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Peter Bergen, forfatteren av en kjent bok om Osama bin Laden, trekker i en artikkel i Guardian frem en lite kjent kvinnelig forsker som hele tiden har hevdet at Irak sto bak de fleste terrorhandlinger mot USA, både World Trade Center i 93, Oklahoma. Han mener Laurie Mylorie har spilt en ikke ubetydelig rolle som faktaleverandør for de som ønsket krig.

Mylroie lanserte først teorien om at Saddam sto bak World Trade Center i 93 i boken Study of Revenge: Saddam Husseins unfinished war against America. Hun påsto at hovedmannen, Ramzi Yousef, i virkeligheten var en irakisk agent som hadde stjålet identiteten til en pakistaner i Kuwait. Påstandene ble tatt alvorlig og omhyggelig etterforsket.

Mylroie believes that Saddam was behind every anti-American terrorist incident of note in the past decade, from the levelling of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a cranky conspiracist – but her neoconservative friends believed her theories, bringing her on as a terrorism consultant at the Pentagon.

The extent of Mylroie’s influence is shown in the new book Against All Enemies, by the veteran counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, in which he recounts a senior-level meeting on terrorism months before September 11. During that meeting Clarke quotes Wolfowitz as saying: «You give Bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don’t exist.» Clarke writes: «I could hardly believe it, but Wolfowitz was spouting the Laurie Mylroie theory that Iraq was behind the 1993 truck bomb at the World Trade Centre, a theory that had been investigated for years and found to be totally untrue.»

The reality is that by the mid-90s, the FBI, the CIA and the State Department had found no evidence implicating the Iraqi government in the first Trade Centre attack. Vincent Cannistraro, who headed the CIA’s counterterrorist centre in the early 90s, told me, «My view is that Laurie has an obsession with trying to link Saddam to global terrorism. Years of strenuous effort to prove the case have been unavailing.» Ken Pollack, a former CIA analyst and author of The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, dismissed Mylroie’s theories: «[The National Security Council] had the intelligence community look very hard at the allegations that the Iraqis were behind the 1993 Trade Centre attack … The intelligence community said there were no such links.»

Det interessant er at Mylroie er med å levere materiale som underbygger mistanken om at administrasjonen hindrer bevismateriale i å komme ut. Dette blir en slags amerikansk dolkestøtslegende, og virker besnærende og farlig, som alle konspirasjonsteorier.

In July last year, Mylroie published a new book, Bush v the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror. The book charges that the US government suppressed information about Iraq’s role in anti-American terrorism, including the investigation of 9/11. It claims that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the now captured mastermind of 9/11, is an Iraqi intelligence agent who, like his nephew Ramzi Yousef, adopted the identity of a Pakistani living in Kuwait.

The US government doesn’t seem to have explored this theory. Why not? Mylroie explained to the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks: «A senior administration official told me in specific that the question of the identities of the terrorist masterminds could not be pursued because of bureaucratic obstructionism.» We are expected to believe that the Bush administration could not find anyone to investigate supposed Iraqi links to 9/11, at the same time as 150,000 American soldiers were sent to fight a war in Iraq.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Peter Bergen: How conspiracy theories took the US to war

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