Skip to comments.Those seeking a 'smoking gun' had better hope they don't get it
Posted on 02/03/2003 12:44:26 PM PST by GailA
COLUMN: M.D. Harmon
Those seeking a 'smoking gun' had better hope they don't get it
Copyright © 2003 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
The United States and a constantly increasing number of allies are coming closer and closer to holding a despicable tyrant responsible for his past actions and rendering him unable to continue them both at home and abroad.
So, some people are upset. An entire dovecote of "anti-war activists" (at least for this war, and for this president - they were far less dovish when Bill Clinton attacked Serbia) is chirping its alarm over the fact that we have a president who understands that his principal task is the protection of our lives and interests.
Their exaggerations are so many, and their contact with reality so flimsy, that's it's hard to know where to start to hold them to account. Let's start with the big rally that was held in Washington last month.
I have a friend who lives in northern Virginia, a retired State Department officer who loves his country and who protested the Vietnam War in the '60s. Seized with serious doubts about the president's plans for Iraq, he crossed the Potomac to see if the rally would support his qualms.
He hasn't changed his mind about Iraq, but he was aghast at the march. Here's what he e-mailed me:
"I went to the March for Peace for three reasons: to register my anti-war views, and to voice my views on administration policy, and to show my niece and nephew (who came along) that the United States is a peaceful country with millions of citizens united for peace. But then I saw with my own eyes the hypocrisy and vicious hatred that so many marchers had for America. Mike, those people were openly anti-American. I saw it with my own eyes. You could cut the anti-Ameri- canism with a knife. . . . The ANSWER event was not a peace march - it was a virulent anti-American march. . . .
"For the demonstrators there is some kind of moral equivalence between us and Saddam."
Not terribly surprising, considering that ANSWER, the group that sponsored the march, is affiliated with an unreconstructed hard-left Marxist fringe that in the past has expressed admiration for the murderous Joseph Stalin, dictator Kim Jong-Il of North Korea and war crimes indictee Slobodan Milosevik.
Oh, but the marchers didn't necessarily support that? OK, think about who would go to a civil rights march sponsored by the Ku Klux Klan, and then wonder why ANSWER's sponsorship was fine by those attendees.
Next, there are all the people who keep demanding more proof that Saddam Hussein has both evil intentions and the means to carry them out. True, there have been no Cuban-missile-crisis photos - yet - but there are at least two major talks they haven't heard yet, either. One will come this Wednesday, when Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks to the United Nations, and the other will come after that, when President Bush addresses the nation again.
Anybody who doesn't think Saddam is a threat both to his neighbors and the West has not been paying attention - deliberately, I believe, because U.N. inspectors themselves say he has tons of lethal stuff he won't account for - but those speeches should satisfy all but the same people who attended the "March for Peace."
What is truly dangerous is the demand by some that they must see a "smoking gun" before they'll back Bush. In that, they show less support for America than the leaders of Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic, who sent a letter last week proclaiming "New Europe's" strong support for Bush. France and Germany had better start worrying about the perils of unilateralism.
In truth, what would a "smoking gun" be? Well, it might be a mushroom cloud forming over Manhattan; or a radioactive "dirty bomb" ex- ploding a few blocks upwind of the Capitol or the White House; or letters full of finely milled anthrax being sent not to a few congressional offices but to hundreds; or a thousand vials of smallpox infecting tens of thousands of people, with a death rate of 30 percent or more among the unvaccinated victims.
Folks, we don't need those kinds of smoking guns. We don't even need them drawn from their holsters. We may not be able to find each and every member of al-Qaida yet, but as the president said Tuesday, we've found a number of them, and they won't be bothering us any more. Their leader, Osama bin Laden, hasn't been reliably heard from since December 2001, and could be among the group Bush mentioned.
It's no easy decision to go to war, and I even have some sympathy for Bill Clinton, who has been strongly criticized for not dealing with terrorism and Saddam after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and subsequent terror attacks abroad.
But that was all prior to Sept. 11. We've seen two of our tallest buildings fall in fire and ruin, seen people jump from the 80th floor because that was better than being incinerated in their offices, seen our military headquarters lethally attacked.
Still, you may want more than this. If you're patient for a week or a month, I think you'll get it.
Myself, I've seen and heard enough. Saddam delendus est.
