In One Eye
Thursday, November 06, 2003
Hard to tell how this one is going to shake out.
As American soldiers massed on the Iraqi border in March and diplomats argued about war, an influential adviser to the Pentagon [Richard Perle] received a secret message from a Lebanese-American businessman: Saddam Hussein wanted to make a deal. Iraqi officials, including the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct a search.At first glance, it looks as if the Bushies were so intent on an invasion that they wouldn't let this deal be brokered.
However, if one reads further in the article, it looks as if the CIA was the belligerent party.
Perle said he sought authorization from C.I.A. officials to meet with the Iraqis, but the officials told him they did not want to pursue this channel, and they indicated they had already engaged in separate contacts with Baghdad. Mr. Perle said, "The message was, `Tell them that we will see them in Baghdad.' "So, is this story now coming to light to exonerate the Bushies regarding the invasion? Is this another way to demonstrate that the Bushies' intelligence was flawed, after all? It'll be interesting to see where this story goes.
Josh Marshall is already on the scent.