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James Woolsey (Former CIA Director) Comments on Clarke + Ties between Iraq & AlQaeda (MUST READ!)
CNN (Lou Dobbs Interview) ^ | 3/23/04 | James Woolsey / CNN Moneyline

Posted on 03/23/2004 8:52:48 PM PST by Steven W.

DOBBS: ... My next guest served as director of the CIA for two years during president Clinton's first term. James Woolsey joins us now from our Washington bureau.

It's good to have you here.

The fact is that there seems to be plenty of blame placed on both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration. Are you surprised that it's being so even-handed, this commission?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: Well, I'm glad if that's the approach, because they really do need to look at the whole picture. I think that one very important issue here, Lou is whether there had been any ties between Iraq and al Qaeda back in the 90s. And, you know, George Tenet wrote in 2002, October 7, to the Senate, saying that there were senior level contacts going back ten years, senior al Qaeda in Iraq and training by the Iraqis of al Qaeda in, quote, "poisons, gases and conventional explosive."

So although there are a number of people, some of who served at senior levels in the Clinton administration, who don't want there to have been any contacts of any kind and don't want to admit it between al Qaeda and Iraq, I think including Dick Clarke, because then they would be charged with not having done enough to lean on Saddam. I think those contacts are clear at least in George Tenet's eyes and there's been more detail come out since.

DOBBS: Dick Clarke, Richard Clarke, asserts there were no clear ties between the September 11 attacks and Iraq. You obviously -- what would be the reason for him to say? He was in charge of counterterrorism at that point.

WOOLSEY: There may not have been Iraqi ordering of 9/11. The contacts going back a long time are clear. Clarke, on page 95 of his book, which I've just been reading, has at least three important misstatements. First of all, he does not seem to recognize at all that one of the major plotters in the '93 attack on the World Trade Center was an Iraqi citizen, went back to Iraq after the attack, was seen by ABC News in Baghdad outside his father's home and was told that he was being taken care of by the Iraqi government. And reports of documents we captured during the invasion indicate that Yassin was on a monthly stipend from the Iraqi government and was given a house. Why would the Iraqis do that with one of the World Trade Center bombers of '93 unless they had some kind of relationship with him. Clarke doesn't even seem to be curious about something like that.

DOBBS: Jim, one of the things that struck me in today's testimony, listening to former Senator Bob Kerrey, who I thought did a remarkable, candid, straightforward, evenhanded job, he goes back through, actually the late 80s, 90s, through the Clinton administration, through the Bush administration, the USS Cole, the first attack on the World Trade Center, the millennium attacks, the attacks on our embassies in Africa, the USS Cole and, of course, September 11. My God, all of that was known to be al Qaeda. How in the world could two administrations frankly be so ineffective in dealing with a demonstrated threat?

WOOLSEY: Part of the problem may have been that some of the senior analysts in CIA, DIA and some of the White House staffers got locked into early the view that al Qaeda had nothing at all to do under any circumstances with any governments and they missed some connection with governments. Look, Clarke in his book creates out of whole cloth the notion that some of us whom he calls part of a cult believe that Ramzi Yousef was not really in prison in Colorado. In fact, he was, as Clarke puts it, lounging beside Saddam Hussein as a mastermind of Iraqi intelligence during the 90s. It's nonsense. None of us has said anything remotely like that.

We're curious about whether or not this young Pakistani who lived in Kuwait was born there, Abdul Bassir (ph) became -- changed his name to Ramsey Yussef and became a terrorist or whether there had been some kind of theft of his identity. For Clarke to say something like that is like the 13th chime of the clock. Not only is it bizarre in and of itself, it calls into question, as far as I'm concerned, everything from the same source.

DOBBS: Jim Woolsey, this commission working hard, diligently a great deal of time being spent. What in your estimation will be the productive positive result from this commission's findings?

WOOLSEY: I think they need to go back and question everyone's assumptions back to the early and mid 90s about al Qaeda, and governments. And look hard at whether their objectively, whether there were any ties between al Qaeda and Iraq, between al Qaeda and Iran. There are a number of things al Qaeda did that I think it's going to be difficult in time for people to sustain saying they did completely alone and unhelped by anyone who was, you know, had some fake passports, whatever. Look, Lou, it doesn't mean that any organization were under the command of the others.

