Saturday, September 09, 2006

An exercize in not seeing the forest for the trees 
Dafydd isn't buying the Senate report saying there was no relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam. He does a partial takedown here.

I'm with Dafydd. Saddam probably did consider Al Qaeda to be a threat. At the very least, they had the potential to make his life difficult. Which is precisely why he had an incentive to work with them to transfer WMD technology.

Further, as far as I can tell, the Senate report completely ignores the 1999 conference invitation extended to Ayman al Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's number 2 man, second only to Bin Ladin, by Ibrahim Izzat al Douri, one of the highest ranking scumbags in Saddam's regime.

We only found out about that after the war, of course - and so it may be beyond the scope of the Senate inquiry. But it still warrants a mention. And any intellectually honest news treatment would deal with it.

Of course, intellectual honesty may be asking too much from the news media, when you have Michael Isikoff coauthoring books with leftist Nation writer David Corn.

Nevertheless, if it is true, then the conclusion of the Senate report is simply blown out of the water. The information has been out there for some time, and I've never seen anyone even try to debunk or refute it.

Further, UPI also reported, via a Saudi newspaper, that King Abdullah of Jordan wanted Zarqawi extradited prior to Saddam's fall. Saddam refused. This pretty much zeroes out the argument that Saddam was not turning a blind eye to Zarqawi. If Saddam told King Abdullah to pound sand, then Saddam was certainly turning a blind eye, at the very least.

Next, there is also the not-so-small matter of Saddam giving aid and succor both to Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal, both of whom were notorious international terrorists who were responsible for the deaths of Americans.

Then there was the presence in Iraq - on Saddam's payroll, no less, of one of the 1993 WTC bombers.

We will draw no distinction between the terrorists, and those who harbor them.

Apparently that doesn't mean much to Democrats, these days. Though it meant something in September 2001. How things change.

And what of a meeting in Baghdad between Taha Yassin Ramadan, Saddam's veep, and Fazlr Rahman, whom Christopher Hitchens characterizes as a major Pakistani cleric and Taliban sympathizer:

Fazlur Rahman seeks and receives sympathy, brings a message of goodwill from Mullah Omar, and requests Iraqi help in mediating between the Taliban, Northern Alliance, and the Russians in Afghanistan. Though some of the conversation is opaque and hard to decipher, it clearly shows that a friendly informal contact existed between the two regimes. (Unconfirmed reports allege that Vice President Ramadan also met with Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Baghdad in 1998.)

Then there's the fact that the 9/11 commissioners themselves found "all kinds of ties, all kinds of connections" between Saddam and Al Qaeda (the incompetent monkey who wrote the headline linked here obviously didn't read the interview transcript)

Sorry. But either the report stinks, or the media reporting on it don't know how to read it, or they are just so lacking in a basic fund of information that they don't know how to comprehend what they read.

I'm thinking a bit of all three.

Splash, out


You people are desperate. Not even the lickspittle Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee could come up with a way to rubber stamp your idiot loser of a president's phony terror justification for a war that was started because the neo-cons told him to start it.

The lie has collapsed, Jason. You know, sort of like when the same idiot said that your true love Israel had won in Lebanon.
Hey, by the way, word is that Israeli intelligence agents were at Abu Ghraib helping direct the action. Got any word about that one, Jason?
Oh, and before you breathtakingly call me out as an antisemite, you might want to look at what the New York Times reported, apparently by accident. Seymour Hersh has Israelis in Iraq but no mention of Abu Ghraib, and so did Gen. Janis Karpinski, the designated fall-girl.

And even wingnut's central's News Max.com reported it, so it must be true!
Oh, and last but not least, the Army's Taguba Report on the Abu Ghraib torture refers to "third country nationals" involved in the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq. A company at the center of the scandal, CACI International, which has extensive links to the IDF and Israeli military intelligence.

Jason, since you're essentially a p.r. man for Israel, I figured you'd want to respond to all of this by calling me Hitler's right-hand man.

I did a read of one of the captured and translated AQ docs that discussed the Hamat massacre. My results are here if you're interested. The AQ discussion of how they interacted with Iraq in the nineties contributes to what I'm using to consider how the two groups worked together.
The SSCI phase 2 report relies mainly on interrogations of Saddam and his henchmen. It doesn't include those newly translated Iraqi documents.
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