This morning, I happened across this story from BBC News. It is dated October 11, 2002 and describes - via unnamed senior administration officials - the Bush administration's plan to occupy Iraq. The writer is skeptical that an occupation will really happen.
Here is the lede:
"It has been reported that the Bush administration is developing a detailed plan to occupy Iraq and install an American-led military government in Baghdad if the US topples Saddam Hussein.
The New York Times newspaper and the Associated Press news agency have been briefed on the plan by unnamed senior administration officials.
However, the Associated Press says the two officials it spoke to consider that of all the plans being studied in Washington, this is among the least likely to be approved.
One prominent Iraqi opposition figure told the BBC the Americans would be naive to attempt to occupy the country."
You may notice a definite lack of anti-Bush hysteria in this piece. That may be because it had been written only a year after 3,000 innocent Americans were killed on that sunny Tuesday morning in NYC, DC, and PA. It was a few short months since Daniel Pearl, journalist, was beheaded in Pakistan. In October 2002, al-Qaeda and anyone else who supported terrorism, was viewed as more of an enemy than President Bush.