I look on them as sort of like Mafia families. They hate each other, they kill each other from time to time. They insult each other but they are capable of cooperating here and there. And the people like Clarke who have been saying they never work together under any circumstances I think those assumptions need to be questioned vigorously by this commission and others.

DOBBS: You are the professional. When you talk about questioning assumptions, I think there's sort of a reflex from most of us mere civilians we hope our intelligence experts are constantly challenging assumptions and assessing a word straightforwardly. Does it concern you and we've only got a few seconds but I would like to know. We're spending an inordinate amount of time looking in a rearview mirror rather than forward. Does that concern you?

WOOLSEY: To some extent. We need to get the past as clear as we can in order to understand the future. The assumptions a lot of people made is those organizations never touched base with one another, never cooperated on anything. I think maybe the major misleading thing that was done to all of us by the intelligence agencies from the mid 90s on and by people like Clarke.

DOBBS: Jim Woolsey, thank you very much for being here.

WOOLSEY: Good to be with you.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cia; clarke; iraq; jameswoolsey; prewarintelligence; richardclarke; ubl; woolsey
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In hearings today before the 9/11 Commission, former Navy Secretary John Lehman asked Madeline Albright if she was aware Yassin (93 WTC Terrorist) or any of the other terrorists found in Baghdad were given sanctuary in Iraq and SHE SAID SHE DID NOT KNOW!
1 posted on 03/23/2004 8:52:50 PM PST by Steven W.
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To: Mia T
fyi
2 posted on 03/23/2004 8:53:26 PM PST by jla (http://hillarytalks.blogspot.com/)
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To: Steven W.
Perhaps no one wanted to be the messenger?
3 posted on 03/23/2004 8:58:21 PM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: Steven W.
For Clarke to say something like that is like the 13th chime of the clock. Not only is it bizarre in and of itself, it calls into question, as far as I'm concerned, everything from the same source.

Bizarre? Nothing is as bizarre as Clarke's statement that he thought Condi Rice had never heard of Al Qaeda. And that he could tell this by the expression on her face.

4 posted on 03/23/2004 8:58:24 PM PST by Shermy (Stirring the pot...)
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To: Shermy
I've got good money that says tomorrow's going to be worth watching: I think two and a half hours of Clarke is going to be quite entertaining; he may just go nuts on live TV.
5 posted on 03/23/2004 9:01:24 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Shermy
I read the "expression on her face" in two ways:

1) Condi thinks to herself ... "xyz was right, this guy really is a complete and total idiot. I've got to demote him ASAP!"

2) Condi retains her pose and grace as her nose wrinkles slightly as she slowly draws close some new breath, "this rude & apparently psychotic man has extremely bad breath and body odors! I'm going to x him ASAP!"

6 posted on 03/23/2004 9:01:29 PM PST by Steven W.
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To: Steven W.
Albright also said on a MTP show a few years ago that she did not know that the US was buying oil from the Iraqis under the Oil for Food program.
7 posted on 03/23/2004 9:04:12 PM PST by kabar
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To: Steven W.; Shermy
In his testimony today, Wolowitz quoted from Clarke's book that Clarke said that he linked the first bombing of the WTC to Iraq because of the attempted assassination of former President Bush.

The only problem is that the assassination attempt took place two months after the first WTC bombing. (Wolowitz kind of snickered when he said it.)

8 posted on 03/23/2004 9:05:05 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Howlin
That's how good Clarke is! He's a legend in his own mind. If he's not right ... well ... he's psychic!
9 posted on 03/23/2004 9:06:38 PM PST by Steven W.
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To: kabar
Abright?

"...The problem is not combating Al Qaeda's inherent appeal, for it has none. The problem is changing the fact that major components of American foreign policy are either opposed or misunderstood by much of the world...."

Delusional denial of jihadi appeal coupled with ritualistic anti-american self-flagellation.

Her ignorant quotes will be recited as "proof" from Paris to Riyadh.

10 posted on 03/23/2004 9:07:51 PM PST by Shermy (Stirring the pot...)
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To: DoctorZIn
AQ ping
11 posted on 03/23/2004 9:07:51 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Much of your pain is self-chosen. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: kabar; MizSterious
Really? LOL.
12 posted on 03/23/2004 9:08:03 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Shermy
I'm beginning to get the impression that Clark thought he should have had Condi Rice's job
13 posted on 03/23/2004 9:08:09 PM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: Howlin; Steven W.; vbmoneyspender
Act rational or sell more books? Act rational or sell more books?

