Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard repeated a quote attributed to Richard Clarke, where Clarke stated in an email "Armed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad," with Hayes attempting to link Clarke’s quote to reasons supporting an Al Qaeda-Iraq connection (despite the 9-11 commission report contending the contrary) and that the Iraq occupation potentially thwarted an escape route for Osama.

I don’t think the correct implication here is that Clarke would have endorsed an Iraqi preemptive invasion – far from it! In fact, Clarke is on record denying as much. Rather, he’d probably recommend other means to insure Osama did not slip away.

And by bombing one country, what stops Osama from simply fleeing to another, such as Iran (which the 9-11 commission report states – unlike Iraq – there was an existing Al Qaeda relationship) or Pakistan, which apparently is the country he’s likely already slipped away to for cover. Do we bomb Pakistan next?

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