Friday, April 23, 2004

Conspiracy Theory 

Via Digby, I see that Wolfie and Friends over at the Pentagon are still trying to connect Saddam and Al-Qaeda. This is unbelievable:
In the run-up to the war on Iraq, a top Pentagon official pushed a highly unorthodox plan to deploy one of the U.S. government's most controversial legal tactics--the designation of suspected terrorists as "enemy combatants"--in hopes of finding new evidence of alleged connections between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al Qaeda, NEWSWEEK has learned.

The proposal, pressed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, called for President George W. Bush to declare Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as an enemy combatant in the war on terror. This would have allowed Yousef to be transferred from his cell at the U.S. Bureau of Prison's "supermax" penitentiary in Florence, Colo., to a U.S. military installation.

Wolfowitz contended that U.S. military interrogators--unencumbered by the presence of Yousef's defense lawyer--might be able to get the inmate to confess what he and the lawyer have steadfastly denied: that he was actually an Iraqi intelligence agent dispatched by Saddam to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 as revenge for the first Persian Gulf War.
It's like a "This is your brain on Laurie Mylroie" commercial. Paul Wolfowitz really, really, really needs to be fired, and neither Feithr Doug Fieth nor (currently private citizen) James Woolsey ever should be listened to again. Send them to fucking Gitmo.

I also want to point out something that I've come back to on occasion in the past. I remember, on September 12 or 13 (definitely not after the 14th), 2001, I was watching Charlie Rose and James Woolsey was a guest. He kept yammering on and on about this--how Saddam was probably involved in 9/11, how it goes back to the 1993 WTC bombing, and all that. He may have even mentioned Oklahoma City (I should find a transcript, because this is kind of a baseless charge I'm making here without one). I also remembering, wow, maybe there are all these connections. I mean, why wouldn't I think that? Here is the former Director of Central Intelligence telling me stuff about a subject I knew very little. How was I supposed to know at the time that Woolsey is, shall we say, certifiably insane?

And it was episodes like this that made me never understand why right wingers would get upset when someone accused them of wanting to go after Iraq right after 9/11. Wesley Clark got in trouble for saying that, as did Richard Clarke. It seems like a legitimate criticism, and one backed up by many facts, one of which is James Woolsey on Charlie Rose. So spare me the "The Focus was on Afghanistan, not Iraq" propaganda. It should have been, but it wasn't, all because of foaming-at-the-mouth conspiracy theorists like Woolsey and Wolfowitz. And it makes me sick.

CORRECTION: Avid reader Marcia (better known as my mom) points out in the comments that, according to Charlie Rose's website, Woolsey was not a guest on his show during the time period in question. I really, really remember this, but I guess I'm wrong. I'm trying to figure out what show I did see him on that week, but I don't really have the time right now.

UPDATE II: My mom, who clearly needs a hobby, found this Frontline interview from October 2001 that has a lot of the Woolsey stuff. I don't think that this is what I was thinking about, but nonetheless, it's worth looking over.
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