut down our economy than that. >> as bush and cheney take office in january 2001, they inherit a country that is thirsty for oil, and a familiar enemy who's sitting on a sea of it. >> in iraq, the oil is right there on the waterfront. all you got to do is stick a straw in it, pipe it out to a boat. boat goes around the straits of hormuz and there it is in european markets. >> what it has and what it puts on the world market makes it a very important player. it was an oil man's mecca or utopia for sure.
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january 2001. >> i, george walker bush, do solemnly swear. >> george w. bush assumes the presidency, the nation's energy concerns near the forefront. 11 days into office, bush assembles his national security team for the first time. along with the vice president and national security adviser
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condoleezza rice, the principals include secretary of state colin powell, defense secretary rumsfeld and treasury secretary paul o'neill. >> paul o'neill opened up everything for the book i wrote about him in the bush administration including 19,000 documents, and the first national security council meeting of the bush presidency, january 30th of 2001, o'neill arrives with colin powell. >> according to suskind, the central focus of the national security council's meeting that day is the middle east. iraq. >> immediately, there's talk about the arab/israeli conflict. bush says i don't think much is going to be done over there. bush says, well, what to you think the big issue is in the region, condi? at which point she says, i think iraq is the big issue in this region, the destabilizing force
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and that's going to be our focus. the reaction of both o'neill and powell, they're startled. o'neill sort of summed it up. bush basically saying i want to overthrow saddam. find me a way to do it. not if, how. >> saddam hussein's past use of chemical and biological weapons and the prospect of him developing a nuclear weapon make him a prime target. as does the liberation of what iraq has under the ground. >> in the first meeting rumsfeld says, imagine, imagine if iraq was essentially a client state of the united states. imagine how that would look. if they were a friendly state. if we had primacy and access and maybe control of their oil fields. and rumsfeld is pointed about this, in first meeting, in fact, oil fields. oil fields that will be essentially our oil fields.
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>> as the national security council trains its focus on iraq, that same week president bush also directs vice president cheney to head up a high-level energy task force. its operations are run out of vice president cheney's office. >> there was a highly secret operation and it was arranged to be that way. they tasked these people to hide away in a room in secret, holding meetings and coming up with a policy. >> cheney's task force meets privately with energy lobbyists as well as executives from some of the nation's top oil companies. concerns about big oil's influence in crafting u.s. energy policy will eventually lead congress' general accounting office to field an unprecedented lawsuit against the white house for access to energy task force records. >> john dingell who was chairman of the energy and commerce committee and i requested the gao to do an investigation because while we were sending letters to the vice president, we weren't getting responses. >> they said, no, these are presidential advisers.
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we don't have to divulge what they're doing, whereas if it had been cabinet agencies, they would have been forced to divulge who they were meeting with and what the e-mails were, what the topics were. >> did we talk to energy companies? absolutely. you'd have to be a damn fool to put together a comprehensive nationwide energy policy and not talk to them. >> in order for me to get good sound opinions, those who offer me or the vice president opinions must enough every word they say is not going to be put into the public record. >> the white house battles to keep secret most task force files and they will ultimately prevail in the courts in that fight, but administration opponents are eventually able to pry loose a number of secret task force files. although it's not known to the public at the time, the cheney energy task force reviews this document detailing potential foreign suitors for iraq can oil field contracts, international oil companies that are lining up
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to bet into iraq. the task force also obtains detailed maps of middle eastern oil fields. the map of iraq pinpoints exact locations of the country's pipelines, refineries, and super giant oil fields. >> oil fields we could divide up, foreign suitors along with american suitors meaning major oil firms, oil contractors like halliburton could line up for parceling of those oil fields. >> none of these documents is included in the final energy task force report that's made available to the public and to congress. >> it was nothing that congress was told about and nothing that the energy task force publicly revealed. >> the "new yorker's" reporter discovered another document that hadn't been publicly revealed. it directs members of president bush's national security council to cooperate with the cheney energy task force. combining two seemingly unrelated fields. the review of operational
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policies toward rogue states. and actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields. in the first month of the bush presidency, strategy for the potential use of military force toward rogue states and gaining access to new oil fields, are melted together. >> if you look at the nexus of rogue states and seizing and capturing and controlling oil assets, there aren't too many states in the world that fit that definition. iraq stands at the top of the list. i mean, that's like saying, okay, do a little planning on iraq. >> this january 2001 report also reviewed by the task force warns that with global oil demand skyrocketing, oil-rich iraq may not build the infrastructure necessary.
