President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials repeatedly claimed that Iraq was providing al-Qaeda with training in chemical and biological weapons. The administration’s claims were based on the statements of a known fabricator, al Qaeda senior military trainer Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. It gets worse. The Washington Post reports that al-Libi formally retracted his claims in early 2004:
In fact, in January 2004 al-Libi recanted his claims, and in February 2004 the CIA withdrew all intelligence reports based on his information.
Months later, Cheney was still pushing al-Libi’s claims anyway. Here’s Cheney on CNBC’s Kudlow & Kramer, 6/4/04:
It’s clearly established in terms of training, provision of bomb-making experts, training of people with respect to chemical and biological warfare capabilities, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Iraq for training and so forth”¦
It’s inconceivable that, by that point, Cheney didn’t know that al-Libi had recanted. If Cheney didn’t know, he was grossly negligent. Either way, Cheney owes the public an explanation.