Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says al-Qaeda terrorists are inside Iraq and supported by the Iraqi government. “I have said repeatedly that there are al-Qaeda in Iraq,” he says. “There are. They have left Afghanistan, they have left other locations, and they’ve landed in a variety of countries, one of which is Iraq.” This may be the “excuse” the Bush administration needs to invade Iraq without causing widespread public protest in the U.S. and among our allies.

The administration says the Islamic terrorist group Ansar al-Islam, which is linked to al-Qaeda, is conducting chemical and biological weapons tests in an area of northern Iraq controlled by Kurdish separatists. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz says there are no al-Qaeda terrorists in the parts of Iraq controlled by Saddam Hussein but Rumsfeld insists that “In a vicious, repressive dictatorship that exercises near-total control over its population, it’s very hard to imagine that the government is not aware of what’s taking place in the country.”

Since the U.S. has been encouraging Kurdish dissident leaders to overthrow Saddam (as anti-Taliban forces did in Afghanistan), Aziz wonders why we don?t raise our objections about al-Qaeda directly with the Kurds. Could it be because the forces we really want to take out are those loyal to Saddam?

Let?s hope the FBI figures out who our friends are this time, before we experience another 911. Learn why they slipped up from ?The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI? by Ronald Kessler,click here.

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