Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Lone Wolf on U.S. Intelligence, Iraq Marches On
New York Sun ^ | 8-19-03 | ADAM DAIFALLAH - Staff Reporter of the Sun

Posted on 08/20/2003 12:34:12 AM PDT by Matchett-PI

WASHINGTON — To her friends and admirers, she’s a lone voice in the wilderness pushing an issue that the intelligence community establishment refuses to confront.

To her detractors, she’s an eccentric perennial gadfly who cannot get beyond an obsession with a single issue: Iraq’s involvement in terrorism.

Say what you will about Laurie Mylroie, author of the just released book, “Bush vs. the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror” (Reganbooks), but one thing’s for sure: she has opinions, they are unorthodox but strong, and she is willing to stick up for them and has meticulously accumulated data to back up her claims.

An Iraq expert with a Ph.D. from Harvard, Ms. Mylroie’s new book —her third — is an attempt at exposing what she considers a colossal intelligence failure leading up to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Proving the veracity of her thesis —that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks as well as the World Trade Center attack in 1993, and that Washington bureaucracies are deliberately undermining the war on terrorism — has been her mission, even as it falls on deaf ears amongst the vast portion of official Washington.

Ms. Mylroie’s basic underlying premise is that state sponsorship of terrorism, now thought to be far less a concern than the so-called “loose networks” of terrorists like Al Qaeda, is still a threat to America, and that Iraq was one of the greatest threats.

“The 1990s was, as I write in the book, a time when everything was about peace and prosperity — almost as if it were our right — because we’re the world’s only superpower, we’re so wonderful,we don’t even have to work at it. Part of what feeds that is a sense that the Arab-Israeli conflict is about to end. That’s what people really believed,” she said. “And over that period of time, all of the people involved in the peace process don’t want to hear that they’ve got another problem on their hands.”

That problem, she says, was Saddam Hussein. With the high-profile defection of Saddam’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, to Jordan in 1995, America and the world learned of the advanced stage of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction programs, particularly biological weapons. But Washington wasn’t interested in hearing about it, she said.

She was born in Moscow, Idaho, 50 years ago. The daughter of a Canadian born microbiologist father and a biochemist mother, she decided to forgo the science route, instead choosing to focus on the Middle East,hoping to add something to the study of the subject.

After graduating from Cornell and then Harvard University in 1985, she became an assistant professor at Harvard until 1990.

She first stormed into the spotlight that year when she cowrote, with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, “Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf.”

The book became a no. 1 best-seller. She has since written a second book, which shed light on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and challenged the notion that the terrorism of the 1990s was not state sponsored, “Study of Revenge.”

She also spent time at the U.S. Naval War College and at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where she worked under Martin Indyk, who would play several key roles on the Middle East file in the Clinton administration. Ms. Mylroie was even recruited to the Clinton campaign in 1992, serving as his adviser on Iraq.

Those who know her describe her as a dedicated and meticulous researcher; a stubborn but caring person and a brave soul who is motivated by factors other than fame or glory.

“Laurie has a lot of guts and is a thorough researcher and a fine writer,” says the former director of central intelligence, James Woolsey, who shares her views on Iraq’s involvement in terrorism. “Someday the nation will recognize that it owes her a big debt of gratitude for the diligence with which she has pursued the terrorism issue.”

Ms. Mylroie and Mr. Woolsey were key witnesses in the federal court case, tried in New York’s southern district, which found Iraq was involved with Al Qaeda in the September 11 attacks and paved the way for payouts to victims’ families.

“She put a lot of info together about Iraq’s involvement in 9/11 and support for terrorism, everything from the way they have their holidays set up to articles they published in their newspapers before — just a variety of insights that dealt specifically with how the Baath Party provided material support for many terrorist groups including Al Qaeda,” said the co-counsel in the case, Jim Beasley Jr. “She was able to give us a big picture timeline that was very persuasive.”

Over dinner at a Washington restaurant, Ms. Mylroie recounts the gist of her new book as a series of rhetorical questions with a strong hint of frustration in her voice.

“Why have the CIA and State Department been allowed to make the same mistake for over a decade?

Why have they been allowed to favor the Baath Party for over a decade?

Why are the people who made the mistakes that left us vulnerable on September 11 still in important positions in the CIA and State?

