DALLAS—Catering to fans of the iconic global conflict that ran from 2003 to 2011, the major figures from the George W. Bush administration reunited on Zoom Monday for a table read of the National Intelligence Assessment used to justify the invasion of Iraq. “The country’s going through some difficult times right now, and we just thought it would be fun to get the old gang back together to read the document that kicked off Operation Iraqi Freedom all those years ago,” said former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld of the reunion special that was broadcast live on YouTube and included key players Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and even longtime holdout Colin Powell reprising their classic roles from the original military intervention. “I have to admit, I was shocked when I first sat down to re-read it, because so much of what was originally on the page never even ended up getting broadcast to America—some of the most memorable lines, like the ones about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities or the links to al Qaeda, were just riffs that we made up on the fly. So, it was a bit of a challenge to recreate that energy 17 years later and over the internet, but pretty soon we got back in the swing of things and started having as much fun as ever—honestly, it’s wild, some of the stuff they let us get away with back then. And sure, not all of it holds up, but I think people will get a real nostalgia boost out of reliving one of the undisputed highlights of the early 2000s.” Rumsfeld added that thanks to a generous outpouring of support by viewers, the table read had successfully raised over $20 million for The Heritage Foundation.
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