Michael Scheuer

Iraq and al Qaeda


Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit and author of Marching Toward Hell, discusses the new revelations in Ron Suskind’s new book about an alleged White House order behind the forged link between Saddam Hussein and Mohamed Atta and his work which debunked any real Iraq-al Qaeda connection in January of 2003.

MP3 here. (7:59)

Michael Scheuer is a 22-year veteran of the CIA and the author of Through Our Enemies Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq and Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror.

7 thoughts on “Michael Scheuer”

  1. Partial Transcript: (3:53/7:59):

    A:”When Mr Feith’s shop [Feith’s Office of Special Plans] at the Pentagon published a paper in late 2002 that made a strong argument [that] there was working connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda Mr. Tenet asked us to go through the agency’s documents [from] the past ten or twelve years and find out if we had missed something or if Mr. Feith had simply made it up.

    We went through about 8,000 pages of documents and there was absolutely no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda. That was December 2002 to January 2003. So we had come down with the decision that there was no tie between Al Qaeda and Saddam at least two and a half months before the invasion – and certainly before Secretary Powell went before the U.N..

    Q: Was it before George Bush in 2003 gave his State of the Union [Address]?
    A: Yes. I think so. The State of the Union was at the end of January. The study was certainly complete by then, yes. Whether Mr. Tenet delivered it to the President or not that’s another question.

    Q: You’ve told me before that you don’t know whether Tenet delivered your intelligence to the President.
    A: There’s no way to know whether [Tenet] delivered it or if he delivered it in the form that was given to him. There’s just no way to know that… As I said before, Mr. Tenet was very unusual in that he was the one who briefed the President. Usually it was a very senior officer, a civil servant, who didn’t go there to be the President’s friend or adviser. He went there to give him the intelligence. So no one really knows what Mr. Tenet said to Mr. Bush except Mr. Tenet.

    Q Yeah. He even says that when he said that the case was a “slam dunk” he was referring to the case against Iraq. He referring to the case [being] strong enough to convince the American people about Iraq. And that was his excuse. That was his alibi.
    A:Of the many things that were surprising in his book was that admission because generally speaking it’s an indictable offense for a CIA director to be involved in trying to influence American opinion.

    Q:On the weapons of mass destruction, there was story a couple of years back from NBC news from March of 2006 about Naji Sabri, Iraq’s Foreign Minister under Saddam, and how he had taken some money and made a deal with the CIA and told you guys “trust me they don’t have any weapons”.
    A. I don’t know whether that’s true or not. It turned out that there was no weapons. That would have been one report among many. But I think the bottom is line is that even if Saddam had weapons of mass destruction he was absolutely no threat to the United States with those weapons of mass destruction. He had no way to get them here. If we went to war on the issue of weapons of mass destruction, we went to war to protect the Israelis. That’s the bottom line.

  2. “we went to war on the issue of weapons of mass destruction, we went to war to protect the Israelis. That’s the bottom line.”
    I think I disagree here. I think the PNAC agenda is more than protection for Israel, like global hegemony, dominance, important resources.

  3. Michael Scheuer claims that the White House could just dismiss Susskind’s claims as old news…so it’s interesting how they are now scrambling to deny them.

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