Rice: Bush did not lie over war


Condoleezza Rice, one of Mr Bush’s closest aides, went on US television to try to hose down claims made by legendary reporter Bob Woodward in Plan of Attack, the latest book to make headlines in the presidential election year.

Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry used the book to attack Mr Bush, accusing him of misleading Americans – including some of his own advisers – about his plans for Iraq.

But Dr Rice said Woodward’s claim was not correct.

Recalling a meeting she had with Mr Bush in Texas at the time, she said he was becoming frustrated with what the US saw as lack of progress in United Nations weapons inspections in Iraq.

And Mr Bush had said: “No, I think we probably are going to have to go to war. We’re going to have to go to war.”

But Dr Rice insisted “that was not a decision to go to war”. That decision was made in March, she said – but after the March 6 news conference at which Mr Bush said: “I’ve not made up our mind about military action.”