June 18, 2004

Clear and Present Danger

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.

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.

Captain Ed led the blogosphere on this one:
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.
  • The left-wing blogosphere will react with trite facility that drives their entire approach to the War on Terror.
  • The media will cover their ears and eyes and holler "La la la".
The real question is, what will the administration do? Bobble yet more good news?

They're going to have to start swinging at some of these pitches.

Posted by Mitch at June 18, 2004 07:18 AM

La la la la la la... i'm not listening... la la la la la la la... Abu Ghraib... la la la la la la

Posted by: left winger at June 18, 2004 08:40 AM

Not only did we have numerous intelligence reports from many governments including Russia that Iraq still had WMD and was planning US attacks, we had just come off the heals of our government leadership being attacked with the biological agent Anthrax. Still unresolved to the source, it showed our vulnerability and the ease of putting us in Chaos.

Certainly our enemies with access to these type of agents and especially those who have manufactured, stockpiled and used them in the past (read Sadaam) would be at the top of the target list to defend against and us force to eliminate the threat of the usage of such weapons or the distribution to others that would use them against us.

The removal of Sadaam eliminated his ability to attack the US or our allies such as Israel and other oil exporters and has limited the resources to terrorist organizations that found safe haven in Irag.

If we would have done nothing, we and our allies would be more vulnerable in the future. Terrorists would have more resources and support against us with the end result being a much larger devastating conflict and war for our own survival.

The world is now a much safer place thanks to George Bush.

Posted by: The Doctor at June 18, 2004 11:25 AM


It may not have been so clear and present:

"Putin didn't elaborate on any details of the alleged plots or mention whether they were tied to al-Qaida. He said Bush had personally thanked one of the leaders of Russia's intelligence agencies for the information but that he couldn't comment on how critical it was in the U.S. decision to invade Iraq.

In Washington, a U.S. official said Putin's information did not add to what the United States already knew about Saddam's intentions.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Putin's tip didn't give a time or place for a possible attack."

I've been blogging about this all morning and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of details (yet) about this story.

Posted by: PJZ at June 18, 2004 03:28 PM