Monday, March 27, 2006

Rice To Ask Russia About Report That It Gave Iraq Data

By Steven R. Weisman
New York Times
March 27, 2006

WASHINGTON, March 26 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that the United States would seek clarification from Russia of an American military report that it had helped pass information to Iraq before the 2003 invasion, but she declined to make any specific allegations about Russian involvement.

"I don't have any reason to doubt or confirm the report at this point," Ms. Rice said on "Fox News Sunday." "I do think we have to look at the documents and look very carefully."

She added that the administration would "take very seriously any suggestion that a foreign government may have passed information to the Iraqis" before the invasion and that "we will raise it with the Russian government." She said she hoped that "the Russian government would take seriously any such charges."

A military report released Friday said that captured Iraqi documents described a Russian spy operation aimed at the United States Central Command and that information on American war plans and troop movements was passed to Iraq through the Russian ambassador in Baghdad.

On Saturday, Russian foreign intelligence services denied that American military secrets had been passed to Iraq.

On "Fox News Sunday" and on the NBC program "Meet the Press" Ms. Rice said it would be too early to jump to the conclusion that if information had been passed on to Saddam Hussein's government, it was done at the direction of the leadership in Moscow.

The military study said that some information Iraq had obtained from Russian sources was false, raising the possibility that it might have been part of a deliberate American effort to fool or demoralize Iraqi leaders. Ms. Rice said she did not know if any leaked information might have been part of a "disinformation" campaign.

"I don't want to jump out ahead and start making accusations about what the Russians may or may not have known," she said.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home