Skip to comments.Did One Woman's Obsession Take America to War?
Posted on 07/04/2004 8:23:17 PM PDT by rimtop56
Americans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator - they knew that - but because President Bush made the case that Saddam might hand weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. In the absence of any evidence for that theory, it's fair to ask: where did the administration's conviction come from? It was at the American Enterprise Institute - a conservative Washington DC thinktank - that the idea took shape that overthrowing Saddam should be a goal. Among those associated with AEI is Richard Perle, a key architect of the president's get-tough-on-Iraq policy, and Paul Wolfowitz, now the number-two official at the Pentagon. But none of the thinkers at AEI was in any real way an expert on Iraq. For that they relied on someone you probably have never heard of: a woman named Laurie Mylroie.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Guarding the left flank of the Left.
But since you think she is better than all out multi-million dollar three-letter agencies, why don't we let her do all our intell work then? Given her track record, she won't be much better but she will be a lot cheaper.
BTW, the US went to war when we were attacked for the nth time, by Islamofascist terrorist. How dumb can these lefties be?
He repeatedly says she was wrong, but does not give much support for his view. Bergen quotes Richard Clarke, a man with not a lot of credibility. Later in his article, he just says she was wrong, but doesn't give a source.
Time will tell who is right. I haven't bought stock in the outcome, but I've read a lot of her writings and she has a lot more credibility than the likes of Richard Clarke. And, as you imply, our intelligence agencies have not exactly shone lately.
She lassoed W, tied him with a piggin' string, and branded him with her brand? Please...
This would be Dr Mylroie
Putin recently told that Russia warned us of Saddam's plans to strike the U.S. through terrorists, we were at war with Saddam and had a declared U.S. policy of regime change in Iraq.
Saddam had lots of reasons to strike us, and terrorists groups gave him a plausibly deniable way to do it. We had to do something about Iraq instead of allowing the infection to spread, possibly in a deadly vector at the heart of America.
Actually, I support Dr. Mylroie. I posted the article though for those who keep up with her. I admire her greatly.
That's right. The Middle East is like a huge, pus-filled sore. Taking Hussein out was like puncturing it. It's still a mess, but it's a good start.
Have you read any of her books? This rather short article does not at all show us that she is wrong. And what about Peter Bergen's credentials make him credible?
I didn't mean to knock you or the estimable gal in question. My point was, no think tank drives W's decisions. The Lord God does. FReegards
Exactly how is the writer proving her wrong? All I noticed were terms such as "the FBI and CIA found no evidence" -- not surprising in the matter of the '93 WTC bombing, since it was handled exclusively by the FBI as a law-enforcement issue. By the time the CIA knew what their evidence was, i.e., after the trials, the trail was stone cold. Then the author quotes from such paragons of accuracy as Richard Clarke and Vince Cannistraro. The same Vince Cannistraro that works for one of the alphabet channels and who publicly declared support for Sami Al-Arian, before he was (oops!) finally arrested.
Everyone quoted, in fact, has a share in the blame of not stopping the Islamic threat in the '90's -- mainly because they all treated the incidents as isolated events by loose groups of associates who just happened to be Muslims -- so it's not very surprising that they're eager to shoot down Mylroie's theories.
In 1784, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were commissioned by the first Congress to assemble in Paris to see about marketing U.S. products in Europe.
Jefferson quickly surmised that the biggest challenge facing U.S. merchant ships were those referred to euphemistically as "Barbary pirates."
They weren't "pirates" at all, in the traditional sense, Jefferson noticed. They didn't drink and chase women and they really weren't out to strike it rich. Instead, their motivation was strictly religious. They bought and sold slaves, to be sure. They looted ships. But they used their booty to buy guns, ships, cannon and ammunition.
Like those we call "terrorists" today, they saw themselves engaged in jihad and called themselves "mujahiddin."
Well certainly Madeline Albright's obsession with her ethnic heritage and her family's fleeing of persecution in Serbia led her to push for her war (in defiance of the United Nations I might add) against Serbia.
