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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Is it about to be blown open?

This from Editor & Publisher.

NEW YORK Ever since the Democrats briefly closed the U.S. Senate from view earlier this week, to protest alleged Republican foot-dragging in probing Bush administration pre-war manipulation of intelligence, the press has been asking: So what new evidence do the Democrats have in this matter?

Tomorrow, The New York Times starts to answer the question, with reporter Doug Jehl disclosing the contents of a newly declassified memo apparently passed to him by Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

It shows that an al-Qaeda official in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained al-Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to this Defense Intelligence Agency document from February 2002.

It declared that it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers" in making claims about Iraqi support for al-Qaeda's work with illicit weapons, Jehl reports.

"The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi's credibility," Jehl writes. "Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi's information as `credible' evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons.

I have wondered what inforamtion the Dems had in order to shut the Ruthugs up about their oversight responsibility, and what made them close the doors.

This could be VERY big. I await the NYT series on this.

Our job? To make it VERY clear and easy to understand.

UPDATE The actual NYTimes article is now up.  Interesting read. Interesting last item:

Mr. Libi remains in custody, apparently at in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he was sent in 2003, according to government officials.

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