Friday, May 28, 2004

Zarqawi Acquired Weapons From Saddam Regime 
So says ABC News, citing unnamed officials.

Well, it's obvious that Saddam was willing to shelter Zarqawi. It doesn't seem like such a huge leap of logic to imagine he might slip some weapons to Zarqawi, too.

Heck, if I had to hide some WMDs for safekeeping, Zarqawi might be the guy. As a stateless entity, he would have nothing to lose by making such a deal. Especially if Saddam could arrange a truce with Al Qaeda in exchange for the weapons.

By this logic, the fact that Saddam was secular gives him even more of a reason to cut side deals with someone like Zarqawi. If he decided not to play ball, then his own regime would become an Al Qaeda target.

Better to cut a deal and let Zarqawi focus on targets in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States.

It could also happen that Al Qaeda sympathizers within Iraqi intelligence were cutting side deals of their own.

After all, in a tyrannical and murderous police state such as Saddam's, it would be a simple matter to blackmail an official by luring him into a conversation critical of Saddam, taping it, and then telling him he can either cough up the weapons or money or whatever else he controls, or he's going to find himself getting his tongue cut off in an Abu Ghraib torture chamber. If he's lucky enough to survive the experience of watching his wife and daughter gang-raped by a squad of Baathist goons.

All of that, of course, is pure conjecture.

Nevertheless, I'd love to learn more about the provenance of the officials' claims. What do they have to prove the transactions occured?

This is an awfully big revelation to bury in the last three paragraphs of the article.

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