Skip to comments.SADDAM's WMD's : The Russian - Syrian Connection
Posted on 03/20/2006 6:17:28 AM PST by IrishMike
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He told this author the foiled al-Qaeda plot to strike Amman Jordan in April 2004 shocked him out of silence. Not only did it prove the weapons still existed, but that they had the potential to kill tens of thousands of people. These weapons have already fallen into the hands of the terrorists, Sada said. 20,000 people were supposed to be killed in this attack. But thank the Jordanians that their intelligence managed to stop this. When he heard of this, I said, Oh my God, these weapons have fallen into the hands of the terrorists...and then they can use them anywhere in the West, in America, so I decided to make this known, that this is the story: that the weapons have gone to Syria by air and by ground, and something must be done to stop [the rest of] these weapons [from falling] into the hands of the terrorists.
When Scott Crofut asked, Sada said he doubted Basher Assads Baathist government would use these weapons in a future Middle Eastern conflict. To use these weapons would be a disaster, he said, noting the strong deterrent effect of Israels nuclear program. I dont think the Syrians are thinking of using it, but God knows how they think. Syria remains one of a handful of nations never to have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.
If Sadas story is true, it would lend credence to the testimony of others in the intelligence community that Saddams WMDs were shipped to Syria, dating essentially from the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
It's fairly surreal that the whole whole-known fact that the Syrians have had their own chemical weapons in enormous quantities for decades and are producing more every year is never, ever, ever, ever mentioned in these articles.
I think it's because it makes the whole "Iraqi WMD to Syria" story less exciting somehow.
It certainly makes one question the credibility of the reporting on this, however.
When you consider how much time we wasted on that dog and pony show with the UN prior to the invasion, I'm surprised Saddam didn't bus the whole Iraqi army into Syria!
For all the 'resistance'(not) the troops met during the initial invasion, looks like they may have.
If we have satalite video, it should be shown to Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco as a case study of "evacuation".
knew it all along ping
According to Gen. Sada, Saddam simply refused to believe that the US would attack. Shipping WMDs to Syria was as much to dodge future UN inspections as anything else.
The story does not hold water. Not incredible but uncredible.
When I met General Sada, he seemed pretty credible. Perhaps you know him better.
All we can say about Sada is that he claims a pilot he knows (and does not name) told him this story. In other words it is second hand hearsay evidence. He asks us to trust him and trust that his friend is credible.
I am sorry for not trusting anyone in Iraq and for being skeptical of a high ranking member of Saddam's Baathist officer corp.
In anycase this should be easy to prove - we had a no fly zone in Iraq that cut off flights into Syria from Iraq and we were monitoring Iraq via AWACS and satellites like no other country.
Easy enough to see if any such flights took place.
That no one in this administration has touched it means that
A) This story is not credible.
or if true like you think
B) This admin is covering up their gross incompetance for letting dangerous WMD get away. I don't think this is the case of course.
I'm not sure how one goes about obtaining actual proof of such flights. General Sada maintains that reconfigured civilian 747 + 727 aircraft were utilized, and flown into Syria under the guise of providing humanitarian aid to Syria after President Assad appealed for help in the aftermath of the Zeyzoun dam collapse.
And by the way, General Sada is not a member of the Baathist Party. As an Assyrian Christian, he declined to state that "Iraq is Arab and Islam is the soul of the country" - prerequisites for Party membership. Today he serves as senior advisor to the National Security Council of the new government, secretary of the Iraqi Institute for Peace, and chairman of the Assembly of Evangelical Presbyterian Churches in Iraq.
The CIA's chief weapons inspector said he cannot rule out the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003 invasion, citing "sufficiently credible" evidence that WMDs may have been moved there.
Inspector Charles Duelfer, who heads the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), made the findings in an addendum to his final report filed last year. He said the search for WMD in Iraq -- the main reason President Bush went to war to oust Saddam Hussein -- has been exhausted without finding such weapons. Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s.
But on the question of Syria, Mr. Duelfer did not close the books. "ISG was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war," Mr. Duelfer said in a report posted on the CIA's Web site Monday night.
He cited some evidence of a transfer. "Whether Syria received military items from Iraq for safekeeping or other reasons has yet to be determined," he said. "There was evidence of a discussion of possible WMD collaboration initiated by a Syrian security officer, and ISG received information about movement of material out of Iraq, including the possibility that WMD was involved. In the judgment of the working group, these reports were sufficiently credible to merit further investigation."
Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong, the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command during the war, said in his book, "Inside CentCom," that intelligence reports pointed to WMD movement into Syria.
In October, John A. Shaw, then the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, told The Times that Russian special forces and intelligence troops worked with Saddam's intelligence service to move weapons and material to Syria, Lebanon and possibly Iran. "The organized effort was done in advance of the conflict," he said.
Most in the media are ignoring the words of Saddam himself and his aides on 12 hours of captured tapes saying that Iraq's WMD were moved to Syria. But they aren't the only ones saying it.
For example, three months before Operation Iraqi Freedom began, Israeli intelligence detected Iraq moving large amounts of military materiel into Syria, another Baathist dictatorship materiel that could have included Saddam's WMD.
Last month, Moshe Yaalon, who was Israel's top general at the time, said Iraq transported WMD to Syria six weeks before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
On Jan. 25, 2004, Nizar Nayouf, a Syrian journalist who recently defected to France, told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that chemical and biological weapons were smuggled from Iraq into Syria when Saddam realized an American invasion was imminent.