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to meet the upward curve in energy demand. the decades-old sanctions against iraq with keeping much of that country's oil from getting to western markets. >> the demand for world oil was so intense that you really needed to unlock all of the supply you could find, and at that time the sense was that both iraq and iran were the two sources of really bottled up supply that was irrationally off world markets. >> another report reviewed by the task force just a few months later promises that iraqi reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets. the report urges the u.s. government to conduct an immediate policy review toward iraq. including military assessments. all of this, months before 9/11. >> i certainly wouldn't argue that iraq and the decision to go to war and oil were unrelated.
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let our position be absolutely clear. an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the persian gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the united states of america. [ applause ] and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary including military force. >> january 1980. a generation before 9/11, president jimmy carter announces to the world that the united states is prepared to use military force in the persian gulf in order to keep open the free flow of middle eastern oil to the world market. >> our philosophy has been since world war ii and up until today is that we are most secure when the global market works. it doesn't necessarily carry a nefarious connotation in the sense of america's thirst for
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physically controlling middle eastern oil. >> you don't care who gets it as long as who gets it makes it available to the world at a reasonable price. >> ten years after carter says u.s. military force will, if necessary, keep oil flowing to market, saddam hussein invades the oil-rich nation of kuwait and the first gulf war is launched. president george h.w. bush's defense secretary at the time is dick cheney. >> iraq controlled 10% of the world's reserves prior to the invasion of kuwait, and once saddam hussein took kuwait, he doubled that to approximately 20% of the world's known oil reserves and gave him a stranglehold on our economy and that of most of the other nations of the world as well. >> despite that stated motive of protecting the free flow of oil, the president's public case for war centers on saddam hussein and his oppressive regime. >> we're dealing with hitler
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revisited. a totalitarianism and a brutality that is naked and unprecedented in modern times. and that must not stand. >> my boss, colin powell, was chairman of the joint chiefs at the time an had problems with h.w., president bush going out and talking about hitler and things like that because he knew it was such a camouflage. you know, this is a mask to get the american people's support. the first gulf war was all about oil. >> the horror of 9/11. ten years after the gulf war impels the first president bush's son to go to war. he first launches a retaliatory war in afghanistan. but then quickly puts three other nations on notice. north korea, iran, and iraq. >> states like these and their
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terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world by seeking weapons of mass destruction. these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. >> all three nations have been on america's national security radar for decades. but now, after 9/11, the bush administration makes the case for action to disarm them. it is not just the threat of rogue states using weapons of mass destruction, themselves, the president argues, but the prospect of a rogue state providing chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons technology to terrorist groups. neither iran nor iraq is known to have nuclear capability, but north korea is steaming full speed ahead to a nuclear bomb. >> we argued about this in the state department, why wasn't there more concern with north korea when the cia was telling us that north korea probably already had plutonium-based
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nuclear material, and the answer was 100,000 casualty, minimum, and a real mess. so no one wanted to do korea, and then, of course, the footnote was always, korea didn't have any oil. >> the public case is about weapons. 9/11 changed everything. the threat of weapons of mass destruction now drives american policy. but policy toward the nation posing the most clear and present danger on wmd, north korea, doesn't change dramatically. instead, inside the administration, it is the existing pre-9/11 planning of iraq and iraq's oil that goes operational. it's one month after 9/11. the state department forms something called the future of iraq project. a comprehensive plan for what a new iraqi society will look like after saddam is gone. state department officials assemble a group including iraqi
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exiles to plan for everything from health, to education, to oil and energy. leading the oil team is a highly regarded former cia energy analyst named robert ebol. >> we're going to bring together all these senior ex-iraqi oil officials and going to have them prepare a report on the future of oil in iraq. >> members of the group meet in london. they meet at a washington, d.c., area hotel. they assert that without a radical restructuring of its oil industry, iraq's oil potential will remain unrealized. in this draft report revealed here publicly for the first time, the state department group calls for international oil companies to be allowed back into iraq, and for the rapid expansion of iraqi oil production, "in the quickest possible time." >> these findings were how this bunch of ex-iraqi oil officials envisioned how they would come in and tell the government what it needed to do.
