Bush Disputes Report Saying No Saddam-Al Qaeda Ties


moghrabi
#1
Jun 17, 2:08 PM (ET)

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Thursday insisted Saddam Hussein had a relationship with al Qaeda, contradicting an independent commission's report that there is no evidence of collaboration between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's militant Islamist network.

After meeting with members of his Cabinet, Bush forcefully disputed findings from the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that had called into question one of his main justifications for the U.S. war on Iraq.

"The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda," he told reporters.

"This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda. We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda," Bush said. "There were numerous contacts between the two."

A staff report by the bipartisan commission said on Wednesday that Bin Laden had "explored possible cooperation with Iraq ... despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime."

But it said Iraq never responded to the al Qaeda overtures and concluded that "they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship."

It added, "Two senior bin Laden associates adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

Bush and other administration officials cited what they called cooperation between Saddam and al Qaeda, as well as Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, as reasons for last year's invasion of the country. No banned weapons have been found.

Analysts have long questioned suggestions of close links between bin Laden and Saddam, whom the al Qaeda leader has described as an "infidel" and who killed or suppressed many Islamic leaders in his own country to cement his grip on power.

The administration has recently renewed allegations of an Iraqi link with al Qaeda, blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Vice President Dick Cheney said in a speech on Monday, "He (Saddam) had long established ties with al Qaeda."

On Thursday, Bush continued to insist that Saddam had numerous contacts with al Qaeda and other militant groups opposed to the United States.

"We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaida. For example, Iraqi intelligence officers met with bin Laden, the head of al Qaida, in the Sudan," he said.

The commission report, however, said that while he was in Sudan in the 1990s "Bin Laden is said to have requested space (in Iraq) to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded."

Bush said, "(Saddam) was a threat because he had terrorist connections. Not only al Qaeda connections but other connections to terrorist organizations."

He cited Abu Nidal, a Palestinian liberation group which carried out violent attacks between the 1970s and the 1990s and which for some of that time had its headquarters in Iraq.

"Saddam was a threat because he provided safe haven for a terrorist like Zarqawi who is still killing innocents inside of Iraq," the president said in a reference to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a foreign fighter in Iraq whom the U.S. administration describes as an al Qaeda associate.

"He (Saddam) was a threat and the world is better off and America is more secure without Saddam Hussein in power," Bush said
 
moghrabi
#2
When is this Bush Guy is going to face reality and confess to his guilt? The war in Iraq was not justified and the latest report confirms so. Yet he seems to be trying to find anything possible at his disposal to justify a war that was led against internation law and the Law of the UN.
 
Reverend Blair
#3
Bush is an idiot and a liar.
 
moghrabi
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

Bush is an idiot and a liar.

Couldn't have said it any better Reverend.
 
Reverend Blair
#5
That's because I've been practicing since before he got elected. If you keep trying, and I definitely encourage that, you can say it as least as well as me.
 
moghrabi
#6
I will start today. Do you have any tricks for me to say it faster? LOL
 
researchok
#7
Spinning 9/11
The press ignores the commission's most interesting findings.

Friday, June 18, 2004 12:01 a.m.

We'll say this on behalf of the latest staff reports from the 9/11 Commission: They are far more interesting than the media coverage suggests. Americans who go online to read the reports will actually learn a few things.
For example, they'll discover new details about the links between al Qaeda and Iran. The conventional wisdom has been that these Shiite and Sunni cultures couldn't meet, but the report says they did so "to cooperate against a common enemy"--the infidel U.S.

Specifically, al Qaeda operatives trained in Iran, and al Qaeda

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editor...l?id=110005237 helped Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists obtain explosives. Al Qaeda was also probably involved in two attacks on U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, including the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers that killed 19 Americans and injured 372 and had previously been blamed largely on Hezbollah. This certainly sheds some useful light on State Department attempts to "engage" Tehran's mullahs as they attempt to build a nuclear bomb.

Another revelation concerns al Qaeda and anthrax. The 9/11 panel says al Qaeda had an "ambitious" biological weapons program and "was making advances in its ability to produce anthrax prior to September 11." It cites CIA Director George Tenet as saying that al Qaeda's ability to conduct an anthrax attack is "one of the most immediate threats the United States is likely to face." Given that we already were attacked by anthrax, and that we still don't know who did it, this sounds like news too.





