Jessica Lynch. Tommy Franks. 'Chemical Ali.' Tony Blair. Hans Blix. Ten years ago, as the war in Iraq began, these were names on front pages everywhere. Find out what has happened to them – and 10 other headliners associated with the conflict – since.
Paul Bremer (Iraq administrator)
Stan Honda/Pool via AP
U.S. top civil administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer speaks to reporters during his tour of Iraq's largest oil refinery in the northern town of Baiji on Aug. 5 2003.
With his full head of remarkably un-gray hair, Paul Bremer looked almost too young when in May 2003, about a month after the invasion was completed, he was put in charge of Iraq’s Coalition Provisional Authority and as such in charge of the country until elections could be held.
Bremer, however, was 61, and had considerable experience in foreign affairs, highlighted by 23 years in the State Department, including a stint in the 1980s as a counter-terrorism guru for President Reagan. He had also worked for former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s consulting firm, Kissinger Associates.
Reporting to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Bremer was responsible for trying to get the war-torn country back on its feet, including restoring its infrastructure and guiding the creation of political institutions. During his term, he survived at least one attempt on his life and, according to an Associated Press report, had a price of 10,000 grams of gold (about $125,000) placed in his head by Osama bin Laden.
Bremer returned to the United States in June 2004, after an interim Iraqi government had been formed. For his efforts in Iraq, Bremer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Bush in December 2004.
Since leaving Iraq, Bremer has remained busy, serving on several boards and making many public appearances, particularly since the January 2006 publication of his book “My Year In Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope.” In more recent times, he also has embarked on a career as a painter.
In the book, he alleged that senior U.S. officials tried to make him a scapegoat for postwar setbacks, including the decision to disband the Iraqi army following the US invasion in 2003.
After leaving his Iraq position, Bremer served as chairman of the advisory board for GlobalSecure Corporation
, a company whose business, according to its website, is “securing the homeland with integrated products and services for the critical incident response community worldwide.” Bremer left GlobalSecure in 2009, an assistant told NBCNews.com.
Lately, he has been exercising his artistic side. According to a March 2009 article in U.S. News and World Report
, has embarked on a new venture – selling oil paintings he has made of scenes in Vermont.
"I launched my Web site for my paintings this week, www.bremerenterprises.com
,” he is quoted as e-mailing friends. “Most of the works on it now are scheduled to be in my next exhibition in Vermont at the end of the summer. Hope you enjoy them."
But it is for being the target of shoe-throwing that Bremer has made the most headlines in the past few years.
In two appearances in London, shoes were hurled at him, incidents similar to when President George Bush was targeted by a footwear thrower in 2008.
The hurler, yelling that he had “a message from Saddam Hussein to deliver,” missed Bremer with his first volley. When he threw another shoe, the former administrator leaped up and tried to catch the makeshift missile.
Before resuming his speech, Bremer taunted the protester for missing him, saying: “You should improve your aim if you want to do something like that.
“If he had done that while Saddam Hussein was alive,” he added, “he would be a dead man by now.”
IRAQ TEN YEARS LATER: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?