Skip to comments.CHENEY CLAIMS AL-QAIDA LINKED TO SADDAM
Posted on 06/15/2004 7:06:53 AM PDT by areafiftyone
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Saddam Hussein had "long-established ties" with al Qaida, an assertion that has been repeatedly challenged by some policy experts and lawmakers.
The vice president offered no details backing up his claim of a link between Saddam and al Qaida.
"He was a patron of terrorism," Cheney said of Hussein during a speech before The James Madison Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Florida. "He had long established ties with al Qaida."
In making the case for war in Iraq, Bush administration officials frequently cited what they said were Saddam's decade-long contacts with al-Qaida operatives. They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, but critics say Bush officials left that impression with the American public.
Cheney listed what he described as the accomplishments of the Bush administration in the war on terror, including fledgling democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the decision by Libya's leader, Moammar Gadhafi, to abandon his nuclear ambitions.
Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., countered that the Bush administration had "a sorry record in the war on terror." Graham, former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, spoke Sunday in a conference call arranged by John Kerry's presidential campaign in anticipation of Cheney's speech.
The State Department said last week it was wrong in stating that terrorism declined worldwide last year in a report that the Bush administration initially cited as evidence it was succeeding against terrorism, Graham noted. Both the number of incidents and the toll in victims increased sharply, the department acknowledged.
No bias here, eh? All that reporter had to do is check the public record for Clinton admin statements tying Saddam to OBL.
I would say the number two Al Qaeda man getting treated in Baghdad after being wounded in Afghanistan, provides a link or connection..
Yep, SalmonPak was a stewardess training center.......LOL
Let me tell you - we could find a wall graffited in Baghdad saying "Al-Qaida slept here" and the democreeps still would not admit it was true.
they weren't making ice cream pops here.
I have a feeling, and am hoping, that the Administration has been sandbagging its foes on this issue. I would love to see them start dropping the evidence that we have all known about for the past year.
Saddam knew 9/11 was coming and talked about what was going to happen in America in his newspaper.
In the 90's the mainstream press wrote hundreds of articles about the growing relationship between Saddam and OBL. It's been funny to watch the leftists "forget" that which they once knew.
Dozens of articles linking Saddam and OBL:
"They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, but critics say Bush officials left that impression with the American public."
Only fools and Democrats fail to see the connection, which goes back over a decade.
Does anyone know the original source for this picture?
Per your tagline.....the Bush administration is following the Rules of War.....and letting the "enemy" beat themselves, I believe......when they NEED to bring out the REAL ammo (right before the election, maybe) I'm hoping they will.
LOL - I like that!
So why are we leaving Saddam's sorry butt with the Iraqis?
They can hardly defend themselves. As soon as we pull out his buddies in Bagdad will spring him.
The only way wwe should leave Iraq is with Saddam's head on a pike.
...One striking bit of new evidence is that the name Ahmed Hikmat Shakir appears on three captured rosters of officers in Saddam Fedayeen, the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam's son Uday and entrusted with doing much of the regime's dirty work. Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
This matters because if Shakir was an officer in the Fedayeen, it would establish a direct link between Iraq and the al Qaeda operatives who planned 9/11. Shakir was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda "summit" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9/11 attacks were planned. The U.S. has never been sure whether he was there on behalf of the Iraqi regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamicist who hooked up with al Qaeda on his own.
It is possible that the Ahmed Hikmat Shakir listed on the Fedayeen rosters is a different man from the Iraqi of the same name with the proven al Qaeda connections. His identity awaits confirmation by al Qaeda operatives in U.S. custody or perhaps by other captured documents. But our sources tell us there is no questioning the authenticity of the three Fedayeen rosters. The chain of control is impeccable. The documents were captured by the U.S. military and have been in U.S. hands ever since.
As others have reported, at the time of the summit Shakir was working at the Kuala Lumpur airport, having obtained the job through an Iraqi intelligence agent at the Iraqi embassy. The four-day al Qaeda meeting was attended by Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi, who were at the controls of American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. Also on hand were Ramzi bin al Shibh, the operational planner of the 9/11 attacks, and Tawfiz al Atash, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant and mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Shakir left Malaysia on January 13, four days after the summit concluded.
That's not the only connection between Shakir and al Qaeda. The Iraqi next turned up in Qatar, where he was arrested on September 17, 2001, six days after the attacks in the U.S. A search of his pockets and apartment uncovered such information as the phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers' safe houses and contacts. Also found was information pertaining to a 1995 al Qaeda plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners over the Pacific...
Full article here.
Maybe trivial, maybe, but how do you go about 'countering' something that hasn't happened yet?
From Stephen Hayes:
"There was a time not long ago when the conventional wisdom skewed heavily toward a Saddam-al Qaeda links. In 1998 and early 1999, the Iraq-al Qaeda connection was widely reported in the American and international media.
Former intelligence officers and government officials speculated about the relationship and its dangerous implications for the world. The information in the news reports came from foreign and domestic intelligence services. It was featured in mainstream media outlets including international wire services, prominent newsweeklies, and network radio and television broadcasts.
Newsweek magazine ran an article in its January 11, 1999, issue headed "Saddam + Bin Laden?" "Here's what is known so far," it read:
"Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas--assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer."
Four days later, on January 15, 1999, ABC News reported that three intelligence agencies believed that Saddam had offered asylum to bin Laden:
"Intelligence sources say bin Laden's long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan's fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. --ABC News has learned that in December, an Iraqi intelligence chief named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad."
NPR reporter Mike Shuster interviewed Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA's counterterrorism center, and offered this report:
"Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when, according to one U.S. government source, Hijazi met him when bin Laden lived in Sudan." According to Cannistraro, Iraq invited bin Laden to live in Baghdad to be nearer to potential targets of terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait... Some experts believe bin Laden might be tempted to live in Iraq because of his reported desire to obtain chemical or biological weapons. CIA Director George Tenet referred to that in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he said bin Laden was planning additional attacks on American targets.
By mid-February 1999, journalists did not even feel the need to qualify these claims of an Iraq-al Qaeda relationship. An Associated Press dispatch that ran in the Washington Post ended this way:
"The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against Western powers." Where did journalists get the idea that Saddam and bin Laden might be coordinating efforts? Among other places, from high-ranking Clinton administration officials. In the spring of 1998--well before the U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa--the Clinton administration indicted Osama bin Laden. The indictment, unsealed a few months later, prominently cited al Qaeda's agreement to collaborate with Iraq on weapons of mass destruction..."