Reuters reports that Putin is announcing that Russia knew of planned Iraqi attacks in the US.
I'm adding the emphases:
"After the events of September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received such information and passed it on to their American colleagues," he told reporters.Remember - Russia opposed the liberation of Iraq. It's fair to guess that the Russians are playing both sides of this issue; they had much to lose by both the fall of Hussein and appearing to hold out on the US.
Which guided a lot of Russian actions:
"This information was conveyed to our American colleagues," he said. He added that Russian intelligence had no proof that Saddam agents had been involved in any particular attack.Captain Ed led the blogosphere on this one:
Russia had diplomatic relations with Saddam's Iraq and opposed the U.S.-led military offensive that toppled him.
Putin's comments come after President Bush (news - web sites) was forced to defend his charge that there had been links between Saddam and al Qaeda that partly justified the U.S.-led invasion.
Perhaps this comprises part of the "sensitive" reporting that the Bush administration had on its desk in the fall of 2002, when it had to decide from where the next attacks on American soil might come. Since Hussein had managed to get around the arms embargo, thanks to UN Security Council members such as Syria and to an extent France and Germany, and since the UN oil-for-food program had given Saddam billions of dollars in resources within easy reach, it isn't hard to conclude that Saddam had been a clear and present danger -- one could even say imminent danger -- given Putin's warnings. Nor could the Bush administration easily reveal their source, given Putin's stature and his relationship with Saddam, which now appears to have been very convenient for Bush and Blair.Predictions:
They're going to have to start swinging at some of these pitches.Posted by Mitch at June 18, 2004 07:18 AM