Rumsfeld wanted to hit Iraq after 9/11

Julian Borger

Washington: Hours after a commercial plane struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was issuing rapid orders to his aides to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement, according to notes taken by one of them.

``Hard to get good case. Need to move swiftly,'' the notes say. ``Near term target needs - go massive - sweep it all up, things related and not.''

The handwritten notes, with some parts blanked out, were declassified this month in response to a request by a law student and blogger, Thad Anderson, under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Mr. Anderson has posted them on his blog at

The report said: ``On the afternoon of 9/11, according to contemporaneous notes, Secretary Rumsfeld instructed General Myers [the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] to obtain quickly as much information as possible.

``The Secretary said his instinct was to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time, not only Bin Laden. Secretary Rumsfeld later explained that at the time, he had been considering either one of them, or perhaps someone else, as the responsible party.''

- Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006

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