Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 3, 2004
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.
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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.
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Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe.
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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.
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.