Saturday, January 21, 2006

James Webb got it wrong...

There have been a lot of arguments raised against going into Iraq. What is probably the most arrogant is the notion that Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism. One of those making the claim is James Webb.

He says:
I was an early voice saying we shouldn't go in, that it was not connected to the war against international terrorism, that it was not among the highest national security concerns that we should be considering.
This is in spite of:
* A memo recovered from the wreckage of the headquarters of the Mukhabarat (the Iraqi Intelligence Service) by Mitch Potter, a journalist with the Toronto Star, in April, 2003. This memo discussed bringing an envoy of bin Laden's to Baghdad to "discuss the future of our relationship with" bin Laden.

* A document recovered during Operation Iraqi Freedom points to Iraqi assistance with al-Qaeda's chemical warfare plans.

* The case of Ahmed Hikmat Shakir.

* The evidence summary against a Guantanamo Bay detainee.

How much more is needed?

Clearly, Secretary Webb either has no idea what he is talking about - or he's chosen to ignore these easily located (in the age of Google) pieces of information. Saddam Hussein's regime was clearly a state sponsor of al-Qaeda.


Ghost Dansing said...

Dredging up debunked nonsense.

Sept 18 2003: President George Bush has conceded for the first time that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Mr Bush had earlier insisted that Saddam was somehow involved in the attacks. He repeated this claim even in his Sept 7 televised address to the nation.

But while talking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday evening, Mr Bush said: “We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with Sept 11.”

Mr Bush, however, said he had no doubt that the deposed Iraqi president had links with Al Qaeda, the terrorist network linked to the attacks.

And those links would be what? They're on the same planet together?

Saddam's intelligence service was keeping track of them? Maybe agents even met with al Qaeda?

Saddam would work with al Qaeda under one circumstance, and one circumstance only: They'd work for him.

Saddam was a Baathist (Arab Fascist)that used Islam as it suited him. Saddam is just the kind of Arab leader that Bin Laden would have loved to overthrow, and you can bet the paranoid Saddam knew it.

In January 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell reversed a year of administration policy, acknowledging he had seen no “smoking gun [or] concrete evidence” of ties between former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida.

Your Republican idols are liars and cheats. They lie as long as they can ,until they can lie no more...then time goes by and Republican bloggers dredge up the old lies hoping everybody forgot.

I'll take the on-the-record admissions from Bush and Powell, thank you.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

The memos from the Mukhabarat are what I am primarily relying on. Certainly, the memorandum recovered
in April 2003 by Toronto Star reporter Mitch Potter (which I mentioned in the piece you commented on) seems to indicate that there was a relationship.

Another memorandum, reported on by Cybercast News Service, shows that Saddam's regime was re-opening a relationship with Al-Jehad al-Islamy, a group that counted one Ayman al-Zawahiri (the second-in-command of al-Qaeda) as one of its leaders.

I might add that both of these documents in question were thoroughly checked (the
one discovered by the reporter from the Toronto Star went through five separate translations; the documents acquired by CNS were translated twice in a double-blind fashion).

The case of Ahmed Hikmat Shakir is also quite telling. The circumstances explained in my piece speak for themselves. He got his job as a greeter at the Kuala Lampur airport through the Iraqi embassy. That same embassy controlled his work schedule
(that is an indication he was working as an intelligence officer under what we would call non-official cover; Shakir's just happened to be extremely sloppy). He then escorts one of the hijackers who flies American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon through customs, and goes with him to the January, 2000 al-Qaeda summit. Papers found when he was apprehended had contact information for the safehouses used in the 1993 World Trade Center atatcks, and also had information on the plot to destroy
airliners over the Pacific.

Even if you wish to ignore the documents from Saddam's own intelligence service, there is Richard Clarke, the former NSC staffer. In 1999, he opposed a U-2 overflight over Afghanistan - his quote, "Armed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad." (Chapter 4, 9/11 Commission report) seems to indicate he thought that Saddam and Osama were perfectly capable of working together (at least before he got a book deal).

Quite frankly, the memos from Saddam's own intelligence service simply refute the notion that Saddam Hussein's secular regime and Osama bin Laden's terrorist group would never have worked together.

Joshua Chamberlain said...

Jim Webb's comments about Iraq and the GWOT have been distressing. He reminds me of Pat Buchanan, someone who served in the Reagan administration and fought to end the Cold War with the death of the Soviet empire. But in this war, he and Pat have decided that it's all a scam cooked up by the neocons. Even Webb, in his attacks on people like Charles Krauthammer, starts to swerve into anti-Semitism.

P.S. Ghost Dansing should get a clue. There’s enough stuff on this to fill a warehouse.