A dilemma Clarke is wrestling with tonight, among other dreams of Condi's face glaring at him, judging him, filling him with dread and confusion.

Poor guy...

14 posted on 03/23/2004 9:14:45 PM PST by Shermy (Stirring the pot...)
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To: Howlin
Clarke will also be Larry King's guest tomorrow night.

Clarke is being given plenty of TV time to spew his lies.

15 posted on 03/23/2004 9:16:50 PM PST by BlueAngel
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To: Howlin

No! Stay back! Nooooo!
16 posted on 03/23/2004 9:18:30 PM PST by Shermy (Stirring the pot...)
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To: BlueAngel
Busy as a little bee, isn't he?
17 posted on 03/23/2004 9:22:28 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Steven W.
In a way clarke seems to be sort of on a par with Larry King. More gas than ass.
18 posted on 03/23/2004 9:23:44 PM PST by Waco
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To: Howlin
Oh wow... wish I had seen/heard that! lol
19 posted on 03/23/2004 9:23:58 PM PST by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John Fin al-Qerry)
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To: nutmeg
Well, it's rerunning right now........but it's at the very end. Just after Rumsfeld.
20 posted on 03/23/2004 9:27:11 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Steven W.
In hearings today before the 9/11 Commission, former Navy Secretary John Lehman asked Madeline Albright if she was aware Yassin (93 WTC Terrorist) or any of the other terrorists found in Baghdad were given sanctuary in Iraq and SHE SAID SHE DID NOT KNOW!

Well I'll be darn, she really was Madeline "NOTSOBRIGHT'!

21 posted on 03/23/2004 9:28:10 PM PST by ladyinred (democrats have blood on their hands!)
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To: Steven W.
INTREP - Klarke - Kerry - Klintoon - IT ALL FITS
22 posted on 03/23/2004 9:30:05 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Howlin
Why does Clark and his testifying remind me of that women Colleen ???? that worked for the FBI .. the one the dems were falling all over ... that is till she opened her mouth at the senate hearings
23 posted on 03/23/2004 9:30:31 PM PST by Mo1 (Do you want a president who injects poison into his skull for vanity?)
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To: Steven W.
Bump
24 posted on 03/23/2004 9:33:46 PM PST by sport
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To: Shermy
The fact is that there seems to be plenty of blame placed on both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration. Are you surprised that it's being so even-handed, this commission?

And Dobbs thinks this is a good thing? We have, on the one hand, 8 years of doing nothing constructive from a military, financial or diplomatic standpoint. On the other hand we have 7 months of an administration trying to figure out what has worked and what hasn't while staffing up. And Dobbs thinks laying blame on a 50-50 basis is a testimony to the seriousness and even-handedness of the commission?

25 posted on 03/23/2004 9:36:28 PM PST by Dolphy
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To: Shermy
"Bizarre? Nothing is as bizarre as Clarke's statement that he thought Condi Rice had never heard of Al Qaeda. And that he could tell this by the expression on her face."

Maybe it's the Democrats' attiitude of condescension toward folk of darker hue that explains it. Clarke just knew she wasn't up to speed, so he interpreted "her facial expression" as indicating unfamiliarity with AQ, even though the record shows that she was very aware of AQ, and (on tape) had warned that they were menace #1..

26 posted on 03/23/2004 9:36:36 PM PST by cookcounty (John Flipflop Kerry ---the only man to have been on BOTH sides of 3 wars!)
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To: cookcounty
even though the record shows that she was very aware of AQ

Good analysis, but let's face it, almost everyone heard of Al Qaeda. Cole? 1998 incidents?

27 posted on 03/23/2004 9:43:42 PM PST by Shermy (Stirring the pot...)
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To: Howlin
Thanks... doubt if I can stay up that late tonight, though (believe it or not!). I will catch as much as I can of tomorrow's testimony on TV.

I'm listening to Ann Coulter on Hannity's radio show right now... on hannity.com (Listen Live Online area). Sean's show runs a continuous 3-hour loop.

Ann and Sean are discussing Richard Clarke and Klintoon's culpability in 9/11. Hannity just ran the clip of Klintoon admitting the Sudan had offered bin Laden to him and how he "pleaded with the Saudis to take him." Ann has a new book coming out in October!

Information overload lately, huh?! ;-)

28 posted on 03/23/2004 9:49:33 PM PST by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John Fin al-Qerry)
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To: Steven W.
(Jamie) MCINTYRE, (CNN Military Affairs Correspondent) (voice-over): Powell's predecessor, Madeleine Albright, complained that during her tenure the Pentagon was too timid, failing to offer President Clinton aggressive military options for fear of failure.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: From my perspective, the Pentagon did not come forward with viable options in response to what the president was asking for.

So, basically, our military officials are just a bunch of wussies that hindered clintoon's heroic efforts.

MCINTYRE: But former Defense Secretary Cohen said a range of options, including a special forces hunter-killer team on alert to get bin Laden, were useless without good intelligence.

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There were three instances each time the munitions and the people were spun up, that they were called off because the word came back, we are not sure.

Apparently, not everyone agrees.

29 posted on 03/23/2004 9:49:59 PM PST by BykrBayb (FReepers make algore regret inventing the Internet)
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To: kabar
Albright also said on a MTP show a few years ago that she did not know that the US was buying oil from the Iraqis under the Oil for Food program.

Seems like she didn't know much at all

30 posted on 03/23/2004 9:50:32 PM PST by Kaslin (It is now more important then ever that we re-elect President Bush)
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To: Steven W.
That's how good Clarke is!

I think Bob Kerrey will gut this guy like a trout.

31 posted on 03/23/2004 9:55:12 PM PST by Mike Darancette (General - Alien Army of the Right (AAOTR))
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To: Steven W.
Top U.S. Officials Tell Lawmakers of Iraq-Qaeda Ties
(February 12, 2003)

By DAVID JOHNSTON




WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 — Senior Bush administration officials intensified the effort to make the case for military action against Saddam Hussein today, with testimony by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and the director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, linking Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Mr. Powell seized on a new audiotape believed to be of Osama bin Laden, urging Muslims to help Baghdad defend itself against an American attack, as evidence that the Qaeda leader was "in partnership with Iraq."

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, focused on the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the United States. He said several hundred Islamic militants linked to Al Qaeda were in the country, with some organized in cells that could be ordered to carry out terrorist attacks here.

Mr. Powell told the Senate Budget Committee that the bin Laden statement, broadcast this afternoon by Al Jazeera, an Arabic language television network, demonstrated that the United States could not contain Iraq through more aggressive weapons inspections or an enlarged United Nations presence.

The administration's attempt to tie Iraq to Al Qaeda also included the most explicit public statement yet by Mr. Tenet, who told the Senate intelligence committee that intelligence officials had unearthed powerful evidence showing a connection.

Mr. Tenet's testimony was especially noteworthy because some Pentagon and White House officials had privately complained that the C.I.A. was too reluctant to conclude there was an Iraq-Qaeda link.

Today Mr. Tenet said Iraq is "harboring" senior members of the Qaeda network like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who, Mr. Tenet said, assembled a terror cell last year from a base of operations in Baghdad.

In the tape, which administration officials said they first learned of on Monday evening, an unidentified voice urged Muslims to defend Iraq against an American-led attack. Today, intelligence officials said they had not yet conducted advanced voice authentication tests, but believed that the voice was Mr. bin Laden's.

The voice called for attacks on the United States and Israel and said any cooperation with Washington by a Muslim would be anti-Islamic, which appeared to be a warning to the governments of Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Yemen, which have aided the United States.

Mr. Powell, who broke the news about the tape several hours before the broadcast, said, "You will be seeing as this day unfolds where once again he speaks to the people of Iraq and talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq."

He added, "This nexus between terrorists and states that are developing weapons of mass destruction can no longer be looked away from and ignored."

Later, Mr. Powell's spokesman, Richard A. Boucher, said the tape had confirmed "that bin Laden and Saddam Hussein seem to find common ground." For Mr. Tenet, who sat silently behind Mr. Powell on Feb. 5 when the secretary presented the Bush administration's case against Iraq to the United Nations Security Council, the hearing today presented the country's intelligence chief with his first opportunity to publicly assess the intelligence on Saddam Hussein's leadership.

Mr. Tenet said the C.I.A. had carefully worded its accusations about Iraq, but he strongly supported the Bush administration's conclusion that an Iraq-Qaeda link had been firmly established even as some European officials, and some intelligence analysts within his own agency, have expressed skepticism about whether the information showed a direct Iraqi tie to Al Qaeda.

"Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bombmaking to Al Qaeda," Mr. Tenet said. "It has also provided training in poisons and gases to two Al Qaeda associates. One of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful."

