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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Much Ado About Nothing: Nullifying The Left On The Saddam Documents

Over the course of the last week-plus, the Left has switched from attack mode to meltdown mode. Yes, they have, and don't let them fool you when they say that they aren't. Indeed, these documents have been positively damning thus far. No, there aren't any "smoking guns," but what there is now is a solid record regarding not only how Saddam flouted the UN resolutions, and continued to hide his WMDs and components, but there are also documents that show there was a working relationship between his regime and al Qaeda.

The common response from the Left is that there was "no relationship" between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda; bin Laden, especially. And the first thing they point to is the 9/11 Commission Report. And while we enjoyed the fact that this commission did next to nothing except make more bureaucratic recommendations and berate the Bush Administration for their "failures," they did little to disporve the allegation of Saddam working with al Qaeda. Yes, the commission stressed that they could find no link to Saddam and al Qaeda in regard to 9/11, but they did find a connection between the two. The common argument by the Left is to cite Page 66 of the report. To assist the Left in figuring out what the commission said, below is a citation of the page in question where it deals with their questions regarding the realtionship between Iraq and al Qaeda.

"There is also evidence that around this time Bin Laden sent out a number of feelers to the Iraqi regime, offering some cooperation. None are reported to have received a significant response. According to one report, Saddam Hussein's efforts at this time to rebuild relations with the Saudis and other Middle Eastern regimes led him to stay clear of Bin Laden."

"In mid-1998, the situation reversed; it was Iraq that reportedly took the initiative. In March 1998, after Bin Laden'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 Bin Laden. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both, of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Laden's Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis. In 1998, Iraq was under intensifying US pressure, which culminated in a series of large air attacks in December."

"Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Laden or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban. According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Laden a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Laden declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides' hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States."

The above emphasis in areas are not within the commission report. We emphasized them because they are relevant to the discussion. Now, contrast this report with the investigation that Richard Miniter launched on his own.

--An Iraqi defector to Turkey known by his cover name as "Abu Mohammed" told Gwynne Roberts of the Sunday Times of London that he saw bin Laden's fighters in camps in Iraq in 1997. At the time, Mohammed was a colonel in the fedayeen, a brutal strike force that reported directly to Saddam Hussein. Mohammed described an encounter at the Salman Pak training facility southeast of Baghdad. At that vast compound run by Iraqi intelligence, Muslim militants trained to hijack planes with knives

--Practicing on a full-size Boeing 707. Colonel Mohammed recalls his first visit to Salman Pak this way: "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed a lot of people were queing for food. [The major] said to me: 'You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK [a Muslim terror group known for atrocities in Turkey] and Mojahedin-e Khalq [a terror group active in Pakistan]."

--After the end of major combat operations in Iraq, Ravi Nessam, an Associated Press reporter, noted that satellite photos of "Salman Pak, about 15 miles southeast of Baghdad...show an urban assault training site, a three-car train for railway-attack instruction, and a commercial airliner sitting all by itself in the middle of the desert."--Nessam continued: "Speaking at an April 6, 2005 press conference, General [Vincent] Brooks said: 'The nature of the work being done by some of those people captured, their influences to the type of training they received, all of these things give us the impression that there was terrorist training that was conducted at Salman Pak.' "

--Nationally syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock sifted through the publicly available information about al Qaeda operatives training at Salman Pak, and reported on "Sabah Khodada, a former Iraqi army captain who once worked at Salman Pak. On October 14, 2001, Khodada granted an interview to the PBS television program Frontline stating 'This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world.' " "He added: ' Training includes hijacking and kidnapping of airplanes, trains, public buses, and planting explosives in cities...how to prepare for suicidal operations.' " "He continued: 'We saw people getting trained to hijack planes...They are even trained how to use utensils for food, like forks and knives provided in the plane' " to hijack the aircraft.--In the spring of 1998, the Iraqi regime promised to provide "weapons development" assistance to al Qaeda. "The following, according to 9-11 Commission Staff Statement 15, bin Laden took the Iraqis up on their pledge. [Iraqi intelligence officer Farouk al-] Hijazi told his interrogators in May 2003 that bin Laden had specifically requested [from Iraq] Chinese-manufactured anti-ship limpet mines as well as training camps in Iraq.

--Mohammed Atef, the head of al Qaeda's military wing until he was killed by the US in Afghanistan in November 2001, told a senior al Qaeda member now in US custody that the terror network needed labs outside of Afghanistan to learn how to make chemical weapons. Secretary of State Colin Powell asked "Where did they go, where did they look? They went to Iraq."

--The Iraqis had the Third World's largest poison gas operation prior to the 1991 Gulf War and had perfected the technique of making hydrogen cyanide gas. The Nazis used to call that gas Zyklon-B. In the hands of al Qaeda, this would be a fearsome weapon in an enclosed space--like a suburban mall or subway station.

--Summing up his agency's view, then CIA director George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2003: "Iraq in the past has providedtraining in document forgery and bomb making to al Qaeda. It also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaeda associates; one of these [al Qaeda] associates characterized the relationship as 'successful.' Mr. Chairman, this information is based on a solid foundation of intelligence. It comes to us from credible and reliable sources. Much of it is corroborated by multiple sources."

And that's just the training aspect of their relationship. When it comes to personnel, the list of connections grows, according to Mr. Miniter.

--Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, entered the US using a phony Iraqi passport.

--Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the '93 team that detonated the bomb that remained at large during the Clinton years. He fled to Iraq and US forces found a cache of documents showing that Iraq gave him a home and monthly salary. The documents were found in Tikrit.

--ABC news reporter, Sheila MacVicar reported on 27 July, 2004 that "Last week Day One confirmed [Yasin] is in Baghdad ... Just a few days ago he was seen at [his father's] house by ABC News. Neighbors told us that he comes and goes freely."

--On 16 March, 2001, a Paris-based Arabic-language newspaper reported fresh details on the arrest of two Iraqi men in Germany. The Middle East Intelligence Bulletin translated the report from al-Watan al-Arabi: Al-Watan al-Arabi (Paris) reports that two Iraqis were arrested in Germany, charged with spying for Baghdad. The arrests came in the wake of reports that Iraq was reorganizing the external branches of its intelligence service and that it had drawn up a plan to strike at US interests around the world through a network of alliances with extremist funadamentalist parties. The most serious report contained information that Iraq and Osama bin Laden were working together. German authorities had been focused on monitoring the activities of Islamic groups linked to bin Laden. The matter was considered so important that a special team of CIA and FBI agents was sent to Germany to interrogate the two Iraqi spies.

--In 1998, Abbas al-Janabi, a longtime aide to Saddam's son, Uday, defected to the West, and he reported that there was a direct connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

--The Senate Intelligence Committee report notes that [Abu] Zubaydah was the "senior al Qaeda coordinator responsible for training and recruiting." Zubaydah, who is in custody, is often cited by skeptics of the Iraq/al Qaeda connection because he told interrogators that he said it was "unlikely" that bin Laden would establish a formal alliance with Iraq for fear of losing his independence. But the skeptics often ignore other aspects of Zubaydahs' debriefing. Stephen Hayes notes, "Again, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report, Zubaydah 'indicated that he had heard that an important al Qaeda associate, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and others had good relationships with Iraqi intelligence.'"

--In 2001, an al Qaeda member "bragged that the situation in Iraq was 'good.'" according to intelligence made public by then secretary of state Colin Powell. Powell added that in 2001 Saudi border guards arrested two al Qaeda members entering the kingdom from Iraq. They were linked to al Qaeda associates in Baghdad, and one of them had received training in Afghanistan on how to use cyanide.

--Abu Musab al-Zarqawi oversaw an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. Wounded in fighting against US forces, he fled to Baghdad for treatment. In May 2002, al-Zarqawi was at the Olympic hospital; the one run by Uday Hussein.
The documents released regarding the Mukhabarat (Iraqi Intelligence) have shown that there was a relationship there. I cannot understand why people who have the ability to read these documents as we have would still maintain their ignorance. With all due respect, read and learn if you doubt the reinvigorated debate over what was and was not in Iraq. The WMD question, as far as we are concerned is over. The 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium was enough to settle that for us. Of course, the Left's response is intolerable and curious; that is not a WMD. No, but the fact that enriched uranium was hidden by a nation who claimed they were not working on nucelar weapons. And that is despite everything else we have found, including the centrifuges and scientists involved with the program.

Perhaps what is even more curious is the fact that they disavow Saddam's ties to al Qaeda. As if this one particular terrorist organization wasn't "good enough" for Saddam, or he had some strange aversion to them. That argument is not only refuted by these documents and records, but it is simply illogical to believe that. Both sides despised the US, and both sides wanted to hurt the US. Saddam had ties to plenty of terrorist groups in the Middle East. As we pointed out last night, "Camp Saddam" was one of the places that the PLO just happened to pop by for tea and crumpets. At least, that's what the Left would like us to believe.

And it could not have been further from the truth. "Said Captain Robertson: 'It's much more sophisticated than those training camps we found in Afghanistan. It has a permanent obstacle course, which rivals anything our Marines have back at Camp Pendleton.', Stephen Hayes wrote. If Saddam was willing to align himself--offically--with Palestinian Authority terrorists--PLO, PLF, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade--then why would he not also maintain relations with al Qaeda and other organizations int he region. His benefit would be a group that has the ability to strike the US or her interests. Their benefit would be money, recruits, and official help. Saddam provided the Palestinians not only training camps, but money, as well.

Saddam was a windfall for al Qaeda. Though the evidence shows they didn't have a full relationship until after 1999, and that it didn't really pick up until early 2002 with the US's invasion of Afghanistan, it can't be contended by the Left any longer that there was no connection. There was. And it just reinforces the reasons for going into Iraq to begin with. Yes, the president cited WMDs and their components. We have found more components than real, working WMDs, that is true, but not it's time to find where they went. That is what makes General Sada and Ibrahim al-Tikriti more vital than ever. They "know where the bodies are buried." They know where the WMDs went to. General Sada has confirmed that several flights went to Syria. The UN confirms that Iraq was moving their WMDs out. Frankly, the time to start knocking on neighborly doors in the region is long overdue.

So, when the Left prattles on about no connection, you know they cannot refute the documents released, or any of the information we have presented here ... ever. Our information has yet to be challenged. To date the best argument the Left can muster against us is a snide, ad hominem attack. That does not challenge the veracity of the facts; it simply shows that the Left cannot answer the allegations. Let them call you "stupid," "Bushie," or "neocon" all they want. Let them do it with a smile on your face. You know that you are correct, and they are just plain nuts. And make sure you take that to the ballot box in November. Remember how nuts they are now, and ask yourself if you really want them in charge?

The Bunny ;)
Publius II


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