Monday, October 25, 2004

Just in time for the Holidays

I'm not big on religious analogies, I mean Attaturk never talks religion, like his near name sake he's a secularist -- without that very special touch of being associated with the Armenian Genocide.

I mean, OK, I talk about God smiting this and smiting that, I write about Chimpy's messiah complex, I'll crack wise about the sodomy, but that's less because of religion than just because my gosh who in their heart-of-hearts doesn't like a vibrator up the ass on occasion.

Come to think of it, I do talk about religion.

But there is something interesting about Bush, like Peter, denying an attack against Al-Zarqawi thrice coming back to bite his frat boy, me jesus too, ass just before election day.

And, of all places for it to spring up again, the Wall Street Journal.

Laura Rosen has the story:

As the toll of mayhem inspired by terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi mounts in Iraq, some former officials and military officers increasingly wonder whether the Bush administration made a mistake months before the start of the war by stopping the military from attacking his camp in the northeastern part of that country.

The Pentagon drew up detailed plans in June 2002, giving the administration a series of options for a military strike on the camp Mr. Zarqawi was running then in remote northeastern Iraq, according to generals who were involved directly in planning the attack and several former White House staffers. They said the camp, near the town of Khurmal, was known to contain Mr. Zarqawi and his supporters as well as al Qaeda fighters, all of whom had fled from Afghanistan. Intelligence indicated the camp was training recruits and making poisons for attacks against the West.

. . .

But the raid on Mr. Zarqawi didn't take place. Months passed with no approval of the plan from the White House, until word came down just weeks before the March 19, 2003, start of the Iraq war that Mr. Bush had rejected any strike on the camp until after an official outbreak of hostilities with Iraq. Ultimately, the camp was hit just after the invasion of Iraq began.

. . .

Administration officials say the attack was set aside for a variety of reasons, including uncertain intelligence reports on Mr. Zarqawi's whereabouts and the difficulties of hitting him within a large complex.

"Because there was never any real-time, actionable intelligence that placed Zarqawi at Khurmal, action taken against the facility would have been ineffective," said Jim Wilkinson, a spokesman for the NSC. "It was more effective to deal with the facility as part of the broader strategy, and in fact, the facility was destroyed early in the war." . . .

Some former officials said the intelligence on Mr. Zarqawi's whereabouts was sound. In addition, retired Gen. John M. Keane, the U.S. Army's vice chief of staff when the strike was considered, said that because the camp was isolated in the thinly populated, mountainous borderlands of northeastern Iraq, the risk of collateral damage was minimal. . . .

Gen. Keane characterized the camp "as one of the best targets we ever had," and questioned the decision not to attack it. . .

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