Hat tip: Vladimir Putin

Edward Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters has alerted us to this Reuters report: “Putin says Russia warned U.S. on Saddam.” According to the story:

Russia warned the United States on several occasions that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein planned “terrorist attacks” on its soil, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
“After the events of September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received such information and passed it on to their American colleagues,” he told reporters.
The Kremlin leader, who was speaking in the Kazakh capital, said Russian intelligence services had many times received information that Saddam’s special forces were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States “and beyond its borders on American military and civilian targets.”
“This information was conveyed to our American colleagues,” he said.

Captain Ed puts the story in the context of the 9/11 Commission’s report earlier this week:

Well, this puts a different shine on the 9/11 Commission’s report, doesn’t it? Putin bitterly opposed the Anglo-American effort to unseat Saddam Hussein, so Putin has no particular axe to grind on this issue. In fact, one would expect that any report that damages Bush’s credibility on this issue logically bolsters his own. It appears from this [Reuters] report that not only did Putin make this announcement, it sounds as though he called the press conference to specifically deliver this news. Note also that Russia maintained diplomatic relations with Hussein, almost until the moment the bombs began to fall in Baghdad in March 2003…
Maybe, as Hugh Hewitt suggested on his radio show last night, we need a commission to look into the 9/11 Commission.

I would suggest extreme care in the establishment of another commission. Democrats would insist on the appointment of stalwarts such as Strobe Talbott and Richard Holbrooke to sit as commissioners. The commission’s staff would make itself an instrument of the left’s permanent campaign against the national interest of the United States. And the commission would in all likelihood conclude that Putin colluded with Wolfowitz/Feith/Perle in the neocon takeover of American foreign policy.


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