Statement on Paul O'Neill

Des Moines, IA, January 14, 2004

“Last week's report by the Carnegie Endowment on International Peace on weapons of mass destruction and today's coverage of Secretary O'Neill's statements about the Bush administration's march to war only reaffirm my belief in how important it was for someone to stand up last year before we went to war.

“If Paul O'Neill as a member of the National Security Council didn't see evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, if he saw a President disengaged in the policy process, if Colin Powell saw no evidence of a 'smoking gun' tie between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein - what exactly did the Democrats who supported the war see? Why didn't they ask the tough questions before the war, not six months later?

“Leadership is the courage to stand up and ask the tough questions, to stand up for what you believe - even when the polls tell you it may not be popular.”

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