Jonathan Landay and McClatchy Newspapers Still Ignorant About Saddam’s Ties To Al Queda

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Earlier this week an article by Jonathan Landay was published by the failing McClatchy Newspapers. The article asserted that innumerable people had been tortured with the intent and purpose of proving a tie between Saddam Hussein’s regime and the Al Queda network of terrorist groups. The article asserted that there never were any ties between the two, and that the torturing of captured Al Queda terrorists was done largely to create a fictional narrative that would support the case for invading Iraq (let’s ignore that the alleged “torture” happened AFTER the invasion of Iraq-just as was done in the article).

I attempted to contact Jonathan Landay to nicely and politely inform him that the issue of regime ties had never been closed. He responded nicely, pointed me in the direction of a few reports, then categorically declared that no ties existed and that the intelligence community had known this all along, but the Bush Administration “cherry-picked” intelligence to make its case for war.

After that initial email, Jonathon refused to respond to further attempts at educating him. SO, here we go…

  • Khalid Sheik Mohammed (mastermind of the 911 attacks) was captured in 2003 on the eve of the invasion of Iraq (literally 19 days before the invasion, and half a year since the military, diplomatic, and rhetorical run-up to invasion began). We now know from the “torture” documents released by President Obama that “coercive interrogation”/”torture” was NOT the first method or the of choice. It’s not like someone captured Khalid Sheik Mohammed and then cried out, “WOO HOO! Get out the pliers so we can start pullin’ fingernails!!! Yeeee hawwwww!!” We also know that it was only used after traditional interrogation means had failed, AND after multiple leaders had agreed to it from higher in the chain of command. However, it’s impossible and incorrect to say that KSM was tortured to force him to create a false story that could be used to justify the invasion of Iraq….when he was captured just days before the invasion. Still, propagandists made that false and misleading claim (’cause they can’t look at a calender?).
  • The claim that raw intelligence was cherry-picked and then used to make the case for war/to mislead elected officials is completely false and debunked by a simple calender. The cherry-picking claim stems from the idea that Doug Feith’s Office of Special Plans picked out raw intel reports, arranged them in a condemning manner, then used that to trick elected officials into thinking there was a certain relationship between the regime and Al Queda, BUT (here’s the problem) Feith’s group gave it’s last presentation to the Bush Admin on Monday, Sept 16, 2002 (4 days after Pres. Bush began his rhetoric-run-up to war with his address to the UN). 48hours later-one Wednesday, Sept 18, 2002, the CIA met with the Administration and with elected officials (including the Democrat-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee). Any ambiguities, concerns, misleading, etc done by Feith’s group would have been cleared up and resolved and made irrelevant 48hrs after the Feith presentation. Jonathon would know this because the dates are presented in the report that he directed me to read.
  • The issue of ties between Saddam’s regime and the Al Queda network of terrorist groups was never fully investigated, resolved, or closed as is often deliberately and falsely claimed. Entire bookstore shelves are filled with volumes of books that have been written on the subject of regime ties to Al Queda (including some by me), and there’s some great websites out there listing individuals in the regime and in Al Queda groups who were actually caught working together, but let’s step aside from those for the moment and see what the US government has “concluded” about regime ties…

I have read the various reports from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (Sen Intel Com) regarding the issue of regime ties to Al Queda. From what I could gather, there were several pre-invasion reports from the CIA regarding the issue of regime ties:

