Notes: Lots of email coming in on this one. Updates below:

Via the WAPO

Newly Released Data Undercut Prewar Claims

"In February 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency questioned the reliability of a captured top al Qaeda operative whose allegations became the basis of Bush administration claims that terrorists had been trained in the use of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, according to declassified material released by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.).

Referring to the first interrogation report on al Qaeda senior military trainer Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the DIA took note that the Libyan terrorist could not name any Iraqis involved, any chemical or biological material used or where the training occurred. As a result, "it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers," a DIA report concluded.

In fact, in January 2004 al-Libi recanted his claims, and in February 2004 the CIA withdrew all intelligence reports based on his information. By then, the United States and its coalition partners had invaded Iraq.

Levin, ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he arranged for the material to be declassified by the DIA last month. At the same time that the administration was linking Baghdad to al Qaeda, he said, the DIA and other intelligence agencies were privately raising questions about the sources underlying the claims.

Since then, Levin said in an interview Friday, almost all government intelligence on whether Iraq pursued or possessed weapons of mass destruction has proved faulty. In addition to the allegation of training terrorists loyal to Osama bin Laden, there were government claims that then-Iraq President Saddam Hussein had stocks of chemical and biological weapons, that he had reconstituted his nuclear weapons programs, and that unmanned airborne vehicles posed a threat, Levin said.

He said that he could not be certain that White House officials read the DIA report, but his "presumption" was that someone at the National Security Council saw it because it was sent there.

Administration officials declined to comment for this article.

Levin noted in a prepared statement that, beginning in September 2002, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet, and then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell used the alleged chemical and biological training by Baghdad as valid intelligence in speeches and public appearances to gather support for the Iraq war."

Well, first former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham can't get his story straight on what happened to that pre 9/11 warning, now his buddy, Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), act's like he's not the one who on 19th September 2002 said:

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of m@ss destruction and the means of delivering them."

First, al-Libi's fabrications were known and not the primary, nor even a secondary proof that Al Qaeda was training in Iraq, or even some of the evidence that Iraq had ties to 9/11, or as the Clinton Administration thought there were in 1998. Bill worred about it.

Or even Iraqi Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, who had been present at an al Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 5-8, 2000. that was believed to be a chief planning meeting for the September 11 attacks. As well there are these ignored facts and links.

In the article Levin goes on (as many of the Democrats) playing to the moonbat left with the "Saddam wouldn't play with Al Qaeda because he was a secular kind of guy" crap. Basically Levin get's his line on this from websites like this one.

The fact is that the link between Saddam and Al Qaeda were there as the recent revelations in the Oil for Food Scandal have shown.

The fact is that Senator Levin is playing the "we were lied to!" game but it's not going to work. You Senator are a member of the committee charged with looking at these things, and if Al-Libi lied, you were duped as well. But you also know full well of the other evidence.

Democrats can try this game, but their statements about the danger of Saddam, Al Qaeda and the links between the two made over a ten year period and easily found on the internet aren't going to let them get away with it.

More at Decision08.

UPDATE: Stephen Hayes takes Levin down a peg or two here. H/t Commenter Clarice.

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