- M.D. Harmon, an editorial writer and editor, can be reached
at email@example.com or 791-6482.
Why aren't more people pointing this out: So, some people are upset. An entire dovecote of "anti-war activists" (at least for this war, and for this president - they were far less dovish when Bill Clinton attacked Serbia) is chirping its alarm over the fact that we have a president who understands that his principal task is the protection of our lives and interests.
If you can't convince anyone with this, then they just don't want to listen.
I believe it all except that he's a threat. There's undoubtedly WMD in Iraq: he has used WMD, he has continued to develop them, etc. But it's hardly a threat to us or even to his neighbors. There are plenty of defensive measures if he attacks anyone directly. As for giving them to terrorists, there is absolutely no hard evidence for any such thing.
He make claims like that to stay in power. I ignore them and so should you.
I hadn't. Has his son-in-law been struck down by Iraqi agents or had anthrax mailed to his house? That would be cause for concern. Otherwise, all the stories from defectors are simply their way of helping themselves to power over Iraq by getting us to do their dirty work.
Maybe the info in this lawsuit on Find Law will change your mind...
Ashton, et al. v. al Qaeda, et al.: Complaint (PDF) Lawsuit claiming a 9/11 link between Iraq and al Qaeda. Sept. 3, 2002
The file is in slow loading .pdf format, but it is an interesting read. Some excerpts:
39. Upon information and belief, there have been numerous meetings between IRAQI Intelligence agents and high-ranking AL QAEDA terrorists to plan terror attacks. Once such meeting occurred in 1992, when ZAWAHIRI (EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD leader and AL QAEDA officer) met with IRAQI INTELLIGENCE agents in Baghdad, IRAQ over several days. An IRAQI serving with the TALIBAN who fled Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, was captured in Kurdistan and has corroborated this meeting and confirmed that IRAQI contacts with AL QAEDA began in 1992.Or if that doesn't do it...check out the following links:
During the early 1990s, Sudans Sheikh Hassan al-Tourabi of the Islamic National Front arranged meetings between BIN-LADEN and IRAQI INTELLIGENCE officials. BIN LADEN met with FARUQ AL-HIJAZI, an IRAQI INTELLIGENCE agent in the Sudan who would later head IRAQI INTELLIGENCE for SADDAM HUSSEIN. BIN LADEN again met with IRAQI INTELLIGENCE officers in 1994 and 1995 in the Sudan. At these meetings, BIN-LADEN and IRAQI INTELLIGENCE secret service director FARUQ AL-HIJAZI agreed to work together on terrorist projects directed against the U.S.
55. From 1996 until 2001, BIN LADEN with the financial and logistical support of OMAR and others in the TALIBAN and IRAQ and IRAQI INTELLIGENCE, created, supplied and operated at least five training camps in order to create an Islamic Foreign Legion capable of attacking their enemies throughout the world. These camps trained men from 15 nations in guerrilla warfare, terrorist activities, rocket warfare, demolition and bombing, including the use of mines, grenades, TNT, nitroglycerine and plastic explosives. Classes were also given in how to kill a policeman and traps, murder and terrorist moves.
57. In February 1997, BIN LADEN publicly expressed his support for IRAQ in its conflict with the United States stating:
The hearts of the Muslims are filled with hatred towards the United States of America and the American president for American conduct towards IRAQ.59. IRAQ upon information and belief, agreed to supply arms to AL QAEDA and provide AL QAEDA with access to and training in the use of chemical and biological weapons and agreed to instruct AL QAEDA terror trainers at its Salman Pak camp in Baghdad that contained a Boeing 707 used to practice hijacking. IRAQ also agreed to supply AL QAEDA terrorists with new identities and passports from Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.
60. AL QAEDA agreed to provide protection from political opponents to IRAQ and SADDAM HUSSEIN, and to commit assassinations and other acts of violence to create instability in regions of IRAQ, particularly Kurdistan, to assist the regime of SADDAM HUSSEIN. AL QAEDA further agreed to provide trained terrorists, assassins and martyrs to carry out terror attacks in concert with IRAQ against their common enemies, including the United States.
64. Between April 25 and May 1, 1998, two of BIN LADENs senior military commanders, MUHAMMAD ABU-ISLAM and ABDULLAH QASSIM, visited Baghdad for discussions with SADDAM HUSSEINs son -- QUSAY HUSSEIN -- the czar of IRAQI INTELLIGENCE.