Yet nearly all of the media coverage has focused on what the 9/11 panel claims it didn't find--namely, smoking-gun proof that al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were working together. The country has traveled a long way psychologically from the trauma of September 11 if we are now focusing on the threats that allegedly don't exist instead of those that certainly do.
Or, to be more precise, we're further from 9/11 but very close to an election. The "no Saddam link" story is getting so much play because it fits the broader antiwar, anti-Bush narrative that Iraq was a "distraction" from the broader war on terror. So once again the 9/11 Commission is being used to tarnish the Iraqi effort and damage President Bush's credibility in fighting terror. John Kerry surely thinks so because he jumped on the coverage to once again assail Mr. Bush on Iraq.

Even here, though, the staff report is less a "slam dunk," as the CIA likes to say, than the coverage asserts. We are supposed to believe, for example, that the Commission has found out once and for all that there was no meeting in Prague between the Iraqi agent al-Ani and 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta. But the only new evidence the report turns up is that some calls were made from Florida on Atta's cell phone at the same time he was reportedly in Prague. And since that phone would not have worked in Europe anyway, how do we know someone else wasn't using it? The Czechs still believe the Atta meeting took place, and the truth is we still don't know for sure.

There's also the testimony the Commission heard Wednesday from Patrick Fitzgerald. The former Manhattan prosecutor was asked about his 1998 indictment against Osama bin Laden that asserted that al Qaeda had an "understanding" with Iraq that it would not "work against that government" and that "on certain projects, specifically including weapons development," they would "work cooperatively." Mr. Fitzgerald testified that "there was that relationship that went from opposing each other to not opposing each other to possibly working with each other."

Somehow the Commission also omitted any reference to Mr. Tenet's 2002 letter to Congress. "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade," he wrote. And, "We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda's leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire W.M.D. capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."





We could go on, but suffice to say that the report hardly disproves any Saddam-al Qaeda link. Mr. Bush was entirely correct when he said yesterday that, "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." The extent of those ties is the issue, and it is essential to U.S. security that we keep probing them. In particular, the President should order the release of some of the official Iraqi documents that coalition forces have captured in Iraq and that shed additional light on that relationship.
We thought everyone had learned the hard way on 9/11 that the greatest security danger comes not from taking threats too seriously but from dismissing them too easily. Apparently some people have forgotten that lesson already.
 
researchok
#8
More food for thought:

There They Go Again
From the June 28, 2004 issue: The 9/11 Commission and the media refuse to see the ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
by Stephen F. Hayes

IT'S SETTLED, APPARENTLY. Saddam Hussein's regime never supported al Qaeda in its "attacks on America," and meetings between representatives of Iraq and al Qaeda did not result in a "collaborative relationship." That, we're told, is the conclusion of two staff reports the September 11 Commission released last Wednesday.

But the contents of the documents have been widely misreported. Together the new reports total 32 pages; one contains a paragraph on the broad question of a Saddam-al Qaeda relationship, the other a paragraph on an alleged meeting between the lead hijacker and an Iraqi agent. Nowhere in the documents is the "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link...Dismissed," as Washington Post headline writers would have us believe. In fact, Staff Statement 15 discusses several "links." It never, as the Associated Press maintained, "bluntly contradicted" the Bush administration's prewar arguments. The Los Angeles Times was more emphatic still: "The findings appear to be the most complete and authoritative dismissal of a key Bush administration rationale for invading Iraq: that Hussein's regime had worked in collusion with al Qaeda."

A complete dismissal? Only for someone determined to find a complete dismissal. The major television networks and newspapers across the country got it wrong.

By Thursday afternoon, the misreporting had become too much for some members of the 9/11 Commission. Its vice chairman, former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton, defended Vice President Dick Cheney against his attackers in the media:

I must say I have trouble understanding the flak over this. The Vice President is saying, I think, that there were connections between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government. We don't disagree with that. What we have said is just what [Republican co-chairman Tom Kean] just said: We don't have any evidence of a cooperative or collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda with regard to the attacks on the United States. So it seems to me that sharp differences that the press has drawn, that the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me.

Hamilton is half-right. The report was far more nuanced and narrowly worded than most news reports suggested. But while nuance is a close cousin of precision, it is not the same thing. And the two paragraphs on the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship are highly imprecise. Statement 15 does not, in fact, limit its skepticism about the Iraq-al Qaeda connection to collaboration on "the attacks on the United States." It also seems to cast doubt on the existence of any "collaborative relationship" (while conceding contacts and meetings) between the two.

This ambiguity, which provided reporters the opening they needed to go after the Bush administration, was a departure from earlier reports of the 9/11 Commission. Most of the staff's investigative work--its careful examination of pre-September 11 air safety procedures, for example--has been both thorough and illuminating. By contrast, the analysis of the Iraq-al Qaeda connection comes off as incomplete, forced, and unreliable. Indeed, at least as regrettable as the misreporting of the newly released staff documents are the gaps in their contents.

Here in full is the relevant portion of Staff Statement 15:

Bin Ladin also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan, despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime. Bin Ladin had in fact at one time sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded bin Ladin to cease this support and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. A senior Iraqi Intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting bin Ladin in 1994. Bin Ladin is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded. There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after bin Ladin had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Ladin associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.

This brief passage raises more questions than it answers--a point we'll come back to. But it also shatters the myth that religious and ideological differences precluded cooperation between bin Laden and Saddam. Osama bin Laden's 1994 meeting with the "Iraqi intelligence officer"--Farouk Hijazi--is important.

The U.S. intelligence community has long believed that Saddam was willing to use Islamic militants--including al Qaeda--to exact revenge on the United States for his humiliating defeat in the first Gulf War. This belief was more than theoretical. Saddam played host to a wide range of Islamic militants through "Popular Islamic Conferences" his regime sponsored in Baghdad. He gradually Islamicized his rhetoric, incorporated harsh elements of Islamic law into the Iraqi legal code, and funded a variety of Islamic terrorist groups--some quite openly, including Hamas. On August 27, 1998, Uday Hussein's state-run newspaper, Babel, proclaimed bin Laden an "Arab and Islamic hero." Jabir Salim, an Iraqi intelligence agent stationed in Prague who defected in 1998, reported to British intelligence that he had received instructions from Baghdad, and $150,000, to recruit an Islamic militant to attack the broadcast headquarters of Radio Free Iraq in the Czech capital. And virtually no one disputes that Saddam offered bin Laden safe haven in Iraq in late 1998 or early 1999.

The chief obstacle to Iraq-al Qaeda collaboration, according to this reasoning, was bin Laden's presumed unwillingness to work with Hussein. Osama had, after all, publicly labeled the Iraqi dictator an "infidel." But in 1993--according to testimony provided by top al Qaeda terrorist Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl and included in the Clinton administration's formal indictment of bin Laden in the spring of 1998--the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda reached an "understanding," whereby al Qaeda would not agitate against the Iraqi regime and in exchange the Iraqis would provide assistance on "weapons development." The following year, according to Staff Statement 15, bin Laden took the Iraqis up on their pledge. Hijazi told his interrogators in May 2003 that bin Laden had specifically requested Chinese-manufactured antiship limpet mines as well as training camps in Iraq.

It's never a good idea to take detainee testimony as gospel, but Hijazi's account of the meeting has been assessed as credible. As early as 1994, then, Osama bin Laden had expressed a willingness to work with Saddam Hussein. It was the Iraqis, per the 9/11 Commission report, who were reluctant to work with al Qaeda.

But were they?

According to numerous intelligence reports dating back to the Clinton administration, Iraq provided chemical weapons training (and perhaps materials) to the Sudanese government-run Military Industrial Corporation--which, along with Sudanese intelligence, also had a close relationship with al Qaeda. (Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl and Ali A. Mohamed, two high-ranking al Qaeda terrorists who cooperated with U.S. authorities before 9/11, said Sudanese intelligence and military officials provided security for al Qaeda safehouses and training camps, and al Qaeda operatives did the same for Sudanese government facilities.)

William Cohen, secretary of defense under Clinton, testified to this before the September 11 Commission on March 23, 2004. Cohen was asked about U.S. attacks on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory on August 20, 1998. The strikes came 13 days after al Qaeda terrorists bombed U.S. embassies in East Africa, killing some 257 people (including 12 Americans) and injuring more than 5,000. The Clinton administration and the intelligence community quickly determined that al Qaeda was behind the attacks and struck back at the facility in Sudan and at an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. Almost immediately, the decision to attack the plant outside Khartoum was controversial. The Clinton administration, in its efforts to justify the strikes, told reporters that the plant had strong links to Iraq's chemical weapons program. No fewer than six top Clinton administration officials--on the record--cited the Iraq connection to justify its strikes in response to the al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. embassies. (Some of these officials, like James Rubin and Sandy Berger, now hold top advisory positions in John Kerry's presidential campaign. Kerry, however, now says he was misled about an Iraq-al Qaeda relationship.)

Here is Cohen's response to the 9/11 Commission in its entirety:

But to give you an example, this particular facility [al Shifa], according to the intelligence we had at that time, had been constructed under extraordinary security circumstances, even with some surface-to-air missile capability or defense capabilities; that the plant itself had been constructed under these security measures; that the--that the plant had been funded, in part, by the so-called Military Industrial Corporation; that bin Laden had been living there; that he had, in fact, money that he had put into this Military Industrial Corporation; that the owner of the plant had traveled to Baghdad to meet with the father of the VX program; and that the CIA had found traces of EMPTA nearby the facility itself. According to all the intelligence, there was no other known use for EMPTA at that time other than as a precursor to VX.

Under those circumstances, I said, "That's actionable enough for me," that that plant could, in fact, be producing not baby aspirin or some other pharmaceutical for the benefit of the people, but it was enough for me to say we're going to take--we should take it out, and I recommended that.

Now, I was criticized for that, saying, "You didn't have enough." And I put myself in the position of coming before you and having someone like you say to me, "Let me get this straight, Mr. Secretary. We've just had a chemical weapons attack upon our cities or our troops, and we've lost several hundred or several thousand, and this is the information, which you had at your fingertips--you had a plant that was built under the following circumstances; you had a manager that went to Baghdad; you had Osama bin Laden, who had funded, at least, the corporation; and you had traces of EMPTA; and you did what? You did nothing?" Is that a responsible activity on the part of the Secretary of Defense? And the answer is pretty clear.

So I was satisfied, even though that still is pointed as a mistake--that it was the right thing to do then. I believe--I would do it again based on that kind of intelligence.

Given this intelligence--and telephone intercepts cited by unnamed Clinton officials between the plant manager and Emad al-Ani, the head of Iraq's chemical weapons program--one wonders why the Iraq war did not take place in the wake of the embassy bombings in 1998.

The 9/11 Commission staff statement also states that "two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq." Leaving aside the fact that this claim plainly contradicts the ties between Iraq and al Qaeda cited in the same paragraph, why are these bin Laden associates deemed credible? As noted, detainee debriefings are best viewed skeptically unless they are corroborated by other sources. In this case, numerous other sources have directly contradicted these claims. Did the commission staff have access to these detainees? Are the two al Qaeda detainees mentioned in the staff statement more credible than those who have reported Iraq-al Qaeda ties? That's certainly possible. But the staff report leaves out any description--to say nothing of names--of these al Qaeda detainees.

Information from al Qaeda detainees is attributed to named sources elsewhere in the 9/11 Commission report, but not in this instance. Why? Readers are left wondering.

STAFF STATEMENT 16 briefly assesses the alleged meeting between 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague in April 2001. It says, "Based on the evidence available--including investigation by Czech and U.S. authorities plus detainee reporting--we do not believe that such a meeting occurred."

The report makes no mention of the fact that five senior Czech officials are on record confirming the meeting. In private conversations, some of these officials are less emphatic than their public statements would suggest. Yet when reporters ask about the meeting, the Czechs refer them to their previous public statements confirming the meeting.

And what is the evidence upon which the commission staff bases its conclusion? Articles in the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Washington Post had reported that the U.S. intelligence community has rental car records and hotel receipts that place Atta in the United States at the time of the alleged meeting. According to senior Bush administration officials, no such records exist, and the commission's report mentions no such documentation. "The FBI's investigation," it says, "places [Atta] in Virginia as of April 4, as evidenced by this bank surveillance camera shot of Atta withdrawing $8,000 from his account. Atta was back in Florida by April 11, if not before. Indeed, investigation has established that on April 6, 9, 10, and 11, Atta's cellular telephone was used numerous times to call Florida phone numbers from cell sites within Florida. We have seen no evidence that Atta ventured overseas again or reentered the United States before July, when he traveled to Spain and back under his true name."

So contrary to previous reporting, Atta cannot be definitively placed in the United States at the time of the alleged meeting. Cell phone records are interesting, but hardly conclusive. It is entirely possible that Atta would leave his cell phone behind if he left the country. In any case, the hijackers are known to have shared cell phones.

More disturbing, however, is what the commission staff left out. Staff Statement 16, which purportedly provides the "Outline of the 9/11 Plot," offers a painstakingly detailed account of Atta's whereabouts in the months leading up to 9/11. But it contains a notable gap: The report makes no mention of a confirmed trip--technically, two trips--that Atta made to Prague. (This omission comes despite the fact that the report notes other travel by the hijackers--even trips of unknown significance. Marwan al Shehhi, we are told, took "an unexplained eight-day sojourn to Casablanca.")

Atta applied for a Czech visa in Bonn, Germany, on May 26, 2000. He was apparently one day late. His subsequent behavior suggests that he needed the visa for a trip scheduled for May 30, 2000. Although his visa wasn't ready by that date, Atta took a Lufthansa flight to Prague Ruzyne Airport anyway. Without a visa, Atta could go no farther than the arrival/departure terminal; he remained in this section of the airport for nearly six hours. After returning to Germany, Atta picked up his new visa in Bonn and on June 2, 2000, boarded a bus in Frankfurt bound for Prague. After the approximately seven-hour trip, Atta disappeared in Prague for almost 24 hours. Czech officials cannot find evidence of his staying in a hotel under his own name, suggesting he registered under an assumed name or stayed in a private home. Atta flew from Prague to Newark, New Jersey, on June 3, 2000. Al Shehhi, a fellow hijacker, had arrived in Newark on May 29, 2000.

What was Atta doing? That's unclear. But he went to some lengths to stop in Prague before traveling to the United States. By leaving this out, the 9/11 Commission report seems to suggest that it is irrelevant.

Another omission: Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Shakir, as WEEKLY STANDARD readers may recall, is an Iraqi who was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda planning meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. U.S. intelligence officials do not know whether Shakir was an active participant in the meeting, but there is little doubt he was there.

In August 1999, Shakir began working as a VIP greeter for Malaysian Airlines. He told associates he had gotten the job through a contact at the Iraqi embassy. In fact, Shakir's embassy contact controlled his schedule--told him when to report to work and when to take a day off. The contact apparently told Shakir to report to work on January 5, 2000, the same day September 11 hijacker Khalid al Mihdhar arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Shakir escorted al Mihdhar to a waiting car and then, rather than bid his guest farewell, jumped in the car with him. The meeting lasted from January 5 to January 8. Shakir reported to work twice after the meeting broke up and then disappeared.

He was arrested in Doha, Qatar, on September 17, 2001. Authorities found both on his body and in his apartment contact information for a number of high-ranking al Qaeda terrorists. They included the brother of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Hajer al Iraqi, described by one detainee as Osama bin Laden's "best friend." Despite this, Shakir was released from custody. He was detained again on October 21, 2001, in Amman, Jordan, where he was to have caught a flight to Baghdad. The Jordanians held Shakir for three months. The Iraqi regime contacted the Jordanian government and either requested or demanded--depending on who you ask--his release. The Jordanians, with the apparent acquiescence of the CIA, set him free in late January 2002, at which point he returned to Baghdad. Then earlier this spring, Shakir's name was found on three lists of the officers of Saddam's Fedayeen.

It's possible, of course, that there is more than one Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. And even if the Shakir listed as an officer of the Saddam Fedayeen is the same Shakir who was present at the 9/11 planning meeting, it does not mean that the Iraqi regime helped plan or even had foreknowledge of those attacks.

But how can the 9/11 Commission staffers dismiss any potential Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks without even a mention of Ahmed Hikmat Shakir?

By week's end, several 9/11 panel commissioners sought to clarify the muddled report. According to commissioner John Lehman on Fox News, "What our report said really supports what the administration, in its straight presentations, has said: that there were numerous contacts; there's evidence of collaboration on weapons. And we found earlier, we reported earlier, that there was VX gas that was clearly from Iraq in the Sudan site that President Clinton hit. And we have significant evidence that there were contacts over the years and cooperation, although nothing that would be operational."

Commissioner Slade Gorton supports Lehman's comments, adding, "The Democrats are attempting to say that this gives the lie to the administration's claim that there was a connection between 9/11 and Saddam," he said. "But the administration never said that."

The 9/11 Commission will be releasing its report later this summer. Let's hope that that final product is more thorough and convincing than the latest staff statements. What it must do is credibly address the events that are plainly within the commission's purview--including any evidence, from Prague or Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere, of potential Iraqi involvement in 9/11.

When it comes to the broader question of the relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda, the commission cannot be expected to write the definitive history. In the end, it will be up to the Bush administration to make available to the public as much intelligence as possible without jeopardizing sources and methods. Americans are not idiots. They can be expected to grasp the difference between circumstantial evidence and proof; between shared goals and methods and a proved operational alliance. They can accept that not all analysts will agree, and some facts will remain elusive. What they should not have to settle for is the current confusion.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten...4/248eaurh.asp
 
moghrabi
#9
Are these FACTS or OPINIONS of PRO-BUSH Pundits. They make good material for reading but nothing else. John Leman from fox news had a say in it. It does not go through my head.

Tenet gave Powell the false information presented to the UN. It was FALSE INFO. The Same goes with the above statements. Unless you have proof that there is a link between Al-Qaeda and Hizbolla (in which I doubt very much so as it is the case between IRAQ and AL-Qaeda) then all is said above is heresay.

As you always say, Give me PROOF.

Reverened Said it above - "BUSH is an idiot and a Liar"

So get the idea. it is so simple to see that he is a big liar. No matter what you let me read, it is known to the whole world (except for a few I don't want to mention their names so not to insult their inteligence - if any) still believe that Bush is innovent of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
 
moghrabi
#10
June 19, 2004
2+2=5
I see the White House is continuing its human wave assault on logic and reason - leaving the 9/11 Commission trapped between the lines:

Bush aides have sought to blunt the Democratic offensive not by challenging the commission's findings but by arguing that Kerry and the media have mischaracterized the findings. The White House issued a 1,000-word document titled "TALKING POINTS: 9-11 Commission Staff Report Confirms Administration's Views of al-Qaeda/Iraq Ties."
"The 9/11 commission came to the same conclusion as the administration regarding ties between Iraq and al Qaeda," [Bush-Cheney] campaign communications director Nicolle Devenish said. She said this is Kerry's "desperate attempt to put a negative spin on what was broad consensus between the administration and the commission."


Dick Cheney - the master of ceremonies in the administration's updated version of Orwell's Room 101 - chimed in Friday on Capitol Report. And he took special aim at, of all people, the hapless headline writers at the New York Times:

CHENEY: Now, it's very important that people understand these two differences. What the New York Times did today was outrageous. Now, they do a lot of outrageous things, but the headline: "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie." The press wants to run out and say there's a fundamental split here now between what the president said and what the commission said.
Now that the Judy Miller gravy train has gone off the rails, it looks like the administration has decided there's no harm in reverting to the time-honored conservative practice of flogging the Gray Lady as the Wicked Witch of the Liberal East.

I've already posted the entire passage from the 9/11 Commission's latest staff statement dealing with Al Qaeda, Saddam and their non-existent relationship. But it's short enough to merit reposting here, in full:

Bin Ladin also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan, despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime. Bin Ladin had in fact at one time sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded Bin Ladin to cease this support and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda.
A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Ladin in 1994. Bin Ladin is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded.

There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after Bin Ladin had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship.

Two senior Bin Ladin associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.

This cannot, under any rational reading of the English language, be intepreted as consistent with, or supportive of, the administration's speculative theories about a secret terror pact between Saddam and al Qaeda. There is no "broad consensus," save the wholly fictional one dreamed up by the Bush-Cheney PR team.

This is not to say the administration's theories are themselves completely implausible. To be sure, there is a school of thought that holds Saddam and Bin Ladin would never ever have cooperated, even temporarily, because of the yawning gap between their ideologies - pan-Arab nationalism on Saddam's side; pan-Islamic fundamentalism on Bin Ladin's.

But I think this argument puts far too much weight on ideology (which certainly never seems to have mattered much to Saddam, unless by ideology we mean a Stalin-like will to power) and ignores the ancient strategic principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend - a principle which has reached perhaps its most perfect form in the modern Middle East.

The stronger argument, I think, is that Saddam - a rational despot, despite his PR image - would never have taken the risk of hooking up with al Qaeda, since the benefits would have been marginal at best and the consequences of detection extremely damaging, if not devastating.

From everything we can tell, Saddam's survival strategy seemed to have been based on trying to outwait the UN sanctions, and then, perhaps, going hell for leather for some kind of WMD capability - nuclear if possible. Getting caught in a tete-a-tete with Bin Ladin would have ruined his hopes of lulling the Anglo-Americans into allowing the Security Council to lift the sanctions. Even Saddam wasn't that boneheaded.

Still, the administration is perfectly free to make the argument, despite the complete lack of anything that could be termed evidence - other than Laurie Mylroie's raving paranoia. But claiming that that evidence can be found in the pages of the 9/11 Commission's staff statement is like claiming an endorsement of Bush's fiscal policies can be found in the collected writings of Paul Krugman. It's simply absurd.

What the gang seems to be doing here is testing the outside of the Orwellian envelope a little bit, to see if they can get away with such a flagrant display of "up-is-downism." I don't think I've ever seen such an utterly naked ploy from these guys before. Perhaps they've stumbled, wittingly or unwittingly, across the same insight Joseph Goebbels had all those years ago: The bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be accepted, since the audience will be reluctant to believe its leaders would tell them such a monstrous untruth. (In this case I have to assume the audience in question is the GOP faithful and that tiny sliver of undecided voters in the middle. Everybody on our side of the partisan divide already realizes there is no lie too big for this administration to tell, and they know we know.)

What's depressing is that even pundits who should have a stronger moral sense are awarding Bush political brownie points for using the Big Lie:



Andrew Kohut, who directs the poll, predicts Bush will be able to keep al Qaeda and Iraq tied in the public's mind; about half believe such a connection has been proved, various polls indicate. "So many people believe it because he's saying it," Kohut said. "Bush's hanging tough on this gives him the credibility he has."

However, the White House and its allies appear to have a backup strategy in case this particular up-is-down argument proves a little too upside down. It's the time-tested tactic of claiming that everything - including the 9/11 Commission itself - has been contaminated by partisan politics:

The panel has become "a tool for partisan politics," Rep. Eric I. Cantor (Va.), a member of the House Republican leadership, charged in an interview last week. "With the latest commission finding coming out that there were allegedly no ties between Hussein and al Qaeda, I think they are totally off their mission, and I think that's indicative of the political partisanship."
The RNC talking points on this must have gone out earlier last week, because Porter Goss, the intelligence committee chairman in our Chamber of People's Deputies, and Dennis Miller, the anti-intelligence chairman of late night televsion, have both been yammering about that same basic theme. But Cantor's quote is such a gem of non-logic, I'd like to look at it again more closely.

The 9/11 commission, Cantor argues, is partisan. Why? Because it went "off mission" by questioning the alleged relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

Now since the 9/11 commission was specifically instructed by Congress to "make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the [9/11] attacks," and to "investigate relevant facts and circumstances ... including intelligence agencies ... diplomacy ... the flow of assets to terrorist organizations ... and other areas of the public and private sectors determined relevant by the commission," it's fairly ridiculous to argue the commission exceeded its mandate by reviewing the evidence regarding Bin Ladin's alleged contacts with Iraq. What Cantor is really arguing is that the commission went "off mission" by arriving at conclusions that were extremely embarrassing to the administration, and possibly damaging to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

I've rarely seen the GOP machine's definition of partisanship so clearly stated: If you agree with us, you're a patriotic non-partisan American. If you disagree with us, you're a Kerry campaign operative, or at best a Democratic tool. And now that second label has been applied to a congressionally created commission split absolutely evenly between the two parties, and chaired by a Republican ex-governor selected by the White House itself.

And once again, it looks like the watchdogs of mainstream conventional wisdom are going to let the ****ers get away with it. Here's how U.S. News & World Report's Gloria Borger (the facilitator for Cheney's Capitol Report disinformation event) puts it:

Here's the deal: The question of any Iraq-al Qaeda tie is now a matter of politics, not intelligence. It's a fight about credibility, as Cheney complained - both his and the president's.
And so a seven-month, multi-million dollar investigation - which collected the testimony of virtually every high-ranking official involved in U.S. counterterrorism and intelligence efforts against al Qaeda - is supposed to disappear down the rat hole of "partisan politics," simply because the White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign say it should.

Could it be that the government's ranking intelligence analyst, the Vice President, knows something - some scrap of evidence - that the 9/11 Commission has not yet heard or seen? "Probably," Cheney casually admits.

Logically, this would suggest the Veep was not entirely forthcoming with the commission during his Three Stooges-minus-one appearance with the Commander in Chief back in April. So the commission has mildly suggested (Cheney wasn't under oath, after all) that it would be happy to listen to whatever else the Vice President might have to say - not that they think anything's being hidden mind you:

Commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said the commission is not making another formal request for documents from the White House.
"We have made an extensive document request of the administration, and they have responded to our requests," said Felzenberg. The panel is saying, he added: "If the vice president or anybody else has any information on this subject that they would like the commission to examine, the commission would very much like to see it."


But all this fact-finding and testimony and debate is really pointless. The real issue, the pundits have already told us, is not the evidence, but Bush's and Cheney's credibility. And the harder they stick to their stories, the more credible they become (per Andrew Kohut). And right now they're sticking very hard indeed.

So it seems the party really is always right - as long, that is, as it's the right party.

http://billmon.org/
 
researchok
#11
[quote="moghrabi"]Are these FACTS or OPINIONS of PRO-BUSH Pundits. They make good material for reading but nothing else. John Leman from fox news had a say in it. It does not go through my head.

Well, the extractions from the senate investigations report are fact of what they said.

There was contact with terror groups-- though, no evidence to support a 9/11 connection.

What remains unclear is the interpretation of some of the data-- and the writers are clear on that as well. I suspect that will have a long shelf life, subject to all kinds of interpretation.

What I find most interesting are the links between Saddam and the terror groups, links that are only now being explored. What that means has yet to be determined.

Those findings aren't a surprise. Saddam was not a 'nice guy'.
 
moghrabi
#12
No one said Saddam was a nice guy. He must be tried in international court and not by the so-called US appointed government of Iraq. The verdict will be guilty even if he was innocent (and he isn't). The same goes to the people responsible for the torture that happened in Iraqi prisons. They must also stand trail for crimes they commited.

The links between Bin Ladden and Iraq that you are talking about always lead to the direction that Saddam rejected every effort to deal with Bin Ladden.
 
researchok
#13
[quote The links between Bin Ladden and Iraq that you are talking about always lead to the direction that Saddam rejected every effort to deal with Bin Ladden.[/quote]

So far, that seems to be the case-- insofar as a 9/11 cooperative effort.

see below.

"We don't have any evidence of a cooperative or collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda with regard to the attacks on the United States. So it seems to me that sharp differences that the press has drawn, that the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me.

Hamilton is half-right. The report was far more nuanced and narrowly worded than most news reports suggested. But while nuance is a close cousin of precision, it is not the same thing. And the two paragraphs on the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship are highly imprecise. Statement 15 does not, in fact, limit its skepticism about the Iraq-al Qaeda connection to collaboration on "the attacks on the United States." It also seems to cast doubt on the existence of any "collaborative relationship" (while conceding contacts and meetings) between the two."
 
researchok
#14
See these for bin Laden/Iraq ties.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.../27/walq27.xml

http://www.tennessean.com/nation-wor...34908297.shtml

These seem to be accurate reflections of a link, though as stated earlier, not to a collaberative effort of Al Queda and Saddam re 9/11.
 
moghrabi
#15
Thanks.

interesting quite from the first link:

"Over the past three weeks, The Telegraph has discovered various other intelligence files in the wrecked Mukhabarat building, including documents revealing how Russia passed on to Iraq details of private conversations between Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, and how Germany held clandestine meetings with the regime."
 
researchok
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by moghrabi

Thanks.

interesting quite from the first link:

"Over the past three weeks, The Telegraph has discovered various other intelligence files in the wrecked Mukhabarat building, including documents revealing how Russia passed on to Iraq details of private conversations between Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, and how Germany held clandestine meetings with the regime."

Yes, I laughed when I saw that!

You have to give credit to the Russians-- looks like they were on top of things!

Ahhhh, the tangled webs we weave...
 
moghrabi
#17
Very interesting really. Politics is really funny.
 
researchok
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by moghrabi

Very interesting really. Politics is really funny.

You don't know the half of it!

You need a scorecard to keep up with who's talking to who, who's not talking to who, who's talking to one constituancy but not another, who's talking to who when they say they're not talking to them, who's not talking to who when they say they are.....

And of course, in the end, they end up doing what's politically expedient, anyway.
 
researchok
#19
check this out--

This story has LEGS!

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3090972

The Saudis are going to have a tough time dealing with this, if accurate.
 
moghrabi
#20
I don't doubt this for a moment. There are radical fanatics in the Saudi police force. If we look closely, we can see that they were actually wearing police uniforms and have police cars. Only members of the Saudi police sympathyzing with these criminals will help them do this autrocity.
 
researchok
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by moghrabi

I don't doubt this for a moment. There are radical fanatics in the Saudi police force. If we look closely, we can see that they were actually wearing police uniforms and have police cars. Only members of the Saudi police sympathyzing with these criminals will help them do this autrocity.

I agree-- collusion is pretty apparent

I received an interesting email from a friend of mine this morning.

Seems the Muttawa in KSA are under heat-- lots of sympathizers. informants to AQ, etc.

I wonder how the KSA is going to deal with that. Carefully, I'd imagine. The Muttawa are still on the defensive-- they took a lot of flak after the girl's school affair.

Going to be a long hot summer, I'll bet.
 
LuShes
#22
"The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda,"

I love that line....he just states stuff without proof, like the weapons of mass destruction they are STILL searching for. Tear apart an entire country, steal their oil and make up some lies....GO BUSH YOUR MY MAN!!! not...
 
moghrabi
#23
Thanks LuShes. He is a big Liar as we all know with some exceptions.