Via Powerline we get this trip down memory lane. 1999 to be exact. It’s a ABC news report which details all the connections between Saddam and Osama, of course this was before Bush came along and "cooked" the books according to the NYT’s. First the video:
It took far too long, but a report by the Pentagon inspector general has finally confirmed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s do-it-yourself intelligence office cooked up a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda to help justify an unjustifiable war.
The report said the team headed by Douglas Feith, under secretary of defense for policy, developed “alternative” assessments of intelligence on Iraq that contradicted the intelligence community and drew conclusions “that were not supported by the available intelligence.” Mr. Feith certainly knew the Central Intelligence Agency would cry foul, so he hid his findings from the C.I.A. Then Vice President Dick Cheney used them as proof of cloak-and-dagger meetings that never happened, long-term conspiracies between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden that didn’t exist, and — most unforgivable — “possible Iraqi coordination” on the 9/11 attacks, which no serious intelligence analyst believed.
Of course they forget how many of the left’s heroes were singing the words "Saddam and Osama" in the 90′s and beyond. Short memory and all I suppose. Here is a refresher:
We have solid reporting of senior-level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida going back a decade.
- George Tenet 2002
there was that relationship that went from opposing each other to not opposing each other to possibly working with each other.
- Patrick Fitzgerald 2004
Certainly there’s a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda
- General Wesley Clarke 2002
In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.
- Sen. Hillary Clinton 2002
I want to be real clear about the connection with terrorists. I’ve seen a lot of evidence on this. There are extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein’s government and al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. I never could reach the conclusion that [Saddam] was part of September 11. Don’t get me wrong about that. But there was so much smoke there that it made me worry. And you know, some people say with a great facility, al Qaeda and Saddam could never get together. He is secular and they’re theological. But there’s something that tied them together. It’s their hatred of us.
- Sen. Joe Lieberman 2003
Just a few to get ya started, more to come.
Then lets look at a few points from my posts a few years back:
Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a 37 year old Iraqi citizen, was a greeter at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia in August 2000 (I know, sounds kinda like wal-mart but apparently greeters are quite common in Southeast Asia). How was he hired to be a greeter? Ahmed had told associates that he had been hired by contact’s in the Iraqi embassy. What’s unusual is that it was this contact, not his employer, who told him when and where to report to.
In late December of 1999 the CIA, NSA and The State Department all received intelligence that indicated there would be a Al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in early January of 2000. The NSA had intercepted communications from those tied to the 1998 Kenya/Tanzania embassy bombings. The information was incomplete but did contain the names of three people, Khalid, Nawaf, and Salem.
The CIA and Malaysian intelligence set up a joint operation to track the meeting. They got many photographs of the principals arriving. Principals such as Khalid al Mihdhar (A known al-Qaeda associate), Nawaf al Hazmi, Yazid Sufaat (another known al-Qaeda associate) and Ramzi bin al Shibh. An interesting note about Ramzi, he would later brag to be the "coordinator of the holy tuesday operation" (9/11).
Ahmed was told to work the day these guys showed up. After greeting these fine folks Ahmed didn’t go back to work but left with them to the meeting. The meeting ended on Jan 8th and Ahmed quit on the 10th.
The purpose of this meeting? The planning of attack on the USS Cole and 9/11. Malaysian and American intelligence bear this out. Don’t believe it? Then guess who was on flight 77 on 9/11? Nawaf al Hazmi, his brother Salem and Khalid al Mihdhar…that’s right, the same folks photographed upon their arrival for the above meeting.
Or how about Andrew McCarthy’s post some time back with a few facts you should be aware of:
What does the “nothing whatsoever” crowd have to say about:
- Ahmed Hikmat Shakir — the Iraqi Intelligence operative who facilitated a 9/11 hijacker into Malaysia and was in attendance at the Kuala Lampur meeting with two of the hijackers, and other conspirators, at what is roundly acknowledged to be the initial 9/11 planning session in January 2000? Who was arrested after the 9/11 attacks in possession of contact information for several known terrorists? Who managed to make his way out of Jordanian custody over our objections after the 9/11 attacks because of special pleading by Saddam’s regime?
- Saddam’s intelligence agency’s efforts to recruit jihadists to bomb Radio Free Europe in Prague in the late 1990′s?
- Mohammed Atta’s unexplained visits to Prague in 2000, and his alleged visit there in April 2001 which — notwithstanding the 9/11 Commission’s dismissal of it (based on interviewing exactly zero relevant witnesses) — the Czechs have not retracted?
- The Clinton Justice Department’s allegation in a 1998 indictment (two months before the embassy bombings) against bin Laden, to wit: In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
- Seized Iraq Intelligence Service records indicating that Saddam’s henchmen regarded bin Laden as an asset as early as 1992?
- Saddam’s hosting of al Qaeda No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri beginning in the early 1990’s, and reports of a large payment of money to Zawahiri in 1998?
- Saddam’s ten years of harboring of 1993 World Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin?
- Iraqi Intelligence Service operatives being dispatched to meet with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998 (the year of bin Laden’s fatwa demanding the killing of all Americans, as well as the embassy bombings)?
- Saddam’s official press lionizing bin Laden as “an Arab and Islamic hero” following the 1998 embassy bombing attacks?
- The continued insistence of high-ranking Clinton administration officials to the 9/11 Commission that the 1998 retaliatory strikes (after the embassy bombings) against a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory were justified because the factory was a chemical weapons hub tied to Iraq and bin Laden?
- Top Clinton administration counterterrorism official Richard Clarke’s assertions, based on intelligence reports in 1999, that Saddam had offered bin Laden asylum after the embassy bombings, and Clarke’s memo to then-National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, advising him not to fly U-2 missions against bin Laden in Afghanistan because he might be tipped off by Pakistani Intelligence, and “[a]rmed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad”? (See 9/11 Commission Final Report, p. 134 & n.135.)
- Terror master Abu Musab Zarqawi’s choice to boogie to Baghdad of all places when he needed surgery after fighting American forces in Afghanistan in 2001?
- Saddam’s Intelligence Service running a training camp at Salman Pak, were terrorists were instructed in tactics for assassination, kidnapping and hijacking?
- Former CIA Director George Tenet’s October 7, 2002 letter to Congress, which asserted: Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of high rank.
- We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade.
- Credible information indicates that Iraq and Al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression.
- Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad.
- We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD 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.
- Iraq’s increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications of relationship with Al Qaeda suggest that Baghdad’s links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action.
But alas, it was Bushitler and his evil regime cooking the books, rubbing their hands in glee over a witches brew….
Do these people ever come back to reality?
more than two years after the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was ousted, there is much we do not know about the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. We do know, however, that there was one. We know about this relationship not from Bush administration assertions but from internal Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents recovered in Iraq after the war–documents that have been authenticated by a U.S. intelligence community long hostile to the very idea that any such relationship exists.
We know from these IIS documents that beginning in 1992 the former Iraqi regime regarded bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset. We know from IIS documents that the former Iraqi regime provided safe haven and financial support to an Iraqi who has admitted to mixing the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. We know from IIS documents that Saddam Hussein agreed to Osama bin Laden’s request to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state-run television. We know from IIS documents that a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden stayed for more than two weeks at a posh Baghdad hotel as the guest of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
We have been told by Hudayfa Azzam, the son of bin Laden’s longtime mentor Abdullah Azzam, that Saddam Hussein welcomed young al Qaeda members "with open arms" before the war, that they "entered Iraq in large numbers, setting up an organization to confront the occupation," and that the regime "strictly and directly" controlled their activities. We have been told by Jordan’s King Abdullah that his government knew Abu Musab al Zarqawi was in Iraq before the war and requested that the former Iraqi regime deport him. We have been told by Time magazine that confidential documents from Zarqawi’s group, recovered in recent raids, indicate other jihadists had joined him in Baghdad before the Hussein regime fell. We have been told by one of those jihadists that he was with Zarqawi in Baghdad before the war. We have been told by Ayad Allawi, former Iraqi prime minister and a longtime CIA source, that other Iraqi Intelligence documents indicate bin Laden’s top deputy was in Iraq for a jihadist conference in September 1999.
There is a mountain of evidence to prove that Saddam did indeed have contacts with al-Qaeda. The Democrats were absolutely convinced of that fact back when ole’ Bill was in office but they have a selective memory now.
Even Bill knew there was a connection when the indictment was issued against Osama:
In fact, during President Clinton’s eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton’s defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.
Mr. Bush cited the linkage, in part, to justify invading Iraq and ousting Saddam. He said he could not take the risk of Iraq’s weapons falling into bin Laden’s hands.
The other pronouncement is contained in a Justice Department indictment on Nov. 4, 1998, charging bin Laden with murder in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
The indictment disclosed a close relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam’s regime, which included specialists on chemical weapons and all types of bombs, including truck bombs, a favorite weapon of terrorists.
The 1998 indictment said: "Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq."
Shortly after the embassy bombings, Mr. Clinton ordered air strikes on al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and on the Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.
To justify the Sudanese plant as a target, Clinton aides said it was involved in the production of deadly VX nerve gas. Officials further determined that bin Laden owned a stake in the operation and that its manager had traveled to Baghdad to learn bomb-making techniques from Saddam’s weapons scientists.
Now, conveniently, everyone has a memory loss. And our MSM continues to aid and abet that memory loss by ignoring their own past judgements.
Just ask Laurie Mylroie, former Clinton terrorism czar, who wrote the following in 1999:
A series of articles followed in the international, particularly Arabic, press about links between Iraq and bin Ladin. Some party/ies wanted to put the story out, it seems. Some information in the articles is known and reliable, like the role of Hassan Turabi, head of Sudan’s Islamic movement, in putting Osama bin Ladin in contact with Iraqi intelligence, during bin Ladin’s residence in Khartoum. But other information would not likely be known to outsiders and seems invented.
That said, on Dec 28, the Italian paper, Corriere della Sera, reported "Saddam Husayn and Osama Bin Ladin have sealed a pact. Faruq Hijazi, the former director of the Iraqi secret services and now the country’s ambassador to Turkey, held a secret meeting with the extremist leader on 21 December. . . . Hijazi reiterated Iraq’s amenability to offering shelter to Osama and to his mujahedin, ‘You will always be a welcome guest. . . We cannot forget our debt of gratitude. This was a reference to the establishment last February of the ‘International Islamic Front against the Crusaders and the Jews,’ announced by Osama in the midst of one of the periodic crises between Iraq and the United Nations. . . The same ritual was reenacted during the most recent crisis. The day after the air strikes, Osama called an international news conference and issued a new statement, including threats that neither Washington nor London are taking lightly. . . . "
On Jan 1, the Paris-based, Al Watan Al Arabi, reported that in late Oct, 98, an Iraqi and Sudanese visited bin Ladin in Afghanistan. "Informed intelligence sources . . . were convinced that it was part of a new plan for cooperation and coordination, or more accurately a renewed one, between Iraq, bin Ladin and Sudan. Information available to these sources confirmed that bin-Ladin began to establish close ties with Iraq at least five years ago, specifically when the leader of Muslim extremists chose to reside in Sudan with the blessing and protection of Dr. Hassan al-Turabi, leader of the National Islamic Movement. These sources asserted that they received in the past few years confirmed and detailed information that cooperation between bin Ladin and Iraq entered ‘an important and grave stage’ through their cooperation in the field of producing chemical and biological weapons. "Al Watan al-Arabi’s information indicated that several western diplomatic and security sources, including European ones, which have good relations with Sudan, warned in secret reports they sent at the end of last year that Iraq, Sudan, and bin Ladin were cooperating and coordinating in the field of chemical weapons. These reports said that several chemical factories were built in Sudan. They were financed by bin Ladin and supervised by Iraqi experts and technicians following a deal between Baghdad, Khartoum, and bin-Ladin. . . . "Informed sources asserted that the meeting was extremely serious. The two sides laid down the details of the biggest act of cooperation and coordination between the extremist Islamic organizations and Baghdad for confronting the United States, the common enemy. This information indicated that the meeting focused on the ways with which Iraq could help the germ and chemical weapons laboratories. A second meeting was held later in which "Bin Ladin stressed to the Iraqi envoys that he could reach areas, which the Iraqi intelligence could not reach. He referred to the spread of his cells in the Arab countries and the world and focused on his ability to penetrate Arab and Islamic countries through fundamentalist groups."
On Jan 10, the Saudi-financed, London-based, weekly, Al-Majallah, reported that in Oct 98, an Iraqi intelligence official met with the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, Osama bin Ladin, and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of Egypt’s Jihad movement. In Dec, according to Al-Majllah, the Iraqi embassy in Islamabad held a series of meetings with "leaders of a number of Pakistani fundamentalist movements and elements from the Taleban, with the knowledge of Pakistani military intelligence . . . On 21 December a high-ranking Iraqi diplomat normally based in Turkey visited Taleban leader Mullah Omar’s residence in Kandahar, then headed for Khowat where he met with bin Ladin and al-Zawahiri. . . . [He] affirmed to his Afghan and Arab audience Iraq’s willingness to provide financial, logistic, political and informational support for the Taleban and the Afghan Arabs."
Yeah, memory loss, that’s the ticket.
But according to today’s NYT’s, there was never ANY intelligence to indicate Saddam and Osama were buddies. Nope. All a figment of our imagination.
Check out Scott Malensek’s huge resource on all the links:
http://www.gwotnews.info/latest.htm (article with huge list of links to investigations etc)
The left lies: