The Consequences of Blaming Intelligence
U.S. Believes It Has Found Saddam's Money,however:
Much to the frustration of the Bush administration, countries that acted quickly on relatively weak evidence involving al-Qaida funds have been unwilling to do the same on Iraq, partly because of growing doubts about the quality of U.S. intelligence.
For months, Swiss officials have asked Washington to provide more information on an account belonging to a Panamanian-registered front company that U.S. officials believe is tied to the former Iraqi regime. The account contains the equivalent of $80 million and U.S. officials are still trying to gather enough information for the Swiss to act.
Were the account held in a U.S. bank, federal authorities wouldn't need any more evidence than they already have because the Patriot Act, passed after Sept. 11, 2001, gives them expanded powers of search and seizure.
'We know a lot of countries cannot use intelligence information the way we can use it now after Sept. 11,' said Juan Zarate, the Treasury Department's deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes. 'It's not a complete hindrance but we have to provide the right
misinformation. [Nitpicker emphasis]
Oh, what a tangled web ...