Why is the CIA constantly leaking information that constantly undermines the president?”

The most important overlooked point in the intelligence community, she maintains, are the identities of the masterminds of both the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks.

Ms. Mylroie claims that the identities of such figures as the mastermind of the 1993 attack, Ramzi Yousef, and the 2001 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, are based on documents that pre-date Kuwait’s liberation, and thus may have been tampered with when Iraq invaded and occupied that country.

“The official U.S. position is that at the core of this terrible terrorism starting in the ’93 World Trade Center bombing culminating in September 11 is that there’s a family — an unusually talented and vicious family — Ramzi Yousef, his childhood friend Abdul Hakim Murad, his uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, two brothers and a cousin…there’s no precedent for a family being at the center of a terrorist organization.”

“The alternative explanation is that they are Iraqi intelligence agents given false identities or ‘legends’ as they are called while Iraq occupied Kuwait,” she said.

“Why wasn’t this pursued?’”

The late director of the New York FBI, Jim Fox, who led the investigation into the 1993 attacks, is said by colleagues to have shared Ms. Mylroie’s view.

She says a number of high-powered officials in the Bush administration do too.

But if this is the case, and Iraq was behind September 11, why doesn’t the Bush administration make that case to the public?

It’s a bureaucracy problem, she says.

“There was tremendous resistance within the bureaucracy, which in this case means the CIA, talking about a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, not to mention Iraq and 9/11, and that’s because they made a big mistake,” Ms. Mylroie said. “If the information that was available to the CIA had been in the hands of a private security firm, and 9/11 happened, there would have been lawsuits and firings.

No one has been held accountable, no one has been forced to change their assessment, so they fight back and they discredit this stuff.”

Middle East experts like CNN’s Iraq analyst and author of the best-selling book “The Threatening Storm,” Kenneth Pollack, and Patrick Clawson, the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, earn Ms. Mylroie’s scorn in her new book for what she says is a readiness to adjust their view on Iraq to fit the prevailing view of the day.

She is particularly critical of an essay in the January/February 1999 issue of the foreign policy journal Foreign Affairs, “The Rollback Fantasy,” which argued against working with the democratic Iraqi opposition to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

One of the co-authors of “The Rollback Fantasy,” Gideon Rose, said Ms. Mylroie’s views are suspect.

“The vast majority of serious professional observers think she’s completely wrong,” he said, noting that most observers acknowledge that Saddam is bad guy and has been involved in terrorism in the past, “but the notion that Saddam has been connected to major terrorism in the ’90s past the assassination attempt on President Bush is not widely held by serious professionals.”

Mr. Rose said that this view is “one of the things that separates serious professionals from the amateurs.”

He is representative of the majority of the foreign policy establishment in Washington.

But Ms. Mylroie marches on, determined to convince anyone who will listen of the validity of her claims.

“Much of human history is correcting mistakes,” she says.

“Slavery only ended in this country 140 years ago and even then, I’m not sure how long it was in Washington that you had separate washrooms and drinking fountains for blacks.

Just because everyone believes something doesn’t make it right.”

Others criticize her for a flip-flop on Iraq. In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq war, she leaned to Iraq. Looking back on that period now, she concedes she was “mistaken.”

“The Iraqis spoke in terms that were,I guess you’d call them moderate, being disengaged from the Arab-Israeli conflict. I felt a thug like Saddam could learn a lesson and be a thug that was helpful to you. I felt Iran was a bigger threat and that a smart thug could learn a lesson,” Ms. Mylroie said.

“I very much respect her research. I think she digs into data skillfully and indefatigably,” said a retired Pentagon official, Richard Speier.

“The way she took the evidence from the trial of the first World Trade Center bombers and raised some very serious questions that as far as I know haven’t been addressed seriously… It’s astonishing that people in a position to really investigate these matters don’t really do so.”

As a testament to Ms. Mylroie’s quirkiness, Mr. Speier recalled an incident where they were having a meal together, discussing Iraq’s involvement in terrorism. When he hinted that there might be a chance that the government had information that she didn’t, thus leading them to conclusions different than hers, she’d hear nothing of it.

“I cautioned her, ‘Look, the bureaucrats in the government have information we don’t have, and you have to allow for that possibility.’ And she was furious and walked home from the restaurant by herself, it had to have been a few miles,” he said.

