Contact
Archives
Search
Blogs
Newspaper Blogs
English-Language
Press
Polls

November 15, 2003

SADDAM AND AL-QAEDA....Over at the Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes reports on a top secret memo that outlines in painstaking detail collaboration between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, beginning in 1990 and continuing through mid-March 2003:

The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Hmmm, Doug Feith. Would that be this Doug Feith?

Virtually everything that has gone wrong in Iraq—especially those matters that Congress is either investigating or is poised to investigate—is linked directly to his office. "All roads lead to Feith," noted one knowledgeable administration official this week.

It was his now-defunct Office of Special Plans (OSP) office that is alleged to have collected—often with the help of the neo-conservatives' favorite Iraqi exile, Ahmed Chalabi—and "cooked" the most alarmist pre-war intelligence against Saddam Hussein and then "stovepiped" it to the White House via Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney unvetted by the intelligence agencies.

It was also his office that was in charge of post-war planning and rejected months of work by dozens of Iraqi exiles and Mideast experts in the State Department and the CIA, work that anticipated many of the problems that have wrong-footed the occupation. It also excluded many top Mideast experts from the State Department from playing any role in the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq.

...."Until they get rid of Feith, no one is going to believe that the administration is seriously reassessing its policies," said one Congressional aide, whose boss has been a strong critic of administration policy in Iraq.

Since Feith stands at the very center of the charges that the Bush administration exaggerated prewar intelligence, one might wonder what the professional analysts at the CIA think of the Iraq-al-Qaeda connection. Here's what their October NIE said:

While Bush also spoke of Iraq and al Qaeda having had "high-level contacts that go back a decade," the president did not say -- as the classified intelligence report asserted -- that the contacts occurred in the early 1990s, when Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader, was living in Sudan and his organization was in its infancy. At the time, the report said, bin Laden and Hussein were united primarily by their common hostility to the Saudi Arabian monarchy, according to sources. Bush also did not refer to the report's conclusion that those early contacts had not led to any known continuing high-level relationships between the Iraqi government and al Qaeda, the sources said.

Now, this NIE was written a year ago, and maybe we've gotten lots of new information since then. Maybe Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden really did have lots of close contacts. After all, virtually every regime in the Middle East seems to.

But given his track record, it's awfully hard to figure out why anyone takes Doug Feith seriously anymore. Presumably the Senate Intelligence Committee has also asked the CIA for its opinion on this, and perhaps Hayes can get a leaked copy of their memo too. If it supports Feith's laundry list of allegations, I'll start to take it — and Feith — a bit more seriously.

Posted by Kevin Drum at November 15, 2003 11:43 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Oddly, Douglas Feith and his family are close personal friends with the Wesley Clarks. Weird!

Posted by: bink at November 15, 2003 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be surprised if there hadn't been a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. If the Weekly Standard has accurately portrayed what was in the memo I'd say it's a fairly convincing case. Far more convincing than the "Osama would never support a secular regime like Saddam's" spiel that the anti-warriors continually trot out as if it's some kind of irrefutable fact.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at November 15, 2003 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Cold comfort though it surely be, Feith/Cheney/Rumsfeld must suffer moments of terrible clarity when they reflect on what they've engineered, and ponder the verdict history will impose on their willfull treachery.

And George? George has never suffered a moment of terrible clarity in his life. Never will, either.

Posted by: Sovereign Eye at November 15, 2003 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Funniest headline of the year:

"Case Closed"

Looks like Feith was sucking on the stovepipe again.

close personal friends with the Wesley Clarks.

Wow, they're cloning him now? That DLC sure is desperate.

Posted by: Kevin K. at November 15, 2003 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

i think the jury's out on this onem though i do question why this would be (a) allowed to leak, and (b) leaked to a neocon magazine like the Weekly Standard. Why not give it to the times? reminds me of that global warming article that was written in Energy and Environment rather than Nature.

Posted by: praktike at November 15, 2003 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Presumably the Senate Intelligence Committee has also asked the CIA for its opinion on this...

And the CIA laughed out loud. That's why the wingnuts dumped Feith's memo on one of their fully-owned assets...

Posted by: dave at November 15, 2003 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

They were sure having multiple orgasms on Fox News over this story (big surprise). This sounds to me like Feith is trying to cobble together a lot of discredited crap and hoping he can save his job with it.

Posted by: TR at November 15, 2003 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

What a load of crap: claims made by unidentified sources, no ppaper trail, no surveillance evidence, etc. And they have the nerve to dredge up the discredited claims of Mohammed Atta meeting with Iraqi agents in the Czech Republic!

Posted by: Randy Paul at November 15, 2003 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently much of the Feith memo deals with information dated post-invasion (e.g. interviews with various captured Iraqis).

Personally, I doubt there is much there, but we shall have to wade through the details in order to determine what the real story is.

Unfortunately, that can take a while, and in the meantime Bush & Co. will be able to declare vindication.

Posted by: Quiddity at November 15, 2003 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Randal: I would actually be shocked if Iraq didn't have any connection to al-Qaeda. As near as I can tell, *every* Middle Eastern country has very significant ties to al-Qaeda.

In fact, the remarkable thing seems to be how *few* ties there were between Iraq and al-Qaeda. It's probably not zero, but it sure seems to be a lot less than nearly any other country in the region.

Bink: really? That's pretty interesting. How do you know that?

Posted by: Kevin Drum at November 15, 2003 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Randy,

Yeah, that Czech claim really stunned me. How many times have they tried to drag that out since it was debunked? And if any of the rest of this information had been in the hopper a long time, they'd have brought it up ages ago, because it would have made a good case back when it mattered.

Posted by: natasha at November 15, 2003 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Feith leaked this on his own or if BushCo knew it was happening. If Feith flew solo, this will be the nail in his coffin.

The only reason I wonder if BushCo backed it is the timing. He's going to have a rough time in London and now Fox News can trumpet that the protesters are Saddam lovers.

I hope that Sy Hersh isn't on vacation right now.

Posted by: Kevin K. at November 15, 2003 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

So, let me see if I have this straight:

1. Bush touts Iraq/Al Qaeda connection in run-up to war on Iraq.

2. CIA goes public with info that no, there really isn't much, if any connection. In fact, the two are arch-enemies.

3. Administration, in as close as they ever come to embarressment, admits there is/was no Iraq/Al Qaeda connection, even though, the whole time, he had this damning memo, providing ABSOLUTE PROOF that there was, in fact, a connection.

