Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Some Phase II Conclusions Beyond Comprehension
Threatswatch/Regimeofterror ^ | September 15,2006 | Threatswatch,Regimeofterror

Posted on 09/15/2006 4:19:51 PM PDT by ikez78

Some Phase II Conclusions (particularly #9) Beyond Comprehension Future DOCEX Efforts Dismissed In Order To Buttress SSCI Phase II Report Conclusions as Comprehensive

In the ‘Iraqi Links to Al-Qaeda’ section of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Phase II Report on prewar intelligence on Iraq, Conclusion 9 - the final conclusion – asserts that “additional reviews of documents recovered in Iraq are unlikely to provide information that would contradict the Committee’s findings or conclusions.” This is a bold statement for many reasons, not the least of which is that this can be interpreted as an assertion that the Committee’s findings hold an air of conclusiveness and/or comprehensiveness.

The Intelligence Community has yet to assemble a comprehensive, definitive report on Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda. The Phase II Report itself notes “the absence of a single comprehensive Intelligence Community analytic product on Iraq’s links to terrorism” on page 6. Therefore, none of the input data considered by the Committee can be considered comprehensive in nature. Yet, the Phase II Report takes on just such a definitive air, especially when considering Conclusion 9’s bold determination that the millions of recovered Iraqi documents “are unlikely to provide information that would contradict the Committee’s findings or conclusions.”

Yet, there is much collected intel and data outside the publicly available DOCEX collection that does contradict many of the Committee’s findings. The unfortunate reality is that much of this data simply was not considered. While it is impossible to consider every item, prudence and the importance of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s oversight role in the American Intelligence programs would dictate that more information should have been considered than was for the Phase II Report.

Brooks Comment on Salman Pak Field Intelligence Expunged

Some information was removed from consideration, as noted in the Committee Action section (Pg. 135), including the observations of Brigadier General Vincent Brooks upon the US offensive and takeover of the terrorist training camp at Salman Pak. Available in open source, General Vincent told an AP reporter that “The nature of the work being done by some of those people we captured, their inferences about the type of training they received, all these things give us the impression that there is terrorist training that was conducted at Salman Pak. It reinforces the likelihood of links between this regime and external terrorist organizations." This is actionable field intelligence, shared in part by the deputy operations commander in Iraq, which led to the offensive on Salman Pak.

Conclusion 4 reads, “Postwar findings support the April 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) assessment that there was no credible reporting on al-Qa’ida training at Salman Pak or anywhere else in Iraq.”

There are two issues with this statement. Firstly, the report in Conclusion 4 does not use language to confirm that Salman Pak was indeed a terrorist training camp, but rather seems to skirt the issue by instead stating that it cannot be confirmed as an al-Qaeda terrorist training camp. Even if so, the War is not limited to defending against card-carrying al-Qaeda terrorists, nor should it be.

Secondly, there is much evidence to support claims that al-Qaeda was indeed training elsewhere in Iraq, namely the presence of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi at Ansar al-Islam camps in Iraq immediately following the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan, from where he had fled to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This will be detailed subsequently in latter installments of this series that will focus on Zarqawi and Ansar al-Islam.

Forged Documents Mentioned, Others Ignored Entirely

As the SSCI Phase II Report notes and rightly dismisses “a number of forged documents captured in Iraq on a variety of topics” including some regarding Zarqawi, not included among those forged documents – nor apparently among the genuine documents that the Committee considered - are those mentioned by a Jordanian security official within the context of describing the manner in which the Hussein regime ignored repeated Jordanian requests for the extradition of Zarqawi. According to the Jordanian official’s account described in the Washington Post, “documents recovered after its overthrow in 2003 show that Iraqi agents did detain some Zarqawi operatives but released them after questioning. Furthermore, the Iraqis warned the Zarqawi operatives that the Jordanians knew where they were.” The existence of these documents has not been disputed, yet these important potential indicators of high-level Iraqi regime support for Zarqawi before the 2003 invasion are not considered in the Committee’s report.

While understood by most of the American public as the deceased leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and responsible for attacks on both coalition forces and civilians – including gruesome taped beheadings as propaganda messages – it should be remembered that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was long before connected to the December 1999 millennium plot designed for coordinated attacks in the United States, Jordan and Israel.

Dr Muhammed al-Masari, like bin Laden, is a Saudi Arabian dissident who opposes the royal family's leadership. al-Masari supports bin Laden and his views and, from London, hosts a jihadi website that posts al-Qaeda news and messages. Described in Intelligence circles as a well-connected al-Qaeda front man, al-Masari helps al-Qaeda engage in the Information Warfare battle for the hearts and minds of potential jihadists. He described al-Qaeda’s influx into Iraq through the terrorist group Ansar al-Islam. While described as “anti-Hussein” and “anti-secular,” their primary foe on the ground in Iraq were the Kurds, a common enemy also held by Saddam, who is currently on trial for crimes against humanity for, among other things, using chemical weapons (mustard gas and VX nerve agents) on Kurdish villages.

