Another Clarke Error

Inside the Ring:

...

"Former counterterror czar Richard Clarke said during an interview on CBS' '60 Minutes' he never saw a single intelligence report linking al Qaeda to Baghdad.

"Military sources to whom we've spoken say the statement is ridiculous. There are lists of intelligence reports linking al Qaeda operatives to Saddam Hussein's regime.

"But don't take the word of confidential sources. Look at what William S. Cohen, the secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and Mr. Clarke's colleague, told the September 11 commission this week. Mr. Cohen was defending his decision to order a cruise missile attack on the al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, where bin Laden lived until 1996.

" 'You had a plant that was built under the following circumstances,' Mr. Cohen testified. 'You had a manager that went to Baghdad. You had Osama bin Laden, who had funded, at least, the corporation; and you had traces of EMPTA [a precursor to VX gas]. And you did what? You did nothing? Is that a responsible activity on the part of the secretary of defense? And the answer is pretty clear.' "

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