4. Cheney reiterates Iraq/Al Qaeda connection.

5. Bush says nope, Cheney's wrong. We admit, there's no Iraq/Al Qaeda connection, even though, the whole time, he had this damning memo, providing ABSOLUTE PROOF that there was, in fact, a connection.

RIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTTTTTT.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Oh, that's a good one.

Posted by: Brautigan at November 15, 2003 01:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I think the Feith/Clark connection is due to the fact that they both worked on the Dayton negotiations. I believe Feith was an adviser with Perle. As far as them being "close personal friends," never heard that before.

Posted by: Kevin K. at November 15, 2003 01:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Hmmm, Doug Feith. Would that be this Doug Feith?"

Nothing like avoiding the substance of the memo by impugning th source. It's a typical liberal "argument"... if you don't like the message, then shoot the messenger.

"In fact, the remarkable thing seems to be how *few* ties there were between Iraq and al-Qaeda."

FEW???

I guess you didn't actually READ the story you posted then...

Posted by: Al at November 15, 2003 01:11 PM | PERMALINK

Al, thanks for being so stereotypically Right Wing Stupid. First, to the charge of attacking the messenger, it's called projection. Remember Joe Wilson? The person who's Bush criticism you would dismiss precisely because he dared criticize Bush? Second, it is not a case of attacking the messenger because Feith is responding to his stove piping intelligence with more psuedo intelligence. He's already been found guilty by any neutral observer of willfully misrepresenting intelligence. Why should we trust this purported memo with even more misrepresentations. Third, what freaking substance of the memo? How can we respond to the "substance" when the Weekly Standard apparently can't even bothered to release the memo.

Posted by: Adam in MA at November 15, 2003 01:24 PM | PERMALINK

So let's see -- we have a guy with a track record of being somewhat...cavalier...with the facts (to put it charitably) and according to Al, we're not even supposed to mention this? We're simply supposed to accept this story as gospel? Right....

Posted by: PaulB at November 15, 2003 01:27 PM | PERMALINK

Al: I backed up my impugning with a link. Feith is unreliable on this stuff without backup. If you choose to blindly believe him, you haven't been paying attention for the past few months.

And I sure did read the story. The problem is that because it comes from Feith, there's no telling how much is real and how much is fantasy. What's more, the memo was 16 pages long. My guess is that if you wrote a similar memo for Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, etc., it would be about 600 pages long.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at November 15, 2003 01:27 PM | PERMALINK

Aside from a source's credibility, the other problem the memo has is that it doesn't even attempt to place the information in any context. The fact that an intelligence official met and made vague overtures to Al Quaeda is meaningless. After all, the function of an intelligence agency is to gather useful information.

According to the case presented, we're being asked to believe that Iraq went out of the way to offer token support and resources to a terrorist group. In return, they didn't seem to get anything, not even control, which is what state-sponsored terrorism usually involves. Which makes no sense. If I'm a dictator who is offering incriminating support to a terrorist group who is taking on the most powerful country in the world, I would at least like something for my effort.


Posted by: Thomas at November 15, 2003 01:28 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah Al:

I believe everything out of Cheney's mouth too.

Posted by: Armando at November 15, 2003 01:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin --

I disagree with two of your rhetorical approaches:

1. Several different strategic approaches were argued for dealing with Iraq after Saddam fell. You made Feith's choice seem weaker than it really was by quoting only the arguments against it, but omitting the aruments for it and arguments against other approaches.

2. Even if Feith could have made a better choice (and I think he could have) it's a huge jump to go from a wrong judgment to implicitly accusing him of now presenting fraudulent reports.

You don't usually argue this badly. In this case, your questionable reasoning allows you to ignore news of a long relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda -- news that doesn't agree with your world view. Rather than attack the messenger, why don't you either refute what he said or adjust your views to a different reality?

Posted by: David at November 15, 2003 01:32 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that this is the whole "stovepipe" in action again. These are undoubtedly all of the possibilities, rumors, and allegations prior to being subjected to fact-checking and analysis.

Once they were subjected to the normal intelligence analysis process, how much you want to bet that most of these simply didn't hold up? That would explain why the administration hasn't used this data, despite being under enormous pressure to produce something that would justify the war.

Posted by: PaulB at November 15, 2003 01:33 PM | PERMALINK

Brautigan, nobody in the administration has admitted that there was no Iraq/al-Qaeda connection, and in fact they've stuck to that story every step of the way. Bush basically refuted Cheney on the Iraq/9-11 connection, when Cheney said that "we don't know" whether Saddam had something to do with 9/11, and Bush then said that they don't have any evidence to that effect (though they've certainly hinted at it multiple times in the past year and a half). But they've stuck to the Iraq/al-Qaeda link business all the way. I don't believe it any more than you do, since their "evidence" is not much more damning than finding out that some al-Qaeda members ate some hummus in Baghdad at one time or another, but let's keep the facts straight on what the administration is and isn't saying. There are more than enough half-truths and non-truths out there for us to keep track of without putting words in their mouths.

Posted by: Haggai at November 15, 2003 01:34 PM | PERMALINK

Saddam saw the US coming, along with the rest of the world. He dumped some of his WMD's and shipped others to Syria (on advice of the Russians) to discredit the US assertions of their existence (even though the rose-garden-buried centrifuge components constitute a nuclear smoking gun), and imported Al Quaedans to wage a war of attrition on US troops to prevent the US-led democratic liberation of its longsuffering citizens from succeeding. I'd say that, considering the foreigner-perpetrated suicide bomber strikes that have occurred in Iraq, that Saddam is getting PLENTY for his effort.

Posted by: Salamantis at November 15, 2003 01:39 PM | PERMALINK

David,

What, pray tell, is Kevin's "world view"? I assume you don't mean his propensity for staring at the cats on his porch.

Posted by: tristero at November 15, 2003 01:47 PM | PERMALINK

While the information might have been coallated by one official it is gathered by a multitude of agencies - a lot of this is probably SIGINT intercepts by the NSA, NRO and DIA, especially mid 1990's evidence. NIE are intelligence community products, not just CIA or DoD.

Watch how the senior Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee react after closed hearings. If they drop the whole " there were no ties " mantra from the Democratic political vocabulary then they viewed the evidence as credible and would prefer the topic just be forgotten altogether.

Posted by: mark safranski at November 15, 2003 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

I stand correctd, Haqqui. My basic point remains, however.

To assert that Cheney would say "we don't know" whether there was a connection, and that Bush would admit to having no evidence to that effect, while they were sitting on top of some memo that, if we are to believe the wingers, proves there was in fact a connection is

just

plain

ludicrous.

Posted by: Brautigan at November 15, 2003 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News just had a section on the memo, with commentary from Clinton and Reagan/Bush defense advisors. Both said that this memo doesn't amount to very much. Feith is not a bipartisan analyst, and his views on Iraq and Al Qaeda are well-established. You can't read this article objectively when you know that the original memo picked out any supporting information and threw away everything else.

Both analysts on Fox agreed that this would be explosive if it came from an objective, bipartisan investigation of ALL relevant material. Both said that it would be easy to construct this type of memo with fifty bullet points out of tens of thousands of reports.

The Air Force and Department of Defense collect hundreds of confirmed/unconfirmed reports of UFOs each year. If a lifelong UFO advocate combed through these reports for fifty pieces of supporting evidence, would it prove that aliens are really visiting the Earth? No, and that's the problem with this Feith memo.

Posted by: Frugal Liberal at November 15, 2003 01:51 PM | PERMALINK

Salamantis:

You may be right about Saddam. It also may be that the Jews and the Bush administration did 9/11 as an excuse to start a crusade against Islam.

But so far there is no public proof of either your theory or the other one.

Today's memo comes from one the least reliable proponents of the Saddam/al Qaeda link. When someone the world can trust establishes a link, I'll believe it in a heartbeat.

Until then... I've got a date to meet a black helicopter.

Posted by: tristero at November 15, 2003 01:53 PM | PERMALINK

tristero --

I'm talking about whether or not there was a relationship between Saddam's government and al Qaeda, and, if so, how much of a relationship there was. Bush supporters tend to believe in a strong relationship. Bush opponents tend to believe in little or no relationship.

Posted by: David at November 15, 2003 01:58 PM | PERMALINK

Since the Czech source has been discredited can anyone link me to information supporting this?

And btw, wasn't the President's quote repudiating the Cheney claim a denial that the "Saddam" was linked to the 9/11 attack? Does "Saddam" supposedly encompass former Iraqi intelligence heads and agents?

As I recall, the President only discredited the direct link between Saddam and the 9/11 attack.

Cheers.

Posted by: axiom at November 15, 2003 02:19 PM | PERMALINK

As I recall, the President only discredited the direct link between Saddam and the 9/11 attack.

there's no direct link between Bush and the invasion of Iraq either (unless there's info that Bush was out there with an M-16, or maybe that he flew a few bombing runs), just like there's no direct link betwen Saddam and the gassing of the Kurds (unless Saddam was actually out there dropping Vx canisters himself).

Posted by: ChrisL at November 15, 2003 02:23 PM | PERMALINK

David: not sure what you're talking about. This has nothing to do with Feith's views of the reconstruction (although he seems to have been off base there too), it has to do with the egregiously bad prewar intelligence he promoted when he was in charge of OSP. He has a poor record when it comes to analyzing intelligence, so I'm skeptical when I hear yet more alarming intelligence from him that just "happens" to get leaked with no confirmation from the CIA.

If CIA confirms and the charges turn out to be substantial, I'll believe it. Until then, Feith hasn't earned our trust. I'm not sure what's unreasonable about that.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at November 15, 2003 02:25 PM | PERMALINK

So there may have been anywhere between ONE to FOUR Al Qaeda camps in Iraq.

Why isn't this administration doing anything about the 100+ militant Islamist camps, including Al Qaeda, in Bangladesh and Indonesia?

http://www.hvk.org/articles/1002/128.html

What is this administration doing about the failure in Afghanistan? How can we be assured that the Afghan model, which has been a complete failure, will not be a failure in Iraq as well?


Posted by: Frugal Liberal at November 15, 2003 02:32 PM | PERMALINK

... err... which is to say: trying to claim that Bush was being very accurate in saying that Saddam wasn't personaly involved is a bit of a stretch. not that it would be the first time Bush used a "technical lie", of course.

Posted by: ChrisL at November 15, 2003 02:36 PM | PERMALINK

The biggest problem with the al-Qaeda/Saddam connection isn't that it doesn't exist at all; as Kevin pointed out, it would be surprising if there were no connections. The problem is that we're looking for a mouse when there are two 800-lb. gorillas in the room. The Saudis and the Pakistanis both had a lot more to do with al-Qaeda than the Iraqis did.

Pakistan
Pakistan II

Posted by: Zizka at November 15, 2003 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

Even if Feith's assertions are correct, or even partially correct, the operative question is, Was the decision to go to war with Iraq based on this intelligence? Did we, in fact, attack Iraq because of it's connections with al Qaeda?

Posted by: bgno64 at November 15, 2003 03:00 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios has a summary of the Feith Memo -- Joel Swadesh takes a closer look:

A few things in it can be debunked instantly. Others are questionable. The only named source denies that contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq lasted into 2000. Others allegations, I don't know. I do think that Senator Carl Levin and other members of the intelligence committee have seen them and don't regard them as strong evidence of anything. My feeling is this is a try to baffle 'em with BS on the part of Feith, but I don't have any inside knowledge. ... I think this is an important story, maybe titled "The Neocon Empire Strikes Back"

http://atrios.blogspot.com/2003_11_09_atrios_archive.html#106893151332968384

Posted by: Charles K at November 15, 2003 03:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Oddly, Douglas Feith and his family are close personal friends with the Wesley Clarks. Weird!"

I always thought W.C. had something wierd...

Posted by: whitevandriver at November 15, 2003 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

so, yeah, put me on the side of the if-anything-this-justifies-invading-Pakistan crowd. if any nation-state can be blamed for 9/11, it's them (and maybe the Saudis). I guess Afghanistan, which we did invade, could go on the list but I have real trouble describing it as a 'nation-state' from the mid-'90s on.

fwiw, my favorite line from the memo, and I think as telling as any: "..some of whose reporting has been corroborated.." Feith as much as admits he's shoveling hokum with that one.

Posted by: wcw at November 15, 2003 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

Brautigan:

beat me to it

Posted by: carpeicthus at November 15, 2003 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

Zizka- "The Saudis and the Pakistanis both had a lot more to do with al-Qaeda than the Iraqis did."

Not to mention the fact that Saudis and the Pakistanis openly bankrolled and supported the Taliban. As in no bones about it- no Saudi dough and Pakistani military/intelligence support, no Taliban. Given the Taliban/Al Q nexus, support for the Taliban constituted pretty much direct support for Osama bL's activities.

Posted by: Robuzo at November 15, 2003 03:49 PM | PERMALINK

Awww, c'mon guys! You just gotta have Feith!

btw - have any of you seen that other memo, the one that was stapled to the Saddam/al-Qaeda one? It's got all the info on where the WMDs went. My boss'll be really torqued if he finds out I lost that one.

Posted by: Doug at November 15, 2003 03:50 PM | PERMALINK

It strikes me that the "top secret" status of a memo suggests to some that it must be true- otherwise, why would it be secret? And maybe I am naive, but what is the Weekly Standard doing with a top secret memo, anyway? Is it an official (as opposed to unofficial) mouthpiece now, with "top secret" clearance?

Posted by: Robuzo at November 15, 2003 03:53 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding bink's comment (the first one) - I didn't know that Feith was close with Wesley Clark.

But here is the comment that I posted at Oscar's entry on this subject:


It was some weeks ago that I came across an entry at some weblog mentioning a Weekly Standard piece that argued a connection between Hussein & the Iraqi government and bin Laden & al-Qaeda. I had thought of a possible response that I could have posted at that entry, but I do not recall at what blog that entry is at.

But since this entry is also about this topic - re: the Weekly Standard and the allegations of Saddam/Osama 'links' - I can post those thoughts here.

Out of many publications, the Weekly Standard has hardly any legs to stand on when it comes to allegations of links to bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

A few weeks ago (probably after I came across that aforementioned entry at that blog), I posted a comment at several blogs regarding entries that I had just posted at my own blog. This is one version of that comment that I posted. (As you can see, that blogger re-posted it in an actual entry.) I just did a Google search, and found that your blog was one of those where I posted [a different version of] that comment [it was at this entry...].

In that comment, I point to my blog entry (it is currently the 8th one down the main page, I think) which deals with Wesley Clark, and points out connections between the general, the Clinton administration, and Osama bin Laden terrorists.

In that blog entry, I also link to a comment that I posted awhile back at one of Patrick Ruffini's blog entries. In that comment, I asserted that out of many regimes and countries (including some that we are allied with right now), the Ba'athists of Iraq have had one of the weakest relationships with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. But also, as I indicate at my blog, if you scroll down past the first 10 paragraphs of that comment, you can see evidence of how the Clinton/Gore & Albright administration indirectly worked with Osama bin Laden to finance and support Islamic terrorists (and the neoliberals and the neoconservatives, such as those at the Weekly Standard, staunchly supported these policies). There is a lot more information available on the web - and in other places - about this subject.

These policies helped bin Laden, and they could be one of the reasons why we so far have been unable to find him. Check out the comment that I posted at this entry of Sgt. Hook's from a few weeks ago. That is one idea about where Osama bin Laden may be hiding out right now - I think that that may be one major 'blind spot' in our War on Terrorism.

Posted by: Aakash at November 15, 2003 04:17 PM | PERMALINK

The reason why the advocation for tackling Saudi Arabia or Pakistan fall on deaf ears is the fact that both nations have embassies with us. We have far more communication channels with Saudis and Pakistanis than we did with the Iraqis or Taliban.

Feith is at DOD, not State. State can talk talk talk talk to our "friends" the Saudis and Pakistanis. Afghanistan, Iraq, each were clearly different and unique and thus such arguments that going there was unecessary or inefficient merely delays the inevitable clash that would have ensued.

Posted by: axiom at November 15, 2003 04:19 PM | PERMALINK

Would you be more convinced if Janet Reno's Justice Department retroactively confirmed the alleged collaboration?

Posted by: Oscar Jr. at November 15, 2003 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

More here.

Posted by: Oscar Jr. at November 15, 2003 04:31 PM | PERMALINK

The "discrediting" of the Prague story may itself have been disinformation. I posted a little about it at Natasha's blog, along with some speculation about motives.

Something I don't mention there is the anthrax, which can answer Atrios's question ("if they knew all this stuff already, why didn't they invade Iraq right away?"): from the beginning (WTC 1993), the USA was deterred from a direct attack on Iraq by the threat of WMD terrorism. When the invasion finally came this year, it was only after a worldwide clandestine war against Al Qaeda, *and* the reintroduction of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq, both of which would have greatly hindered Saddam's ability to actually engineer a WMD terrorist act. And if you have to spend eighteen months preparing for your battle with the real enemy, what are you going to do: tell the public "We believe Saddam did it, but we can't retaliate right away, because we don't know if he has WMD-armed sleepers here"; or will you retain some flexibility in your options by keeping everything ambiguous? And that second choice will in turn require that you prevent anything which would disambiguate the situation from coming to public attention.

Posted by: mitch at November 15, 2003 04:36 PM | PERMALINK

Assuming that the indictment is correct, it doesn't look like very much of a collaboration to me.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at November 15, 2003 04:37 PM | PERMALINK

Regardless of whether the indictment was correct, it indicates that the prior administration also believed that, "on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."

Isn't that the "case" Hayes asserts is now closed?

Posted by: Oscar Jr. at November 15, 2003 04:49 PM | PERMALINK


It is simply amazing how the left only hears what they want to hear.

Brautigan says:. Bush says nope, Cheney's wrong. We admit, there's no Iraq/Al Qaeda connection, even though, the whole time, he had this damning memo, providing ABSOLUTE PROOF that there was, in fact, a connection.

The president did NOT say that. The president said that there was no evidence linking Iraq and 9/11. That is a very different statement from saying that there were no links between Iraq and AlQueda.
Furthermore, if we define evidence as facts beyond resonable doubt or strictly corroborated, this does not mean that there could exist some uncorroborated testimony or facts that point toward a certain conclusion, albeit not enough for a court of law. The problem with the left is that they will never accept this unless there is a videotape where OBL is seen with SH going over blueprints of the WTC and maps of NYC.
I suggest checking this link

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/985906/posts

that has the text of articles from the NYT
from 1998, documenting that the U.S. Government, while Clinton was president, strongly believed the existance of a relationship between OBL and Iraq to
"cooperate in the development of weapons in return for Mr. bin Laden's agreeing not to work against that country"
which was believed strong enough to be included in a legal indictment of OBL.
Now, could someone please explain to me how this is also a lie somehow related to GB and the republicans?

Posted by: sytrek at November 15, 2003 05:22 PM | PERMALINK
Saddam saw the US coming, along with the rest of the world. He dumped some of his WMD's and shipped others to Syria (on advice of the Russians) to discredit the US

Oh yeah? Seems to me we have quite a few spy satellites parked over Iraq for several months prior to the invasion. Not only that, be we also had UAV drones with video and other servellience equipment as well as nearly hourly fly overs by US and British pilots. SO WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE PHOTOS OF THE CONVOYS OF TRUCKS IT WOULD TAKE TO MOVE ALL THE WMD BUSH SAID SADAM HAD? Huh?


You don't move 50,000 pounds of VX nerve gas in a mason jar under the front seat of your pick up dummass. Not to mention the tons of mustard gas and sarin gas he was supposed to have in addition. Oh, and that cyclotron? My high school physics teacher has an exact duplicate of one in her office, is she a terrorist working on an atomic bomb then? I mean she's got a smoking gun too. Some people really want to believe anything. The Clueville Express has been stopping at the station for the last six months but the wingnuts still haven't taken delivery.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus at November 15, 2003 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

I had got an information from an Iraqi who had worked for Sadam: Sadam and Ben Laden knew each other but they had lots of different opinions about everything and they never got along. There is no way to link Sadam with 9/11. The guy told me they had met before desert storm operation (in 1990), the rest of information.... I have no idea, they've never been credible since the beginning I wouldn't put all my expectations on this report (it seems like they were persevering to link them at any cost), anyway the american gov is trying to hide lots of things with the ex Taleban.
Douglas J. Feith is the leader of the zionist american organisation (ZOA) and is the under secretary at DOD.


Posted by: Frenchy at November 15, 2003 05:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to have to agree with Frugal Liberal on this. Now that the "memo" is public, objective sources can either back it or not. As it stands it's highly dubious coming from Doug Feith. And yes, the messenger in this case does matter given his history of questionable use of intelligence. If an objective source corroborates this then it's to be taken seriously. Until the, the case is extremely far from "closed."

Posted by: Elrod at November 15, 2003 05:34 PM | PERMALINK

Elrod, do you consider Janet Reno's Justice Department an objective source?

Posted by: Oscar Jr. at November 15, 2003 05:41 PM | PERMALINK

I have another leak:
On April of this year, the american troops from Baghdad (the 4th Infantry) were staying in the information HQ of Sadam (it is not very far from the Bagdhad UN), and the american troops never looked into the documents to find out if there was wmd or not. A few weeks later after their departure, vital information was destroyed by Iraqis and computer were seized and sold on the black market.
So why do you think they never tried to find information about wmds in April?

Posted by: Frenchy at November 15, 2003 05:44 PM | PERMALINK
If they drop the whole " there were no ties " mantra from the Democratic political vocabulary then they viewed the evidence as credible and would prefer the topic just be forgotten altogether.
This may be the first thing Mark Safranski has written here I can agree with. I wonder if he'll return the favor, and admit, using the wonderful example above, that one UFO-nut in the Administration could make a similar 50-point memo on alien UFOs, as long as no one else was around to scrutinize the product.
Posted by: Andrew Lazarus at November 15, 2003 05:50 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew, would it help if Janet Reno's Justice Department retroactively scrutinized the product?

Posted by: Oscar Jr. at November 15, 2003 05:54 PM | PERMALINK

Uh. lessee, OBL runs an organization that murders, tortures, imprisons those he does not like and preaches that others should do the same...especially to Americans.
The Taliban run a country based on murdering, torturing and imprisoning those it does not like and preaches that others should do the same...especially to Americans.
Saddam Hussein runs a country based on murdering, raping, torturing and imprisoning those it does not like, does its best to spread its murder, rape, torture and imprisonment to other Muslim countries, eg Iran and Kuwait, and preaches that others should do the same... especially to Americans.
The Sudan is a "country" run by murderers, torturers, rapists and slavers, etc, etc...

OBL was happy at home in the Sudan and with the Taliban....why is it so hard to believe that OBL and Saddam were in cahoots? Why is it so hard to believe that OBL and his merry men would make common cause with Saddam and that deprived of their happy hide-outs in the Sudan and Afghanistan that they would intensify their relationship? Why isn't this memo seen as confirming your own common sense, rather than a fraud by another one of those scheming, all-powerful Zionists?

I just don't get you guys.

Posted by: jagcap at November 15, 2003 05:57 PM | PERMALINK

Oscar Jr.
No.

If a Clinton official comes out NOW and backs up the gist of the memo then I'd say yes.

Posted by: Elrod at November 15, 2003 06:03 PM | PERMALINK

SO WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE PHOTOS OF THE CONVOYS OF TRUCKS IT WOULD TAKE TO MOVE ALL THE WMD BUSH SAID SADAM HAD? Huh?

You don't move 50,000 pounds of VX nerve gas in a mason jar under the front seat of your pick up dummass. Not to mention the tons of mustard gas and sarin gas he was supposed to have in addition.

Dear Dr. Morpheus,
To move the stuff you're talking about would take two semitrailers... not even tandems...
BTW, it's spelled "dumbass."
Idiot.

Posted by: jagcap at November 15, 2003 06:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey everyone, check out this bombshell from the DoD:

http://www.dod.mil/releases/2003/nr20031115-0642.html

Posted by: Old Hat at November 15, 2003 06:10 PM | PERMALINK

Elrod, are you implying that Clinton administration officials, in a filing with a court of law, asserted facts that were unobjective? Untrue?

Reno lied, Uday died?

Posted by: Oscar Jr. at November 15, 2003 06:19 PM | PERMALINK

So does this mean the case isn't closed?

Please, say it ain't so Weekly Standard.

Instaquack and the other gullibles who swallowed the Weekly Standard article which didn't even bother to release the actual memo... even though it was purportedly coming from Feith...

All together now:

HACKS!

Posted by: Adam in MA at November 15, 2003 06:20 PM | PERMALINK

Adam in MA: I didn't come away from the DOD memo thinking that the WS article is bogus. The memo just merely states that some of the information is based on raw intelligence and cites the sources of the information in the memo.

Frenchy: Which Zionist Organization of America is Dougles Feith a leader of exactly? The ZOA lists their President as Mort Klein. In addition, what would this have to do with anything?

Lastly, what is your source for the "leak" regarding alleged inaction by american troops in procuring documents and WMD this past April?

"On April of this year, the american troops from Baghdad (the 4th Infantry) were staying in the information HQ of Sadam (it is not very far from the Bagdhad UN), and the american troops never looked into the documents to find out if there was wmd or not."

Are you saying here that the 4th infantry did nothing to collect information iside the information headquarters of Saddam? Which headquarters? He had over 40 palaces alone.

