Thursday, July 31, 2003

6 Degrees of Laurie Mylroie

Abu Aardvark tells us a little bit about one of Wolfowitz's pals:

What is Wolfowitz talking about? Boehlert doesn't speculate, but I'm happy to. I would never presume to know the mind of the Wolfowitz, but I have a pretty good idea what is going on here: Wolfowitz is loyal to his friend Laurie Mylroie. Mylroie, for those who haven't come across her before, has long been kind of the "crazy aunt" of Iraq policy. Obsessed with the idea that Saddam Hussein was behind most of the world's evil, Mylroie has spun an astonishing web in a series of articles and a very odd book to "prove" that Iraq was behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing - as well as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (you may have thought it was Timothy McVeigh, but hello - pay attention, okay?), the 1997 Luxor attacks in Egypt, the Cole bombing, the anthrax attacks, and the cancelation of Firefly (well, maybe not that last one, but he probably *wanted* Firefly canceled).

In her brand new book, "Bush vs. the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror" (yes, you read that title right), Mylroie goes even farther, entering into tinfoil hat-country. According to Mylroie, Iraq was responsible for September 11 - not working with al-Qaeda, not coordinating with al-Qaeda, but actually responsible for it, while cleverly setting al-Qaeda and bin Laden up to take the fall. Yes, Mylroie (who was invited to testify before the 9/11 commission, co-authored a book with Judith Miller, is affiliated with AEI, is good friends with Ahmad Chalabi as well as with Paul Wolfowitz) denies bin Laden's responsibility for 9/11: "On September 11, much of America was convinced that the shock and horror we suffered that day had been the work of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network"(p.43)... but, she asks, how did the US know so quickly that al-Qaeda was to blame? Wasn't this based on a lot of disinformation? You bet - "the information may have been calculated to direct the United States to look at one culprit rather another: at al-Qaeda, not Iraq." (p.51) The book repeats (again!) her Ramzi Yousef theories; and then extends the same analysis to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (really an Iraqi agent under deep cover). (She quotes - without a hint of self-awareness or irony, Admiral Hyman Rickover saying "we should not love our opinions like our children" (p.48). Most egregiously (although this is of course a tough call, given the bewildering web of hypotheticals, possibles, speculatives, and unsourced allegations), she argues that the CIA and the State Department (along with pretty much everyone else) intentionally covered this up for careerist reasons - they were all so wedded to defending Saddam (!) that they wouldn't admit the evidence put before them (it is true, of course, that these people wouldn't pay attention to Mylroie's theories or evidence, because, well they aren't insane or political hacks, which explains her resentment... but not why anyone else should take it seriously).