Not ture at all, all he's simply saying is that she's wrong, and throwing in some less-than-credible names to support his position.
"But since you think she is better than all out multi-million dollar three-letter agencies"
Would these be the same agencies in charge of not letting a 9/11 happen?
Because US Code calls for it.
Clinton, the French, the UN, all were convinced that Saddam had WMD.
And now more and more info is coming out about Saddam's ties to terrorism.
Dr. Mylroie is brilliant and an American patriot.
I also admire Dr. Mylroie. I never miss her on Fox, if I can help it. She clearly knows exactly what she's talking about, and her painstaking efforts to bring whatever interviewer she has up to speed are done with grace.
Still, I'd like to hear her just talk about the ME for an hour or so, then have a transcript of it to read and re-read.
They gave you net access?
Saddam has used chemical weapons in the past.
Saddam won't account for his WMD programs to the authorities.
Saddam hates the US and wants to attack us.
Anyone who thinks Saddam was not an important target in the WOT, also thinks it was a mistake for the US to declare war on Nazi Germany.
"the FBI and CIA found no evidence"
A subtle, but critical point, lost on many. Of course, the detractors are counting on that.
Ouch! That comment will leave a mark. LOL!!!
If Mylroie really had a lot of power in this administration, there would be ongoing investigation of al Qaeda's role in the Oklahoma City blast.
Surely that is a rhetorical question...
You are right that was only a rhetorical question.
I'm sorry this is so difficult for you to understand.
The President has all kinds of advisors. However, after they give their advice, the President still has to make a decision .. and a President who is willing to humble himself and pray to GOD has a better chance of making the correct decision.
President Bush makes the right decisions. Just because you don't agree with them .. doesn't mean they aren't the right decisions.
She is a conspiracy theorist whose political conceits have consistently been proved wrong. So why were Bush and his aides so keen to swallow Laurie Mylroie's theories on Saddam and terrorism? By Peter BergenPeter Bergen
The GuardianAmericans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator - they knew that - but because President Bush made the case that Saddam might hand weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. In the absence of any evidence for that theory, it's fair to ask: where did the administration's conviction come from? It was at the American Enterprise Institute - a conservative Washington DC thinktank - that the idea took shape that overthrowing Saddam should be a goal. Among those associated with AEI is Richard Perle, a key architect of the president's get-tough-on-Iraq policy, and Paul Wolfowitz, now the number-two official at the Pentagon. But none of the thinkers at AEI was in any real way an expert on Iraq. For that they relied on someone you probably have never heard of: a woman named Laurie Mylroie.
Mylroie has credentials as an expert on the Middle East, national security and, above all, Iraq, having held faculty positions at Harvard and the US Naval War College. During the 1980s she was an apologist for Saddam's regime, but became anti-Saddam around the time of his invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In the run-up to that Gulf war, with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Mylroie wrote Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf, a well-reviewed bestseller.
It was the first bombing of the World Trade Centre in 1993 that launched Mylroie's quixotic quest to prove that Saddam's regime was the chief source of anti-US terrorism. She laid out her case in a 2000 book called Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America. Perle glowingly blurbed the book as "splendid and wholly convincing". Wolfowitz and his then wife, according to Mylroie, "provided crucial support".
Mylroie believes that Saddam was behind every anti-American terrorist incident of note in the past decade, from the levelling of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a cranky conspiracist - but her neoconservative friends believed her theories, bringing her on as a terrorism consultant at the Pentagon.
The extent of Mylroie's influence is shown in the new book Against All Enemies, by the veteran counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, in which he recounts a senior-level meeting on terrorism months before September 11. During that meeting Clarke quotes Wolfowitz as saying: "You give Bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don't exist." Clarke writes: "I could hardly believe it, but Wolfowitz was spouting the Laurie Mylroie theory that Iraq was behind the 1993 truck bomb at the World Trade Centre, a theory that had been investigated for years and found to be totally untrue."