Mr. Tenet seemed to be trying to rebut skeptics among the allies and within his own agency. "This information is based on a solid foundation of intelligence," he said. "It comes to us from credible and reliable sources. Much of it is corroborated by multiple sources, and it is consistent with the pattern of denial and deception exhibited by Saddam Hussein over the past 12 years."

At the White House, the president's spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said the tape "underscores what the president and Secretary Powell have said about Al Qaeda linking up with Iraq."

He continued: "Secretary Powell already demonstrated proof of the link at the operative level. This adds further proof that the leader of the operatives, if this is indeed Osama bin Laden, is exhorting them to link up with `our mujahedeen brothers in Iraq.' "

In the past, White House officials have discouraged news organizations from broadcasting Mr. bin Laden's messages because of the danger that they might contain coded messages to his followers.

The Fox News Channel took Mr. Powell's statement about the tape as a signal to play it live as it was broadcast on Al Jazeera.

"Powell basically parsed the thing for the world, which I think took the curse off of it," said John Moody, the Fox News Channel's senior vice president.

The 16-minute tape in Arabic urged Iraqis to wear down the American forces through extended urban warfare.

"Our mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, do not be horrified about what America is propagating about their force, smart bombs, laser-directed bombs," the speaker on the tape said.

"These smart bombs have no effect in mountains and caves, forests," he continued. "They need very obvious targets to be effective. Camouflaged targets cannot be hit by either smart bombs or stupid bombs."

Mr. Tenet said Mr. bin Laden's followers appeared to focus their terror planning on specific regions. "The information we have points to plots aimed at targets on two fronts — in the United States and on the Arabian peninsula," he said. "It points to plots timed to occur as early as the end of the hajj, which occurs late this week."

"And it points to plots that could include the use of a radiological dispersion device as well as poisons and chemicals," Mr. Tenet added, referring to devices like a "dirty bomb" that detonates with a conventional explosive, throwing radioactive material into the air.

The hearing, an annual assessment of global threats, centered on Al Qaeda, Iraq and North Korea.

In his testimony, Mr. Mueller told the Senate intelligence committee that the effort to identify Qaeda cell members is the country's "most serious law enforcement challenge."

Speaking of Qaeda followers in the United States, Mr. Mueller said: "The focus of their activities centers primarily on fund-raising, recruitment and training. Their support structure, however, is sufficiently well-developed that one or more groups could be ramped up by Al Qaeda to carry out operations in the U.S. homeland."

In his testimony, Mr. Tenet seemed to agree, defending the decision last Friday by the Bush administration to ratchet up the official threat level to Code Orange, saying it was based "not on idle chatter on the part of terrorists and their associates."

"It is the most specific we have seen, and it is consistent with both our knowledge of Qaeda doctrine and our knowledge of plots this network — and particularly its senior leadership — has been working on for years," Mr. Tenet said. "The intelligence community is working directly, and in real time, with friendly services overseas and with our law enforcement colleagues here at home to disrupt and capture specific individuals who may be part of this plot."

Mr. Tenet offered no further specifics about the plot, but his testimony reflected the rapidly rising tensions around the world in a period when the United States continues preparations for possible military action in Iraq, North Korea has threatened to resume its nuclear program and Iran has disclosed that it is nearly ready to enrich uranium to fuel its nuclear energy program.

"We see disturbing signs that Al Qaeda has established a presence in both Iran and Iraq," Mr. Tenet said. "In addition, we are concerned that Al Qaeda continues to find refuge in the hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan."


http://216.239.57.104/search?q=cache:gLsaxtlFcmkJ:www.iraqfoundation.org/news/2003/bfeb/12_ties.html+poisons,+gases+and+conventional+explosive&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
32 posted on 03/23/2004 10:14:53 PM PST by kcvl
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To: Steven W.
Oct. 9, 2002


During the Oct. 2 closed hearing, Levin asked the witness to gauge the possibility that Iraq would use chemical or biological weapons in response to U.S. military action, according to the Tenet letter. “Pretty high, in my view,” the witness answered.

The CIA has had “solid reporting” of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda over the past 10 years, Tenet wrote in the letter. The contacts have discussed safe haven arrangements and reciprocal nonaggresssion, he wrote. Since the war on terrorism began last year, there has been evidence that al-Qaeda members have been in Iraq, including Baghdad, he wrote.

“We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities,” Tenet wrote. “The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs” (New York Times, Oct. 8).

