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No ties between Iraq and al-Qaida lead to dubious war claims

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, December 12, 2005

It seems there may have been some improprieties in this Iraq business.

The president's claim Iraq had mobile germ weapons laboratories came from an Iraqi chemical engineer who defected to Germany. The Germans thought his information was poppycock and advised the CIA, yet the administration used it to argue for war.

For the life of me, I don't understand how Ahmed Chalabi, that exiled Iraqi wanted for bank fraud in Jordan, won the confidence of Don Rumsfeld enough to convince Don we would be greeted with bouquets upon entering Iraq.

This may seem picky, but when the CIA warned the administration that evidence Iraq bought weapons-grade uranium from Niger was dubious, why did the president and Colin Powell use it as part of their "conclusive proof" to justify war?

The aluminum tubes that President Bush said were for making a centrifuge to produce nukes was doubted by CIA analysts, but used by the president as more proof that Iraq was a threat.

I know Dick Cheney still insists Iraq was in cahoots with al-Qaida, planning more terrorist attacks against the homeland. However, Factcheck.org states "no solid evidence has surfaced linking Iraq to attacks on the United States" and that "Osama bin Laden made a request in 1994 to establish training camps in Iraq", but "Iraq apparently never responded." The New York Times (12/9/05) reported that in 2002, an al-Qaida member was given to the Egyptians for "rendition." To avoid torture, he told them al Qaeda was working with Iraq, but recanted after the invasion. Intelligence based on his remarks was removed by the CIA in 2004.

Maybe torture doesn't work that well and perhaps it wasn't quite fair to blame the CIA for "faulty intelligence" when we didn't find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

This whole business of Cheney's man, "Scooter," being indicted for lying to a grand jury about when he told the press Joe Wilson's wife was CIA is also a bit fishy. I'm sure Mr. Cheney had nothing to do with it, however, there is a growing suspicion among consumers that the president, the vice and their posse may have dissembled. Rep. John Murtha came right out and said his pro-war vote "was obviously a mistake. We were misled, they exaggerated the intelligence."

Lisle Hebert

Juneau



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