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>> publicly, the administration presses its case to the american people that iraq must be confronted before saddam hussein's true intentions are revealed in a nuclear mushroom cloud. >> the last thing we should want is a smoking gun. we don't have smoke until it's been fired. >> the internal deliberations are also about exploiting iraq's oil. the pentagon is debating, "whether to use control of iraqi oil to advance important u.s. foreign policy objectives affected by energy issues." while the national debate is over aluminum tubes and mobile biological weapons labs, internal planning documents note that increased oil production in a post-war iraq would have the eventual effect of reducing world oil prices. >> prior to our even going to war in iraq, the focus was on oil and iraqi oil.
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and how to take it over far more than anything else. >> in public, bush administration officials continue to maintain that oil is not a factor in their war deliberations. in this infinity cbs radio interview broadcast on c-span, defense secretary donald rumsfeld is pressed on that issue. >> mr. secretary, what do you say to people who think this is about oil? >> nonsense. it just isn't. there's certain things like that, myths that are floating around. i'm glad you asked. it has nothing to do with oil. literally nothing to do with oil. >> behind the scenes, though, planning for iraq's oil goes into overdrive. rumsfeld's defense department has just recruited retired exxonmobil executive gary vogler to plan for the iraq's oil sector soon after the impending investigation. >> our mission was to restore it to the pre-war level before we bent in and we got word in probably november that we needed
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to be ready by the middle of february. we took that to mean that we needed to be ready to go to war by the middle of february. >> according to vogler, he and a pentagon team traveled to houston, texas, to the epicenter of big oil to discuss post-invasion plans for iraq's oil sector. the defense department team does not convene at a u.s. military base or even at a government building. they meet instead at this houston location, the offices of kbr, subsidiary of the oil company, halliburton. part of the defense department's pre-war planning for iraq's oil takes place in a halliburton subsidiary office in texas. a detail not known to the public before now. >> the bush administration had
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lots of contacts in houston in the sophisticated executive suites of the major u.s. headquartered oil companies and they reached out there. >> the pentagon team that traveled to houston calls for rapidly increasing iraqi oil production soon after the invasion. they set an initial goal of bringing production up to 3.1 million barrels a day. 50% more than iraq was producing at the time. the long-term goal is to increase iraq's oil production to 5 million barrels a day, more than iraq has ever produced. while administration officials insist that increasing production is aimed at financing the reconstruction, and that oil proceeds will benefit the iraqi people, they're war plans also note that the policy will put long-term downward pressure on oil prices. help consumers. and diversify/increase global oil supply. as all of this detailed planning is going on in private, the bush administration's public argument for war is about everything but oil. >> his regime aids and protects terrorists including members of al qaeda.
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>> the weapons he is developing could well fall into hands of terrorists who might be able to use them. >> the lives of iraqi citizens would improve dramatically if saddam hussein were no longer in power. >> none of the behind the scenes planning for iraq's oil is publicly known. and the administration leaves oil out of the public conversation altogether. but a large segment of the american public suspects that oil is a motive. no blood for oil becomes an anti-war battle cry. >> no blood for oil! >> people misunderstand this business of oil. it isn't about possessing. it is isn't about exxonmobil and chevron and total owning the oil. it's about the oil flowing freely at a reasonable price. so this is what we say when we mean protecting oil. we mean protecting the access, protecting the price, protecting the stability and so forth. not owning it. >> it wasn't a war for oil, but it was in a meaningful way a war about oil.
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and about the role that oil plays in our world and in our world economy. >> the idea was to go into iraq, to remove saddam hussein and his government. once that job is done, then it's about oil. period. like the fact that you're pretty attached to these. ok, really attached. and that's alright. because we'll text you when your package is on the way. we're even expanding sunday package delivery. yes, sunday. at the u.s. postal service, our priority is...was... and always will that, my friends, is everything. and with the quicksilver card from capital one, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase. not just "everything at the hardware store."
