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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 27, 2010

PENTAGON HIRED ANALYST WHO THOUGHT HUSSEIN WAS TO BLAME FOR 9/11 TO WRITE MAJOR REPORT ON AL QAEDA

Justin Elliott, Information Clearing House - When the Pentagon's internal think tank decided in 2004 it needed a better understanding of Al Qaeda, it turned to an unlikely source: the terrorism analyst Laurie Mylroie, who was known as the chief purveyor of the discredited idea that Saddam Hussein was behind Sept. 11 and many other attacks carried out by Al Qaeda.

Mylroie was paid roughly $75,000 to produce a 300-page study, "The History of Al Qaida," for the Defense Department think tank, known as the Office of Net Assessment, a DOD spokesman tells us. The study, which is dated September 2005, was posted on an intelligence blog last month.

It documents the development of Al Qaeda and spends many pages dancing around the theory that has defined Mylroie's career -- that key Qaeda leaders acted at the behest of the Iraqi regime. She also argues that group-think among U.S. analysts has obscured the true nature of the terrorist group. . .

"I think that she has zero credibility on these issues," says terrorism expert Peter Bergen, who dubbed Mylroie "a crackpot" in a 2003 Washington Monthly profile. . .

Mylroie's allies in the Bush Administration included Iraq hawks Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and others. "The elaborate conspiracy theories she had propounded--dismissed as bizarre and implausible by the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities--would have enormous influence within the administration," reported David Corn and Michael Isikoff in their book Hubris.

In the 2005 Pentagon study, Mylroie floats the idea that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohamad and Ramzi Yousef, who planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, "are the trained agents of a terrorist state, the expertise and other resources of which enabled the militants to conduct attacks they were incapable of carrying out on their own." She also suggests that that state is Iraq.

The study was not a one-shot deal for Mylroie. TPMmuckraker previously reported that Mylroie produced reports on Saddam Hussein for the same DOD office as late as 2007.

Exactly who within the Pentagon decided Mylroie was the woman for the job is unclear. But the Pentagon work came at a time when her reputation had waned considerably, and her public writings were becoming less and less frequent.


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