The unearthing of documents in Iraq linking al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein provides the occasion for Mansoor Ijaz, writing for National Review Online to describe the Clinton Administration’s intelligence failures during the months leading up to the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. During this period, the new Sudanese intelligence chief offered, unconditionally, to provide the U.S. with comprehensive information about the terrorists that had lived in or passed through Sudan. According to Ijaz, our government initially accepted the offer, but the Clinton National Security team and the State Department subsequently reversed course. The State Department not only refused the Sudanese invitation, but also blocked the FBI from obtaining the intelligence in question. Duing this same period leading up to the embassy bombings, it now appears that key al Qaeda operatives in Sudan were in contact with Iraqi intelligence officials. Ijaz believes that Saddam’s regime was providing financial, logistical and intelligence support to the terrorists who carried out the bombings, and that the Sudanese intelligence chief, who was monitoring the radical Islamist communityin Khartoum, had picked up signals that something significant was in the works. In any event, none of the key players in the Clinton Administration — Madelaine Albright, Sandy Berger, and Susan Rice — has ever explained the decision to turn down the unconditional Sudanese offer that our government originally was prepared to accept.
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