Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Connection Between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein

From Leslie Nevola in the October 14, 2004 issue of The Cowl:

It is not difficult to decipher Senator John Kerry's current campaign tactics when it comes to discussing the Iraq War. Not very far into the debate last Thursday, he made these comments:

"'Smart' means not diverting your attention from the real War on Terror in Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden and taking if off to Iraq where the Sept. 11 Commission confirms there was no connection to Sept. 11 itself and Saddam Hussein.

"The president just talked about Iraq as a center of the War on Terror," Kerry continued, "Iraq was not even close to the center of the War on Terror before the president invaded it."

Problem is, Kerry is wrong. According to The Weekly Standard, reputable sources such as Newsweek, The New York Times, the 9-11 Commission Report that is so often cited by Kerry supporters, our very own U.S. Senate, and 60 Minutes, have reported multiple links between the terrorist group and the tyrannical dictator. But for some reason, these facts are not getting any press.

Abdul Rahman Yasin, a member of al Qaeda who mixed chemicals for the bomb used in the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, fled to Iraq, where he was aided by an Iraqi intelligence operative working undercover in the Iraqi Embassy in Amman, Jordan. Newsweek published an interview with Yasin's neighbors in Baghdad. These people told the magazine reporter that Yasin was working for the Iraqi gov-ernment and was living freely in Baghdad. Documents recently un-covered in postwar Iraq confirm that Yasin was given asylum there and was on the Iraqi government's payroll from that time in 1993 until just before the very first entrance of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq.

On June 25, 2004, The New York Times reported that internal Iraqi documents authenticated by U.S. intelligence confirm that a government official from the Sudan met with Uday Hussein and the director of Iraqi intelligence to "facilitate the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." The same report later stated that Iraqi Intelligence had been given "presidential approval" to meet with bin Laden, and that Hussein agreed to air sermons by an anti-Saudi cleric on Iraqi television.

Former President Bill Clinton himself declared the relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, stating in 1998 that "Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Gov-ernment of Iraq."

The 9-11 Commission itself - usually used by Kerry and his followers as "proof" against the Bush Administration's actions in Iraq - reports a series of "friendly contacts" between al Qaeda and Iraqi intelligence, and concludes its analysis with this damning statement: "Iraqi officials offered bin Laden a safe haven in Iraq."

The Senate Intelligence Committee's noteworthy bi-partisan review of pre-war intelligence also noted, on page 335: "A [CIA Counterterrorism Center] op-erational summary from April 13, 1999, notes four other intelligence reports mentioning Saddam Hussein's 'standing offer of safe haven to Osama bin Laden.'"

In the same report, the SIC testifies that from 1996 to 2003, Iraqi intelligence was focusing its terrorist activities on "western interests, particularly against the U.S. and Israel." In addition, "the CIA assessed... that throughout 2002 the IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] was becoming increasingly aggressive in planning attacks against U.S. interests."

And finally, information on the ties between al Qaeda and Hussein has come straight from the mouth of the son of bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam. He told Agence France Presse, in an interview on Aug. 29, 2004, that before the current war, al Qaeda worked very closely with Iraq. "Saddam Hussein's regime welcomed them [members of al Qaeda] with open arms and young al Qaeda members entered Iraq in large numbers, setting up an organization to confront the occupation."

One wonders where Kerry was when the Senate Committee, which was comprised of every single member of Congress, analyzed and wrote down this damning information in its com-prehensive report. And most of all, one wonders why these facts have not come out into the light in response to John Kerry's attacks on the Iraq War as "unjustified." Kerry even lied, point-blank, to the American public about the 9-11 Commission Report, but was never called on it.

It seems like one must really dig deep looking for these things if one wants to discover the truth. And now that you have the truth, I hope that you will think twice about who you are going to vote for in November.

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