Senate Report Sees No Formal Iraq-Qaeda Ties

By Caroline Drees, Security Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda in the 1990s never led to a formal relationship and there is no evidence Iraq helped conduct an al Qaeda attack, a report by a bipartisan Senate committee said on Friday.

The findings by the Senate Intelligence Committee came less than a month after the government-established commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said there was no evidence of a "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's Islamic militant network.

Assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and could provide chemical or biological agents to al Qaeda for attacks on the United States were a main justification for President Bush's decision to invade and occupy Iraq.

No such weapons have been found, and the Senate panel said most of the U.S. intelligence community's judgments about Iraqi WMD were overstated or unsupported by underlying intelligence.

Bush and his top aides have stood firm on assertions of links between Iraq and al Qaeda, with Vice President Dick Cheney forcefully maintaining that evidence may yet emerge depicting an Iraqi role in the Sept. 11 attacks carried out by al Qaeda.

"The Central Intelligence Agency reasonably assessed that there were likely several instances of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda throughout the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add up to an established formal relationship," the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said.

"The Central Intelligence Agency's assessment that to date there was no evidence proving Iraqi complicity or assistance in an al Qaeda attack was reasonable and objective. No additional information has emerged to suggest otherwise," said the committee's "Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq."

Following the Sept. 11 commission's report last month, Cheney suggested in a television interview he might have more information than the panel. The commission issued a terse statement on Tuesday saying the vice president had no more information than commission investigators.

As part of the White House response to the Sept. 11 commission's report, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice also said she believed what the panel was actually saying was that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein did not control al Qaeda. The commission's chairmen flatly rejected her interpretation.

The Senate report, which focused primarily on the intelligence community's reporting on suspected Iraqi WMD, said Saddam might have used al Qaeda to conduct attacks in the event of war if he were sufficiently desperate.

But it said, "No information has emerged thus far to suggest that Saddam did try to employ al Qaeda in conducting terrorist attacks."
Surprise, surprise, eh wot? No evidence to substantiate a connection between AQ and Saddam. Well, did you evah?

You'd think that by now the citizenry would be up in arms looking for Bush's blood. I mean look at the number of lives that have been lost in avenging those who went down on 911. And see how Junior digs down into the coffers to fund the war. See how he sinks his beloved country into debt. And see how he provides the rich with tax cuts. But see how he claws back funding for social programs and the rest of the good stuff. Yep, it all makes perfect sense to me. Little wonder that half the properly propagandized people of the U.S. think so highly of the punk. Explain again now how Junior's logic works? You finger "A" but pursue and capture "B", and annihilate those who come between. Cool!

And on a more trivial note, anyone got an idea of how many Iraqis have been killed since Junior launched his unprovoked attack? That's rhetorical. I do have some idea, but is the U.S. media telling anyone? And why not I wonder? Well, I guess for one, the Iraqis don't qualify as human beings. So their deaths are....well.....really quite inconsequential--and thus, most decidedly unnewsworthy. Smatteroffact, I read somewhere that the Yanks aren't even bothering to collect these stats.

As for American deaths (in excess of 700 and counting)--at least they had the good sense not to come back severely maimed and psychologically injured--this class of soldier--well, he's seen as a pain in the ass. But the dead ones--now they receive the royal treatment. They get a 3-gun salute just prior to going down under. There is an upside too, for their designated loved ones receive the Stars and Stripes that drape the coffin that encases the body that's sunk underground that's gone forever. And maybe--just maybe--the good dead soldier earned a medal or two which will be awarded to him posthumously and given to the family. Of course, the families will be sad, yet for all their sadness, the vast majority will do as they have been trained from kindergarten to do--they will stand proud that a member of their family has died so that there will be liberty and justice for all Americans.

Oh Sweet Jesus! To think people believe that tripe plunges me into a surreal world--which this IS.

And, so no impeachment for Junior. Nosirreebob!

But Clinton? Now, how much time, tax payer's money and news coverage were devoted to exposing President Bill's sexcapades? Ya gotta dig their priorities down there, doncha? But, hey, tittilation sells. What sells brings bucks. Bucks bolster Bushites. And so it was--with ample help from the media, the Pubs did their best to bring down a president who indulged in a few wee personal indiscretions. The immorality of Baby Bill. Well, we recognize SIN when we see it.

But the morality of war?! Well, I guess!

And so it is, just a few years later--KUDOS to a Prez who plunges his nation into an unprovoked war at a cost of 22 - 50 thousand dead and who the hell knows how many injured and maimed. Yes! All hail to the Chief. Let's tout him up as a tough, take-no- shinanigans kind've guy and cheer him on to another term in office.

Seems that the Yanks have so nefariously cuddled up to the rotten regimes of many third world countries that they're adopting third world country ways. Thus, don't be surprised if Junior "wins" yet again this November.

As I say, they're really quite mad down there--and getting madder with each passing day. For those Canucks who can dig the action, get a front row seat. Apply for your green card soon.

Hang on, folks, we're in for a bumpy ride. And you guys on the right? Enjoy!