Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What was not in 'The Path to 9/11'

In the buildup to the Iraq war, President Bush was repeatedly offered actionable intelligence to take out the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. As retired CIA officer Michael Sheuer — the former head of the now disbanded unit that hunted bin Laden — recalls it:
Mr Bush had Zarqawi in his sights almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn’t shoot… Almost every day we sent a package to the White House that had overhead imagery of the house he was staying in. It was a terrorist training camp … experimenting with ricin and anthrax … any collateral damage there would have been terrorists.”
Gen. John M. Keane, the Army’s vice chief of staff at the time, told the Wall Street Journal that Zarqawi represented “one of the best targets we ever had” [subscription required]. According to reporting by NBC News back in March 2004, the question of taking out Zarqawi was instead “debated to death” in the White House’s National Security Council. Why? As NBC put it, “the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.”
Other souces dispute they were "experimenting with ricin and anthrax" at the camp as no evidence was found after the camp was searched after the war.

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