U.S. Weapons Hunter: Still No WMDs In Iraq
The new chief U.S. weapons hunter in Iraq, Charles Duelfer, is expected to tell lawmakers today that his teams have still not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But he said the search will continue.
Iranian News Agency: "U.S. Planting WMDs in Iraq"
Meanwhile the Iranian news agency Mehr has published a report suggesting the U.S. may be planting such weapons in Iraq. The news agency cites an unnamed member of the Iraqi Governing Council who says that U.S. forces have been quietly unloading parts for long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction at ports in southern Iraq.
In 2002 U.S. Shifted Resources From Al Qaeda Hunt to Iraq
USA Today is reporting that in 2002 the U.S. pulled a team of special forces who specialized in the Middle East off of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden so they could be sent to Iraq. They were replaced by troops with an expertise in Spanish cultures.
The report appeared one day after the Bush administration's former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke told "Meet the Press" "If we catch (bin Laden) this summer, which I expect, it's two years too late." He added "Because during those two years when forces were diverted to Iraq... al-Qaeda has metamorphosized into a hydra-headed organization with cells that are operating autonomously, like the cells that operated in Madrid recently."
Bush Advisor: US Invaded Iraq to Protect Israel
The Inter Press Service is reporting that a former aide to President Bush who now serves as the executive director of the 9/11 commission said in 2002 that a prime motive for the U.S. invasion of Iraq was to eliminate the threat Iraq posed to Israel.
The comments of Philip Zelikow mark the first time a link has been publicly made by a member of the Bush administration between the invasion of Iraq and Israel. On Sept. 10, 2002 Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia QUOTE "Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us?
I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel." He went on to say "And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."
At the time of his comments Zelikow was serving on the influential President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which reports directly to the president.