  • The Sept 21, 2001 PDB (I’ve never seen a Sept 12, 2001 PDB regarding regime ties)President’s Daily Brief (PDB)
    -Sept, 21, 2001
    -Just 10 days after the 911 attacks this summary assessment clearly suffered from lack of intelligence gathering and analysis since at the time it still wasn’t 100% clear that Al Queda was behind the 911 attacks.
  • NESA Report on Iraq’s Ties to Terrorism (terrorism in general/not specific to Al Queda). This was basically a preliminary draft of the CIA’s “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002” and “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2003” reports
    -October 2001
    -Formed no conclusions (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
    -cited a lack of evidence and a lack of investigations into the matter as no formal investigation and analysis had ever been conducted (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
  • “Iraq and al-Qa’ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship”
    -Formed no conclusions (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
    -specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
  • “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2002”
    -Formed no conclusions (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
    -specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
  • Letter from DCI Tenet, head of the CIA, to Sen. Bob Graham, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee
    -Formed no conclusions, simply reiterated closed door testimony from CIA officials to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the more time passes, the more likely it is that Saddam would make WMD and use Al Queda to covertly and deniably attack the United States
    -Lists several examples of Saddam’s support for terrorism, Al Queda, and its proxy terror affiliates.
  • “Report of the Joint Inquiry Into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001-By the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence”
    -December 2002
    -Reiterated the comments from the 9/21/01 PDB and the 10/7/02 Tenet Letter
    -Added more reports of possible Iraqi involvement in the 911 attacks, but added caveats that the reports hadn’t been fully investigated by Dec 2002
    -cited a lack of evidence gathered as a problem that prevented forming any conclusions (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
  • “Iraqi Support for Terrorism 2003”
    -January 2003
    -This was basically a rehash of the 2002 version with a little new info since the CIA finally got a spy back into Iraq just a few weeks prior to its release (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
    -Formed no conclusions (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
    -specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered (per Sen Intel Com rpt on pre-war intel regarding Iraq)
  • “Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Investigation Into Pre-War Intelligence on Iraq (Phase I report)”
    -July 7, 2004
    -confirmed the various reports of ties between Saddam’s regime and Al Queda as presented in other reports (including confirmation of most of the comments made by Feith and his office), and repeatedly stated that the Bush Administration’s claims were “reasonable” as well as often accurate reflections of the intelligence reporting at the time.
    “Due to the limited amount and questionable quality of reporting on the leadership intentions of Saddam Hussein and Usama bin Ladin, the CIA was unable to make conclusive assessments in Iraqi Support for Terrorism regarding Iraq’s relationship with al-Qaida. The CIA stated in the Scope Note: ‘Our knowledge of Iraq’s ties to terrorism is evolving DELETED. . . . ‘”
    -at the rollout of the report, several of the senators-including Sen. Rockefeller (D), addressed the press and made it clear that the issue of regime ties to Al Queda was not looked at:
    “…the committee concluded there was a failure by intelligence community managers to adequately encourage analysts to challenge their assumptions, to fully consider alternative arguments, to accurately characterize intelligence reporting and to counsel analysts who had lost their objectivity.”
  • Senator Pat Roberts 070904 SIC Release of WMD investigation report Press Conference transcript
    -“Most alarmingly, after 1998 and the exit of the U.N. inspectors, the CIA had no human intelligence sources inside Iraq who were collecting against the WMD target.”
    -“But with respect to Saddam Hussein’s regime and his link to terrorists, the committee did find that the CIA judgments were reasonable, based on the available intelligence. The agency was also more careful to inform policy-makers about uncertainties with their analysis.”
    -“Finally, the committee found no evidence that the intelligence community’s mischaracterization or exaggeration of intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities was the result of politics or pressure.”
    -“Our human intelligence collection, as Pat Roberts has pointed out, was inadequate. Not only did we not have people on the ground after 1998 when the inspectors left, but we relied when they had left too much on the fragmentary reporting from years before, from the early ’90s, from the post-Iran/Iraq War situation and were never able to pin anything down.”
  • “911 Commission Final Report”
    -July 22, 2004
    -Formed no conclusions regarding regime ties to Al Queda
    -members later specifically cited a lack of evidence gathered and asked that the question of regime ties to Al Queda be examined further-not dismissed or otherwise closed.
    -John Lehman (a 911 Commissioner) said, “There may well be–and probably will be–additional intelligence coming in from interrogations and from analysis of captured records and so forth which will fill out the intelligence picture. This is not phrased as–nor meant to be–the definitive word on Iraqi Intelligence activities.”
    “This is a very significant set of facts,” former 9/11 commissioner, Mr. Kerry said yesterday. “I personally and strongly believe you don’t have to prove that Iraq was collaborating against Osama bin Laden on the September 11 attacks to prove he was an enemy and that he would collaborate with people who would do our country harm. This presents facts should not be used to tie Saddam to attacks on September 11. It does tie him into a circle that meant to damage the United States.” (I believe he even went on Jon Stewart’s, The Daily Show, and reiterated that the issue of regime ties was never fully investigated, analyzed, or concluded, and he said that he thought it needed to be re-opened.
    -Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton also said: there was a lack of intelligence gathered which led to problems, that the matter was never concluded (or even started), and that it should be re-examined.
  • “Iraqi Perspective Project Report” (DoD)
    -March 2006
    -Confirmed many of the previously reported ties between the regime and Al Queda
    -Found many more examples of ties and further demonstrated that there was in fact a relationship between the two, that it was dangerous, and that it was growing faster than expected
    -Cited a lack of intelligence gathered before the war, and an even larger, more deliberate, and more unexplained refusal to investigate the relationship after the invasion given the wealth of captured intelligence and detained regime members.
    -September 9, 2006
    -Cited the post-war refusal of any and all intelligence agencies to investigate the depth and threat of the relationship between Saddam’s regime and Al Queda
    -Used the refusal of intelligence agencies to investigate pre-war intelligence and the causes for the lack thereof, the Senate Intelligence Committee openly, freely, and admittedly took it upon itself to act as an intelligence agency and form an intelligence assessment on its own.
    (U) The CIA has not published a “fully researched, coordinated and approved position” on the postwar reporting on the former regime’s links to al-Qa’ida, but has published such a paper on the postwar reporting on Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi and the former Iraqi regime. The CIA told the Committee that regarding Iraq’s links to terrorism, “the research the Counterterrorist Center has done on this issue has called into question some of the reports of contacts and training . . . revealed other contacts of which we were unaware, and shed new light on some contacts that appeared in prewar reporting. On balance, this research suggests that the prewar judgment remains valid.“l54 (Recall that previous investigations had determined that pre-war judgments as presented by the Bush Administration were “accurate” and “reasonable.”)

