"On January 29, 2002, in his State of the Union address, President Bush described Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as constituting 'an axis of evil.' Secretary of State Colin Powell told a Senate committee on February 5 that Iraq 'remains a significant threat to the [Middle East] region's stability.' He added that 'we have not ruled out other options' with respect to Iraq and went on to say that 'we believe strongly in regime change in Iraq.' Speaking of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, President Bush told reporters on March 13, 2002, that 'he is a problem. And we're going to deal with him.' On March 23, Vice President Dick Cheney told reporters that during his just-completed trip to the Middle East, he found regional leaders 'uniformly concerned about the situation in Iraq, in particular about Saddam Hussein's failure to live up to the U.N. Security Council's resolutions.' Meanwhile, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 19, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said 'the jury's out' regarding any Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks but added that 'it would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of state sponsorship, whether Iranian or Iraqi, and we'll see where the evidence takes us.'"
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB94049
United States. Dept. of State. Bureau of Public Affairs. Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/