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13th January 2004

Bush's Reasons For War

A retired top official from the US Government has accused President Bush of planning for an invasion of Iraq within days of coming to office.

There has been a new twist in the WMD tale. The former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill has spoken out against his old boss, President Bush. He was sacked from his high ranking position in the Bush administration last year.

During the last year he worked with former journalist, Ron Suskind on a book called 'The Price of Loyalty'. The book criticises the Bush administration in the run up to the war against Iraq, and has just been published in the US.

Will his comments be seen as a matter of sour grapes or is Mr O'Neill going to do great damage to George Bush? The BBC Washington correspondent Rob Watson reports. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO.

Greg Thielman - Former State Dept. Director

Several months have past since George Bush announced the end of formal combat onboard the battleship U.S.S Abraham Lincoln. The promised caches of deadly weapons have not been found. Until any are uncovered, questions about their existence will not go away.

Some experts question whether these weapons ever existed - and have cited other reasons for regime change in Baghdad. One such expert is former US intelligence official Greg Thielman, who worked at the State Department until September 2002. He has accused Washington of misleading the American public. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO.

He claimed the evidence had been distorted and the public has really been misled on issues that helped inform the decision about war and peace. He maintains that his office had the responsibility of looking at intelligence from all sources that were available to the US Government and from all agencies. He questioned the way some parts of the intelligence community like the CIA "packaged information and presented it to its superiors did not seem to always be the most objective."

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