Nov 15, 2002:
The conflict with Iraq is about weapons of mass destruction, Rumsfeld insisted.
"It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil. It has nothing to do with the religion."
Feb 6, 2003:
Q Since you speak for the President, we have no access to him, can you categorically deny that the United States will take over the oil fields when we win this war? Which is apparently obvious and you're on your way and I don't think you doubt your victory. Oil -- is it about oil?
MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, as I've told you many times, if this had anything to do with oil, the position of the United States would be to lift the sanctions so the oil could flow. This is not about that. This is about saving lives by protecting the American people --
Q We will not take over the oil fields, are you saying that?
MR. FLEISCHER: The oil fields belong to the people of Iraq, the government of Iraq, all of Iraq. All the resources --
Q And we don't want any part of that?
MR. FLEISCHER: -- of Iraq need to be administered by the Iraqi government. And any action that is taken in Iraq is going to be taken with an eye toward the future of Iraq. And that involves the protecting of infrastructure, providing humanitarian aid. And that needs to be done by the Iraqi people.
Jan 7, 2007:
Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.
The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.
Let the plausible deniability begin.