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hello, everybody. i'm betty nguyen. joan rivers remains hospitalized after going into car yak arrest in throat surgery. her daughter melissa says her condition is still serious. the als association says more than $100 million has been raise in the last month. and zmapp performed well in animal studies, raising hopes about its future. seven people have been treated but two have died. more news at the top of the hour.
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>> winter 2002/2003. as the white house drumbeat for war in iraq grows stronger, millions of people against the world are marching against it. >> no more war! >> in my country in britain, we had more than a million people demonstrating on the streets of london against this war. the opposition to british participation in the war was absolutely immense. >> british prime minister tony blair's government, like its u.s. counterpart, denies vigorously that overthrowing saddam hussein is about oil. >> let me first of all deal with the conspiracy theory idea that this is somehow to do with oil. there is no way whatever if oil were the issue that it would not be infinitely simpler to cut a deal with saddam who i'm sure would be delighted to give us access to as much oil as he wanted if he could carry on building weapons of mass destruction.
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>> britain, two major oil companies, bp and shell. they were asked what if you ask the british government for in relation to the iraq war? both the oil companies and the blair government said, we haven't even talked about it. absolutely no meetings on this subject. >> so i imagined to get documents which recorded five meetings that took place between bp and shell and the british government between october 2002 and march 2003. five meetings. one of the meetings was between bp and the british foreign office and the opening sentence was, "iraq is the" underlined, "big oil prospect. bp are desperate to get in there." you have bp, blair government saying in public, we don't talk about this, we're not thinking about the oil. in private, they were talking fundamentally about it. >> back in the u.s., the bush administration is also denying a "wall street journal" report that administration officials held meetings about the war with oil industry executives. but british documents now reveal that in the fall of 2002, ahead of the invasion, bp's middle
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east director held a week of meetings with officials from both the u.s. state department and the pentagon. including with paul wolfowitz, donald rumsfeld's second in command. at the pentagon with just two months until the invasion, attention turns to what will run iraq in the immediate days and weeks after the fall of saddam. retired army lieutenant general jay garner, a man with deep experience in the region, gets the call from donald rumsfeld. >> he said, we need somebody to come in, put a staff together and operationalize the plans we put together. you think if you're going to put that together you'd have office space, desk, computers, telephones and all that. i didn't even have a chair. >> that lack of planning when it comes to basic post-saddam governance stands in stark contrast to the level of planning that's already well under way for iraq's oil sector.
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>> there was a very strong sense of urgency. it was 12, 15-hour days from what i remember. they knew where every pipeline, every refinery, gas plant, oil field, gas oil separation plant was. people said we didn't plan very well for iraq. i would take exception to that when it came to the oil sector. >> we were spending more time thinking about how to deal with the oil fields in iraq than we were about our own troops when we went to war in iraq. >> all iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. in any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. do not destroy oil wells. a source of wealth that belongs to the iraqi people. >> as the invasion of iraq gets under way, months' worth of detailed planning aimed at securing reaction's oil
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resources gets put into action. >> we have soldiers from 173rd airborne brigade who are guarding key facilities in the oil fields right now. because we know we want to get the oil flowing as soon as possible. >> i remember several times the statement that we want to make sure that we don't give an update that makes the american people think we're going in there for oil because we're not doing that. i knew that from day one. >> despite that stated goal, as the u.s. military arrives in baghdad, with heavy looting under way, marines protect iraq's oil ministry to the exclusion of other critical iraqi government buildings and institutions. >> we let the museums go. we let the art and culture go. we let the telephones go elsewhere. we let the administrative offices go. ministry of the interior, ministry of justice. we let all those things two and we protected the oil ministry. >> the perception that the u.s. has launched a war for oil is further stoked when the u.s. army's 101st airborne division
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crosses the border into iraq and establishes two refueling stations in the iraqi desert. the army names the two desert outposts after exxon and shell, unbeknownst to the companies themselves. >> presumably some colonel in the planning cell thought that this would be an easy designation for american soldiers, you know, flying helicopters through dust storms to bear in mind to find on a map, but it did kind of undermine the pr campaign. >> as coalition forces roll into baghdad, and topple saddam, the general selected by the pentagon to stabilize the situation and quickly turn over power to the iraqis, finds that his mission has changed. >> i did not want to slip from liberation into occupation. i thought that's the worst thing. >> my understanding from rumsfeld, from the white house, from everywhere, we were going to go in there and we were going to set up an interim government as rapidly as we could, but when ambassador bremer came over,
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that direction had changed. >> instead of quickly handing off power to a new iraqi government and getting out, the bush administration selects former ambassador l. paul bremer to take over in iraq and remake iraq's entire economy. starting with the oil sector. >> we're not here to be a colonial power. we're here to help turn over as quickly as we can efficiently do it to the iraqi people their country. >> we had virtually no elbow room for major changes to anything unless we could get the oil going, and that was our priority. when your favorite food starts a fight fight back fast with tums. relief that neutralizes acid on contact... ...and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum tums! try great tasting tums chewy delights. yummy.
