Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, June 18, 2004

A Tangled Web Indeed: Putin Announcement

Hi Everyone,

No sooner does the 911 Commission announce that there is no connection between Iraq and Al Qaida then Putin (CNN story) announces that Russia had information that Iraq was planning a terror campaign against US targets throughout the world (including in the US) on its own. Putin also said that Russia told Bush this before the US invasion of Iraq and that Bush personally thanked the Russian intelligence chief. This raises a number of questions:

1) If Russia had this intelligence why did they oppose the US invasion of Iraq so strongly? If this story is true I find the Russian position (and the fact that they did not reveal this information publicly to the UN) to be reprehensible.

2) If the Bush administration had this information in the period leading up to the war, why didn't they announce it to the US public? People were clamoring for reasons to justify an invasion. The Bush administration during this period was cycling through reasons for war on a weekly basis. This would seem to be a far stronger reason to go to war than tenuous connections between Iraq and Al Qaida that even at the time, were known to be shaky (even if they were believed by many voters).

3) Why release this information now? The war is over (and Putin still says he was right to oppose it). Is Putin trying to interfere with the US election?

Putin is not a particularly reliable source. Putin has practically abolished the free press in Russia meaning that he can say pretty much anything he wants about what intelligence he's got and no one will investigate the story to verify it.


The Law Talking Guy said...

This story by Putin certainly does not ring true. Actually, it sounds to me like a whole lot of mistranslation and miscommunication in the press today. I wouldn't be surprised to see this story disappear for that reason.

US West said...

I agree with Law Talking Guy. But let's say for the sake of arguement that it is true- there is nothing really incompatible with Putin's position . Say he had info about a potential attack on US targets (By the way, we had that information too- remember all the attacks that led up to the big one in NYC. So we already), why does that mean he has to support a war in Iraq?
Maybe he knows there is no connection between Iraq and terrorism. Maybe he knows there are no WMD. But maybe he also knows that with Saddam in power, the Iraqi oil spigot is kept at a low flow, leaving more room for Russian oil. Also note that Putin is waging his own war on "terror" in Chetchnya.