James Woolsey – former CIA director, ambassador, and
Pentagon official – is a man on a mission.
The self-described “private citizen” is out to prove that
Saddam Hussein is sending murder through our mail.
His latest stop was a London meeting with the Iraqi National
Congress, an exiled opposition group.
Paul Wolfowitz, the hawkish deputy defense secretary who advocates,
state sponsors of terrorism,” approved and funded the trip.
Woolsey cites “substantial and growing indications” that
Iraq is behind the anthrax attacks on America.
Prime evidence is a pair of meetings suicide pilot Mohammed Atta
had with Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Samir al-Ani in Prague shortly before
the Sept. 11 tragedy.
And Woolsey may well be right on track.
Examine Saddam’s means:
Records suggest that he used chemical agents on 100 Shiite
prisoners in 1984, dropped nerve gas on a Kurdish village in 1988, and may
have contaminated Kurdish water supplies with typhus.
Khidmir Hamza, former director of the Iraqi nuclear weapons
program, says, “Iraq still has the capability to produce biowar agents
including anthrax,” and when staffers at Sen. Daschle’s office were
infected, the Washington Post reported that only three countries
were capable of producing this strain:
the U.S., Russia, and Iraq.
But the case is not clean. The Post now quotes a
senior administration official who says, “Everything seems to lean
toward a domestic source….Nothing seems to fit with an overseas
terrorist operation.” Scott Ritter, who served as a UN weapons inspector
in Iraq from 1991-1998 writes, “The UN never once found evidence that
Iraq had either retained biological weapons or associated production
equipment, or was continuing work in the field” and says “It would be
irresponsible to speculate about a Baghdad involvement…. There is no
verifiable link whatever.” Middle
reports today that even “Israeli military intelligence has determined
that there is insufficient evidence to link Baghdad.” Moreover, for Saddam, means don’t necessarily translate
into action. When Iraq
invaded Kuwait in August 1990, its extensive biowarfare arsenal apparently
Look now to motive. Saddam
has it in spades. His
vendetta against the Bushes is certain, and his disdain for America
current as his scornful statement of Sept. 12, "Regardless of human feelings on what
happened yesterday, America is reaping thorns sown by its rulers in the
world.” But Saddam has
other motives. His driving
priority since the humiliation of Desert Storm has been to escape the
crippling sanctions imposed by the West.
And he was closer than ever before.
Why now would he trade a decade of trying for the distant
satisfaction of killing a few postal workers?
in best Sherlock-style, opportunity.
For the price of a postage stamp, the option exists for anyone from
Baghdad to Baltimore. But if
detection risks colossal retribution against an entire country, would
Saddam limit his attack to a few pieces of mail?
We make no apology for Iraq. Its dictator has earned every evil adjective and would
probably post anthrax to America without a pang of conscience. His henchman and the hijacker probably found plenty to
discuss, but we have no evidence that this plot was theirs.
What we do have ample evidence for is the agenda of Wolfowitz
& Co. This band of
neo-con hawks is desperate for the slightest cause to bomb Baghdad -- or
in some cases, no cause at all. In
his National Review piece subtly entitled “End Iraq,” editor
Rich Lowry wrote, “Early indications are that Iraq had a hand in the
September 11 attacks. But firm evidence should be unnecessary for the U.S.
to act. It doesn't take careful detective work to know that Saddam Hussein
is a perpetual enemy of the United States.”
If he is responsible for poisoning our people, Saddam should
be taken out and with him any means of perpetuating terror.
Investigators do well to suspect all heads of this Hydra, and
should consider Saddam a prime suspect.
But as Mr. Woolsey and his backers continue to, as he calls it,
“look under that rock,” do not mistake their motive.
He belongs to the chorus that has, since Sept. 11, attempted to use
this atrocity to conscript America into all-out war in the Middle East.
Thus far they have failed, and absent the
“firm evidence” National Review deems “unnecessary,”
we cannot fight their crusade.
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