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Monday, September 18, 2006

A new detail about the lies that led to war

Walter Pincus, "CIA Learned in '02 That Bin Laden Had No Iraq Ties, Report Says," Washington Post September 15, 2006; p. A14:
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and two GOP colleagues on the [Senate Intelligence] committee disclosed this information for the first time in the panel's report on Iraq released last week. They wrote in the "additional views" section of the report that the Cabinet-level Iraqi official "said that Iraq has no past, current, or anticipated future contact with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda" and that the official "added that bin Laden was in fact a longtime enemy of Iraq."

...The high-level Iraqi official, who was not identified in the Senate report, was Naji Sabri, then foreign minister. A senior CIA officer, after months of trying, was able to question him through a trusted agency intermediary when Sabri was in New York City around Sept. 19, 2002.
In fall 2002 and early 2003, when I told my students that Iraq and al Qaeda were enemies, most didn't believe me.

We all know why.

By the way, some information obtained from Sabri was immediately passed along to the White House and to senior policymakers -- so they could reference it in their speeches. Of course, that information (about chemical and nuclear arsenals) seemed to confirm their claims.

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