Nayouf said he knew of at least three Syrian sites where Saddam's WMD were kept. One was in tunnels under the town of al-Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria, part of an underground factory built by North Korea for producing a Syrian version of the Scud missile. Others were in the village of Tal Snan, adjacent to a Syrian air base, and in Sjinsjar, on the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Nayouf's claims were in effect confirmed two months earlier in a briefing to reporters on Oct. 20, 2003, by officials of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in Washington. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of NIMA when the Iraq War began, said satellite imagery showed a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria just before the American invasion.
Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong, who was deputy commander of Central Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom, told WABC radio in September 2004: "I do know for a fact that some of those weapons went into Syria, Lebanon and Iran."
In an interview with the London Telegraph in January 2004, David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), said he uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"We know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program," Kay told the Telegraph. "Precisely what went to Syria, and what happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."
Charles Duelfer, Kay's successor as ISG head, testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Oct. 6, 2004, that "a lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria."
"There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points," said Duelfer. "We've got a lot of data to support that, including people discussing it. But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."
Jordan's King Abdullah may have an opinion on that. In April 2004, his country foiled a plot that involved five vehicles carrying a combined total of 20 tons of chemical weapons laced with conventional explosives.
The weapons would have released a cloud of poison gas sufficient to kill 80,000 people and, in Abdullah's words, "would have decapitated the government." The trucks were intercepted 75 miles inside the Jordanian border. They were coming from you guessed it Syria.
See also:Iraqi WMD Mystery Solved
Firt, Dr. Kay's and Sada's stories don't match beyond their claim that WMD went to Syria. So you can't really use one story to back up another.
Second, should be easy enough to prove Kay's thesis since (I would assume) our satellite surveillance monitor the Iraqi Syrian borders for heavy truck traffic (and they would show up since Syria and Iraq have soft trade) during the sanction period in the run up to invasion. If we did not monitor the border then men in this administration need to be court-martialed and impeached for dereliction of duty. It is sad you guys think so little of the ability of our men in uniform and our leadership to think Saddam could pull a fast one on them.
karnage, So Saddam allowed a Christian to rise up to #2 in the Iraqi leadership - and he did not even require a Baathist loyalty oath? How is that possible? That he protected Christians and prevented religous persecution of them? Are you trying to tell us Saddam had some good qualities?
Iraq's Saddam era foreign minister Tariq Aziz is also a Christian and the Baathist party was founded by Syrian Arab Christians. I assume you knew that as well.
John A. Shaw, Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security, who was responsible for tracking Saddam's weapons before and after the 2003 invasion, supports Gen. Sada's Syrian-transfer story. Lt. Gen. James Clapper (Ret.), head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, has said satellite imagery showed a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria just before the American invasion. In an interview with the London Telegraph in January 2004, David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), said he uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Regarding possible "dereliction of duty" by our men in uniform, I have the highest respect for our armed forces. I don't know if, prior to our actual '03 invasion, we had boots on the ground all along the Iraq-Syria border to interdict every truck passing between the two countries. Saddam had made deception an art form; his decade of success circumventing sanctions through misuse of the Oil-for-Food program is evidence of that.
I have no independent cooroboration that Gen. Sada did not join the Baath Party - only his statements, and the fact that he is one of the few high-ranking members of the former regime to enjoy positions of trust and responsibility in the new government. Regarding any possible "good qualities" of Saddam, it is Gen. Sada's contention that Saddam did not heavily discriminate against Christians in the Baghdad area.
Yes, I knew Tariq Aziz was a Christian. I've never met him, but his actions don't seem to speak well of his character.
John A. Shaw, EX - Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security - is he still under investigation for trying to steer contracts to his pals?
Don't know. Yeah, I meant to include that Shaw was Undersecretary during that time frame, same with Clapper and Kay, all of whom have since moved on to other things.
They will put their fingers in their ears and chant: la la la la la....
So were WMDs : ) The cover used was that this was a "humanitarian" flight for a disaster in Syria. And those flights WERE confirmed:
BAGHDAD, June 9 (AFP) - Iraq said Sunday it has sent 20 planeloads of humanitarian assistance to Syria to help victims of Tuesday's Zeyzoun dam collapse in the north of the neighbouring country. "Iraqi Airways planes have made 20 flights to Damascus until today to take foodstuffs and pharmaceutical products to the victims," Transport Minister Ahmad Murtada Ahmad told the official INA news agency.
Firt, Dr. Kay's and Sada's stories don't match beyond their claim that WMD went to Syria. So you can't really use one story to back up another. Second, should be easy enough to prove Kay's thesis since (I would assume) our satellite surveillance monitor the Iraqi Syrian borders for heavy truck traffic (and they would show up since Syria and Iraq have soft trade) during the sanction period in the run up to invasion. If we did not monitor the border then men in this administration need to be court-martialed and impeached for dereliction of duty. It is sad you guys think so little of the ability of our men in uniform and our leadership to think Saddam could pull a fast one on them.
Oh really now...what about the six other people I cited? They all said the same thing and their stories match in that they all described the 18 wheeler shipments, which were not only caught on the American and Israeli satellite imagery, but some were physically caught on the Jordanian border and it was confirmed that those contained 20 tons of chemical weapons. A couple of them desribed the plane shipments disguised as humanitarian aid, which I proved above, was confirmed. You don't believe the Intelligence Estimate provided by "our men in uniform" and then you jump our case for "thinking so little of the ability of our men in uniform". I don't understand that kind of twisted logic. We are the ones that believe "our men in uniform", you are the one second-guessing them.
That satellite video may have also caught Landreu setting the charges on the 17th Street levee!
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