Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Powell, Zarqawi, and Wilkerson

In the continuing saga called Pelosi, is Colonel Wilkerson perhaps morphing into Colonel Mustard? His contention that Tenet invented new data about al-Libi before the Feb 2003 UN briefing--data that put his boss General Powell over the top for going to the UN--seems now to be debunked by Maureen Dowd's own paper:
The unraveling of the Qaeda story in Iraq, still under way, took on some of the drama of an espionage thriller when, following the murder of Mr. Foley, the Qaeda deputy to Mr. Zarqawi suffered a lapse of communications discipline, a coalition official said. As he drove across northern Iraq to the Turkish and Syrian frontiers, he could not resist using his satellite phone to call Mr. Foley's murderers to congratulate them and to tell them he was on his way to meet with them.

''The captured assassin says his cell received money and weapons from Zarqawi for that murder,'' Mr. Powell said. In December, Jordan said it had two men in custody who had confessed to killing Mr. Foley on the instructions of Mr. Zarqawi.
Unless Cheney death squad members were in the car waterboarding him into using his satellite phone to give up intel, linking Baghdad to al Qaeda, I'd say this looks like strike four for Colonel Wilkerson.

But not so fast. The question of Zarqawi in Iraq and terrorist ties was quite contentious and something Powell later apologized for (and apologies for the left wing narrator):

Notice the General isolated Tenet from blame for not being given 'burn notices' about faulty intelligence, which appears contrary to his current stance. How many would bet that Powell really backed Obama as part of his ongoing war on Cheney?

Anyway, the notion that Zarqawi's Iraq AQ network was planning attacks in Europe might have been true:
British intelligence officials in Iraq are questioning an al-Qaeda operative after information relating to the 7 July London bombings was allegedly found on his computer drive.

The man, who has not been named, was captured by US forces last month. He is understood to have had a portable computer drive on him that showed 'knowledge' of the attacks that killed 56 people.
There was also evidence that Zarqawi was tied to former regime elements, something al-Libi told us early on. The government would have been negligent not to pursue these leads based on the long track of intelligence dating back to the Clinton years.

One could possibly make the argument that CIA analysts were trying to cover their rears after the WMDs failed to materialize but it seems ridiculous for them to lie to Pelosi, Goss or anyone else in 2002. If anything they were probably embarrassed for being fooled by the Iraqi Intelligence Service all those years or others like Curveball, but that would not have come in 2002.

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