Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Keep this in mind while listening to Bush tonight


With Tuesday's attacks, Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida, is now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq.

But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself -- but never pulled the trigger.

In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide.

The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council.

"Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didn't do it," said Michael O'Hanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution.

Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe.

The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it. By then the administration had set its course for war with Iraq.

"People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president's policy of preemption against terrorists," according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.

If this is true, it seems to me close to treasonable.


Phil said...

Presumes I'm going to listen to him. Why would I do that to myself? It's less painful and faster to read it, and the newspaper's right there to sop up the vomit.

"Treasonable" seems a little bit out there, though. There's been a lot of gratuitous use of that kind of word lately.

purpleprose said...

Fair point Phil, about the loose use of "treasonable." Although it's a betrayal of the interest of the country, it's not actually consorting with the enemy.

"Dereliction of duty" is probably more accurate -- or rather, whatever the equivalent of dereliction of duty is for the civilian leadership of the armed forces