Rove denies Bush admin said oil would help pay for war
NBC was the latest stop on Karl Rove’s book tour for ‘Courage and Consequence.’ Revising history has been his main focus recently, and this morning’s interview with Tom Brokaw focused on Iraqi oil revenues.
Addressing a Congressional panel, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz claimed that Iraqi oil revenues would help pay for reconstruction of the country. Sunday, Karl Rove denied the Bush administration ever made that claim.
“[T]he suggestion that somehow or another the administration had as its policy, ‘We’re going to go in to Iraq and take their resources and pay for the war’ is not accurate,” Rove told NBC’s Tom Brokaw.
Wolfowitz’s statement at the time, according to Think Progress was, “The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
Before the March 2003 launch of the Iraq invasion, then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Iraq “is a rather wealthy country. … And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.”
Frank Rich’s new column in the New York Times, published before Rove’s appearance on Meet the Press, is about what he calls the ‘Rove-Cheney Assault on Reality.’
“Now the revisionist floodgates have opened with the simultaneous arrival of Karl Rove’s memoir and Keep America Safe, a new right-wing noise machine invented by Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz and the inevitable William Kristol. This gang’s rewriting of history knows few bounds.”
The US has spent tens of billions of dollars on reconstruction, which led an auditor to warn of waste and fraud.
This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast March 14, 2010.