Originally posted by: heartsurgeon
A leading news outlet has published an Op-Ed Piece claiming
"Missing Links Found" connecting Al-Qaeda and Iraq.
New York Times
this is a very tintillating piece. not so much safire's op-ed, which mashes everything together, but because of the info skimmed from the
various links within, plus the msnbc.com link below.
the info in toto - so far - does not establish a direct link between al-aqeda and saddam but
it does irrefutably establish that saddam
was interested in establishing such ties (with al-qaeda) and that he worked with his foreign assignees to plot terrorist acts. saddam may
have succeeded in establishing such ties with al-qaeda people though not necessarily with bin laden. the evidence so far places us half-way
from the slate link in safire's op-ed:
The reason there had been joint Czech-American interest in the case traced back to the December 1998 when al-Ani's predecessor at
the Iraq Embassy, Jabir Salim, defected from his post. In his debriefings, Salim said that he had been supplied with $150,000 by Baghdad
to prepare a car-bombing of an American target, the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe. (This bombing never took place because
Salim could not recruit a bomber.)
brilliant. salim is a reputable intel source. the details of his case are not in dispute. he hasn't waffled. he appears to understand the limits
of his knowledge and doesn't tease us with any qualifiers or guesses. he received his marching orders from saddam, failed to complete the
bombing mission, and defected. so short and sweet.
the links are peppered with numerous undisputed references that saddam certainly desired an alliance with the notorious osama but that
osama apparently refused for ideological reasons. the point is not that we're lacking a direct link - which speaks to a lack of human intel - but
to the fact that saddam did pursue such a relationship. this amounts to a confirmation of long standing suspicions.
Consider one of the seemingly more compelling reports cited in the memo: that Farouk Hijazi, the former chief of Iraqi intelligence and
then ambassador to Turkey, flew to Afghanistan in late 1998 to meet with bin Laden. As Stephen Hayes, author of The Weekly Standard
piece dutifully notes, accounts of this purported Saddam overture to Osama made its way into the mainstream press at the time?including
NEWSWEEK. A Feb. 6, 1999, story in the British newspaper The Guardian contended the purpose of Hijazi?s visit was to offer a presumably
besieged bin Laden asylum in Iraq.
But, as Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism official, says, the Feith-Carney memo omits the rest of the story: that bin Laden
actually rejected the Hijazi overture, concluding he did not want to be ?exploited? by a regime that he has consistently viewed as ?secular?
and fundamentally antithetical to his vision of a strict Islamic state.
fine. the story is osama said 'no, thanks, 'cause you're a dirty socialist, saddam'. but what cannistrato does not dispute is that the overture
took place. the writers use cannistraro's august credentials and placement to confirm and complete the 'story'. hijazi was sent by saddam but
hijazi, like salim, failed in his mission. this establishes, amazingly from this little amount of information, a pattern within the ba'ath heirarchy to
adopt the very means that many liberals claim saddam never resorted to. we know saddam had prior, open associations with various middle
eastern terrorrist groups (like the pkk - kurdish) but now we understand that logically he would not abide by any invisble line against doing
the same in the west, especially against his arch-nemesis, the united states.