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Re: [casi] Laurie Mylroie

Peter and others,

I had the same question about Laurie Mylroie ...  Post 9/11, she seemed
everywhere on the "linkage" circuit, and then her visibility suddenly dimmed ...
 James Woolsey performed a similar disappearing act coincident with his ties to
the INC becoming known, and I've wondered if something damaging about Mylroie's
motivations had surfaced.

I've looked and have found nothing.

On background: Years ago she co-authored a book on Saddam with the NYTimes'
Judith Miller (whom Edward Said memorably savaged), and Mylroie remains in good
graces with the Perle pantheon, with the Prince-o'-Darkness (tm) himself writing
a blurb for her latest book ("Study of Revenge") ...

... About which, recall that:

[1] Mylroie makes much of a WTC plotter who returned to Iraq.  As you'll recall,
Leslie Stahl recently revealed the plotter has been imprisoned in Iraq, and
extradition offers have been refused by the US.  See

[2] As for the remainder of the book, it's shredded in the following reader
review at (note the paragraph breaks are mine).

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MN USA

"Study of rationalization (November 25, 2001 )
Reviewer: mepiston (see more about me) from Mercer Island, WA USA
(emails to

Laurie Mylroie must desperately want the U.S. to attack Iraq, for nothing else
will explain the extraordinary lengths she goes on the very slimmest of evidence
to blame the first World Trade Center attack on that country. Then, imagining
her case on WTC I proven, she goes on to apply its thesis to virtually every
terrorist attack on the U.S. in the Middle East since, on little more evidence
than that such attacks served Iraqi interests (the same logic many Muslims use
in blaming Israel for WTC II).

Briefly, the only piece of real evidence that Iraq was responsible for WTC I is
that one of the participants lived in Iraq and returned there afterwards and is
said by neighbors to be an Iraqi government employee. Well, maybe, except the
Iraqi was considered so cooperative by U.S. investigators, and to have played
such a minor role, that he was not even arrested after the attacks. Why Iraq
might not have Palestinian sympathizers in its country willing to volunteer to
attack U.S. interests as every other country of the Middle East does is never
discussed. Maybe the fellow was there as a volunteer, maybe as an observer,
Given his tertiary role this one incident can hardly establish that WTC I was an
Iraqi plot.

Recognizing this, Mylroie spends most of the book in a futile effort to prove
that Ramzi Yousef, the undisputed leader of the conspiracy, was an Iraqi agent.
In this she fails altogether. Central to her thesis is the claim that Yousef was
not the Pakistani citizen he claimed to be, but an Iraqi agent who used the
passport which was stolen from its owner during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

This argument in turn rests on the slender reed that Yousef couldn't possible
have grown 4 inches from the 5'8" inch height given him in the Pakistan passport
at age 20 to Yousef's 6'0" height at the age of 24. Anyone familar with the
unreliability of Pakistani documents (as I, as a person who frequently works
with them certainly am) will be left entirely unmoved by any discrepancy in
them. Quality control is a not an driving concept in that part of the world.
>From this tiny sparrow, Mylroie creates a remarkable spring, speculating that
Yousef must be an Iraqi agent because after leaving the U.S. he fled from
Pakistan to Iranian Balochistan, which has long been an area of Iraqi subversion
against the Iranians. However, there are certainly more way of becoming familar
with Iran than as an Iraqi intelligence agent. The fact is , as Ms. Mylroie
laudably admits, British intelligence concluded that he was in fact the
Pakistani citizen whose passport he held. Apparently he looks enough like him
that prior acquaintances could not dispute his identity based upon video tapes
or photographs of him.

It is strange that Ms. Mylroie, didn't make any effort to bring these
acquaintance from the U.K. to the U.S. to make or dispute a positive I.D. of
Yousef. You would think it would be cheaper than publishing an entire book with
its central issue still in doubt. In any event, if Yousef is an Iraqi agent, why
would the Iraqis go to such extraordiary lengths to disguise his identity, and
then send their other man directly from Iraq to the U.S. and back again under
his own name and passport?

In any event, Yousef's subsequent relocation to the Phillippines provides yet
further evidence for the thesis that he is either formally or informally
associated with Al Qaeeda, which has an extensive network in the Phillippines,
something never associated with Iraq.

What is more astonishing however than even Mylroie's willingness to declare
Yousef an Iraqi agent with hardly a shard of evidence is her willingness to take
this revelation and apply it to numerous terrorist attacks thereafter . Thus the
attack on U.S. military installations in Saudi Arabia must be the fault of Iraqi
agents because a) some unnamed Saudi intelligence agency says it is and b) Iraq
would benefit from U.S. troops leaving the Gulf.

More feeble still is her blaming the Kenyan and Tanzainian Embassy bombings on
Iraq simply because they came shortly after a vague Iraqi threat to retaliate
against the U.S. Quite aside from the fact that this crime has been firmly laid
on Al Qaeeda's doorstep by a number of perpetrators' conviction in federal court
and even Bin Laden's own indictment, it clashes directly with the fact that the
WTC I attack occurred during the midst of an Iraqi "charm offensive" in which it
was attempting to persuade the world through its good behavior to lift economic

Heads Mylroie wins, tails Iraq loses.

Ever since the second World Trade Center attacks, neocons have been demanding
that any War on Terrorism must be extended to Iraq, regardless of the fact that
this would completely alienate whatever shards of Arab support the U.S. may have
left, and the fact that Saddam would most likely be followed by a radical
fundamentalist regime. With even the Israelis disputing Iraq's involvement in
WTC II, Neocons have come to cite Mylroie's book frequently in their demands for
a "final solution" to the problem of Saddam.

However, if Mylroie's book is the best evidence available that Iraq is behind
terrorist attacks against the U.S., it is no evidence at all. Unfortunately,
only those willing to wade through this book are going to find that out. For the
rest of the public, uncritical neocon references to her work is going to be as
close as they get to reviewing the facts. Accordingly, Mylroie's book will
doubtlessly serve its agitprop purpose, no matter how sparse its evidence or
flawed its reasoning may be.

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