Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Zarqawi's Good Fortune

Whatever happened with this NBC story from March?

MSNBC - Avoiding attacking suspected terrorist mastermind

Jim Miklaszweski reported that twice Bush nixed an attack on Zarqawi before the Iraq war in the belief that a dead Zarqawi (practically the sole -- if very dubious -- connection between al Qaeda and Saddam) would reduce public support for the war.

The sourcing is anonymous, but Miklaszewski is a pretty solid reporter -- no crackpot -- and he does seem to have good Pentagon sources.

Slate's Fred Kaplan, who also seems to have good DOD sources, believed it two month later when he wrote :
In the two years since the Pentagon's first attack plan, Zarqawi has been linked not just to Berg's execution but, according to NBC, 700 other killings in Iraq. If Bush had carried out that attack back in June 2002, the killings might not have happened. More: The case for war (as the White House feared) might not have seemed so compelling. Indeed, the war itself might not have happened.
Has anyone heard any news about this since?

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