There are some consistencies in all these investigations and their reports:

They all refuse to form a conclusion
They all say there was a relationship, but the depth of it is debated inside the intelligence community
They all say the matter should be looked into rather than dismissed, closed, or perpetuated as a resolved point of discussion.

People can also point to 1990’s, pre-Bush Administration, open-source, mass media reports from: Newsweek, TIME, US News, NYT, LAT, ABC, and CBS; all of which claimed in 1998 and 1999 that there was a relationship between the two. Still, I bow to the reports and the bi-partisan claims from at least (4) 911 Commission members and both the chair and vice-chair of the Senate Intel Committee all of whom I’ve cited above as saying there was a lack of evidence gathering, a lack of analysis, and that the matter was never closed.

There are also MILLIONS of captured and authenticated documents, videos, tapes etc. brought back from Afghanistan and Iraq, and in these documents-many made public, some even listed by the FBI-individual terror groups that are in the Al Queda network of terrorist groups and were taking orders and working with Iraqi Intelligence (lest we forget “Al Queda” translates as “the Base” or the start of jihad, and is really a network of groups rather than a single club type entity).

Oh….there were definitely ties between Saddam Hussein’s regime and the Al Queda terrorist network, but the question was about closeness. Were they just entities with a common mission, were they occasional allies, were they close allies like Roosevelt and Stalin, were there operational ties, cooperational ties, did Saddam want Osama to have his baby, did they share wives, were they snuggle-buggle-huggy lovers, or did they use each other. That ties existed was claimed and proven from 1996 onward, but the depth and detail of those ties was never fully investigated or concluded despite high-ranking calls from Democrats and Republicans to look into it.

Still some people-even after being informed-prefer to maintain the idea that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with Al Queda. It’s an ironic claim for if it were true, then their ire would be equally directed towards the Obama Administration’s war there: one aimed at-Barack Obama’s words-fighting Al Queda.

I invite anyone and everyone to send Jonathan ( [email protected] ) and McClatchy newspapers a link to this post which categorically proves they were wrong in their assertions that there were never any ties between Saddam’s regime and the Al Queda terrorist network.

Let’s support President Obama’s war in Iraq-and his fight against Al Queda there-by halting the lie that the war has nothing to do with Al Queda.

26 Responses to “Jonathan Landay and McClatchy Newspapers Still Ignorant About Saddam’s Ties To Al Queda”

  1. 2

    Jeff Sabo

    His response to my email

    “Thanks. But perhaps you ought to start by spelling my name correctly.”

    I did mention that he might have tried to respond to your points rather than the minor spelling error. Names can be tricky but are easier to refute than the many facts you laid out.


  2. 3



    Thanks Jeff. You can email him back that the name spelling has been corrected….now how ’bout the other bits?

    When I sent him the list of reports and quotes…that’s when he stopped responding to me too. It’s sad. IMO as soon as a detective, a cop, an investigator, an inspector, or a journalist starts ignoring facts rather than being open to them…that’s when that person becomes useless in their vocation.

  3. 4

    Jeff Sabo

    His new response. Note Caffein is misspelled.

    Perhaps you ought to ease off on the caffine, Jeff, before hitting the Send button.

    I had only just started reading the post you sent and thought you ought to know that my name was mis-spelled. But from you’re own email, it seems that you just post stuff without checking the accuracy of what you post. Kinda like the neocons did with the info they got from Chalabi on al Qaida and Iraq and like the person who put this post together. Who ever put together the post overlooked or decided to leave out the following from the SSCI report which its cites so often:

    Conclusion 93: The Central Intelligence Agency reasonably assessed that there were likely several instances of contacts between Iraq and al Qaida throughout the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add up to an established formal relationship.

    Conclusion 96: The Central Intelligence Agency’s assessment that to date there was no evidence providing Iraqi complicity or assistance in an al Qaida attack was reasonable and objective. No additional information has emerged to suggest otherwise.

    Conclusion 97: The Central Intelligence Agency’s judgment that Saddam Hussein, if sufficiently desperate, might employ terrorists with a global reach – al Qaida – to conduct terrorist attacks in the event of war, was reasonable. No information has emerged thus far to suggest that Saddam did try to employ al Qaida in conducting terrorist attacks.

    The 9/11 Commission similarly said there were NO operational connections between al Qaida and Iraq.

    So, if you want to continue wasting your time flogging this dead puppy, feel free. That’s your right under the Constitution. It’s also the right of those who think the Bush administration did 9/11 itself and there are flying saucers stashed at Area 51. But please dont waste anymore of my time with this. Cheers,

  4. 5



    Nice job Jeff. Amazing how HE cherry-picks the conclusions and ignores the comments from the two senators (Chairman and vice chairman of the Sen Intel Committee that wrote that report- one Dem/one Repub). Both men say there was not enough evidence collected. Then he finger points the 911 Commission, incorrectly paraphrases what they said, and ignores the two quotes I presented (one Dem, one Repub) saying there wasn’t enough intel collected, and that it should be looked into more.

    I also notice that the crux of his article (the claim that the Bush Admin pushed torture to make a case for the war in Iraq) doesn’t work based merely on a calender. A simple glance at the calender kills his claim that the Bush Admin “cherry-picked” intel to make the case for war (48hrs after any cherry-picking, the CIA would’ve cleared up any misrepresentation by Feith’s group).

    It’s sad. I tried to have a discussion with him, to point out where he was closing his eyes to the full truth. Yeah, as if any good reporter bases his knowledge on half quotes-like he did. Loved the cherry picking of the report and ignoring the opinions from those who wrote it because they dissented from his own pre-fabbed belief.

