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Old 10-26-2004, 09:48 AM   #1
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Bush could have caught Zarqawi and didn't

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.

But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.

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.

“Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didn’t do it,” said Michael O’Hanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution.

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.

“People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president’s policy of preemption against terrorists,” according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.

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. “Here’s a case where they waited, they waited too long and now we’re suffering as a result inside Iraq,” Cressey added.

And despite the Bush administration’s tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, Zarqawi’s killing streak continues today.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/

The MSNBC story is from March of this year -- Wall Street Journal has also now picked it up.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:51 AM   #2
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Excellent.

Quote:
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.
You are quoting stories that suggest that there was an Iraq - al Qaida connection.



Are you suggesting that the US waited too long to strike Iraq??
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:51 AM   #3
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So you are telling me that Zarqawi was operating a chemical weapons facility in Iraq with Al Qaeda members and that Iraq had no ties to Islamist terror

Its moot, Kima was under the control of the Kurds - these groups like Ansar al-Islam are all part of the Islamofascist web and the connections to the Baathists are questionable.

This is all a case of shoulda, coulda, woulda - why speculate on what you could have done in 2002 and concentrate on what needs to be done now when it comes to killing this terrorist.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:03 AM   #4
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If this is true, then, correct, there was a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. I'm confused. During the regime of Saddam, he wouldn't let the Wahhabists play politics, even though he favored the Sunni Muslims for obvious reasons, he's one of them. Was al-Zarqawi playing politics on the side? Was he holding meetings? Or was he dormant politically? Since Saddam was thrown out of power the Wahhabists have reared their ugly heads and started overt terrorism. Was the potential there before? I hope this post makes sense.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:09 AM   #5
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This is NOT an Al Qaeda / Baathist connection, this is an Al Qaeda - Ansar al Islam - Zarqawi connection.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:14 AM   #6
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in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide.

There were two fractions fighting in the protected Northern NO-fly zone.

The more radical Islamist,(his group,
I believe it was the PKU ) wanted Saddam dead and gone.

The U. S. probably did not want to offend or make things difficult for Musharrif in Pakistan.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:18 AM   #7
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what did Ansar al Islam (the Islamist group operating in N-Iraq) have to do with Musharrif or the ISI, I mean there is a two country buffer zone.

What does phenylketonuria have to do with anything perhaps you were thinking of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party which is an old school marxist terrorist/liberation (depends on who you ask) group with a full cult of personality for their leader Abdullah Ocalan.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:35 AM   #8
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
what did Ansar al Islam (the Islamist group operating in N-Iraq) have to do with Musharrif or the ISI, I mean there is a two country buffer zone.

What does phenylketonuria have to do with anything perhaps you were thinking of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party which is an old school marxist terrorist/liberation (depends on who you ask) group with a full cult of personality for their leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Musharrif is doing a balancing act.
It is common knowledge that many of his people were/ are sympathetic to the more extreme elements.

The point is Alwarri was not allied with Saddam. He operated in the no-fly zone because it was safe.

They could have taken him out.

Why not?

What price is being paid for their choices?
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:40 AM   #9
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I do understand that Pakistan is on a knifes edge but I do not think that the US would compromise their operations in the wider war on terror to appease those extremist elements in Pakistan, it seems to be a disjointed argument.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:35 AM   #10
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Re: Bush could have caught Zarqawi and didn't

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Originally posted by sharky

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.
That about says it all, doesn't it? It shows the dishonesty of the Bush administration in all its splendor.

We don't want to hit actual terrorists because we're dead set on going after Saddam. Never mind that the terrorist is operating out of an area that isn't even controlled by Saddam.

This is pathetic.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:35 AM   #11
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Oh, OK, it's very confusing to keep up with Terrorist group A, B, and C. They're all scum, of course.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:55 AM   #12
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wait a second!!!! we waited to long to attack iraq? Bush has been getting slamed by the same people who are saying this now? now it looks to me bush has been right all along... but yet again it will be changed by the press to make it look bad against the white house.
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:15 PM   #13
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but yet again it will be changed by the press to make it look bad against the white house.
Nothing needs to be changed to make the White House look bad. No one is saying we waited too long to hit Iraq, and if anything, this makes Bush look less right than he ever has.
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Old 10-26-2004, 01:07 PM   #14
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Re: Re: Bush could have caught Zarqawi and didn't

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Originally posted by strannix


That about says it all, doesn't it? It shows the dishonesty of the Bush administration in all its splendor.

We don't want to hit actual terrorists because we're dead set on going after Saddam. Never mind that the terrorist is operating out of an area that isn't even controlled by Saddam.

This is pathetic.
Distinguish between the administration's statements and the editorial comments of the writer.

Also consider that 18 months later, Zarqawi is now high on the list. Did our intelligence rank him as the higher target and the administration rejected such information?
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Old 10-26-2004, 01:33 PM   #15
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It ranked him high enough that we had people watching his moves and recommending we kill him. He obviously was high on the list if the Pentagon wanted him dead.
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