From a University of Illinois press release:
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. If it seems that there have been quite a few rationales for going to war in Iraq, that’s because there have been quite a few 27, in fact, all floated between Sept. 12, 2001, and Oct. 11, 2002, according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. All but four of the rationales originated with the administration of President George W. Bush.
The study also finds that the Bush administration switched its focus from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein early on only five months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
The rationales Largio identified include everything from the five front-runners war on terror, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, lack of weapons inspections, removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Saddam Hussein is evil, to the also-rans Sen. Joe Lieberman’s “because Saddam Hussein hates us,” Colin Powell’s “because it’s a violation of international law,” and Richard Perle’s “because we can make Iraq an example and gain favor within the Middle East.”