The only way to fix this bureaucracy problem, she says, is to have “far reaching intelligence reform,” including a presidential commission.

“We’re dealing with something for which we have yet to have a clear understanding or explanation. There’s more that we don’t know than we do know. And so it defies anybody to definitely say yes or no Iraq was or was not involved,” said a former Republican congressman from Maine who works as a defense analyst, Jim Longley.

“What Laurie has done, and I think very cogently, is she has lifted the curtain off of facts that some people are frankly all too interested in ignoring.”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; beltway; bookreview; bush; bushvsthebeltway; cia; iraq; lauriemylroie; statedepartment; waronterror
Why are the people who made the mistakes that left us vulnerable on September 11 still in important positions in the CIA and State?

Why is the CIA constantly leaking information that constantly undermines the president?” ...

Middle East experts like CNN’s Iraq analyst and author of the best-selling book “The Threatening Storm,” Kenneth Pollack, and Patrick Clawson, the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, earn Ms. Mylroie’s scorn in her new book for what she says is a readiness to adjust their view on Iraq to fit the prevailing view of the day.

She is particularly critical of an essay in the January/February 1999 issue of the foreign policy journal Foreign Affairs, “The Rollback Fantasy,” which argued against working with the democratic Iraqi opposition to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

1 posted on 08/20/2003 12:34:12 AM PDT by Matchett-PI
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
Laurie Mylroie is a prophet without honor in her own country. Subsequent events have proven her right and people still don't listen!
2 posted on 08/20/2003 12:38:30 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
Saddam's reign of terror was aided by none other than the UN with its Oil for Food program. Whatever Saddam did he got cover from Russia, France, Germany among many others.

The Clinton Administration's policy of "EQUALIZE ALL NATIONS" with Maddie Albright at the helm under the UN did nothing to stop Saddam either.

Looks more like a worldwide conspiracy of socialists and communists and most Americans were caught sleeping.
3 posted on 08/20/2003 12:50:06 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goldstategop
As time goes by, and the evidence becomes just too obvious and voluminous to deny, Laurie Mylroie will be vindicated on all points.

She is already a hero to me.
4 posted on 08/20/2003 1:11:47 AM PDT by John Valentine (In Seoul, and keeping one eye on the hills to the North...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
One of the co-authors of “The Rollback Fantasy,” Gideon Rose, said Ms. Mylroie’s views are suspect.

“The vast majority of serious professional observers think she’s completely wrong,” he said, noting that most observers acknowledge that Saddam is bad guy and has been involved in terrorism in the past, “but the notion that Saddam has been connected to major terrorism in the ’90s past the assassination attempt on President Bush is not widely held by serious professionals.”

Mr. Rose said that this view is “one of the things that separates serious professionals from the amateurs.”

Don't ya just love that type of BS argument? The guy is basically saying he, himself, doesn't have a clue but lots of people whose butt he kisses on a daily basis disagree with this woman so therefore she must be wrong. Scientific American did a similar hit piece on Bjorn Lomborg's Skeptical Environmentalist in their magazine. They never pointed out which part of his book was false, instead they relied on three "experts" to say how badly his book offended them and how all "respectable" scientists in their field had a different opinion.

At the end of the day, this woman might be wrong but this is an underhanded way of taking a jab at her. Point out where she's wrong- don't just say "a lot of pompous a$$es with whom I work look down their noses at her and therefore you should as well".

5 posted on 08/20/2003 5:17:37 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
I've read about 1/2 of her new book, Bush vs the Beltway. Great reading. I recommend it to one and all. I just bought her book "The War Against America" (Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks). I have not read any of it yet.

She talks about the anthrax attacks and uses quotes from Bob Woodwards's book "Bush At War" (Woodward got his quotes from REAL National Security Council notes). According to the notes Tenet, Cheney & Cheney's chief of Staff, Scooter Libbey, believe the attack was state sponsored (Iraq). Cheney said in the meeting for them not to say in public that it was Alqaeda or Iraq because we were not in a position to do anything about it right then. We were in the war in Afganistan at that time.
6 posted on 08/20/2003 7:39:20 AM PDT by nightowl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
me too...she needs to be on tv all the time!
7 posted on 08/20/2003 7:42:14 AM PDT by rrrod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: cake_crumb; Mo1; Ernest_at_the_Beach; oldglory; Luke FReeman; backhoe; tallhappy; W.O.T.; ...
Pingggggg!!!! Thought some of you would find this of interest!
8 posted on 08/20/2003 7:44:53 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
Thanks for the ping.

