Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The World Today: Wolfowitz reveals Iraq PR plan,  29 May , 2003 

HAMISH ROBERTSON: There's been a very candid statement by the United States Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, that the US decision to stress the dangers posed by Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction above all other reasons was taken because of disputes within the Washington bureaucracy.

Mr Wolfowitz says that stressing Iraq's alleged chemical and biological weapons as the main argument for going to war with Iraq was the only one that all arms of the bureaucracy could agree on.

John Shovelan reports from Washington:

JOHN SHOVELAN: The Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz is seen as one of the most hawkish figures in the Bush administration, and it was he who, shortly after the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, laid out the reasoning for President Bush why the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein needed to be overthrown.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Mr Wolfowitz is quoted at saying the reason for choosing Iraq's alleged stocks of chemical and biological weapons to justify going to war was taken for bureaucratic reasons.

It was, he says one of many reasons. The magazine quotes Mr Wolfowitz saying "for bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue weapons of mass destruction because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."

Despite a concerted effort by US forces in Iraq, no chemical or biological weapons have been found. In the lead-up to the war, President Bush and his key allies, British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister, John Howard repeated assertions that the threat posed by Saddam's stocks of banned weapons was sufficient enough to go to war and eliminate them.

The UN Security Council disagreed. Just yesterday, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked why no weapons of mass destruction had been found, said Iraq may have destroyed them before US-led forces invaded.

DONALD RUMSFELD: It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy them prior to a conflict.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Of late, the administration has begun focussing on the human rights violations under Saddam Hussein and the mass graves that have been discovered since the end of the war.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: That are testament to what this regime was like and let's not lose sight of the fact that the Iraqi people are far better off with that brutal dictator gone.

JOHN SHOVELAN: But some Democrats in Congress believe US intelligence was faulty, and on Sunday, Senator Joe Biden said the administration had hyped the claims about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

As the US administration now pressures Iran about its alleged nuclear weapons program, Condoleezza Rice, the President's National Security Adviser, denied the standing of US intelligence in the region had suffered.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I think that US credibility on these issues is actually quite high.

JOHN SHOVELAN: In his interview with Vanity Fair, Mr Wolfowitz said another reason largely ignored for going to war with Iraq was that it enabled the withdrawal of US troops from Saudi Arabia. Lifting that burden, he said, is itself going to open the door to a more peaceful Middle East.

The interview was conducted just days before the terrorist bombing in Riyadh.

Not long after the major conflict was declared over in Iraq, the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld announced US troops would be withdrawing. One of Osama bin Laden's demands has been the withdrawal of US forces from the home of Islam's holiest sites.