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smoking with chantix. as a police officer, i've helped many people in the last 23 years. but i needed help in quitting smoking. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced the urge for me to smoke. it actually caught me by surprise. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it.
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if you develop these, stop chantix and see your doctor right away as some could be life threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. i did not know what it was like to be a non-smoker. but i do now. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. this is charlie. his long day of doing it himself starts with back pain... and a choice. take 4 advil in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. honey, you did it! baby laughs! may 2003.
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two months into the invasion of iraq. george w. bush selects former u.s. ambassador l. paul bremer to be the top civilian in charge in iraq. >> ambassador goes with the full blessings of this administration and the full confidence of all of us in this administration that he can get the job done. >> at the top of the list for bremer is oil. >> i had been told that we had to get the oil going because it was an oil-dominated economy. this was fairly straightforward. unless you can get the oil going, you can't get the economy going. >> what bremer and his team find when they get into iraq is an oil infrastructure decimated by decades of war, sanctions, and corruption. >> i was shocked when i got there about how undercapitalized it had been. how neglected it was. >> the oil fields were being held together in a kind of by wire and duct tape, by the way, in some cases literally duct tape. >> the day after bremer arrives in baghdad, the bush administration draws up secret
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policy guidelines which are later declassified stating that the coalition will move to privatize state-owned enterprises in iraq. including the oil industry. >> oil was the lifeblood of the iraqi economy. you have to get the oil going if you get the economy going. wasn't something we were doing for american selfish reasons or wanted more oil on the market or all these fantasies people dream up. we were doing it because we were the iraqi government. >> the task of remaking iraq's oil seconder falls to phil carroll, appointed by the bush administration to be the senior adviser to iraq's oil ministry. >> his role was, as was the case with all of these advisers, to essentially get alongside the iraqis at the ministry of oil, make an assessment of the physical plant, the oil fields, the production facilities, and of the people. >> we carroll arrives in baghdad, he comes up against radical u.s. plans being
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discussed to commandeer and transform iraq's entire oil industry. >> he was surrounded by politicized young republican volunteers who had no experience in the oil industry, who were planning stock market privatization schemes, running around talking about building pipelines from baghdad to israel. things that were really highly unrealistic and provocative. >> phil carroll very much acted as the brakes against the privatization crowd. >> in this 2005 bbc report, re-aired on the program "democracy now," phil carroll describes what he encountered when he arrived in iraq. >> there were models everywhere from the total privatization, to partial privatization, et cetera, et cetera. there were all sorts of ideas floated about the economy of iraq and what ought to be done. i was very clear that there was to be no privatization of iraqi oil resources or facilities while i was involved. end of statement.
