After the respected neoconservative and the clownish warmonger you have a guy who might simply be certifiable: former CIA Director James Woolsey, perhaps the champion at being the biggest purveyor crap in the lead up to the Iraq War, which is saying something because the competition is intense. He may be the only former high level official still holding on to Saddam Hussein being the mastermind of 9/11.Me: I was intrigued by that, and wanted to know what exactly Woolsey had said, and when. So I asked Marshall via Twitter.
@joshtpm Cn u source: Woolsey "may be the only former high level official still holding on to Saddam Hussein being the mastermind of 9/11.?And he answered:
— Kenneth Silber (@kennethsilber) March 26, 2015
@kennethsilber Look up his work with Laurie Mylroie.So I did some searching around, finding that Woolsey had written a foreword to Mylroie's book "Study of Revenge." The foreword is dated 9/27/01, which is a few weeks after 9/11, and in it Woolsey obliquely suggests the possibility that Iraq may have been behind 9/11, noting that this becomes more plausible if "time proves that Laurie Mylroie is right about what happened in 1993" (i.e. that Saddam was behind the first World Trade Center bombing).
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 26, 2015
Given the foreword's hedged wording and even more so its long-ago timing, it clearly fell far short of substantiating Marshall's claim, so I tweeted him again.
@joshtpm More specific? I find https://t.co/NdeSVQwvB1 his foreword to her book; it's from 9/27/01 & doesn't substantiate yr claim.That was four days ago, and I'm still waiting for a reply. Meanwhile, in my searching, I also found that Marshall in 2004 was castigating Woolsey thus:
— Kenneth Silber (@kennethsilber) March 27, 2015
Amazing. Jim Woolsey is on Lou Dobbs show, as I write. He continues to press the Iraq-al Qaida link, suggests only that it's not clear Saddam 'ordered' the 9/11 attacks (my recollection, I haven't seen the transcript yet), and goes on to accuse Clarke of being crazy or thoroughly lacking in credibility because he accuses Woolsey, Laurie Mylroie and others of saying what they have in fact been saying for years. A through-the-looking-glass performance.Me: I looked up the transcript and here is the Woolsey interview (click to enlarge):
Me: Notice that this is a few years after Woolsey wrote the foreword to Mylroie's book, and Woolsey is still not saying that Saddam was the mastermind of 9/11. Nothing I have found that is more recent comes any closer to backing Marshall's claim about Woolsey's persistence in his alleged position.
So, as it stands, I have not found substantiation that Woolsey is "still holding on to Saddam Hussein being the mastermind of 9/11" and I have not found that an effort to "look up his work with Laurie Mylroie" leads to such substantiation. If evidence backing Marshall's claim exists, he should produce it. If Marshall can't do so, he should run a correction and apology.
For the record, I have no connection to Woolsey and no firm opinions about him. Also, I don't like Ted Cruz and would want neither him nor Lou Dobbs to be president of the United States.
UPDATE 5/1/15: More than a month later, Marshall has not put forward any substantiation. I'm pleased to see, though, that Googling james woolsey josh marshall gets this result: