Al-Libi Tagged as Liar by US Intelligence
Bush Alleged Saddam-al-Qaeda Tie
Douglas Jehl of the NYT reports that the Defense Intelligence Agency and other intelligence professionals strongly suspected that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was lying when he alleged, after his capture in Pakistan in 2001, that Iraq was training al-Qaeda in use of chemical weapons for terrorism.
Common sense would have dictated that when a prisoner is in custody and telling you something explosive like this, you would only believe it if it was corroborated by other evidence.
But the fact is that that the US had captured no al-Qaeda operatives who were trained in Iraq. And of all the money flows traced, none led back to Iraq. They all went to Pakistan via the Gulf. There was never any reason to believe al-Libi, whether the DIA found him credible or not. That they thought he was a liar, in addition to the lack of corroborating evidence for what he was saying, made it criminal for Bush to be quoting this “information” in his speeches.
Moreover, other high-level al-Qaeda operatives such as Khalid Shaykh Muhammad and Abu Zubaydah, who were far more important and informed than Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, were telling the same interrogators that Bin Laden had forbidden al-Qaeda operatives from cooperating with the secular Arab nationalist, Saddam Hussein. Their credible information, which tracked with the reality visible in arrests and the money trail, was suppressed by Bush and Cheney, whereas they trumpeted al-Libi’s tall tales to the US public in order to build their case for an Iraq War.