Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Confirmed: Bush Refused To Take Out Zarqawi In 2002

Yes, you read that right: BUSH REFUSED TO TAKE OUT ZARQAWI IN 2002. Two years ago, Jim Miklaszewski of NBC News reported that a few months after 9/11 the Pentagon drafted multiple plans to hit the camp of Abu Musab Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda terrorist who had taken up residence in Iraq's northern no-fly zone, outside Saddam Hussein's control. George Bush, however, refused to authorize a military strike. But Miklaszewski's story always had a big problem: it was based on anonymous sources, which made it easy for the White House to ignore. Today, however, the Australian show Four Corners has got confirmation of the story from Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit:

He told Four Corners that during 2002, the Bush Administration received detailed intelligence about Zarqawi's training camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. ...."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."
So why wasn't Bush willing to hit Zarqawi, a known al-Qaeda terrorist in a known location? Scheuer says he was told it was because Bush was afraid of annoying the French, which is patently ridiculous considering how Bush and his fellow PNAC Platoon members spent most of 2002 screaming at Jacques Chirac because he refused to sign onto Bush's invade-Iraq scam. Others believe it was because Zarqawi was politically convenient: having him alive allowed Bush to pretend that Saddam was "harboring terrorists," thus providing useful ammunition for the war. Whichever it is, we now have a credible source telling us on the record that the Zarqawi story is true. Bush could have got him, but Bush chose not to. And note that this comes hard on the heels of MSNBC's David Shuster telling us on Hardball that Valerie Plame was tasked with probing Iran's nuclear intentions -- but that didn't stop Bush and his minions from destroying her and her operative network in a fit of pique at her husband. So much for putting aside political games in order to do what's right. (As always, C&L has the video.) I'd like to see somebody bring this up with Tony Snow today.

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