The following exchange between counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz took place at a ‘high-level’ meeting on terrorism held in April 2001:
” ‘Wolfowitz: Well, I just don’t understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin Laden.
Clarke: We are talking about a network of terrorist organizations called al Qaeda, that happens to be led by [Osama] bin Laden, and we are talking about that network because it and it alone poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States.
Wolfowitz: Well, there are others that can do that as well, at least as much. Iraqi terrorism for example.
Clarke: I am unaware of any Iraqi-sponsored terrorism directed at the United States, Paul, since 1993, and I think FBI and CIA concur in that judgment…
Wolfowitz: You give bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages [with Iraq] does not mean they don’t exist.’ “ [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]
– Ian S. Lustick, Trapped in the War on Terror, Pages 57-58