Heaven forbid — A Syria/Iraq/al Qaeda/WMD connection?

FrontPage Magazine features an interview by Larry Elder of terrorism and former Justice Department prosecutor John Loftus regarding the 20 tons of chemicals recently seized by the government of Jordan after being trucked into that country by al Qaeda members. Loftus says there are good reasons to think the chemicals came from Iraq: “We captured Iraqi members of al-Qaeda, who’ve been trained in Iraq, planned for the mission in Iraq, and now they’re in Jordan with nerve gas. That’s not the kind of thing you buy in a grocery store. You have to have obtained it from someplace.” Loftus admits that the gas could have been produced in Syria. However, the best intelligence is that Syria can produce it only in small quantities, whereas Iraq was known to have stockpiled large quantities. And, according to Loftus, the best U.S. and allied intelligence is that “in the 10 weeks before the Iraq war, Saddam’s Russian adviser told him to get rid of all the nerve gas. It would be useless against U.S. troops; the rubber suits were immune to it. So they shipped it across the border to Syria and Lebanon and buried it.” This view is consistent with David Kay’s report interim report, which acknowledges the possibility that WMD components were shipped to Syria.
So why aren’t we hearing more about this story? Loftus suggests it is because “it’s embarrassing to the [press]. They’ve staked their reputations that this stuff wasn’t there. And now all of a sudden we have al Qaeda agents from Iraq showing up with Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Another, perhaps more plausible, explanation is that a state of affairs in which Iraq is assumed not to have had WMD prior to the war is embarrassing to the Bush administration.

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