And war on terror loses? Some indications thusly, from this NBC News report. The Pentagon had apparently drawn up two separate, winnable plans to take out "Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida…now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq." In each case, after much political wrangling in the National Security Council, the plan was nixed.
?People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president?s policy of preemption against terrorists,? according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.
In January 2003, the threat turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq.
The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it.
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.
The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late ? Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone. ?Here?s a case where they waited, they waited too long and now we?re suffering as a result inside Iraq,? Cressey added.
Doubtless others involved will have different explanations for the whys of this story than Cressey's. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Kerry's campaign might want to take notice on this one.