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The last reason is the conversion, the switch Saddam Hussein made in the Food for Oil program, from the dollar to the euro. He did this, by the way, long before 9/11, in November 2000 — selling his oil for euros. The oil sales permitted in that program aren’t very much. But when the sanctions would be lifted, the sales from the country with the second largest oil reserves on the planet would have been moving to the euro.
The U.S. dollar is in a sensitive period because we are a debtor nation now. Our currency is still popular, but it’s not backed up like it used to be. If oil, a very solid commodity, is traded on the euro, that could cause massive, almost glacial, shifts in confidence in trading on the dollar. So one of the first executive orders that Bush signed in May  switched trading on Iraq’s oil back to the dollar.
At the time you left the military, a year ago, just how great was the influence of this neoconservative faction on Pentagon policy?
When it comes to Middle East policy, they were in complete control, at least in the Pentagon. There was some debate at the State Department.
Indeed, when you were still in uniform and writing a Web column anonymously, you expressed your bitter disappointment when Secretary of State Powell — in your words — eventually “capitulated.”
He did. When he made his now-famous power-point slide presentation at the U.N., he totally capitulated. It meant he was totally onboard. Whether he believed it or not.
You gave your life to the military, you voted Republican for many years, you say you served in the Pentagon right up to the outbreak of war. What does it feel like to be out now, publicly denouncing your old bosses?
Know what it feels like? It feels like duty. That’s what it feels like. I’ve thought about it many times. You know, I spent 20 years working for something that — at least under this administration — turned out to be something I wasn’t working for. I mean, these people have total disrespect for the Constitution. We swear an oath, military officers and NCOs alike swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. These people have no respect for the Constitution. The Congress was misled, it was lied to. At a very minimum that is a subversion of the Constitution. A pre-emptive war based on what we knew was not a pressing need is not what this country stands for.
What I feel now is that I’m not retired. I still have a responsibility to do my part as a citizen to try and correct the problem.
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