Clinton Aide Wanted Iraq to Shoot Down US Plane

... so we'd be justified going to war in '97

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 15, 2010 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Gen. Hugh Shelton's new memoir contains this odd nugget, notes Justin Elliott at Salon: In 1997, one of Bill Clinton's Cabinet members suggested that Shelton order a US plane to fly low over Baghdad so Saddam would shoot it down and, ta da, give America instant justification for war. "I was so mad I was about to explode," recounts Shelton, thinking about the sacrificial pilot.

“Why, of course we can,” he responded. "Just as soon as we get your ass qualified to fly it, I will have it flown just as low and slow as you want to go.” The memoir doesn't name the Cabinet member, but Elliott notes that the way the passage is written leaves Madeleine Albright as a distinct possibility.

A file photo of Saddam Hussein.
A file photo of Saddam Hussein.   (AP Photo / Nikola Solic, pool, FILE)
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