Senate: Saddam saw al-Qaida as threat

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Kagom, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Kagom
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    Kagom Senior Member

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    By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - Saddam Hussein regarded al-Qaida as a threat rather than a possible ally, a Senate report says, contradicting assertions President Bush has used to build support for the war in Iraq.

    Released Friday, the report discloses for the first time an October 2005 CIA assessment that before the war, Saddam's government "did not have a relationship, harbor or turn a blind eye toward" al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates.

    Saddam told U.S. officials after his capture that he had not cooperated with Osama bin Laden even though he acknowledged that officials in his government had met with the al-Qaida leader, according to FBI summaries cited in the Senate report.

    "Saddam only expressed negative sentiments about bin Laden," Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi leader's top aide, told the FBI.

    The report also faults intelligence gathering in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion.

    As recently as an Aug. 21 news conference, Bush said people should "imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein" with the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction and "who had relations with Zarqawi."

    Democrats contended that the administration continues to use faulty intelligence, including assertions of a link between Saddam's government and the recently killed al-Zarqawi, to justify the war in Iraq.

    They also said, in remarks attached to Friday's Senate Intelligence Committee document, that former CIA Director George Tenet had modified his position on the terrorist link at the request of administration policymakers.

    Republicans said the document, which compares prewar intelligence with post-invasion findings on Iraq's weapons and on terrorist groups, broke little new ground. And they said Democrats were distorting it for political purposes.

    A previous report in 2004 made clear the intelligence agencies' "massive failures," said Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., a member of the committee. "Yet to make a giant leap in logic to claim that the Bush administration intentionally misled the nation or manipulated intelligence is simply not warranted."

    White House press secretary Tony Snow said the report was "nothing new."

    A second part of the report concluded that false information from the Iraqi National Congress, an anti-Saddam group led by then-exile Ahmed Chalabi, was used to support key U.S. intelligence assessments on Iraq.

    It said U.S. intelligence agents put out numerous red flags about the reliability of INC sources but the intelligence community made a "serious error" and used one source who concocted a story that Iraq was building mobile biological weapons laboratories.

    The report also said that in 2002 the National Security Council directed that funding for the INC should continue "despite warnings from both the CIA, which terminated its relationship with the INC in December 1996, and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), that the INC was penetrated by hostile intelligence services, including the Iranians."

    According to the report, postwar findings indicate that Saddam "was distrustful of al-Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime."

    It said al-Zarqawi was in Baghdad from May until late November 2002. But "postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi."

    In June 2004, Bush defended Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that Saddam had "long-established ties" with al-Qaida. "Zarqawi is the best evidence of connection to al-Qaida affiliates and al-Qaida," the president said.

    The report concludes that postwar findings do not support a 2002 intelligence report that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program, possessed biological weapons or had ever developed mobile facilities for producing biological warfare agents.

    "The report is a devastating indictment of the Bush-Cheney administration's unrelenting, misleading and deceptive attempts to convince the American people that Saddam Hussein was linked with al-Qaida," said Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record), D-Mich., a member of the committee.

    Levin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel, said Tenet told the committee last July that in 2002 he had complied with an administration request "to say something about not being inconsistent with what the president had said" about the Saddam-terrorist link.

    They said that on Oct. 7, 2002, the same day Bush gave a speech speaking of such a link, the CIA had sent a declassified letter to the committee saying it would be an "extreme step" for Saddam to assist Islamist terrorists in attacking the United States.

    They said Tenet acknowledged to the committee that subsequently issuing a statement that there was no inconsistency between the president's speech and the CIA viewpoint was "the wrong thing to do."

    Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the mistakes of prewar intelligence have long been known and "the additional views of the committee's Democrats are little more than a rehashing of the same unfounded allegations they've used for over three years."

    The panel report is Phase II of an analysis of prewar intelligence on Iraq. The first phase, issued in July 2004, focused on the CIA's failings in its estimates of Iraq's weapons program.

    The second phase had been delayed as Republicans and Democrats fought over what information should be declassified and how far the committee should delve into the question of whether policymakers may have manipulated intelligence to make the case for war.

