Paul Wolfowitz, 2003 News
deputy defense secretary, began making a case for an invasion of Iraq shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the U.S. He said Saddam Hussein should be ousted before he could pass on weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. Known for his sharp intelligence and his archly hawkish views, Wolfowitz has worked for every president since 1973, except President Clinton. In 1992, he recommended to the first President Bush that the U.S. launch unilateral, preemptive military strikes against hostile countries seeking to develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction. The proposal was then deemed reckless and overly aggressive, but in the context of the war against terrorism, it became the course President George W. Bush charted with the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.