I do wish people would take Laurie Mylroie more seriously.
9 posted on 08/20/2003 7:48:38 AM PDT by FairOpinion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
Thanks for the ping. Bump for later read...
10 posted on 08/20/2003 7:48:42 AM PDT by eureka! (Rats and Presstitutes lie--they have to in order to survive.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Princeton; Badabing Badaboom; pokerbuddy0
Iraq & Laurie Mylroie ping
11 posted on 08/20/2003 7:51:38 AM PDT by FairOpinion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goldstategop
"Laurie Mylroie is a prophet without honor in her own country. Subsequent events have proven her right and people still don't listen!"

Noble mentalities are always going to be in the minority.

Lots of people agreed with the principles and goals of the signers of The Declaration of Independence that set the stage for what would become the greatest nation on the face of the earth, but when it came to making the sacrifices that were necessary, history shows that very few were willing to step up to the plate.

They are the ignoble, gutless, base mentalities who don't deserve the freedom that their betters sacrificed friends, family, wealth, prestige, comfort, and their very lives to give them.

They wind up where they belong --- in the dust-bin of history.

12 posted on 08/20/2003 8:06:35 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
Thanks for the ping .. I like listening to Laurie Mylroie when I see her on TV
13 posted on 08/20/2003 8:24:03 AM PDT by Mo1 (I still hate Liberal Democrats)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Just mythoughts
"...most Americans were caught sleeping."

An affluant society that feels safe has the luxury of being complacent and focusing on irrelative nonsense rather than substantive issues.

9-11 caused some to grow up fast.

Unfortunately for us, there are way too many adults that still haven't grown up.

14 posted on 08/20/2003 8:26:54 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
"As time goes by, and the evidence becomes just too obvious and voluminous to deny, Laurie Mylroie will be vindicated on all points. She is already a hero to me."

Dittos to that!!

15 posted on 08/20/2003 8:28:33 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nightowl
"According to the notes Tenet, Cheney & Cheney's chief of Staff, Scooter Libbey, believe the attack was state sponsored (Iraq). Cheney said in the meeting for them not to say in public that it was Alqaeda or Iraq because we were not in a position to do anything about it right then. We were in the war in Afganistan at that time."

We will deal with Syria (and Iran, et.al.) when the time is right, too if Bush's team prevails over the Marxist obstructionists in the State Dept., the CIA, etc.

16 posted on 08/20/2003 8:37:15 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: rrrod; John Valentine; goldstategop; Just mythoughts
"she needs to be on tv all the time!"

I agree!

I wish Rush would schedule an interview with her for one of the upcoming issues of The Limbaugh Letter, too.

BTW! Did you happen to see this thread about a month ago?:

"Free Republic is a great place--a lot of people read it." ~ Dr. Laurie Mylroie"

17 posted on 08/20/2003 8:45:25 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Prodigal Son
"The guy is basically saying he, himself, doesn't have a clue but lots of people whose butt he kisses on a daily basis disagree with this woman so therefore she must be wrong. Scientific American did a similar hit piece on Bjorn Lomborg's Skeptical Environmentalist in their magazine. They never pointed out which part of his book was false, instead they relied on three "experts" to say how badly his book offended them and how all "respectable" scientists in their field had a different opinion."

Once the populace has been dumbed-down and indoctrinated, those capable of critical thought, like you, will be in the minority. That's how they get away with diversionary strawman / red herring arguments.

18 posted on 08/20/2003 8:56:54 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
Bump.
19 posted on 08/20/2003 9:09:03 AM PDT by headsonpikes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: FairOpinion
"an eccentric perennial gadfly who cannot get beyond an obsession with a single issue"


Hmmmmm....sounds familiar.
20 posted on 08/20/2003 12:05:09 PM PDT by Princeton (the knots of folly grow tighter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
"......too many adults that still haven't grown up."


Very true, I would say about half of the population, like the almost half in Congress.
21 posted on 08/20/2003 4:16:08 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
BTT
22 posted on 08/22/2003 1:55:11 AM PDT by windchime
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson