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  • Thursday, June 30, 2005

    Republican claims Hussein linked to "9/11"

    And still the right wingers in America attempt to link Saddam Hussein's regime to the events of the 11th September 2001, despite all evidence to the contrary. They don't know how to stop lying. CNN has this report:

    "Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11," Rep. Robin Hayes said. Told no investigation had ever found evidence to link Saddam and 9/11, Hayes responded, "I'm sorry, but you must have looked in the wrong places."
    These people are a danger to not only Americans, but the rest of the world, which is precisely why the rest of humanity is quite right to be concerned about US foreign policy with the bunch of fanatical right wing extremists currently in power. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts


    At 6/30/2005 04:59:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Maybe there was no direct link to 9/11 but there were plenty of links between al Qaeda and Saddam.
    Good summary here.

    At 7/01/2005 03:14:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    First off, there was a terrorist connection with the Saddam government - that terrorist group is the Mujahideen Khalq Organistion, which now is operating with the cooperation of the U.S. and whose political wing enjoys an office in D.C.

    As for Saddam's links to al Qaeda, a document labelled "Top Secret and Urgent" was found in the Mukhabarat (General Intelligence Dept.) Headquarters in Baghdad in April 2003. The document stated, "According to the above, we suggest permission to call the Khartoum station [of the Iraqi Mukhabarat] to facilitate the travel arrangements for the above-mentioned person to Iraq [that person was an aide of Osama bin Laden - DJEB], and that our body [should] carry all the travel and hotel costs inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden." That envoy was at the Mansour Melia Hotel in Baghdad in March of 1998. The negotiations between the envoy and the government went on for a week to seek permission for bin Laden to enter Iraq. Nothing came of the meeting. In the words of a British intelligence source, "We are aware of fleeting contacts [between Iraq and Al Qaida] in the past, but there were no long term official contacts." [See Hiro, Dilip, Secrets and Lies: Operation "Iraqi Freedom" and After, p.29, 30]

    Notice the date of when that memo was found, though: April 2003. That would make it post hoc and thus not an excuse to go to war had it been evidence of a working connection.

    Attempted links from 2002 to make a case for war are the following:

    In early months of Bush administration, the issue of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was not near the top of the foreign policy agenda. Revival of the issue after September 11 appeared primarily to be a pretext for settling unfinished business. Iraq's links to al-Qaeda have proved too tenuous to include Iraq directly in the "war on terrorism." Most recently, the FBI itself has raised doubts about the veracity of the story that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague. Hence the weapons issue has now taken center stage, with the US invoking UN resolutions and hoping to rally international support on this basis. - http://www.zmag.org/content/Iraq/merip_graham.cfm ( MERIP Press Information Note 96, "Sanctions Renewed on Iraq," by Sarah Graham-Brown, May 14, 2002.)

    The United States is now set on war with Iraq. What justification is there for such a war? Occasionally it has been suggested that Iraq was somehow linked to the 11 September attacks. The strongest alleged link has been the supposed meeting of Mohammed Atta, the 11 September ringleader, and an Iraqi diplomat expelled from the Czech Republic for spying. The two are meant to have met in Prague in 2001, a 'fact' confirmed by Czech interior minister Stanislav Gross in Oct. 2001. When the Czech police completed their inquiry in Dec. 2001, however, 'Jiri Kolar, the police chief, said there were no documents showing that Atta visited Prague at any time this year [2001], although he had visited twice in 2000'. Another man by the name of Mohammed Atta did visit Prague in 2001, but according to a Czech intelligence source, 'He didn't have the same identity card number, there was a great difference in their ages, their nationalities didn't match, basically nothing. It was someone else.' (Daily Telegraph, 18 Dec. 2001, p. 10) Despite the disintegration of this fable, it continues to circulate and to be repeated as fact. Useful lies can live for a long time. As for any links between Baghdad and al-Qaeda, an anonymous former CIA officer has remarked that, 'The reality is that Osama bin Laden doesn't like Saddam Hussein. Saddam is a secularist who has killed more Islamic clergy than he has Americans. They have almost nothing in common except a hatred of the US. Saddam is the ultimate control freak, and for him terrorists are the ultimate loose cannon.' (Daily Telegraph, 20 Sept. 2001, p. 10)

    Initially, Washington included Iraq on its list of countries with links to al-Qaeda, but when European governments insisted that there was no intelligence evidence connecting Baghdad to Osama bin Laden's organisation, the US changed tack. "Now the emphasis is on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme and the danger that Saddam might send out his own agents armed with chemical or biological devices", one [British] official said.' (Times, 16 Feb. 2002, p. 19) The latest CIA report on the topic (Jan. 2002) says, that without 'an inspection-monitoring program' 'it is more difficult to determine the current status' of Iraq's biological and chemical weapons programmes. No smoking gun, then. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has written, 'Given the comprehensive nature of the monitoring regime put in place by UNSCOM [UN Special Commission weapons inspectors], which included a strict export-import control regime, it was possible as early as 1997 to determine that, from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq had been disarmed. Iraq no longer possessed any meaningful quantities of chemical or biological agent, if it possessed any at all, and the industrial means to produce these agents had either been eliminated or were subject to stringent monitoring. The same was true of Iraq's nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.' (Arms Control Today, June 2000) According to Ritter, a former US Marine, 'manufacturing CW [chemical weapons] would require the assembling of production equipment into a single integrated facility, creating an infrastructure readily detectable by the strategic intelligence capabilities of the United States. The CIA has clearly stated on several occasions since the termination of inspections in December 1998 that no such activity has been detected.' As for biological weapons, 'The Iraqis do have enough equipment to carry out laboratory-scale production of BW agent. However, without an infusion of money and technology, expanding such a capability into a viable weapons program is a virtual impossibility. Contrary to popular belief, BW cannot simply be cooked up in the basement; it requires a large and sophisticated infrastructure, especially if the agent is to be filled into munitions. As with CW, the CIA has not detected any such activity concerning BW since UNSCOM inspectors left Iraq.' - http://www.zmag.org/content/Iraq/rai_no_justification_for_war.cfm

    It is now clear that (despite intensive investigative efforts) there is simply no evidence of any Iraqi involvement in the terror attacks of September 11. The most popular theory, of a Prague-based collaboration between one of the 9/11 terrorists and an Iraqi official, has now collapsed. Just two weeks ago, the Prague Post quoted the director general of the Czech foreign intelligence service UZSI (Office of Foreign Relations and Information), Frantisek Bublan, denying the much-touted meeting between Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, and an Iraqi agent.

    More significantly, the Iraqi regime's brutal treatment of its own population has generally not extended to international terrorist attacks. The State Department's own compilation of terrorist activity in its 2001 Patterns of Global Terrorism, released May 2002, does not document a single serious act of international terrorism by Iraq. Almost all references are either to political statements made or not made or hosting virtually defunct militant organizations.

    We are told that we must go to war preemptively against Iraq because Baghdad might, some time in the future, succeed in crafting a dangerous weapon and might, some time in the future, give that weapon to some unknown terrorist group --maybe Osama bin Laden-- who might, some time in the future, use that weapon against the U.S. The problem with this analysis, aside from the fact that preemptive strikes are simply illegal under international law, is that it ignores the widely known historic antagonism between Iraq and bin Laden. According to the New York Times, "shortly after Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in 1990, Osama bin Laden approached Prince Sultan bin Abdelaziz al-Saud, the Saudi defense minister, with an unusual proposition. … Arriving with maps and many diagrams, Mr. Bin Laden told Prince Sultan that the kingdom could avoid the indignity of allowing an army of American unbelievers to enter the kingdom to repel Iraq from Kuwait. He could lead the fight himself, he said, at the head of a group of former mujahideen that he said could number 100,000 men." Even if bin Laden's claim to be able to provide those troops was clearly false, bin Laden's hostility towards the ruthlessly secular Iraq remained evident. There is simply no evidence that that has changed.

    Ironically, an attack on Iraq would increase the threat to U.S. citizens throughout the Middle East and perhaps beyond, as another generation of young Iraqis come to identify Americans only as the pilots of high-flying jet bombers and as troops occupying their country. While today American citizens face no problems from ordinary people in the streets of Baghdad or elsewhere in Iraq, as I documented during my visit to Iraq with five Congressional staffers in August 1999, that situation would likely change in the wake of a U.S. attack on Iraq. In other countries throughout the Middle East, already palpable anger directed at U.S. threats would dramatically escalate and would provide a new recruiting tool for extremist elements bent on harm to U.S. interests or U.S. citizens. It would become far more risky for U.S. citizens to travel abroad. - http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0802-02.htm

    ...after the September 11 attacks, many in the Bush Administration said, "Osama bin Laden could not have carried out this attack without state sponsorship..."... "Iraq had to be the ones responsible for this." And conveniently at that point in time defectors started coming out. Defectors talked about a terrorist training camp south of Bagdad in Salman Pak where they train people to take over airplanes conveniently in groups of four and five armed with knives. Amazing how this information came out after September 11. It's not true. I've been to that terrorist training camp. It's not a terrorist training camp, it's a hostage rescue camp put in place in the 1980s by by the British government to support Saddam Hussein because any nation that has a national airlines has an assault force capable of conducting hostage rescue of aircraft that have been subject to hijacking. We have it. Iraq has it. That's what Salman Pak is plain and simple.

    As we speak, American Marines, soldiers, Seal commandos, Air Force personell are in Afghanistan. We've deafeted al Qaeda, at least militarily. We've occupied their camps. We've captured their caves. We've captured computers with harddrives. We've captured documents - thousands of them. And guess what we're finding? And in the months since we've captured these, we've arrested over a thousand al Qaeda members across the world because these documents give 'em up. We know who al Qaeda met with. We know who they plotted with. We know what they were trying to do. And guess what these documents don't show? Any linkage whatsoever with Iraq. See, there is no linkage between al Qaeda and Iraq. These are two totally separate entities. Two totally separate problems. That didn't stop the administration though, from keeping the beat of the war drum against Iraq. - http://radio4all.net/pub/archive5/mp3_3/ug113-hour1mix.mp3

    As the White House searches for every possible excuse to go to war with Iraq, pressure has been building on the intelligence agencies to deliberately slant estimates to fit a political agenda. In this case, the agencies are being pressed to find a casus belli for war, whether or not one exists.

    "Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements, and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA," Vince Cannistraro, the agency's former head of counterterrorism, told The Guardian, a London newspaper.


    In his latest attempt to link Iraq and al-Qaeda, Bush referred to a "very senior al-Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year." But the administration has given no indication that Abu Musab Zarqawi collaborated with senior Iraqi officials.

    Bush also charged that "Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases." Former CIA officer Robert Baer, who spent years following al-Qaeda, told The Guardian that there were contacts between Osama bin Laden and the Iraqi government in Sudan in the early 1990s and in 1998. "But," he added, "there is no evidence that a strategic partnership came out of it. I'm unaware of any evidence of Saddam pursuing terrorism against the United States." - http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2002-10-24-oped-bamford_x.htm


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