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.
Friday, June 18, 2004
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 8:10 AM