Posted by: axiom at November 15, 2003 06:38 PM | PERMALINK

To close, what do you folks think of Judge Gilbert S Merrit, a Democratic judge from Tennessee asked o join a team from the DoJ assigned to rebuild the Iraqi justice system, when he reports of links between Saddam Hussein and UBL?

link 1

Another thing about the DoD memo, the CPA has orders prohibiting speech by CPA authorities about everything in Iraq including UBL links to Iraq.
link 2

Posted by: axiom at November 15, 2003 06:43 PM | PERMALINK

Adam, was the Clinton administration Justice Department wrong? Lying to support a future war?

Posted by: Oscar Jr. at November 15, 2003 06:46 PM | PERMALINK

Oscar Jr. yes they were. axiom, the DoD article flat out refutes the "Case Closed" WS article. They say it is merely an aggregation of all raw intelligence supporting such a connection with absolutely no substantive conclusions or analysis. Instaquack and friends bought it as definitive proof when it is no such thing.

Posted by: Adam in MA at November 15, 2003 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

Let's actually read the text of the DOD release:

"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate"

All they are stating is that it is innacurate to state that the DD recently confirmed new information about the contacts, not that the information in itself is innacurate.

"The items listed in the classified annex were either raw reports or products of the CIA, the NSA, or, in one case, the DIA."

"The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida, and it drew no conclusions."

Again, they are not saying that the information is wrong, only that it raw intelligency, not an analysis and it drew no conclusions.

On the other hand, they do CONFIRM that the information is raw intelligency collected by multiple agencies, and that it is important enough to be classified, while much of it is uncorroborated and they do not want to get burned if some of it turns out to be innacurate. But does not invalidate the fact that there is a significant of raw intelligency, some of it corroborated by legal documents dating to the Clinton adminstration, about the links between AlQaida and Iraq.
Again, if the only way you will be convinced is with a videotape, then it is futile to conduct a discussion based on published sources.

Posted by: sytrek at November 15, 2003 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

"I didn't come away from the DOD memo thinking that the WS article is bogus. The memo just merely states that some of the information is based on raw intelligence and cites the sources of the information in the memo."


The DoD statement first paragraph said:

"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate."


This more than 'merely' states the information is raw and cites sources.

The DoD folks are distancing themselves from claims al-Qaida and Iraq are linked.

Quoting from raw intelligence means the memo does not cite evidence to the contrary.

So for example, the memo claims Atta met with an Iraqi official, it doesn't include the FBI and other sources which discount this information.

For the DoD to release such a press release must mean there is enough evidence to discount many of the other claims made.

This is an amazing turn of events, and it makes it more understandable why FOX was the only news outlet to run with the story.

Posted by: Jennie at November 15, 2003 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

To close, what do you folks think of Judge Gilbert S Merrit, a Democratic judge from Tennessee asked o join a team from the DoJ assigned to rebuild the Iraqi justice system, when he reports of links between Saddam Hussein and UBL?

Axiom, I think your judge has been had. This article is dated June 2003. Don't you think if this had been actual confirmed information, we would have heard about it by now? Trumpeted loudly by the Bush Administration?


Posted by: Bailey at November 15, 2003 06:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well the case certainly isn't closed. It is just another example of the Right grabbing onto any piece of raw intelligence that on the surface seems to help them idealogically. The DoD statement specifically refutes that the memo provides a "case closed" conclusion. Hayes just saw a bunch of raw intelligence and did his best administration pre-war skewing of intelligence results. That is all.

I think I have a new name for these pro-war idiots: neocon stovepipers. What do you think?

Posted by: Adam in MA at November 15, 2003 06:58 PM | PERMALINK

Jeannie:

Please read again the paragraph

The DoD statement first paragraph said:

"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate."

Note what is inaccurate: News reports not the information.

What were the news reports about? that the DD recently confirmed new information about the contacts.

Thus, the innacuracy is about the DD recently confirming new information about the contacts. NOT that the information in itself is innacurate. It is RAW intelligency, they can NOT confirm it.

Posted by: sytrek at November 15, 2003 07:01 PM | PERMALINK

Jeepers Adam... mebbe not "case closed" but don't you think it's at all likely that UBL/OBL/Whatever and Saddam were playing together? I mean, isn't it likely that these two, highly accomplished murderers/ torturers/America-haters? At least as likely that the Bush Administration hangs on the policy suggestions of say, Wesley Clark? or Jaques Chirac?
Whaddaya think?

Posted by: jagcap at November 15, 2003 07:03 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, that'll teach me to post without previewing.

Posted by: jagcap at November 15, 2003 07:05 PM | PERMALINK

Please read again the paragraph

The DoD statement first paragraph said:

"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate."

Note what is inaccurate: News reports not the information.

I've read that paragraph over and over and I guess I'm not drawing the same conclusions that you are about it. It seems to be saying to me that the DoD has emphatically NOT confirmed any new information about Iraq-al Qaeda contacts.

The information is presumably the same information that has already been parsed by the intelligence community and found to be unreliable. (Hence the inclusion of the Atta sighting in Prague.) And if that known inaccuracy is part of this "release" then we can probably conclude that the rest is similarly unconfirmed...


Posted by: Bailey at November 15, 2003 07:08 PM | PERMALINK

Adam says: It is just another example of the Right grabbing onto any piece of raw intelligence that ON THE SURFACE SEEMS TO HELP THEM idealogically.

Am I interpreting your comment correctly as agreeing that the raw intelligence information presented in these reports, and confirmed as such by an official DD press release, is consistent with the existance of links between AlQeida and Iraq? Thus the statement
from the state of the union speech, 2003

"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. "

has basis on intelligence information that is consistent with the statement and therefore Bush did not lie?

Posted by: sytrek at November 15, 2003 07:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sytrek, no your "interpretation" is bullshit. This is *raw* intelligence which proves *nothing*. Remember the Iraq/Niger/Uranium forgery? This was also raw intelligence. Bush admits it was wrong to use that raw intelligence in the SOTU and it is also wrong for the WS to use this to say "Case Closed". And it is wrong for all of you neocon stovepipers to use it to draw that conclusion.

Posted by: Adam in MA at November 15, 2003 07:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bailey: Considering the Bush Administration's quite open remarks about protecting sources and means I would guess that all intelligence used in public had better be for more important reasons that make the public anti-war folks that the President already said he understands feel happy as a lark.

Again, I will cite the fact that a 'gag order' exists on all CPA authorities in presenting information to the press and using the anti-war "neo-con Connect 4" gizmo I connect CPA cheif L Paul Bremer to Neo-Cons through Kissinger. In reality Paul Bremer's boss is Condi Rice and her boss is the President. If directives apply then secrecy is the idea unless there is some major political convicing required. See my repsonse to Bailley up a few lines.

Posted by: axiom at November 15, 2003 07:19 PM | PERMALINK

That is correct, there was a special room with all secret documents, that was an information center, and the 4th infantry did not bother at all looking at the documents. The HQ I am talking about is at 2 streets from the Baghdad university.
My information is certified, I've received it at a gov level.

Posted by: Frenchy at November 15, 2003 07:24 PM | PERMALINK

Bayley says:

The DoD statement first paragraph said:

"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate."

Note what is inaccurate: News reports not the information.

I've read that paragraph over and over and I guess I'm not drawing the same conclusions that you are about it. It seems to be saying to me that the DoD has emphatically NOT confirmed any new information about Iraq-al Qaeda contacts.

You are correct. The information is not NEW and is NOT confirmed. Is a compilation of raw intelligence obtained over several years. The DoD CONFIRMS that it is RAW INTELLLIGENCE. But the DoD is NOT saying that the information is innacurate.

"And if that known inaccuracy is part of this "release" then we can probably conclude that the rest is similarly unconfirmed..."

I guess you fell that legal documents from the Clinton administration making some of the same case are not confirmation enough of some of the information, thus you simply ignore anything that does not fit with your preconceived opinion.

Again, if you are waiting for videotapes, discussions based on published sources are futile.

p.s. I disagree that the meeting by Atta in prague has been discredited. The Czech government stands by the assertion. This is a classic example of "truths" that float on the internet. There is an official source for this information from Czech intelligence services. The fact that U.S. intelligence services could not confirm it, it does not necessarily makes it untrue. It just means that it is raw unconfirmed intelligence.


Posted by: sytrek at November 15, 2003 07:24 PM | PERMALINK


Adam,
Funny that you bring up the uranium issue.
This link is timely.

http://www.instapundit.com/archives/012524.php

An excerpt.

LYON, France, Nov 13 (AFP) - A representative of al-Qaeda bought enriched uranium capable of being used in a so-called dirty bomb from the Congolese opposition in 2000, according to sworn testimony quoted in a French newspaper Thursday.

Posted by: sytrek at November 15, 2003 07:35 PM | PERMALINK

You are correct. The information is not NEW and is NOT confirmed. Is a compilation of raw intelligence obtained over several years. The DoD CONFIRMS that it is RAW INTELLLIGENCE. But the DoD is NOT saying that the information is innacurate.

The fact that they rushed out a press release at all speaks volumes. I suspect the DoD doesn't want any internal memos released to the press, but I suspect they're even more loathe to substantiate each and every leak as wholly accurate or inaccurate.

But let's suppose for just a moment that everything in the memo were completely accurate? Why would they want to dilute that information?

p.s. I disagree that the meeting by Atta in prague has been discredited. The Czech government stands by the assertion. This is a classic example of "truths" that float on the internet. There is an official source for this information from Czech intelligence services. The fact that U.S. intelligence services could not confirm it, it does not necessarily makes it untrue. It just means that it is raw unconfirmed intelligence.

While I can't be bothered to find a link for this, I'm 99% sure that intelligence sources have Atta firmly placed in Florida at the time that this alleged Prague meeting took place. Now that I think about it--I believe I saw that on a Frontline report.

Hmmmm....so there is videotape afterall.... ;-)


Posted by: Bailey at November 15, 2003 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Please read again the paragraph"

Okay, I will.

The DoD statement first paragraph said:

"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate."

"Note what is inaccurate: News reports not the information."

"What were the news reports about? that the DD recently confirmed new information about the contacts."


It was much more than that,according to the Weekly Standard:

"OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "

This is definitive analysis by the Weekly Standard claiming a connection with the DoD refuses to acknowledge.

I agree, the accuracy of the raw intelligence is not being disputed.

Intelligence, as the white house likes to remind us, is not an exact science. So the DoD doesn't need to distance themselves from raw information. The information in the memo was selected from raw intelligence from various sources, the CIA,NSA and in one case DIA.

The October NIE(presumably from similar raw intelligence) said " those early contacts had not led to any known continuing high-level relationships between the Iraqi government and al Qaeda, "

So if this is the same raw intelligence from the same sources, it appears the CIA is saying one thing and this memo another.

The FBI has disputed the Czech government Atta meeting by producing documentation(receipts) that Atta was in the country at the time. Granted, these could be forged by other of the Saudi hi-jackers.

Just as evidence which makes the case for a link could be forged or just plain wrong.

As Sytrek says, "it just means that it is raw unconfirmed intelligence"

Posted by: Jennie at November 15, 2003 07:52 PM | PERMALINK

"My information is certified, I've received it at a gov level."

Frenchy: Which government? What level? I guess there's nothing I can do to refute that kind of source, but perhaps some details would be welcome.

Bailey: Which Frontline report? I've watched a number of them as well and the latest one surrounding the WMD concerns was just a tad skewed against the facts. Nonetheless I still watch and record Frontline. I just wish they would use Lowell Bergmann more often instead of Martin Smith.

Posted by: axiom at November 15, 2003 07:59 PM | PERMALINK

Bailey: Which Frontline report? I've watched a number of them as well and the latest one surrounding the WMD concerns was just a tad skewed against the facts. Nonetheless I still watch and record Frontline. I just wish they would use Lowell Bergmann more often instead of Martin Smith.

It was indeed the one that Martin Smith produced...first one of the season, if I'm not mistaken: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/truth/view/

I agree that Martin Smith is kind of bizarre on screen. There seemed to be way too much of him during that broadcast. Oh well.

Lowell Bergman...isn't he the former 60 Minutes reporter at the heart of the Big Tabacco/Insider issue?


Posted by: Bailey at November 15, 2003 08:06 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Bergman is the character played by Pacino in "The Insider". My comments on Frontline are relatively fair, I just wonder if the productions would be different if they were produced by people that didn't grow up in "communist" households. I guess I'll be happy when I meet a reporter that is proud to be a conservative.

Posted by: axiom at November 15, 2003 08:26 PM | PERMALINK

My comments on Frontline are relatively fair, I just wonder if the productions would be different if they were produced by people that didn't grow up in "communist" households.

