Not only did BushCo knowingly hype the evidence “proving” the existence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons acquisition program; they knew that the source for the claim that Iraq was training al-Qaeda in using chemical and biological weapons was confabulating.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 — A top member of Al Qaeda in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.
The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, “was intentionally misleading the debriefers’’ in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda’s work with illicit weapons.
The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi’s credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi’s information as “credible’’ evidence that Iraq was training Al 8Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons.
Among the first and most prominent assertions was one by Mr. Bush, who said in a major speech in Cincinnati in October 2002 that “we’ve learned that Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases.’’
In other news, Ahmed Chalabi, who supplied a fairly large fraction of the lies BushCo so eagerly believed, is stopping off in Teheran (on his way to Washington to be feted by the American Enterprise Institute) to meet with the big winners (other than al-Qaeda) from the decision to invade Iraq.
Frighteningly, the Thief of Baghdad may be the next Iraqi prime minister. Even more frighteningly, he may be the least bad alternative. Having double-crossed us by allying with the extreme Shi’a Islamists such as Moqtada al-Sadr, he has now doublecrossed the extreme Shi’a Islamists and is trying to set up a secularist, pro-American party. The big downside: with Chalabi in power in Baghadad and BushCo in power in Washington, the neocons and their kleptocratic allies can expect to enjoy a huge payday.