Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 3, 2004
WAR: Bombshell?

Maybe there's more to this story, but this NBC report sure looks like a huge black eye both for the Bush Administration and for critics who argued that the Administration exaggerated Iraq's terror connections and acted too aggressively in Iraq:

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.
* * *
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.


* * *

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.


* * *

In January 2003, the threat turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq.
The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it.

Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.

The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late — Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone.

Read the whole thing. . . of course, left unanswered here is exactly where in Iraq this was (i.e., was it an area under Saddam's control?), as well as how feasible the military plan really was. But undercutting the case for war? If we had shot first here and asked questions later, I'd think we'd have been able to argue that the presence of Al Qaeda-linked terror camps developing WMD was more than enough reason to go all the way and be rid of Saddam ASAP.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:51 AM | War 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Comments
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg