Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bush Refused Trade With Iran for Osama bin Laden's Son

According to the Washington Post:

Since al-Qaeda fighters began streaming into Iran from Afghanistan in the winter of 2001, Tehran had turned over hundreds of people to U.S. allies and provided U.S. intelligence with the names, photographs and fingerprints of those it held in custody, according to senior U.S. intelligence and administration officials. In early 2003, it offered to hand over the remaining high-value targets directly to the United States if Washington would turn over a group of exiled Iranian militants hiding in Iraq.

Some of Bush's top advisers pushed for the trade, arguing that taking custody of bin Laden's son and the others would produce new leads on al-Qaeda. They were also willing to trade away the exiles -- members of a group on the State Department's terrorist list -- who had aligned with Saddam Hussein in an effort to overthrow the Iranian government.

Officials have said Bush ultimately rejected the exchange on the advice of Vice President Cheney and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who argued that any engagement would legitimize Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism. Bush's National Security Council agreed to accept information from Iran on al-Qaeda but offer nothing in return, officials said.

Another dumbass move in the fictional "war on terror." Having bin Laden's son in US custody could have gone a long way in forcing him out of hiding. It could also have helped our relationship with Iran if this had been done originally, as offered, and kept in secret.

Cheney and Rumsfeld basically worked Bush like the puppet he is, and to the nation's detriment. Business as usual.

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