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>> the first meeting that he and i had in baghdad, we sat down together and he said, gary, if i hear any hint of on oil grab out of here, i'm leaving. i looked him in the eye and said, bill, if there is, i'll be you. >> the oil industry veterans ultimately prevail. as paul bremer decides to keep in place at least temporarily saddam's decades-old ban on foreign companies owning iraqi oil assets. with the occupation not going well, with iraq unraveling, the foreign governments that led the invasion start to jockey for position to try to take advantage of what iraq has under the ground. less than two months after the invasion, as the insurgency boils, the british government is certainly discussing getting iraq's oil fields up and running
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as its first main target. they're debating how to position britain in iraq to maximize their own long-term energy security. and britain is not the only one. >> in the battles of afghanistan and iraq, polish forces served with skill and honor. america will not forget that poland rose to the moment. >> along with britain, poland, a member of the bush administration's coalition of the willing positions itself to take advantage of iraqi oil. july of 2003, a consortium of companies signed a contract with kbr to join in iraq's reconstruction. at the signing, poland's foreign minister declares their government has never, quote, concealed our desire to provide polish firms with direct access to sources of crude oil. and i often mixed it up with the other celebrities on the couch back in 2010. i was there with comedienne
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it will take just one month to get iraqi crude oil flowing after the invasion. >> comes out of the ground, catches fire and burns away. >> but the insurgency, all-out chaos follows, prevents iraq and its oil sector from reaching the potential that u.s. policy planners had in mind. >> an explosion at an oil pipeline. iraqi ministry officials call it sabotage. the u.s. military is investigating. no injuries. but a blow to iraq's already cripple oil industry.
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>> if iraq was expected to relieve the world's energy problems in 2003, the years of instability that follow the invasion prove the opposite. >> it took essentially ten years to rehabilitate iraq's oil fields. to start to produce the level that would support the iraqi government. it's not anything like the wind fall or the bonanza that some fantasized about. >> the u.s. destabilize the region and destabilization in the middle east inevitably leads to higher oil prices. despite that in stability, iraq's vast oil fields, which were once state owned and controlled by saddam hussein, are now largely open to western oil companies and completely free from the sanctions that held back their full potential. iraq's easy oil is finally getting to market. iraq in 2012 produced more oil per day than it had at any point in the previous three decades.
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it's now on track to become the world's second largest oil exporter, behind only saudi arabia. >> this idea that iraq mattered because it had oil was important if not central to the decision to invade the country. >> anyone who controls the straits of hormuz can shut down the industrial structure of the west. and i was always very much concerned about that. my view was taking out saddam hussein was a very important thing, so i -- my view of the war was, yes, it was about oil. >> in the decades since the invasion, declassified documents revealed private deliberations about iraq's oil in the u.s. and uk unknown to the public at the time, deliberations that were never part of the case for war. with the revelation that saddam did not have weapons of mass
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destruction, with the collapse of the public case for war, those involved in the war effort have begun to reflect on what transpired in private behind that public case. what was the reason for the invasion? what was the reason for that near decade of war? why did we do it? >> if you know the region as i do now, particularly doing war planning for the region, of course it was about oil. >> the iraq war was presented to us to stop saddam hussein from getting weapons of mass destruction. now that to a great extent, the war in iraq was about oil. >> i know there are people that make the argument, as they did in the first gulf war, that this war of liberation was actually a war about oil. i frankly know of no evidence
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that shows that. >> i certainly wouldn't argue that iraq and the decision to go to war and oil were unrelated. iraq, 95% of iraq's revenues come from oil. it is a big, global producer and at least today exporter. you can't divorce these things. these are realities. >> we, in my mind, we did not go into iraq for oil. now, the folks that i worked with, we all felt like we were going into iraq because of wmd. now, were there other folks that had other reasons? i'm not aware of it. there may have been. >> we didn't go into iraq to get access to the sand. we went into iraq to get access to oil.
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period. >> an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the persian gulf region -- >> a u.s. foreign policy doctrine first articulated in the 1970s during an energy crisis, put into action during the gulf war in the 1990s. >> that must not stand! >> and brought to its full potential in 2003. >> do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the iraqi people. >> that foreign policy doctrine is not a thing of the past. >> even as america has upped our own oil production, the commitment remains. >> the united states of america is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our interests in the region. we will assure the free flow of energy from the region to the world. >> u.s. interest in the persian gulf interest are always first and foremost about oil. oil and war mix. and they're mixing today and
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they're going to mix a lot more. due to mature subject confronting crisis. the white house's next step is targeting isis with military force. there's a new message today from a key player in that strategy. midterm dilemma. a report on the issue of the unissue that could change the power of balance in congress. everything you need to know about the labor day getaway and the unofficial end of summer. reverend al sharpton talks about the reason president obama could not go to ferguson, missouri after the shooting death of an unarmed teen.


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