The Daily Mis-Lead – 2004-09-25 23:28:25
In his effort to claim he is the strongest candidate on national security, President Bush has lately been speaking a lot about how he is doing everything possible to track down terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi[ 1] the man thought to be responsible for escalating attacks on US soldiers in Iraq.
But according to NBC News, it was Bush who in 2002 and 2003 rejected three plans to strike and neutralize Zarqawi because he believed a successful strike would undermine the public case for targeting Saddam Hussein.
As NBC News reported, “Long before the war, the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.”
In June 2002, the Pentagon drafted plans to attack a camp Zarqawi was at with cruise missiles and airstrikes. The plan was killed by the White House.
Four months later, as Zarqawi planned to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe, the Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, yet “the White House again killed it.”
In January 2003, the Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the White House killed it.
According to NBC News, “Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.”
Zarqawi is thought to be at least indirectly responsible for hundreds of US casualties. Just yesterday, Zarqawi’s terrorist group beheaded an American civilian in Baghdad.
• “President’s Remarks to the General Conference of the National Guard Association of the United States,” The White House, 9/14/04,
• “Going after Iraq’s most wanted man,” The Christian Science Monitor, 9/21/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208427&l=56810.
• “Avoiding attacking suspected terrorist mastermind,” NBC News, 3/02/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208427&l=56811.
• Ibid, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208427&l=56811.
• “Zarqawi Group Beheads U.S. Hostage Armstrong,” Reuters, 9/20/04,
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