    Oh well. I tried. You tried. Others have tried. He’s a closed-minded journalist who has cherry-picked his quotes, incorrectly paraphrased and half-quoted reports, and dismissed the opinions of people that dissent from his view even when they themselves wrote the findings. Not sure how more closed-minded a person can be and still call themselves a journalist or reporter and not something else.

  5. 6

    Jeff Sabo

    All here is Jonathan’s new response:

    Jeff, sorry for my brittleness this morning. Apparently I was skewered by O’Reilly last night and the hate emails are distracting me from my work.

    I have been writing on this subject for eight years. My colleagues, Warren Strobel and John Walcott, and I were the only journalists who began writing on a consistent basis months before the invasion of Iraq that the intelligence on which the administration was basing its case for war was dubious and inconclusive and much of it was bogus and exaggerated.

    When you have the time, please read the following:

    When you have the time, please watch the following:

    What all of this comes down to is a simple question: why did the Bush administration so readily accept the CIA’s conclusions on Iraq’s WMD programs – which were totally wrong – yet rejected its findings on the alleged Iraq-al Qaida connection, which were totally correct? The answer is simple: the WMD conclusions supported the case for war; the al Qaida-Iraq conclusions did not.



    My note

    Well Bill Moyers, Really??? LOL


  6. 7



    Oh my gawd….how ignorant can a person be? “which were totally wrong ”

    Ok, look, ignore the Bush Admin WMD claims, and look at the UN’s 3/6/03 Unresolved Disarmament Issues (ie WMD) report. It lists 129 pages of issues. Now take that report and read the ISG Duelfer Report and see what was “totally wrong”

    Missile claims
    -100% correct
    -chemical claims
    -about 1/2 correct (yeah, there were missing artillery shells later found, no the VX turned out to have been lost in a truck accident that the scientists covered up to protect their lives from Saddam, yes there was massive amounts of chlorine and pesticide/nerve agent under the guise of dual use, yes the ISG report has pics of pesticides to be used by the intel services and pics of perfume atomizers at chem weapons bases to be used as atomizers in artillery shells)
    -bio (no, no stockpiles were found, but yes the anthrax and other dual use “simulant” facilities were found and you can see the pics in the ISG report)


    why did the Bush administration so readily accept the CIA’s conclusions on Iraq’s WMD programs – which were totally wrong – yet rejected its findings on the alleged Iraq-al Qaida connection, which were totally correct?

    That’s because in the Senate Intel Com phase II report on pre-war Iraq intel we found out that the CIA finally (after 4yrs of total absence) got a spy inside Saddam’s inner circle, and that guy claimed there was lots of WMD, but no ties. Turned out…not as much WMD, but far deeper ties. Doubt it…? See initial post.

    Really, is it possible that I’ve read these reports and the so-called authorities on the subject just skimmed em, then formed their own scandalous conclusions. Did they read them and just look for scandalous stories to try and be the next Woodward and Bernstein? How can someone read a conclusion that actually says there’s no new information so we couldn’t form a conclusion, and twist that into “no evidence”. It’s like asking a homicide investigator if there was a murder, and the cop says, well, I got a phone call, but haven’t left the station to look into it. AH-HA! So there’s no evidence of a murder, and thus no murder!

    CURIOUS, is a closed-minded investigator, inspector, detective, reporter, journalist an oxymoron?

  7. 8


    This guy writes for a living? “But from you’re own email, it seems that you just post stuff without checking the accuracy of what you post.” You’re own???

    I saw this article in our local failing rag — looked to me like a lazy dusting off of tired old liberal talking points, myths and lies. He did not commit any journalism. And they call it ‘news’. Snort.

  8. 9



    It’s sad.
    Really, no ties ever existed? Next comes the ‘Iraq had nothing to do with Al Queda’ talking point, but…unfortunately President Obama says Al Queda groups are in Iraq, and the US has to stay to fight them.

    The old talking points still ring bells for many, and any Bush-bashing article still gets lots of attention, but it doesn’t help things along, and worse, it takes attention away from systemic problems that need to be addressed in favor of partisan chest-thumping.

