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Sunday, October 26, 2003

Two near misses for US deputy defense Secretary Wolfowitz

DEBKA analyzes Rumsfeld Memo
Early this morning, guerilla rockets hit the landmark al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, presumably targeting Paul Wolfowitz, though he was not injured. Yesterday, a US helicopter was shot down near Tikrit shortly after Wolfowitz left that town. Both times Iraqi guerillas knew where to find the deputy defense secretary, and both times, thank G-d, he had a lucky escape.

One of the key points made by Wolfowitz's boss, Donald Rumsfeld, in a recently leaked memo, was that US intelligence capabilities have been "compromised through spies and through trading of information among rogue nations and terrorist networks."

This intelligence contest, the most sensitive aspect of the global war on terror, bears directly on the degree of precision manifested by anti-US Iraqi guerrillas – and ultimately in Sunday’s rocket strike against the Baghdad hotel. The point took years to appreciate. It was not immediately accepted that, without hostile spies planted inside America, information trading among terrorist groups and electronic espionage capabilities, the traumatic 9/11 terrorist assault on America could not have been carried out - any more than Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein could have managed to elude American pursuit for so long. Intelligence capabilities are also the key to Yasser Arafat’s sustained long-running terror campaign against Israel.
Read DEBKA's full analysis of this latest twist in the global war on terror.