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This Timeline Database presents a wide range of events, public statements, government documents and other references that relate to the Bush administration’s case for and waging of the war in Iraq.  We’ve attempted to make this the definitive resource of its kind.  We’ve also tried to make it as useful as possible for people to get an idea of the “big picture” without necessarily reading through hundreds of entries.

There are many threads that wind through the chronology of the path to war.  Many of them are not directly related to military matters, but are nevertheless relevant to understanding the nature of the war’s origins.

The team has begun to tell these stories in an ongoing series of essays, some of which appear in the right column on this page.

We invite the internet community to make use of this reference tool, and to help us make it better with constructive feedback.

Go here to the timeline page.

Quick summary of the timeline’s functionality,
a User Guide for Timeline Database

Field Descriptions

Date - Date the event, speech, etc. actually happened.

Title - Title of article, or short (one-line) description.

Source - Name of media outlet, government document, etc. where the item came from.

Published - Date the article was published, speech was reported, show was broadcast, etc.

Link - URL for the source—note some web pages are no longer available at their original locations

Summary - Excerpt from or summary of the item; summaries are indicated as such by the word “SUMMARY” at the beginning of the text.

Categories - Yes/No flags corresponding to various topic areas; can be used in searches to retrieve all records pertaining to WMD, for example. 


The database is set up to display only the Date and Title fields in the list.  Clicking on the title will reveal the Summary text and the source, which is a live link.  The Category fields noted above are shown only on the search screen. 

Each page lists 100 records.  At the top of each page there are dates that indicate the date of the first record on each page—clicking on one of the dates takes you to that page. 

Searching the database

When you click the Advanced Search link, you will be taken to the Search Form where you can specify what criteria you want to search on.  Each field has a drop-down list next to it where you can choose the conditions of the search.  For example, to find all records prior to September 11, 2001 you would choose “<” in the drop-down list next to the Date field and enter  09-11-01 in the Date field itself, then click the “search for record” button. 

You can search on any combination of criteria.  For example, you could add to the pre-9/11 search just noted to include records that refer to the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) think tank by including “PNAC” in the title field.  The result would bring up all records with “PNAC” in the title that are also dated prior to 9/11/01. 


This is an alternate search tool available from the main database list pages.  It works like any search engine—just enter the text you’d like to search on and it will find all records that contain that text in any field.


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