The comments and information in the letter do not damage the case that U.S. President George W. Bush made against Iraq in a speech Monday night, Tenet said in a statement released yesterday.

“There is no inconsistency between our view of Saddam’s growing threat and the view as expressed by the president in his speech,” Tenet said. “Although we think the chances of Saddam initiating a WMD attack at this moment are low —in part because it would constitute an admission that he possesses WMD — there is no question that the likelihood of Saddam using WMD against the United States or our allies in the region for blackmail, deterrence, or otherwise grows as his arsenal continues to build” (Dana Priest, Washington Post, Oct. 9).

New Evidence

U.S. officials have said that Iraq has rebuilt several sites that were associated in the past with the country’s nuclear weapons program, possibly indicating increased efforts to develop a weapon, the Associated Press reported today.

New structures have been built at al-Furat centrifuge development center, the Nassr/Taji Steel Fabrication and Military Production Facility, al-Qa’im uranium ore refinery and the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, the AP reported. All four sites were damaged during the 1991 Gulf War and U.S. and British airstrikes conducted in 1998.

A recently released CIA report said that Iraq has attempted several times to obtain aluminum tubes for use in a uranium-enrichment centrifuge, placing special importance on al-Furat, according to the AP (see GSN, Oct. 7). The Nassr/Taji facility contains much of the precision manufacturing equipment that would be needed in a nuclear program, a U.S. defense official said (Matt Kelley, Associated Press/Yahoo.com, Oct. 9).


http://216.239.57.104/search?q=cache:XmL03Toz4nEJ:www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/newswires/2002_10_9.html+poisons,+gases+and+conventional+explosive&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
33 posted on 03/23/2004 10:22:18 PM PST by kcvl
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To: Steven W.
08.08.03

Colin Powell said this:

Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong the intifada. And it's no secret that Saddam's own intelligence service was involved in dozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.

But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants.

Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan war more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his specialities and one of the specialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive training center camp. And this camp is located in northeastern Iraq.

You see a picture of this camp.

The network is teaching its operatives how to produce ricin and other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a pinch -- image a pinch of salt -- less than a pinch of ricin, eating just this amount in your food, would cause shock followed by circulatory failure. Death comes within 72 hours and there is no antidote, there is no cure. It is fatal.

Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein's controlled Iraq.

But Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical organization, Ansar al-Islam, that controls this corner of Iraq. In 2000 this agent offered al Qaeda safe haven in the region. After we swept al Qaeda from Afghanistan, some of its members accepted this safe haven. They remain their today.

*******


letter from CIA director Tenet to Bob Graham, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Oct 7, 2002:

Regarding Senator Bayh's Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana question of Iraqi links to al-Qa'ida. Senators could draw from the following points for unclassified discussions:

Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and al-Qa'ida 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-Qa'ida going back a decade.

Credible information indicates that Iraq and al-Qa'ida have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression.
Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al-Qa'ida members, including some that have been in Baghdad.

We have credible reporting that al-Qa'ida leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire W.M.D. capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qa'ida members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.

Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications of a relationship with al-Qa'ida, suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action.

34 posted on 03/23/2004 10:30:34 PM PST by kcvl
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To: MEG33
Powell's Proof

As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens they represent in Europe know, Zarqawi's terrorism is not confined to the Middle East. Zarqawi and his network have plotted terrorist actions against countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia.

According to detainee Abuwatia (ph), who graduated from Zarqawi's terrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasks at least nine North African extremists from 2001 to travel to Europe to conduct poison and explosive attacks.

Since last year, members of this network have been apprehended in France, Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operatives connected to this global web have been arrested.

The chart you are seeing shows the network in Europe. We know about this European network, and we know about its links to Zarqawi, because the detainee who provided the information about the targets also provided the names of members of the network.

Three of those he identified by name were arrested in France last December. In the apartments of the terrorists, authorities found circuits for explosive devices and a list of ingredients to make toxins.

The detainee who helped piece this together says the plot also targeted Britain. Later evidence, again, proved him right. When the British unearthed a cell there just last month, one British police officer was murdered during the disruption of the cell.

We also know that Zarqawi's colleagues have been active in the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia and in Chechnya, Russia. The plotting to which they are linked is not mere chatter. Members of Zarqawi's network say their goal was to kill Russians with toxins.

