Report: Bush orders CIA to topple, capture Saddam Hussein

Published June 16th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

U.S. President Bush early this year signed an intelligence order directing the CIA to undertake a comprehensive, covert program to topple Saddam Hussein, including authority to use lethal force to capture the Iraqi president, according to informed sources, cited by The Washington Post


The presidential order, an expansion of a previous presidential finding designed to oust Hussein, directs the CIA to use all available tools, including: 

• Increased support to Iraqi opposition groups and forces inside and outside Iraq. 

• Expanded efforts to collect intelligence within the Iraqi government, military, security service and overall population. 

• Possible use of CIA and U.S. Special Forces teams. Such forces would be authorized to kill Hussein if they were acting in self-defense. 


The administration has already allocated tens of millions of dollars to the covert program. Nonetheless, according to the newspaper, CIA Director George J. Tenet has told Bush and his war cabinet that the CIA effort alone, without companion military action, economic and diplomatic pressure, probably has only about a 10 to 20 percent chance of succeeding. ( 

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