    Committee member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said he planned to ask for an investigation into the amount of information remaining classified. He said, "I am particularly concerned it appears that information may have been classified to shield individuals from accountability."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060909/ap_on_go_co/iraq_report
     
  2. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Rat Bastards.....:wank:
     
  3. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Consider, for a moment, the glorious possibility that this president - unlike the six who came before him - actually understood and accepted that war was being waged against us. And that perhaps it was time we began participating in - and prosecuting - this war. And that he judged Iraq to be a good strategic place from which to take the offensive in what is going to be a long, vicious war against an enemy which transcends borders and nationalities. An enemy whose only goal is to destroy as many of us as possible - who can't be reasoned with - who can't be bargained with - who contemptuously interprets all efforts at sanity and negotiation as decadence, weakness, and lack of resolve - who will only quit the battle when enough of his numbers have been blown to bits that he becomes convinced he is not dealing with the bloated walking dead of Post-Christian Europe, but with tough, wide-awake Americans - and that perhaps he'd better retreat to the reeking cave he and his ancestors have been wallowing in since the Eighth Century, and wait for a more opportune time to promote his dreams of terror and world domination.

    And, suppose that - in the bargain - this president was able to depose a murderous dictator who murdered millions of his own people, while thumbing his nose at the toothless, impotent world body which had danced around him - clownlike - barking meaningless orders - while jerking him off under the table for a few dollars a pop - for the preceding dozen years.

    Would that put the Iraq War in any better perspective for you?
     
  4. Dr Grump
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    Dr Grump Gold Member

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    Yeah!!!! That's a BRILLIANT strategy!!! Let's start in Iraq. A country run by a dictator for sure, but one of the most SECULAR countries in the ME. Let's not start in the hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism such as Iran, or Saudi, or Algeria, or Pakistan, or Somalia, or Sudan - you know, places that really DO want to KILL infidels. Nah, we'll start in secular Iraq. What a brilliant strategy. Bush is a genius...:bang3:
     
  5. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    So, how many infidels have been killed on American soil since 9/11? The idea was to take the fight to the murderers on their own ground, and away from ours - right? It's working - right? Right!
     
  6. Dr Grump
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    Dr Grump Gold Member

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    So as long as Americans are being killed in Iraq it's OK? It was 8 years between both WT bombings. They are patient. Oh, and what murderers of United States' citizens have come out of Iraq?

    That aside, you initial supposition is flawed. I see no evidence that Bush jnr knows/knew a war is being waged against the west. Tying his shoelaces together...now that's something he's capable of grasping...
     
  7. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    snip.. lots more at the site.......
    In June of 1997, Iraq officials had ratcheted up their obstruction of UNSCOM inspection efforts. They interfered with UNSCOM air operations and denied and delayed access of inspectors to sites. In September, they burned documents at sites while inspectors watched outside the front entrance. By mid-November, Saddam Hussein had demanded an end to U-2 surveillance flights over Iraq and called on American inspectors to leave Iraq.1 Iraqis also began moving equipment that could produce weapons of mass destruction out of the range of video cameras inspectors had installed inside key industrial facilities.2

    At first, the Clinton administration adopted a generally reserved tone toward Saddam's provocations. "We believe that he needs to fulfill all the Security Council obligations and that that is an appropriate way to deal with him," commented Secretary Albright at a November 5 press conference with the German foreign minister.3

    The next day Secretary Cohen held a ceremony unrelated to Iraq, but, citing "an unusual array" of journalists present, he also spoke on Iraq. "t's imperative that Iraq comply with U.N. mandates," said Cohen, but "the task right now, however, is to persuade them to cease and desist from their obstruction." And when asked what would be the consequences should Saddam not comply, Cohen said simply, "it's important that we not speculate what those reactions might be."4

    Striking a similar tone on November 10 at the Pentagon, Vice President Gore stated that "Saddam has taken steps that interfere with the ability of the inspection team to carry out its mission." He added, "The procedure chosen to deal with this situation is to engage him in discussions in which he can be made aware that this is not a smart thing for him to do, and he ought to change his mind."5

    But Saddam remained defiant. So on Friday, November 14, President Clinton and his top advisors met at the White House and decided to launch a public campaign to build support for a possible war against Iraq.


    "Prepare the Country for War"

    The New York Times reported that at the November 14 meeting the "White House decided to prepare the country for war." According to the Times, "[t]he decision was made to begin a public campaign through interviews on the Sunday morning television news programs to inform the American people of the dangers of biological warfare."6 During this time, the Washington Post reported that President Clinton specifically directed Cohen "to raise the profile of the biological and chemical threat."7

    On November 16, Cohen made a widely reported appearance on ABC's This Week in which he placed a five-pound bag of sugar on the table and stated that that amount of anthrax "would destroy at least half the population" of Washington, D.C. Cohen explained how fast a person could die once exposed to anthrax. "One of the things we found with anthrax is that one breath and you are likely to face death within five days. One small particle of anthrax would produce death within five days." And he noted that Iraq "has had enormous amounts" of anthrax. Cohen also spoke on the extreme lethality of VX nerve agent: "One drop [of VX] from this particular thimble as such -- one single drop will kill you within a few minutes." And he reminded the world that Saddam may have enough VX to kill "millions, millions, if it were properly dispersed and through aerosol mechanisms."8

    "The War of Words Grows; U.S.: Poisons Are World Threat" headlined the New York Daily News Monday morning.9 CBS News said the White House had begun "a new tack, warning in the darkest possible terms of the damage which Saddam Hussein could inflict with his chemical and biological weapons."10 And in "America the Vulnerable; A disaster is just waiting to happen if Iraq unleashes its poison and germs," Time wrote that "officials in Washington are deeply worried about what some of them call 'strategic crime.' By that they mean the merging of the output from a government's arsenals, like Saddam's biological weapons, with a group of semi-independent terrorists, like radical Islamist groups, who might slip such bioweapons into the U.S. and use them."11

    This message was echoed in a series of remarks President Clinton delivered the same week.


    "I say this not to frighten you"

    In Sacramento, November 15, Clinton painted a bleak future if nations did not cooperate against "organized forces of destruction," telling the audience that only a small amount of "nuclear cake put in a bomb would do ten times as much damage as the Oklahoma City bomb did." Effectively dealing with proliferation and not letting weapons "fall into the wrong hands" is "fundamentally what is stake in the stand off we're having in Iraq today."

    He asked Americans to not to view the current crisis as a "replay" of the Gulf War in 1991. Instead, "think about it in terms of the innocent Japanese people that died in the subway when the sarin gas was released [by the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo in 1995]; and how important it is for every responsible government in the world to do everything that can possibly be done not to let big stores of chemical or biological weapons fall into the wrong hands, not to let irresponsible people develop the capacity to put them in warheads on missiles or put them in briefcases that could be exploded in small rooms. And I say this not to frighten you."12

    Again in Wichita, November 17, Clinton said that what happens in Iraq "matters to you, to your children and to the future, because this is a challenge we must face not just in Iraq but throughout the world. We must not allow the 21st century to go forward under a cloud of fear that terrorists, organized criminals, drug traffickers will terrorize people with chemical and biological weapons the way the nuclear threat hung over the heads of the whole world through the last half of this century. That is what is at issue."13
    http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraq-20040623.htm
     
  8. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    If I must I'll say it again...
    Rat Bastards......:wank:
     
  9. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    We're at war, Dr Grump. Tragically, Americans die in wars - which is made even more tragic by the fact that a good percentage of the people at home have made it their life's work to A) politicize everything that happens, and national security be damned, B) Monday-morning quarterback the conduct of the war in direct inverse ratio to the degree they know WTF they're talking about, and C) downplay the fact that THEY HAVEN'T HAD ANY JETS FLY UP THEIR ASSES FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS.

    They didn't just sit on their asses getting blowjobs for those 8 years, Dr Grump. You're confusing them with someone else...

    Immaterial; the enemies in this war transcend borders and nationalities.

    That's really good, Dr Grump; I'll have to remember that. The next time I have nothing of any real substance to say, I'll just throw out some retarded shit like that.
     
  10. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    And another idiotic thing in that stupid article....

    Their friggin quoting Saddam Hussein.
    Yeah, he's saying weeeeeeeeeellll golly gee, I would never have anything to do with a terrorist group.......yuk, yuk, yuk......

    Now there's a mans word we can f@@king trust......


    Some people.......:duh3:
     

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