Noting that Saddam Hussein, fearing a US military invasion once Afghanistan would be decided, began to actively court the “Arab Afghan” al-Qaeda terrorists to come to Iraq and form a jihadi resistance against a more powerful common enemy. It is worth noting at this point that the SSCI Phase II Report gives full credence to Saddam Hussein’s statement from jail that he did not view America as an enemy, and that “Iraq only opposed U.S. policies. He specified that if he wanted to cooperate with the enemies of the U.S., he would have allied with North Korea or China.”

The SSCI Phase II report accepts Hussein’s postwar words and logic at face value to support a conclusion that there were no ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda. However, it fails to carry this accepted logic to support a view that would contradict Phase II Conclusion 6 which finds that Ansar al-Islam was seen only as “a threat to the regime” and that the IIS only “attempted to collect intelligence” on them.

To apply Hussein’s logic accepted by the SSCI Phase II report, if he wanted to cooperate with the enemies of the Kurds, whose civilian population he directly used chemical weapons against, he would have allied with Ansar al-Islam. Rather, the report ignores this and applies his statement to only support their conclusion regarding ties to al-Qaeda proper without presenting it as contradictory to its conclusion that there were no ties between Iraq and Ansar al-Islam beyond adversarial.

Yet, the al-Qaeda front man, Dr Muhammed al-Masari, described how Saddam was paying for the terrorists’ move into Iraq. “According to Masari, Saddam saw that Islam would be key to a cohesive resistance in the event of invasion. Iraqi army commanders were ordered to become practising Muslims and to adopt the language and spirit of the jihadis. On arrival in Iraq, Al-Qaeda operatives were put in touch with these commanders, who later facilitated the distribution of arms and money from Saddam’s caches.”

Previous Intelligence Reports Contradicted

While this relationship is dismissed by the report, it is not merely a spur of the moment relationship of survival or convenience. The SSCI Phase II Report in fact acknowledges a DIA report that states al-Qaeda has “proven ties to Ansar al-Islam.”

The SSCI Phase II Report also contradicts the 9-11 Commission Report, which documents Iraqi ties with al-Qaeda, including at least one meeting between the Iraqi Intelligence Service and al-Qaeda leaders. Chapter 2 of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States Report (aka 9-11 Commission Report) states in part:

bq. "In mid-1998, the situation reversed; it was Iraq that reportedly took the initiative. In March 1998, after Bin Ladin's public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both, of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Ladin's Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis. In 1998, Iraq was under intensifying U.S. pressure, which culminated in a series of large air attacks in December."

The meetings between Farouq Hijazi, at the time head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service's external operations, and al-Qaeda - reportedly at least one with bin Laden personally - cannot be responsibly dismissed as irrelevant in any assessment exploring Iraq/al-Qaeda ties. The SSCI Phase II Report appears to do just this.

Illogical Confidence In DOCEX Success

Many Iraqi documents are not considered by the Committee’s Phase II report while also confidently prophesying that the millions of other recovered Iraqi documents yet to be analyzed will not come into conflict with any of the Phase II conclusions. Considering that the Phase II Report’s conclusions with regard to Iraqi ties to terrorism often conflict with those of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s own Phase I Report and the 9/11 Commission’s final report, this bold statement is even more curious.

The Committee’s Phase II report openly acknowledges that of 120 million Iraqi documents recovered after the 2003 invasion, only “34 million pages have been translated and summarized to some extent” as of early 2006. Precisely how much analysis is entailed in being “translated and summarized to some extent” for those documents is also unclear.

The documents recovered in Iraq are part of the DOCEX(Document Exploitation) efforts and the task of analyzing them is nothing short of daunting. The ‘documents’ include paper files, government and private hard drives, diskettes and CD’s as well as audio and video tapes. The number of documents – in paper, digital and other media forms – is in the millions, a staggering number. Many of the unclassified documents recovered in Iraq are made publicly available through the US Army Foreign Military Studies Office.

Just how many of the documents have been analyzed is classified information, but to be sure it is a very small percentage. A January 2006 article by Stephen Hayes suggested that there had been at that time only “50,000 documents translated completely out of a total of 2 million.” The Phase II Report rightly points to the fact that the initial wave of analysis focused on WMD(Weapons of Mass Destruction), and said one former military intelligence officer quoted in Hayes’ article, "At first, if it wasn't WMD, it wasn't translated. It wasn't exploited." While indicative of a concerted effort, it remains to be seen just how effective these efforts were, especially considering a focus on terrorism came along only later. It cannot be known until all of the documents have been properly translated and vetted.

Speaking to the sheer volume of documents yet to be exploited and the linear approach currently employed to tackle them, Michael Tanji, former chief of the media exploitation division in the office of document exploitation at the Defense Intelligence Agency said to The Weekly Standard, “As most of this material has come to us without any context (‘hard drives found in Iraq’ was a common label attached to captured media) that approach means our great-grandchildren will still be dealing with this problem.”


With these considerations, Conclusion 9 appears to be included in the SSCI Phase II Report for the limited purposes of buttressing the previous eight conclusions while dismissing the value of the remaining millions of documents that may well provide data to support conflicting views. With regards to DOCEX, there are millions of documents yet to be translated and reviewed.

The SSCI Phase II Report in its current form is banking on perfection in US Military and Intelligence procedure and execution in vetting WMD and terrorism related documents written in Arabic, often by hand. Considering the intimidating volume of documents and the relative dearth of Arabic linguists to perform the work, this confidence is misplaced. But this misplaced confidence is through no fault of the analysts and linguists combing though mostly mundane documents, as Michael Tanji puts it, by “brute force.”

With the current linear process for achieving a full review a task requiring years to achieve, Conclusion 9 seeks to assure us that “our great-grandchildren” will have found nothing to contradict the conclusions of a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report that utilized select non-comprehensive reports to arrive at purportedly indisputable conclusions. This assertion in Conclusion 9 falls outside the scope of logic and reason, existing data outside the scope of DOCEX notwithstanding.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; iraqlqaeda; saddamandterror; ssci

1 posted on 09/15/2006 4:19:52 PM PDT by ikez78
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ash-housewares; Peach; jveritas; jwalsh07; ladyinred; EQAndyBuzz; Marine_Uncle; ...


2 posted on 09/15/2006 4:21:16 PM PDT by ikez78 (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikez78

GOOD post!
Thank you very much!

And, thanks for the ping.

3 posted on 09/15/2006 5:26:32 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dixiechick2000

No prob.

4 posted on 09/15/2006 5:28:00 PM PDT by ikez78 (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ikez78


5 posted on 09/15/2006 8:05:25 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikez78
What more can one add to in some small way enhance what is printed in your posting as well as the tons of stuff we have gathered from the Harmony Database and other sources.
The Butcher of Baghdad and his cronies supported world wide terrorism. It is simple as that. It for most of us is a no brainer.
6 posted on 09/15/2006 9:04:39 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ikez78

What great analysis you've given this report; kudos.

I've pinged you to some related articles this morning.

7 posted on 09/16/2006 5:33:55 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikez78

Outstanding! Thanks for your work, Mark. Should've read this last night, but your other related post of the Hayes article reminded me to read it.


8 posted on 09/16/2006 6:19:19 AM PDT by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikez78

Linkage Bump!

9 posted on 09/16/2006 7:22:20 AM PDT by jonno
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikez78
Who are these jokers on the senate committee - the same folks that ran the 9/11 commission?

10 posted on 09/16/2006 7:30:20 AM PDT by jonno
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PGalt; Peach

Everyone PLEASE contact these members of the Senate intel committee and let them know what they missed on this report.

Pat Roberts
Washington D.C. Office:
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1605
Phone: 202-224-4774
Fax: 202-224-3514

Orrin Hatch
Washington DC Office
104 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-5251
Fax: (202) 224-6331

Mike Dewine
Washington, D.C. Office
140 Russell Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2315
Fax: (202) 224-6519
TDD: (202) 224-9921

Kit Bond
Washington, DC Office:
274 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Trent Lott
Phone: (202) 224-6253
Fax: (202) 224-2262

Olympia Snowe
Toll free in Maine: (800) 432-1599
TDD - Maine Relay Service: 1-955-3323

Chuck Hagel
Washington, D.C. Office
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-4224
Fax: (202) 224-5213

Senator Saxby Chambliss
Republican - Georgia United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Evan Bayh
463 Russell Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5623
(202) 228-1377 fax

11 posted on 09/19/2006 12:00:37 PM PDT by ikez78 (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: ikez78


12 posted on 09/19/2006 12:11:19 PM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikez78

I'm copying your article and will fax it to the members from Staples tomorrow. You've done a terrific job, Mark. Kudos!

13 posted on 09/19/2006 7:05:19 PM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Peach

Not sure if this is still good.

14 posted on 09/19/2006 7:12:21 PM PDT by BigDaddyTX (Don't Mex with Texas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: BigDaddyTX

Thanks, BigDaddy. I'm just going to copy the article in the a.m. and fax from Staples; it's cheap and fast and I need to be in that strip mall anyway :-)

I wish we could energize more freepers to action, especially on this matter.

15 posted on 09/19/2006 7:15:22 PM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ikez78

BTTT! Thanks Mark.

16 posted on 09/19/2006 8:41:28 PM PDT by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Peach

Thanks. These people haven't really answered any criticisms. I'd like to send Laurie Mylroie, Stephen Hayes and Deroy Murdock's pieces all to those Senators.

17 posted on 09/19/2006 9:03:07 PM PDT by ikez78 (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson