So why bother? Fear of being wrong about a major issue that led to war? Perhaps, but then again perhaps it's the specter of the alternative--a president who betrayed his country and oath of office for obscenely self-serving reasons. According to conventional wisdom there are really only three choices regards Iraq; either Bush lied for oil, was an imbecile, or was clandestinely reacting to genuine threats. Since most enjoy exploring the first two possibilities it seems the third deserves at least a little sunshine every so often.
Remember the recent report from the US Army Joint Forces Command on Iraq? The MSM highlighted the report's lack of any "operational" connections between Saddam and bin Laden but those who bothered to read more than a few pages would have found the purported link between Saddam and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a very dangerous terrorist group tied to AQ number 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri through their offshoot "Vanguards of Conquest". It's amazing our highly paid professional media seemed to dismiss the implications of this possible relationship. OK, it's really not, especially in light of what Barack said he might do if elected. But browse this about the Vanguards while remembering that Mohammed Atta was an Egyptian.
Let's strap into Doc Brown's DeLorean and go back to January 30th 2001, a week after George W. Bushitler took office, when a letter was received at the Citizenship and Immigration Office in Ottawa, Canada threatening to use anthrax if fellow terrorists were not released from lockup. According to reports the letter contained a white powder with a short note of mainly jibberish (like this?).
The letter was addressed to Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan who had co-signed the detention certificate against one Mahmoud Mahjoub, a suspected AQ operative in captivity mainly for his former job working on bin Laden's farm in the Sudan during the 90s. He was recently denied release again, perhaps with this background still fresh:
Jaballah’s colleague Mahjoub was #2 in Zawahiri’s Vanguards of Conquest. When Mahjoub’s bail hearing was announced in January 2001, one of Zawahiri’s minions threatened to use anthrax if bail was denied. This was the subject of a February 2001 Presidential Daily Brief from the CIA to President Bush. Bail was denied on October 5, 2001. The potent anthrax was mailed the next day to the US Senators deemed most closely associated with appropriations to Egypt and Israel and the rendering of the Vanguards of Conquest (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) members.Not surprisingly, Mahjoub is a controversial figure in Canada. He and several others have been held in a sort of Gitmo-north prison for a good while now, becoming a sort of cause-celebre for the Canadian chapter of north american moonbats and their strange bedfellow jihadi advocates abroad. Some of these guys even tried to grandstand for the release of James Loney and the Christian Peacemakers held in Iraq back in 2006.
By the way, the 9/11 Commission reported on AQ's pursuit of bio-weapons, notably through a guy named Yazid Sufaat:
Atef turned to Hambali when al Qaeda needed a scientist to take over its biological weapons program. Hambali obliged by introducing a U.S.-educated JI member, Yazid Sufaat, to Ayman al Zawahiri in Kandahar. In 2001, Sufaat would spend several months attempting to cultivate anthrax for al Qaeda in a laboratory he helped set up near the Kandahar airport.23An aside--the CIA turned Atef into particles of desert without the whiff of a trial or a puff of hot air from the ACLU. Had they captured him the same folks would have insisted on Miranda rights.
Anyway, Ross Getman takes all this Canadian activity to it's logical conclusion per the US anthrax letters in fall 2001, but he tosses in a twist on why they might have targeted liberal Senator Pat Leahy (as if that would matter to AQ--it only works if you believe Bush was involved) with one of the most potent strains:
For a half decade now, the media has inexplicably overlooked the fact that Senator Leahy is author of the "Leahy Law," a provision that prohibits appropriations to military and security units if there is credible evidence of human rights violations -- evidence of torture.Getman believes the attacks are in response to our infamous rendition program (ie, torture) but that seems fairly short-sighted considering US troops in Saudi and the jailing of the Blind Sheikh were the roots of their evil, before rendition began.
Oddly enough, the FBI's Amerithrax investigation team recently focused public interest on three people employed at Fort Detrick, MD for that crime. Presumably Dr. Hatfill's off the hook and awaiting a large check (by the way, at last check former USA Today reporter Toni Locy was still under contempt charges racking up thousands per day in fines for not giving up her government sources, but that's another story).
The odd thing about the Mahmoud situation has always been the role of Mubarak al-Duri, an Iraqi the 9/11 Commission called "bin Laden's WMD procurement agent". He spent time in Arizona when Wadi al-Hage was there, then spent time in Canada with Mahmoud and friends. His last known location was the Sudan where the FBI actually interviewed him in 2001, an event famous for the mocking laughter produced when they asked him about links between Saddam and bin Laden. Apparently since the Feds bought that story he was allowed to disappear, remaining a WMD procurement agent for AQ on the loose. Who knows, maybe he's at the same secure location occupied by WTC-one bomb mixer Abdul Yasin. Or this guy.
The obvious and still unanswered question is whether al-Duri, being a WMD point man connected to bin Laden and Zawahiri, both of whom were seeking bio weapons, was in any way trying to procure said material from Iraq despite their feelings about Saddam and apostasy. Recall Iraq never secured UN verification when they destroyed their anthrax stocks and were evidently loosely connected to Zawahiri's gang. The fact that Mubarak al-Duri has the same surname as the current leader in exile of the Ba'ath Party in Iraq is only suspicious if you want it to be.