65. QUSAY HUSSEINs participation in those meetings highlights the importance of the talks in both symbolic and practical terms. Upon information and belief, as a direct result of these meetings, IRAQ again made commitments to provide training, intelligence, clandestine Saudi border crossings, financial support and weapons and explosives to AL QAEDA.
66. IRAQI INTELLIGENCE officials met with BIN LADEN in Afghanistan several more times. A second group of BIN LADEN and AL QAEDA operatives from Saudi Arabia were then trained by IRAQI INTELLIGENCE in IRAQ to smuggle weapons and explosives into Saudi Arabia and other countries, which they later accomplished in an effort to carry out future terrorist acts of violence. A third group of BIN LADEN and AL QAEDA operatives received a month of sophisticated guerrilla operations training from IRAQI INTELLIGENCE officials later in the Summer of 1998.
67. Despite philosophical and religious differences with SADDAM HUSSEIN, BIN LADEN continually sought to strengthen and reinforce the support he and AL QAEDA received from IRAQ. In mid-July 1998, BIN LADEN sent Dr. AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI, the Egyptian co-founder of AL QAEDA, to IRAQ to meet with senior Iraqi officials, including Iraqi vice president TAHA YASSIN RAMADAN. Upon information and belief, the purpose of this meeting was to discuss and plan a joint strategy for a terrorist campaign against the United States.
69. During the July 1998 visit ZAWAHIRI toured an IRAQI military base and nuclear and chemical weapons facility near al-Fallujah in IRAQ and upon information and belief, observed training by IRAQI INTELLIGENCE officials of AL QAEDA operatives at the al-Nasiriyah military and chemical weapons facility in IRAQ.
79. Following the December 1998 air strikes on IRAQ, SADDAM HUSSEIN dispatched FARUQ AL-HIJAZI to Kandahar, Afghanistan in order to meet with BIN LADEN and plot their revenge.
81. To demonstrate IRAQs commitment to BIN LADEN and AL QAEDA, HIJAZI presented BIN LADEN with a pack of blank, official Yemeni passports, supplied to IRAQI INTELLIGENCE from their Yemeni contacts. HIJAZIs visit to Kandahar was followed by a contingent of IRAQI INTELLIGENCE officials who provided additional training and instruction to BIN LADEN and AL QAEDA operatives in Afghanistan. These Iraqi officials included members of Unit 999, a group of elite IRAQI INTELLIGENCE officials who provided advanced sabotage and infiltration training and instruction to AL QAEDA operatives.
82. At that meeting, upon information and belief, BIN LADEN, AL QAEDA and IRAQ agreed to join efforts in a detailed, coordinated plan for a protracted terrorist war against the United States.
84. IRAQ maintains an advanced chemical and biological weapons program and is one of only three countries in the world producing a highly developed weaponized anthrax. Some time during or after 1998, IRAQ agreed to help BIN LADEN and AL QAEDA develop a laboratory in Afghanistan designed to produce anthrax.
85. In addition to the al-Nasiriyah and Salman Pak training camps, by January 1999, BIN LADEN and AL QAEDA operatives were being trained by IRAQI INTELLIGENCE and military officers at other training camps on the outskirts of Baghdad.
86. In January 1999, IRAQ began reorganizing and mobilizing IRAQI INTELLIGENCE front operations throughout Europe in support of BIN LADEN and AL QAEDA. HAQI ISMAIL, believed to be a member of the IRAQS MUKHABARAT Secret Service, left IRAQ to train in an Afghanistan AL QAEDA camp. ISMAIL was believed to be a liason between IRAQ, the TALIBAN and AL QAEDA and was rewarded with a position in the TALIBAN Foreign Ministry.
103. On July 21, approximately six weeks before the September 11 th attacks, IRAQI columnist Mulhalhal reported that BIN LADEN was making plans to demolish the Pentagon after he destroys the White House.
104. Mulhalhals July 21 article further informed that BIN LADEN would strike America on the arm that is already hurting. Upon information and belief, this references a second IRAQI sponsored attack on the World Trade Center. This interpretation is further bolstered by another reference to New York as [BIN LADEN] will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra everytime he hears his songs. (e.g., New York, New York) identifying New York, New York as a target.
