claims that, “in the war against al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein was one of our best allies.” And the selectively pathetic Chris Matthews gives Scheuer a free pass on his big lie. Thomas Joscelyn has the details.
JOHN adds: That’s an interesting change of heart on Scheuer’s part. Scheuer was the head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit in 1998, when Clinton’s Justice Department indicted bin Laden. Here is a paragraph from Count 4 of the indictment:
Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
Do you suppose that Scheuer spoke up back in 1998 to tell the Justice Department they had it all wrong? Was Clinton’s Justice Department twisting the intelligence it got from Scheuer’s unit at the CIA? Or is Scheuer the biggest liar since Joe Wilson?
UPDATE: Tom Joscelyn writes:
You make a great point about the original indictment under the Clinton administration. Your argument is even stronger when you consider what Scheuer wrote in Commentary Magazine a few months back. Gabriel Schoenfeld wrote a devastating critique of the CIA titled “What Became of the CIA?” in the March edition of the magazine. Scheuer responded by writing a letter to the editor that was one of several published in the June edition.
In his list of self-proclaimed accomplishments, Scheuer claimed that he and his team supplied all of the information used in the federal indictment of Osama bin Laden. That would, presumably, include the passage that John cites from the original indictment.
Scheuer may also have played a hand in the analysis of the intelligence surrounding al-Shifa. Al-Shifa was the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant destroyed by the Clinton administration in response to the August 1998 embassy bombings and suspected of being a joint collaboration between Iraqi scientists and al Qaeda. This all happened while he was the head of the CIAs bin Laden unit and it makes sense that he would have been involved in some capacity. Some former Clinton administration officials now make the bizarre claim that this wasnt evidence of a relationship.
One last note on Scheuer: If you search the 9-11 Commission Report you will note that Mike is referenced quite a bit. We now know that Mike is Michael Scheuer. Did he have any influence on the language in the report which said there was no operational relationship? If so, one of the 9-11 Commissions sources has major credibility problems.