    Still love the claim that Bush Admin tried to elicit information by torturing KSM (noooo, they couldn’t POSSIBLY have asked interrogators to get info because there was a lack of intel. That’s too sane/not crazy enough). Yeah, like the invasion of Iraq-six months of military buildup, rhetoric, diplomacy, etc all coulda collapsed in the 19 days between when KSM was captured and when the invasion took place. Gimme a break.

    Man, I need a job as easy as Landay’s.

  9. 10

    John ryan

    If we had water boarded Saddam I am sure that he would have confessed Look Scott for most Americans this is an over and done with issue. We do not believe that there were any substantial operative links between al Qaeda and Saddam. We also do not believe that 9/11 was an inside job or that Saddam had WMD. One more thing I feel should also be mentioned. The Tooth Fairy, well that is a fantasy also. AS many as perhaps 10-15% of all Americans believe in thTooth Fairy but actually it is a false idea. I know I know there is SOME evidence, but it is not true. Move on grow up and take a good look at the reality that most Americans perceive.

  10. 11



    John, you hit the nail on the head. Most Americans do not believe there was a connection between Saddam’s regime and the Al Queda network of terrorist groups. Yet there’s more evidence that there WAS than reports showing there wasn’t. The problem isn’t the lack of evidence gathered anymore. It’s the half truth interpretation of half quotes from people like Jonathan Landay, Warren Strobel, from papers like McClatchy, from hacks at MSNBC like Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman, all of whom wear the badge of news media on their chests, then consistently ignore the second half of quotes that looked into the matter of regime ties. As my piece shows earlier, and as I’m all to happy to provide more quotes, there is a repeated pattern of looking at a quote that says, ‘there’s no evidence of a tie between the regime and the network….’

    [then ignore the second half which almost always says, “because no evidence was collected”]

    Really, I can point to literally more than a dozen cases where quotes like this are presented, and each and every time you get alleged news media claiming that no evidence means no ties. How could there be any conclusion of no ties if no one looked into it, and when people DO…the evidence is blown off as similar to aliens at Area 51, the Tooth Fairy, and so forth.

    Cop gets a call about a crime
    journalist asks the cop if there’s evidence of the crime
    cop says, nope, no evidence. I haven’t left the station or even made a call
    quasi journalist writes newspaper story saying phone caller was crying wolf because no evidence was found

    Who is believing in fairy tales, and who is reading the entire quote?

  11. 12



    PROOF OF “WILLFUL IGNORANCE.” You know, the kind were they stick their fingers in their ears and scream “LA LA LA LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

    @John ryan:


    Give it a rest, John, informed Americans don’t believe your nonsense, and those Americans who do only do so because of people like you and Landay who perpetuate the baseless lies you are now defending in order to keep them ignorant of the facts.

    Some Americans still believe Joe Wilson was telling the truth

    Why is everything they know so wrong?

    Aren’t they capable of seeing the harm they do? Or is their obsessive hatred of the Right really that much more important to them than their own security?

  12. 15

    There is an army of people on the internet who have collectively devoted probably a million hours to dredging up a blizzard of rat facts to try to make the case for both the WMD and the Saddam-Al Qaeda link.

    For me, it’s always been simple. I listen carefully to what George W Bush has to say about both WMD and Saddam/Al Qaeda link. He had every motive to try and reinforce these ideas, instead, he essentially repudiated both of these ideas.

    There’s nothing but nothing which would have totally changed American and World opinion of the Bush war effort than substantiating the claims that Saddam had WMD after all and that Saddam had substantive Al Qaeda ties after all. Instead, as his administration took more and more heat, Bush moved further and further away from these concepts and, in essence, ultimately repudiated them himself.

    I’ll need about 4 hours of time that I don’t have right now to address the various arguments made by others on this blog in a prior debate on this issue. I don’t yet have this time. But it’s about stuff which have been argued for years; so the topic will still be there when I’ve got the time and energy to tackle it.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  13. 16

    Scott Malensek

    Larry, that might be true re WMD, but you’ll notice I almost never-EVER cite Bush’s claims on that. Instead I cite the UN’s and then list what was found (preferably with pics).

    In terms of regime ties to Al Queda, I’m sorry. I truly and honestly am sorry, but I can’t recall Bush or his admin stepping back from that claim. If you’ve got some examples, I’d love to see em. In the end, however, you and other FA readers will recall that my claim re regime ties is predominately INdirect, and that this indirect blowback reborn Al Queda in 1992, forced its alliance with Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1996 (of which 2/3 of AQ leaders were co-members in EIJ), and led directly to AQ attacks against the US including 911. Interestingly enough, the 911 Commission agrees with me.

    In the end, does it matter if AQ groups were in Iraq working w Saddam before the invasion-does it matter any more than German forces in Morocco in 1942, or Japanese forces in New Zealand in 41? You go where the fight is, and when possible…you choose your fight. Given the choice of focusing the fighting in the Graveyard of Empires or in Iraq where ties had been reported in the msm since 1996….I gotta say Iraq was the easier nut. Today’s generals in Afghanistan agree.

  14. 17



    Hang the “UN”, Scott. Merely refer to the Harmony/ISG documents from Saddam’s own regime (which our troops confiscated in 2003, and took years to translate) that tie him to Zawahiri back to Somalia days in 2003. What’s more troubling is that Zawahiri and Bin Laden were already working together. Saddam ordered assault on US troops in Somalia. Bin Laden trained the troops that carried out the assault on our troops.

    The only difference between Zawahiri then, and Zawahiri now is that he merged his EIJ into AQ a few years later.

    Larry, if all you want to depend upon is Bush’s PR mouthpieces, you are unqualified to comment on reality. Sorry guy. Genuinely like you, but that don’t fly in the face of reality.

  15. 18


    “For me, it’s always been simple. I listen carefully to what George W Bush has to say “

    Typical Lefty, don’t focus on facts, but instead do something more akin to reading tea leaves. Good one, Larry.

    “I’ll need about 4 hours of time that I don’t have right now to address the various arguments made by others on this blog in a prior debate on this issue”

    I won’t be holding my breath, but I am now looking forward to a very good laugh. If you do actually put something together, I doubt that I will dissappointed. (of course, I doubt you will put it together, so if you don’t mind, I’ll do my laughing now.)

    Oh, and remember, Larry, the Al Qaeda connection and the WMD were only a couple of the MANY reasons we needed to take him out.

  16. 19


    Larry should also listen carefully to what his side had to say:

    “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

    “As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

    “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” — Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

    “Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people.” — Tom Daschle in 1998

    “Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.” — Madeline Albright, 1998

  17. 20



    One of their favorite “proofs” for “Bush lied” is that David Kay allegedly said there were no WMD, even though he not only didn’t say that, but confirmed that there were at least some, though not as many as we thought.

    Also important is David Kay’s actual testimony, in which he said about Iraq,…

    “I think Baghdad was actually becoming more dangerous in the last two years than even we realized. Saddam was not controlling the society any longer. In the marketplace of terrorism and of WMD, Iraq well could have been that supplier if the war had not intervened.”

    (I wonder how Larry Weisenthal thinks he can debunk the “rat facts” of experts like Kay. Maybe by saying, “It’s just not true, so there.”?) Larry, stop reading DailyKos, CommonDreams, and the rest of the loony Left. They’ll rot your brian.

  18. 21


    @ yonason

    Thanks. I came across quotes by other Democrats, also recognizing that Iraq had WMD’s, but I figured the quotes in 1998 (pre-Bush, during Clinton’s Presidency) were sufficient to make the point.

  19. 22



    ” I figured the quotes . . . were sufficient to make the point.”

    They were, and it was well done and just right as it was.

    I just used it to segway into my own attack on their perfidy. Hope you don’t mind.


  20. 24

    Ken T

    For all the McClatchy green environment we must suffer

    just Google ‘ 500 tons Uranium ‘

    and for this and John Roberts we have a lasting legacy
    to thank “W” for


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