Mylroie's influence can also be seen in the Bush cabinet's reaction to the September 11 attacks. According to Bob Woodward's recent book, Plan of Attack, Wolfowitz told the cabinet immediately after the attacks that there was a 10 to 50% chance that Saddam was implicated. Around the same time, Bush told his aides: "I believe that Iraq was involved, but I'm not going to strike them now."
The most comprehensive criminal investigation in history - pursuing 500,000 leads and interviewing 175,000 people - has turned up no evidence of Iraqi involvement.
How is it that key members of the Bush administration believed otherwise? Mylroie, in Study of Revenge, claims to have discovered what everyone missed: that the plot's mastermind, a man generally known by one of his many aliases, "Ramzi Yousef", was actually an Iraqi intelligence agent. Some time after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Mylroie argues, Yousef was given access to the passport of a Pakistani named Abdul Basit whose family lived in Kuwait, and assumed his identity. She reached this deduction following an examination of Basit's passport records that indicated Yousef and Basit were four inches different in height. But US investigators say that "Yousef" and Basit are the same person, and that he is a Pakistani with ties to al-Qaida, not to Iraq. Yousef's uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was al-Qaida's military commander until his capture in Pakistan in 2003.
The reality is that by the mid-90s, the FBI, the CIA and the State Department had found no evidence implicating the Iraqi government in the first Trade Centre attack. Vincent Cannistraro, who headed the CIA's counterterrorist centre in the early 90s, told me, "My view is that Laurie has an obsession with trying to link Saddam to global terrorism. Years of strenuous effort to prove the case have been unavailing." Ken Pollack, a former CIA analyst and author of The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, dismissed Mylroie's theories: "[The National Security Council] had the intelligence community look very hard at the allegations that the Iraqis were behind the 1993 Trade Centre attack ... The intelligence community said there were no such links."
Neil Herman, the FBI official who headed the Trade Centre investigation, explained that one of the lower-level conspirators, Abdul Rahman Yasin, did flee New York to live with a family member in Baghdad: "The one glaring connection that can't be overlooked is Yasin. We looked at that rather extensively. There were no ties to the Iraqi government."
In July last year, Mylroie published a new book, Bush v the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror. The book charges that the US government suppressed information about Iraq's role in anti-American terrorism, including the investigation of 9/11. It claims that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the now captured mastermind of 9/11, is an Iraqi intelligence agent who, like his nephew Ramzi Yousef, adopted the identity of a Pakistani living in Kuwait.
The US government doesn't seem to have explored this theory. Why not? Mylroie explained to the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks: "A senior administration official told me in specific that the question of the identities of the terrorist masterminds could not be pursued because of bureaucratic obstructionism." We are expected to believe that the Bush administration could not find anyone to investigate supposed Iraqi links to 9/11, at the same time as 150,000 American soldiers were sent to fight a war in Iraq.
Mylroie had only this comment when I asked about her research: "This issue [of Iraq's involvement in anti-US terrorism] has become enormously politicised. When I first wrote about it in 1995, major magazines and newspapers and the Israeli ambassador commented positively on my research." The only other chance I have had to talk with Mylroie came last February, when we both appeared on Canadian television to discuss the impending war. "Listen," she declared, "we're going to war because President Bush believes Saddam was involved in 9/11. Al-Qaida is a front for Iraqi intelligence."
Towards the end of the interview, Mylroie became agitated, jabbing her finger at the camera: "There is a very acute chance as we go to war that Saddam will use biological agents against Americans, that there will be anthrax in the US and smallpox in the US. Are you in Canada prepared for Americans who have smallpox and do not know it crossing the border?"
Such hyperbole is emblematic of Mylroie's method. She has said that Terry Nichols, one of the Oklahoma City plotters, was in league with Ramzi Yousef, the supposed Iraqi agent. The federal judge who presided over the Oklahoma case ruled this theory inadmissible. Mylroie implicates Iraq in the 1996 bombing of a US military facility in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 servicemen. In 2001, a grand jury indicted members of Saudi Hezbollah, a group with ties to Iran. Mylroie suggests that the attacks on US embassies in Africa in 1998 were "the work of Bin Laden and Iraq". An investigation uncovered no connection. Mylroie has written that the crash of TWA flight 800 in 1996 was probably an Iraqi plot; a two-year investigation found it was an accident. Saddam is guilty of many crimes, but there is no evidence linking him to any act of anti-US terrorism for a decade, while there is a mountain of evidence against al-Qaida.
Mylroie has also recently taken on the role of defender of Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, who is accused of providing fraudulent information about Iraq's WMD programme and passing intelligence to Iran. In May, in the conservative newspaper the New York Sun, Mylroie described Chalabi as the victim of a "longstanding grudge" by the CIA.
Mylroie's theories have bolstered the argument that led us into a costly war in Iraq, and swayed key opinion-makers in the Bush administration, who in turn persuaded Americans that the Iraqi dictator had a role in the 9/11 attacks. In November Mylroie told Newsweek: "I take satisfaction that we went to war with Iraq and got rid of Saddam Hussein. The rest is details." Now she tells us.
· Peter Bergen, a fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC and adjunct professor, school of advanced international studies, Johns Hopkins University, is the author of Holy War, Inc: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden.
Please! Reminds me of something Patricia Schroeder or Hillary would say.
Bergen is jealous because Mylroie is a better writer and reseaRCHER...and an additional bona fide ( for those on the left) is that Clinton had her as a foreign policy advisor during 1992 -1993. She was right about the first WTC attack, she was right about Sept 11th...he's galled....tough I love her work and it is more rational and reliable than anything else I've seen
Her track record is excellent. Have you even read any of her works? Would do you some good I think.
Oh and just so you have additional referrences try Jayna Davis's work called The Third Terrorist and Yussef Bodansky's two books on Usama and terrorism...You seem to think that there were no WMD, that Saddam was not a threat, and that somehow Sept 11th was just a bunch of misunderstood folks who were trying to get our attention. Read more and learn
She was born in Czechoslovakia. Her father was the Czech ambassador to Yugoslavia before Czechoslovakia become communist. No one persecuted her or her family in Serbia.
Her ethnic heritage is Jewish (last name Korber -- hardly a Slavic name), born in the former Czechoslovakia. Her family fled to Britain during WWII to avoid being caught by the Nazis in Czechoslovakia (although her grandparents perished in a Nazi concentration camp), and returned after 1945 where her father became his country's ambassador.
When Czechoslovakia became communist dictatorship by force, her family fled to America. She kep her husband's last name.
And why are you reposting the whole article? It adds nothing to the discussion. She in fact has been proven consistently RIGHT...enough so that a set of families sued Iraq in the US courts for civil damages for Sept 11th and WON...that's a preponderance of the evidence. And now the NYT is even admitting that yellow cake WAS trying to be purchased by Iraq . Jayna Davis has done the yeoman work on Iraq and OKC and she too has won in court when sued....You don't know what you are talking about...
Hmmm...this sounds pretty verifiable and true to me
She also finds Ahmend Chalabi, a convicted embezzler with a warrant for his arrest in Jordan, a respectable person worth defending:
Maybe if you read the whole article you'd know. See my reply #36.
that would be #39 -- sorry, fast fingers.
Misunderstood? How about confused, misinformed and deceived? See my answer in #39. Perhaps you should read the whole article.
Have you read the whole article?
Her being wrong diverted the war from chasing Bin Laden to chasing resurgents in Fallujah. Because of her mistaken expertise, more than 800 brave men and women are on her mistaken conscience. All she can say, after all that she missed, is that Saddam is gone. So are hudreds of American lives -- those who were alive last year and those who will forever bear scars and live like invalids. She, on the other hand, will enjoy her royalties and a comfortable retirement.
I trust that you are right. Many of us are praying for him.
Great article on how the founding fathers handled militant Islam. The founding fathers were so smart; and probably half of their brilliance was due to not being hindered by PC thinking.
Sorry, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. You can describe it another way, but the result is the same. At least that is what I have concluded from reading extensively about how they (FBI, CIA, etc.) operate from many authors, people who have dealt with them in many venues.
I suppose that recent experiences of my own on the job colored my description. It's just reality.
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