Saddam Was No Threat Right?


Newsbusters is reporting on a NBC News broadcast in which they detail the new book “The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack” by Ronald Kessler. The book describes the FBI agent, George Piro, who gained the confidence of Saddam Hussein after his capture over many months and what Saddam told him.

An important tidbit from Saddam’s mouth was the fact that he hoped to recostitute a nuclear program once he was able to get rid of the sanctions:

Of course none of this is really news seeing as how it was reported by the Senate Intelligence Committee some 3 years back. The liberals cherrypicked those reports tho, believed some of it and dismissed the rest that didn’t fit their worldview. Mainly that Bush was wrong, no matter what anyone said.

Saddam with nukes, naw….that wouldn’t of been dangerous.


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A recent article pointed out that before becoming President, George W Bush was against the idea of invading Iraq a second time and confronting Saddam. The article pointed out that Vice President Cheney expressed similar comments even a few years before W’s.

Why did they change their minds?

Between January 2001 and September 12, 2002 President Bush spoke less of Iraq than any other President since the invasion of Kuwait in similar time frames. There were some scary comments, but they were few and far between. The real push to war began with the simultaneous diplomatic and military run up to war that started on 9/12/02. Why in September 2002? Until 2006 even the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was kept in the dark about one of the pre-invasion lines of intelligence-the scariest. Prior to 2006 it had been asserted by senators from both parties that they were shocked to learn the United States hadn’t managed to get a single human intelligence asset inside Saddam’s regime between December 1998 and December 2002. Why then did the Bush Administration suddenly start to take action towards Iraq in September 2002?

Foreign intelligence services were reporting that Saddam’s WMD capability had been revived and that the regime had ties to Al Queda; specifically Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Saudi, and more. Satellite photos showed that suspected WMD facilities which President Clinton had bombed in December 1998 had been rebuilt-including new construction at nuclear facilities, massive new rocket test stands, and more. The CIA had infiltrated the AQ Khan network and learned that Saddam was meeting with his “Nuclear Mujahedeen” and that they’d managed to stash a great deal of their nuclear program (later confirmed just by looking at the pictures in the ISG report).

Still, one thing made all the other intelligence reports seem more credible in September 2002. In September 2002, after four years without a single human intelligence asset inside Saddam’s regime, the United States government began getting reports from a spy inside his inner circle. This spy was so valuable, and in such danger, that it wasn’t until years after the invasion of Iraq that his presence was even quietly revealed. Between 2002 and 2006, only a handful of people in the Bush Administration’s national security team, and no more than 4 people in all of the Central Intelligence Agency even knew of this spy’s reporting.

“In September 2002, the CIA obtained, from a source, information that allegedly came from a high-level Iraqi official with direct access to Saddam Hussein and his inner circle. The information this source provided was considered so important and so sensitive that the CIA’s Directorate of Operations prepared a highly restricted intelligence report to alert senior policymakers about the reporting. Because of the sensitivity, however, that it was not disseminated to Intelligence Community analysts. The intelligence report conveyed information from the source attributed to the Iraqi official which said:”

* “Iraq was not in possession of a nuclear weapon. However, Iraq was aggressively and covertly developing such a weapon. Saddam, irate that Iraq did not yet have a nuclear weapon because money was no object and because Iraq possessed the scientific know how, had recently called meeting his Nuclear Weapons Committee.”

* “The Committee told Saddam that a nuclear weapon would be ready within 18-24 months of acquiring the fissile material. The return of UN inspectors would cause minimal disruption because Iraq was expert at denial and deception.”

* “Iraq was currently producing and stockpiling chemical weapons

* “Iraqi scientists were dabbling with biological weapons with limited success, but the quantities were not sufficient to constitute a real weapons program.”

* “Iraq’s weapons of last resort were mobile launchers armed with chemical weapons which would be fired at enemy forces and Israel.”

-Bi-partisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Phase II pt2 report on “Pre-War Intelligence and Assessments”; “Additional Views” section, pg. 142

Coupled with the international intelligence reporting, the satellite reporting, the outside Iraq CIA reporting, the AQ Khan ties, the post-911 reluctance to make sure no intelligence was dismissed again, and this one high level spy’s claims…..yeah, it seems reasonable that President Bush might change his mind on Iraq. After all, it was enough to make Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, and the majority of Congress change their minds too. To accurately portray the decision making of President Bush in regards to invading Iraq, one absolutely must include the combination of factors that overwhelmed his mind and changed it-as well as changed today’s Democratic Presidential nominees/potential President.

btw, did anyone notice that the assessment of 16 different intel organizations as presented in the National Intelligence Estimate in Oct02 (the month after the US got intel from this lone source in Saddam’s regime) SPECIFICALLY reiterated the nuclear claim:

“How quickly Iraq will obtain its first nuclear weapon depends on when it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material.
* If Baghdad acquires sufficient fissile material from abroad it could make a nuclear weapon within several months to a year.”

….and if no one (like AQ Khan or Libya) gave Saddam nuclear material, how long did the CIA think it would take for him to make a nuke?

“Without such material from abroad, Iraq probably would not be able to make a weapon until 2007 to 2009, owing to inexperience in building and operating centrifuge facilities to produce highly enriched uranium and challenges in procuring the necessary equipment and expertise.”

Whew! 2007…that’s a long way away. See! Iraq didn’t need to be invaded until 2007-oh wait….it’s 2007 now. ;p

Oh, there was a source in 2002 that was close Saddam’s “inner circle” all right; there is just one problem: He told us that Saddam had “no past or present contact with Osama bin Laden and that the Iraqi leader considered bin Laden an enemy of the Baghdad regime”

Iraqi’s foreign minister at the time, a member of Saddam’s inner circle and a CIA spy, also told us that Saddam had no WMD’s.

And to answer the question “Why then did the Bush Administration suddenly start to take action towards Iraq in September 2002”. That one is easy.

The economy at the time was in the crapper and bin Laden had eluded capture; a distraction was needed and Iraq looked like a pushover after being seriously weakened by a decade of sanctions.

And the only “Intelligence” making definitive claims about WMD’s was the stuff coming out of the OSP (Office of Special Plans ), which by the way surprise, surprise was created in September of 2002, over at the Pentagon; and staffed with NeoCons for the sole purpose of “examining” Intelligence on Iraq. The real Intelligence products never said “Saddam has WMD’s”, they said “We think that Saddam might have WMD’s”.

Furthermore, ALL the prewar Intelligence (there was the June 21, 2002 CIA report; “Iraq and al-Qa’ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship”, the October 2, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s Continuing WMD Programs, the January 29, 2003 CIA report; “Iraqi Support for Terrorism” and the DIA’s [Defense Intelligence Agency]; February 2002 DITSUM No. 044-02 document) all indicating that there were no links/ties between Saddam/Iraq and bin Laden/al-Qaeda.

It took them two years to find the obvious?

For one, in the summer of 1998, the Inspectors found that Saddam had not destroyed all his old VX. That would explain all the Pre 1999 quotes.
. . . During the summer of 1998, when UNSCOM surfaced its concern over the evidence it found that Iraq had, contrary to its declarations, weaponized VX in missile warheads . . .

And secondly, we know that Clinton, and the Democrats in Congress stopped talking about Saddam and his WMD’s after Desert Fox (Till Bush restricted the Intelligence Congress got to see after 9-11); because:

The Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January Through 30 June 1999, Unclassified Report to Congress from the Director of Central Intelligence, released on February 2000 (and the updated/newer reports released in August 2000, and February 2001) said the following:
. . . We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its WMD programs . . .

Hi Kuni! Long time no see. Hope all is well with you, and that you’re having a happy holiday season.

I think your first response demonstrates PERFECTLY the limited intelligence reporting (which you point out so well repeatedly as well), and the contradictory intelligence reporting. On the one hand, we’ve got the CIA claiming until 2006 that they hadn’t had a single human intel asset inside Iraq (NOT A ONE!) between Desert Fox (12/98) and 12/03. On the other hand, we find out that there was a single humint inside Iraq in 2002 who claimed that Saddam had WMD (btw, the fact that you point out the source also claimed there were no ties to AQ is great, and I’m happy someone besides myself took the time to read the Phase II pt2). Should this source have been believed or should Tariq Aziz’ claims that Iraq was in compliance have been trusted? In hindsight, it’s clear Iraq was not in compliance, and that Iraq, by 2007 (as stated in the ignored 2002 NIE and in my post above) was a WMD threat. Trusting Aziz’ word would have been a fool’s venture given the man’s track record imo.

I have to disagree with you on the 2002 reason to start focusing on Iraq since your reasoning is flawed. If the Bush Admin just wanted a war to fuel an economy (which by Sept 2002 had recovered from both the Clinton dot-com bust/recession and the 911 recession), then a long protracted infinite war in the mts of Afghanistan would have been much better than a comparatively simple invasion of Iraq, and besides being fuel for an economy as you suggest such an infinite war would have been much easier to maintain support for exactly the reason you cite: UBL had escaped so let’s continue the war.

When it comes to your comments re the OSP, I’m afraid you must be confused because you state conflicting facts again. First, the OSP wasn’t formed in Sept 02, and 48hrs later any ambiguity, claims, half truths, untruths, whatever one would like to imagine were cleared up in the one report you failed to cite later in your post: “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002”. Feith’s group gave their briefing on Monday, the CIA gave theirs on Wednesday. Immediately after that, the Sen Intel Com (then run by Sen Graham, and controlled by Democrats like Sen Rockefeller, Edwards, Kerry, etc) had 11 more face to face, closed door briefings with CIA leaders and leaders of the 15 other intel agencies. After the invasion, after Democrats lost control of the Senate, and after the Rockefeller memo outlined their plan to politicize the intelligence committee, it was at that point that Democrats claimed they were concerned from Sept 2002 through March 2003 about Admin statements regarding Regime ties to Al Queda-statements allegedly based on OSP claims. However, in that same time period, they had the opportunity in closed doors to inquire to CIA officials about those statements, and either the Democrats never did, or they lied about their concerns. In any event, the CIA’s January 2003 “Iraqi Support for Terrorism” pamphlet (basically a rehash of the 2002 version) clearly answered any of their questions and concerns based on Feith’s claims.

It was remarkable to see that you’re still clinging to the idea that pre-war intel reporting definitively said there were no ties between the regime and Al Queda when all pre-war reporting said there was a lack of evidence gathered because of a lack of humint gathering on either the regime between 12/98 and 12/02 and/or AQ between 12/98 and 9/01. Post-war finds have proven that the relationship was/is far more intricate and closer than ever imagined.

Regarding the lack of focus on Iraq post Desert Fox, I’d point to the across the board, foreign policy impotence of the Clinton Administration after the impeachment (which was resolved at the time of Desert Fox; a parallel marker in history). This of course lack of interest or focus on Iraq was combined with the lack of desire to bring the matter to the inevitable conclusion: an invasion, forced regime change, and occupation. Resolving the war with Saddam (really from 1992 onward) was as appealing to a President as any other third rail issue: social security reform, welfare reform, cutting pork spending, and so forth. It was one of those things that Presidents and politicians want to do, but don’t dare even try for the cost in political capital.

Sorry for the confusion re this sentence:
“First, the OSP wasn’t formed in Sept 02, and 48hrs later any ambiguity, claims, half truths, untruths, whatever one would like to imagine were cleared up in the one report you failed to cite later in your post: “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002”.”

I meant to say that the OSP gave its last briefing on 9/16/02, but the CIA cleared up any potential false or misleading statements 48hrs later on 9/18/02 with it’s “Iraq Support for Terrorism” pamphlet.

Can you please explain to me why you no more about the links between Saddam’s government and al Qaeda than members of al Qaeda and Saddam’s Baath party do themselves? I’ve spent years reading accounts of them admitting cooperation (in foreign press and jihadist/Baathist friendly press) and them actually being caught cooperating since months BEFORE the invasion as documented at

I understand the notion to not want them to have cooperated or to be against the war and thus the need to trash any reason that may support the war but why not just listen to what the people involved have had to say?

“All” this intelligence by no means came from one office or one source. You are joking about that comment, right?

All I can add to Mark and Scott is that I was in Iraq in 2007. The Iraqis (members of all three major sects) told me Saddam not only HAD ties with AQ, but had helped the Taliban members fleeing their destruction in Afghanistan in 2002. He settled these Taliban thugs southwest of what is now the Green Zone.

And on the “Why Iraq” Thread, I also pointed to statements from the twarded VX/Sarin attack on Amman, Jordan in 2004 by AQ members. Their statements to the Jordainians explicitly stated Saddam gave AQ/Taliban thugs medical care and his cronies gave them access to thw WMDs moved to Syria (Becca Valley). This is how they came up with the tons of VX and Sarin (GB) agents.

“twarded”… Sorry… “thwarted”

Very interesting story. Thanks for you service.

Do you think any of these Iraqis would be willing to go on record or talk about how they know or heard these things? Thanks for posting.


Some have gone on record. They went on record to our G2s and as our translators, would tell us what was happening on their way to work.

Remember though, “going on record” in the Middle East is like going on the stand against the Mob without Witness Protection… After generations of that culture, it is understandably difficult to get them to go on the record.

That said, my Kurdish translator is now in America. Her family, even though it was well connected, is still Kurdish and was persecuted for decades under Saddam. She came in every day and pointed out AQI and Taliban activities in Baghdad on our city map.

The “Why Iraq” post I did some time before also had several links to BBC and other sources on Saddam/AQ ties, including the Jordanian plot of 2004.

Do you have a link for the “Why Iraq” post you are talking about.

I hear quite a bit of this stuff from people that were in the field that never makes the big press outlets like this sort of thing.

UBL personally sending Zarqawi in 2002, Zawahiri meetings with Saddam’s VP, Saddam documents that talk about Zawihiri and terror camps for al Qaeda. I’d love to post all this stuff at but need more to go on…


The above link is to the story. The red-faced type on the right side of the screen links to catagories with more archives.

I wish the media would be objective from the start. IF they had been, this “insurgency” may have fizzeled at the start. People of the Middle East do not follow weak horses and the “insurgents” were always the weak ones, despite the Western Media supporting them. However, this support, in the form of partisan mis-information, anti-coalition/US lies, and multiple reportings of the same bombings as new attacks made the “insurgents” look strong.

They were not push-overs, but I would put the Imperial Japanese Army of WWII way above these islamofascists in fighting skill and bravery.