105. Mulhalhal further indicated, The wings of a dove and the bullet are all but one and the same in the heart of a believer. (Emphasis supplied) This appears to be a reference to the use of commercial aircraft as a weapon. The information was reported in an IRAQI newspaper whos editor-in-chief serves as secretary to UDAY HUSSEINS Iraqi Syndicate of Journalists. The article expressed IRAQI admiration and support for BIN LADENs plans and its appearance in the newspaper would clearly have to be endorsed by SADDAM HUSSEIN himself.
106. All IRAQI news media is strictly controlled and censored by the government of SADDAM HUSSEIN and is under the direct oversight of UDAY HUSSEIN. Various members of IRAQI intelligence work at and control the content of each and every newspaper published inside IRAQ.
107. The information contained in Mulhalhals published statements were known prior to the events of September 11 th , and that Mulhalhal has ties to IRAQI intelligence, demonstrates foreknowledge of the planned attacks by BIN LADEN and indicates support by IRAQI co-conspirators.
110. According to U.S. and foreign intelligence officials, in the spring of 2000, IRAQI INTELLIGENCE agents met with September 11 th pilot hijackers ZAID SAMIR JARRAH and MARWAN AL-SHEHHI in Dubai, UAE in order to advance the hijacking of U.S. aircraft to commit terrorist acts. Not long after the meeting, AL-SHEHHI entered the United States on May 29 and JARRAH entered on June 27, to begin preparations for attacks.
133. Instruction documents on an artillery weapon known as the Super Gun were found in AL QAEDA camps when they were captured by U.S. forces in the winter of 2001-2002. IRAQ is the only state known to have purchased and assembled the super gun, a weapon so large it must be constructed in segments. It has a range of several hundred miles.
Rice: Iraq Providing Shelter, Chemical Weapons Help to Al Qaeda
Ansar Al-Isam: Iraqs Al-Qaeda Connection
Salman Pak: Iraq's Smoking Gun Link to 9-11?
Saddam killed Abu Nidal over al-Qa'eda row
New evidence links Saddam, bin Laden
Arafat-Saddam-Bin Laden Links Surface
Saddam and Osama: A Long History
Saddam 'sends troops to help bin Laden men'
Iraqi Funds, Training Fuel Islamic Terror Group
Alert by Saddam points to Iraq - 23 Sep 2001 Article
Mounting Evidence of Iraqi Link to Terror Attacks
Iraqi defector tells of terrorist training camp
You believe he has WMDs, but you don't consider him a threat because "if he attacks anyone directly", there are defensive measures which can be taken.
Um. By the time he has attacked, with those WMDs that you and I both agree he has, we'll be talking about thousands dead or more. By then it's kinda too late; the point is that we don't want to let it get to that point.
As for giving them to terrorists, there is absolutely no hard evidence for any such thing.
Slight correction: you haven't seen any hard evidence for any such thing. You aren't periodically given personal briefings regarding classified information, are you?
Anyway, we can try to disarm now or we can wait till there's "hard evidence" that Saddam will supply or has supplied terrorists with WMDs. The problem is, there's not much conceivable "hard evidence" which can convince certain folks, short of a pile of dead bodies.
Again, we're trying not to let it get to that point. Better safe than sorry.
Should we take your sage advice and "ignore" them?
In case you havn't had your head away from the radio (NPR I would venture), Saddam had his son-in-law assasinated. But, then again, There is no proof... There is also the matter of the Iraqi ambassador to the UN that is missing in action....after going home to Iraq for Ramadan. But in your world that has no meaning, does it??...If the defecting bodyguard has only told 1 tenth of 1 percent of truth, then we are in deep kim-chee. It only gets worse if there is linkage between Kim Jong Il and Saddam. And, OBTW it looks like there is... but, NO, No impact to the US. is there?? No you strike me as the live and let live kinda person that is willing tocompromise on anything. Go to DU Palmer your attitude would be appreciated there. Not here.
Again, we're trying not to let it get to that point. Better safe than sorry.
I feel safer knowing my military is kept in reserve for a real threat. Also somewhat safer (or less apprehensive) keeping Iraq the way it is, rather than having it disintegrate into warring factions, some supported by Iran, possibly spreading fighting into Turkey. Finally, there's other sources for WMD's for terrorists, for example if they have money they can buy them from North Korea. We certainly can't afford to attack every country that could possibly supply WMD's to terrorists.
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