Friday, June 18, 2004

coughBScough

Convenient timing?
CNN (6/18/2004) - "After September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, the Russian special services ... received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and outside it against the U.S. military and other interests," Interfax quoted Putin as saying.

"Despite that information about terrorist attacks being prepared by Saddam's regime, Russia's position on Iraq remains unchanged," Putin said.

He said President Bush personally thanked one of the leaders of Russia's intelligence agencies for the information.

Putin made his comments in response to a question from reporters seeking clarification on similar statements leaked by an unnamed intelligence officer in a dispatch by Interfax.
Hmmm... smells fishy to me. After all, why would the Bush Administration not have brought this intelligence forward prior to going to Baghdad, especially given the much weaker evidence they were cobbling together to make their WMD case? If it were true, they would have had a fairly presentable casus belli, but no mention of this by either the Russians or us before today... On the heels of the news that the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks found "no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States," this revelation seems awfully well-timed for the White House. I'm not buying this story, especially considering Vlad's own words:
AFP (12/19/2003) - "We do not want the United States to lose their war on terrorism. We are US partners in the fight against terrorism," Putin said.

"But as for Iraq, this is a separate matter. There were no international terrorists under Hussein. This is a separate problem," said Putin.
So why is Putin coming out with a contradictory claim right now? The former head of the KGB - working with the son of the former CIA Director. Curious times....

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