Who's Playing Word Games?
12:35 PM, Mar 24, 2008 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The evidence is rather unambiguous in this regard. So, we are left with two options: (1) Pillar doesn't know this, or (2) He is spinning this story to serve his own agenda. Either way, Isikoff's blind reliance on Pillar to dismiss this important connection between Saddam's regime and al Qaeda does not inspire confidence. Of course, as Robert Novak has reported, Isikoff has relied heavily on Pillar in the past.
That is, Saddam agreed "to make use of" the so-called Arab Afghans, who made up almost the entirety of al Qaeda's first generation of terrorists (including EIJ members).
A good analyst would want to know what came of this agreement and carefully piece together what is known and unknown in subsequent years. After all, the trail of evidence does not end there.
Paul Pillar is too busy playing word games.