People? Meaning plural? Are there a rash of Frontline producers that all grew up in Communist households? Are there any? Can you please link to some documentation on this?

As far as proud, conservative reporters go...the lack of them might be very telling indeed. In the meantime, I suppose there is Sean Hannity to be excited about.

Posted by: Bailey at November 15, 2003 08:40 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals must believe to see.

Posted by: Jim at November 15, 2003 08:47 PM | PERMALINK

talk about "howling at the moon"...sheesh

"raw"intelligence is just that, "raw"; he said, she said stuff that has no judged basis in either reality or fantasy

can you relate to unevaluated ? (I sure hope so...)

seems to me that the important lines are those where the DoD states the information is stuff that Mr. Feith mentioned in testimony to the Senate folks; they make no comment one way or another about their evaluation(s) of said "raw" intelligence

If Kevin, for example, states to some intelligence person that the moon is made of green cheese that would be "raw" intelligence just as much as if he said that the sun was still shining to the same intelligence person

mountains out of dust grains...

Posted by: daCascadian at November 15, 2003 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats are conducting a systematic, orchestrated campaign of lies in order to undermine the war effort. They would rather see us lose than for Bush to get any credit for doing the right thing. It can no longer be denied that the Democrats have known for years that Saddam and Al Qaeda had extensive ties going back years.

The only question now is WHAT DID THE DEMOCRATS KNOW AND WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT!

Posted by: HA at November 16, 2003 03:55 AM | PERMALINK

No, the new question is, "Which liberal lost Iraq?"

We have so many suspects this year: Dean, Kerry, Gephardt, and of course, the latest addition to the roster, Wesley Clark.

Franchy, please keep in mind that from the American point of view that the last admitted Zionist in the American goverment was put in jail a while back.

While there is a great divide in public opinion as to whether Jonathan Pollard had or hadn't passed American intelligence for money, he did favor the interests of Israel, and even Clinton wouldn't grant him clememcy for the sake of domestic Israeli politics.

Posted by: The Dark Avenger at November 16, 2003 09:05 AM | PERMALINK

In the end, the left has two choices regarding the Iraq-al-Qaida link:

1) Admit that there is a large quantity of classified intelligence data documenting the link, and that the existence of the data has been officially confirmed by the DoD.
That while the data is raw intelligence, some of that data was thought to be accurate enough by the Clinton administration to be included in legal indictment documents, and that some of the data is consistent with documents found and seen by independent third parties after the invasion of Iraq (see below) and by testimony of prisoners captured during and after the war.
That the information comes from multiple intelligence agencies, foreign and domestic, from multiple sources, and spanning a long period of time, thus increasing the probability of the general premise being accurate, and as such it is likely that even if only half of the data were to be accurate, it still makes a strong case for the existence of the link
That most of the information in the memo is consistent with both previously published information and statements by the administration.

or

2) Close your eyes and ears and ignore all of the accumulated data and testimony showing a link between al-Qaida and Iraq because it does not contain a “smoking gun” with 100% verification proof including videotapes, fingerprinting and optical scans and continue screaming: “I can’t hear you”, ALL of that information must be incorrect at best or lies at worst, all of the intelligence services of the U.S. and several foreign countries made up lies to contribute to the list, the British newspapers that claim to have documents that are consistent with the link are also lying, Clinton’s department of justice also lied when they mentioned the link in the indictment because they knew it would be useful to the republicans, BUSH LIED!, CLINTON LIED!


"Documents found in Baghdad show a link between Saddam Hussein's fallen regime and al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2979405.stm

Document links Saddam, bin Laden
http://tennessean.com/nation-world/archives/03/06/34908297.shtml?Element_ID=34908297

"Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda organization and Saddam Hussein's regime shared direct contact as early as 1998, according to top-secret Iraqi intelligence documents obtained by the Star."
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1051125568646&call_pageid=1045739058633

"...statements by Iraqi defectors and al Qaeda prisoners that Iraqi intelligence provided al Qaeda with training in document forgery and chemical and biological weapons in a series of contacts that spiked in 1996, and again after 1998."
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/16/iraq/main573517.shtml

Sources: Senior al Qaeda official may have been in Iraq
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/01/23/iraq.alqaeda/index.html

Posted by: sytrek at November 16, 2003 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

As an Englishman who has just sat through your "president's" visit where he managed to offend me by saying to UK soldiers families that their loved ones " did not die in vain" l decided to do a lot more research . As l do not have the chance to watch Dateline or the facilities to buy your newspapers l think l will be a regular visitor to this site to read the comments posted by people expressing their democratic right to free speech in a country founded on that basis . Until the amendment to your Patriot Act kicks in and all you Anti-bush lot get transferred to Guantanamo Bay to hop around in those orange jumpsuits with the matching steel braclets and ankle chains. Can someone tell me what they have been charged with please, 'cos l thought doing things like this is the reason we all hated Communist Russia? Keep up the good work, hope to read more from you lot.

Posted by: Israel at November 21, 2003 04:05 PM | PERMALINK

Look, we can debate this back and forth as much as everyone wants, but the bottom line is if there was substantial, credible evidence of an A.Q/Iraq link we would've heard of it from Bush/Cheney.

The fact remains Bush relied heavily on the CIA who relied on Curveball, who was debunked by Bush himself with the raid on Chalabi.

Also, you can't look for additional WMD's and Al Quaida AFTER you've went to war. The toll (human life) is too great.

Imagine if we DID find a credible Saddam/Al Quaida link. What would that prove? Would Bush come on TV and go, "Goddamn, I KNEW it!!!"

Fight for the Future
Kerry 2004

Posted by: Matt at June 1, 2004 06:08 PM | PERMALINK

I have found the best online pharmacy for buying

Generic Viagra online
Meltabs
generic Cialis

Posted by: generic Viagra prices at July 14, 2004 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

hi

Posted by: penis enlargement at August 8, 2004 09:10 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent site. Keep up the good work. http://www.888-online-casino.biz http://www.888-online-poker.biz http://www.888-online-gambling.biz http://www.888-on-net.biz
http://www.mapau-online.biz http://www.c-online-casino.co.uk http://www.cd-online-casino.co.uk
http://www.buy-v-online.biz
http://www.vegas-red-blackjack.biz http://www.vegas-red-poker.biz
http://www.tropez-casinos.biz

Posted by: online casino at August 16, 2004 10:53 PM | PERMALINK
Navigation
Contribute to Calpundit



Advertising
Powered by
Movable Type 2.63

Site Meter