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Report: OBL Tapped Zarqawi To Attack U.S. President Picks Now To Declassify Information

Reported by Donna - May 23, 2007 -

On Studio B with Shepard Smith today he spoke about the president declassifying papers that said Osama Bin Laden had tried to get Zarqawi to attack the United States. Smith asked why he would release this information now. (Comment: Yes, why would the president pick now?)

He spoke with Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution who said this information should be public but the only question is the timing. (Comment: Exactly) He said there was probably politics figured into the timing. (Comment: No kidding) He said that the president's argument doesn't really work because it doesn't matter if the strategy he's got doesn't succeed then it won't matter if Al Qaeda is in Iraq or not because it won't be a successful way of dealing with that threat. But O'Hanlon added that it was good to have it out there in the public debate.

O'Hanlon added that this could be a criticism of Bush in that he allowed Al Qaeda to become concentrated there, to develop fighters to be able to get practice there. He said that some of these things had allowed Al-Qaeda to improve it's capability. (Comment: Yes, the president has allowed Iraq to become the center for terrorism)

O'Hanlon said while this may be a historical criticism of the president today we are where we are and we needed to figure out what policy would be best for going forward. (Comment: It's a historical criticism that isn't ever going to go away and is impeding the president from making the best choices now)

Smith asked him if it was still his sense that in 6 months, a year or 5 years, whenever our troops get out of there, did he think there was still going to be a civil war.

O'Hanlon said that there was already a civil war but he was hopeful. He said that would be a worsening, ongoing one. He thought some chance like a soft partician of Iraq, like a sort of Bosnia with three autonomous regions might work. He said the current strategy is pretty near to it's last legs.

Smith asked him what he meant by last legs, weeks, or months? O'Hanlon said that September was going to be the big moment and he thought it was smart of Democrats to concede the debate until then.

Comment: It was funny that when O'Hanlon said that it was smart of the Democrats the music started playing to end the segment. Smith was pretty fair and balanced when he asked if we should question the timing of the release of this information. It is odd that when things are going so bad in Iraq that the president would pick now to release it. However, Smith still acted like there wasn't a civil war going on in Iraq. O'Hanlon admitted to there being a civil war but said it could become protracted and drawn out and even worse than it is.