We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and his subordinates. This understanding builds on decades long experience with respect to ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Going back to the early and mid-1990s, when bin Laden was based in Sudan, an al Qaeda source tells us that Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al Qaeda would no longer support activities against Baghdad. Early al Qaeda ties were forged by secret, high-level intelligence service contacts with al Qaeda, secret Iraqi intelligence high-level contacts with al Qaeda.

We know members of both organizations met repeatedly and have met at least eight times at very senior levels since the early 1990s. In 1996, a foreign security service tells us, that bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum, and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service.

Saddam became more interested as he saw al Qaeda's appalling attacks. A detained al Qaeda member tells us that Saddam was more willing to assist Al Qaida after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by al Qaeda's attacks on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.

Iraqis continued to visit bin Laden in his new home in Afghanistan. A senior defector, one of Saddam's former intelligence chiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al Qaeda members on document forgery.

From the late 1990s until 2001, the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan played the role of liaison to the al Qaeda organization.

Some believe, some claim these contacts do not amount to much. They say Saddam Hussein's secular tyranny and al Qaeda's religious tyranny do not mix. I am not comforted by this thought. Ambition and hatred are enough to bring Iraq and al Qaeda together, enough so al Qaeda could learn how to build more sophisticated bombs and learn how to forge documents, and enough so that al Qaeda could turn to Iraq for help in acquiring expertise on weapons of mass destruction.

And the record of Saddam Hussein's cooperation with other Islamist terrorist organizations is clear. Hamas, for example, opened an office in Baghdad in 1999, and Iraq has hosted conferences attended by Palestine Islamic Jihad. These groups are at the forefront of sponsoring suicide attacks against Israel. Al Qaeda continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. As with the story of Zarqawi and his network, I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to al Qaeda.

Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story. I will relate it to you now as he, himself, described it.

This senior al Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of al Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan.

His information comes first-hand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al Qaeda. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al Qaeda leader Muhammad Atef (ph), did not believe that al Qaeda labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq.

35 posted on 03/23/2004 10:52:18 PM PST by kcvl
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To: kcvl
The Clinton administion knew Iraq and Al Queda had ties.My post was an attempt at humor(they shoot the messengers)Good info on this thread.
36 posted on 03/23/2004 11:02:16 PM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: Shermy
Especially since Rice has more intelligence in her little finger than Clarke has in total.

37 posted on 03/23/2004 11:02:20 PM PST by Fledermaus ( Frm ^;;^ says, "John Kerry is an admitted War Criminal and should thus be in jail"!)
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To: Steven W.

"WHAT did you say?"

38 posted on 03/24/2004 2:18:16 AM PST by lorrainer ("I don't do nuance." -- GW Bush)
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To: Steven W.
The fact is that there seems to be plenty of blame placed on both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration

It really burns me that the closest these talking heads ever get to criticizing Clinton or any other lib is to lump it in with "the republicans did it too."

39 posted on 03/24/2004 2:25:10 AM PST by Lacey
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To: Steven W.
GIve Maddy a break, it's hard to pay attention when you're scrubbing floors.
40 posted on 03/24/2004 3:13:27 AM PST by Benrand
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To: Steven W.
BTTT
41 posted on 03/24/2004 3:35:35 AM PST by Right_in_Virginia
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To: Steven W.
Well Albright, Cohen, and Clinton sure tried to get us in to Iraq in 1998. Was it really because of the WMDs, or was it because they knew about al quada but didn't tell the American public in case they backed down (which they did).
42 posted on 03/24/2004 3:48:22 AM PST by mabelkitty (A tuning, a Vote in the topic package to the starting US presidency election fight)
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To: MEG33
The answer to the question of why they did not make the connection public can be summed up in one word...LAWYERS:

"The administration does not want the victims of Sept. 11 interfering with its foreign policy," says Peter M. Leitner, director of the Washington Center for Peace and Justice (WCPJ). Leitner says the Bush administration may be concerned that if other victims of the Sept. 11 attacks also filed lawsuits and won civil-damage awards it would reduce Iraqi resources that the administration wants to use to rebuild the country. Leitner and others say this explains Bush's reticence at this time to report the convincing evidence linking Saddam and al-Qaeda that has been collected by U.S. investigators and private organizations seeking damages. "The [Bush] administration is intentionally changing the topic," claims Leitner, and sidestepping the issue that "Iraq has been in a proxy war against the U.S. for years and has used al-Qaeda in that war against the United States."

