One (probably) last thought on Zarqawi, which I had many months ago and forgot about until Echidne's post jogged my memory.
I think it's very telling that the Bushies didn't want to take out Zarqawi before the invasion, because "the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam."
I don't recall Zarqawi playing any kind of prominent role in the case for war. The case for war was all about Saddam's scary WMDs and nuclear aspirations, and relentlessly, artfully, deniably implying-but-not-quite-saying that he was involved in 9/11. Zarqawi's purpose was to provide justification after the fact by allowing the administration and its creatures to say, "See? Saddam was harboring al Qaeda!" Never mind that he was "harboring" Zarqawi in the no-fly zone, where he was effectively under our protection, not Saddam's.
What makes this particularly interesting to me is that it's yet another data point in the proof that the administration knew that their WMD claims were bullshit. If they genuinely expected to find WMDs, they would have had no need for a Zarqawi boogeyman, and would have whacked him so he wouldn't disrupt the occupation (assuming they thought about the occupation at all). In fact, if troops or inspectors did find WMDs, the Bushies would have had an awkward time explaining why they didn't want to take out an al-Qaeda leader who might have had access to WMDs.
There's a reason why I assume everything the Bushies say is a lie.