Now how do we interpret this bit of news?
Putin Says Russia Warned U.S. About Saddam
ASTANA (Reuters) – Russia warned the United States on several occasions that Iraq (news – web sites)’s Saddam Hussein planned ‘terrorist attacks’ on its soil, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
‘After the events of September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received such information and passed it on to their American colleagues,’ he told reporters.
The Kremlin leader, who was speaking in the Kazakh capital, said Russian intelligence services had many times received information that Saddam’s special forces were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States ‘and beyond its borders on American military and civilian targets.’
No doubt the neocons will be cheered by this. But why did Putin make this statement, and why now?
If this is true, why did Russia oppose the invasion? (Possibly because a strong American presence in the Middle East weakens Russia’s standing as the Next Big Thing in the world oil market, now that Putin has the money men behind the major Russian oil companies under his thumb.)
Why didn’t the administration mention this earlier? Have Bush and Putin worked out some sort of quid pro quo?
Or, possibly, is this simply the truth?