Source

43 posted on 03/24/2004 5:43:35 AM PST by ravingnutter
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To: Shermy
Nothing is as bizarre as Clarke's statement that he thought Condi Rice had never heard of Al Qaeda

Did you watch Hannity last night? He had a tape of Condi talking about Al Qaeda from the fall of 2000, before the Bush admin even took office. Clarke is a liar.

44 posted on 03/24/2004 5:45:11 AM PST by ravingnutter
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.
45 posted on 03/24/2004 5:46:05 AM PST by StriperSniper (Manuel Miranda - Whistleblower)
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To: Steven W.
Yousef and Nichols crossed paths in the Phillipines. Mohammed was Yousef's uncle. It is interesting to note that Yousef entered the United States on an Iraqi passport and had been known among the New York fundamentalists as "Rashid, the Iraqi". Another name that could be thrown into the mix is Abdul Rahman Yasin, a U.S. citizen who moved to Iraq in the 1960's and returned to the U.S. in 1992. After the 1993 WTC bombing, Yasin fled to Iraq and was given money and housing by Saddam Hussein's regime.

Other links

46 posted on 03/24/2004 5:46:46 AM PST by ravingnutter
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To: ravingnutter
I heard a tape on a local radio show with Dr. Rice talking about UBL in an Oct. 2000 tape. I noticed that she didn't mention Al Qaeda. Maybe she did elsewhere in the interview, but she did not in the excerpt I listened to. If she knew the depth of the evil UBL represented, and she obviously did, then I'm sure she knew all about Al Qaeda. What this indicated to me is that someone had parsed public statements very carefully and coached Clarke to write his words very Clintonesquelly. Note that he did NOT accuse Rice of not knowing about AQ; it was his impression. Who can dispute that? He can't be accused of lying b/c who can dispute impressions? But he leaves the impression of Rice's incompetence and that sticks because she's still NSA and we're in an election year.

I personally think that the sinking of Pres. Bush's second term has seriously been in the works since Dec. 2000. Who has the most motive to derail this commission? Clinton and his ever-elusive legacy. So I assume that he carefully sought a holdover in this administration with an ax to grind and brought him on board. I'm sure that Clinton has known from 9-11 that his complicity in our nation's lack of security would be examined and that he set out to attack whatever anyone may find. Even though his negligence is becoming clearer, he knows that the Bush adm. has the most to lose. So all he has to do is throw some dirt out there to cloud the total picture. We need to be vigilant and expose the truth.

47 posted on 03/24/2004 6:06:01 AM PST by twigs
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To: twigs
I heard a tape on a local radio show with Dr. Rice talking about UBL in an Oct. 2000 tape. I noticed that she didn't mention Al Qaeda.

See the thread Did I just hear Hannity bop Clarke over the head 2000 Condi interview???

There is an audio clip in post #12. I was beginning to think last night that the Dems have been handing out Thorazine at their meetings...they sure are shuffling around this commission thing now on the talk shows. All of a sudden after finger pointing at Bush for so long, they are resorting to "Oh, we should not point fingers, there is enough blame to go around".

48 posted on 03/24/2004 6:47:53 AM PST by ravingnutter
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To: Shermy
Abright?

"...The problem is not combating Al Qaeda's inherent appeal, for it has none. The problem is changing the fact that major components of American foreign policy are either opposed or misunderstood by much of the world...."

Delusional denial of jihadi appeal coupled with ritualistic anti-american self-flagellation.

"The Cleaning Lady" just doesn't get it. I remember watching her on The Charlie Rose show some months ago. Maddy kept saying, in regard to various aspects of Bush's foreign policy (at the time registering unprecedented gains in the historically intractable problem of limiting WMD proliferation) that she "didn't understand" this, "couldn't fathom" the motivation for that, and was "mystified" by the other. Sad as it was, she kept repeating this theme enough that it soon got funny as well. I was laughing out loud by the time a pizza delivery guy came to the door. He did a double take of the television with that boring PBS guy at the oak table, and musta thought that I'd either just switched over from The Comedy Channel, or that I was crazy.

49 posted on 03/24/2004 6:55:13 AM PST by Stultis
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To: Steven W.
Thanks for posting this. I literally cannot stand watching or listening to that insufferable blowhard Lou Dobbs for three seconds, no matter who he's interviewing (and I watch Charlie Rose!) but it's nice to have this transcript.
50 posted on 03/24/2004 7:00:47 AM PST by Stultis
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