Woodward on Bush's 'Plan of Attack'

Book Reveals President's Early Preparations for War on Iraq

Listen: <B>Web Extra:</B> Steve Inskeep's Extended Interview with Woodward

Bob Woodward

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'Plan of Attack' book cover

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Bob Woodward's new book, which suggests President Bush began planning a war on Iraq earlier than previously disclosed, has Washington talking.

Plan of Attack is Woodward's follow-up to the 2002 Bush at War. In it, he writes that on Nov. 21, 2001 — 72 days after the Sept. 11 attacks — President Bush ordered Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to draw up war plans against Iraq. The book also discloses that President Bush made the decision to go to war in January 2003, and informed Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan of the decision before telling Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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Woodward, a longtime journalist at The Washington Post, discusses Plan of Attack with NPR's Steve Inskeep. In their conversation, Woodward describes a 12-minute meeting in the Oval Office between President Bush and Powell. "The president complimented Powell for his hard work on the diplomatic front and then he said, 'I think I'm going to have to do this,'" Woodward says.

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