Fmr Interrogator Reveals Saddam’s Regime DID Have Close Ties to Al Queda

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This is one of those articles that I really REALLY hope people will read before just commenting on the headline or the quoted sections. In fact, I think it’s one of the best articles I’ve seen on this subject in half a decade. Yes, it’s long, detailed, and forces many readers to question their previously held beliefs about regime ties to the Al Queda terrorist network, but it’s not the typical anti-Bush/anti-war piece or a woohoo-Bush-was-right piece either. It is EXACTLY why: members of the 911 Commission, Sen Intel Com, as well as others (and why every investigation into the subject of regime ties) have called for MORE investigation (while specifically saying the matter should not be closed). Mark’s done a fantastic piece of work here, and it deserves reading.

During a series of email and telephone exchanges Matthew Degn relayed to his vast array of experiences working with intelligence issues relating to the current and former situation in Iraq. Among his responsibilities during his years in Iraq Degn worked as a civilian interrogator attached to the U.S. Army in Iraq before working as a Senior Policy/Intelligence Adviser to Deputy General Kamal and other top intelligence officials with the Iraq’s Ministry of Interior. Degn, currently working on a book about his experiences in Iraq (personal website here), continues to argue against those that feel there was no link between terrorism and Saddam Hussein’s regime based on his involvement with hundreds of interrogations in Iraq and his involvement with many of the Iraqi Intelligence officials with the Ministry of Interior. Degn says that much of the public perception about Saddam Hussein’s regime and terrorism are incorrect.

Degn is currently the Director of the Intelligence Studies Program and a professor at American Military University currently a professor at American Military University whose testimony about events in Iraq has been cited by NPR, ABC News, the Washington Post and elsewhere.


Another reason for conflicting reports that Degn pointed out is both the chain of command in the U.S. government’s many agencies and compartmentalization of information (“need to know”). Degn said he saw firsthand how these two factors led to vital wartime information being “watered down” before it mades its way to official reports and investigations.

77 Responses to “Fmr Interrogator Reveals Saddam’s Regime DID Have Close Ties to Al Queda”

  1. 51




    I don’t even know where to begin.

    You really should have stopped right there. Instead, you just had to expose your ignorance and idiocy. What’ll you say next to top that grand entrance comment to FA?

    p.s. i like the note underneath “if your comment is caught in spam..” A nice coverup to edit out comments that don’t favour your own opinion…

    New around here, aren’t you? Actually, editing your comment would only make you look good.

  2. 52



    @Green Eagle:

    Nevertheless, it remains a fact that the Baath parties since their founding were committed to secularism, and to opposing Islamist tendencies. Through good times and bad (mostly the latter) they stuck to that principle, and Saddam, who destroyed anyone whom he saw as a potential challenge, would hardly be the person to break with that tradition.

    It’s true that Saddam persecuted some Islamic extremists- usually of the Shi’a brand; but it also holds true that he had senior military officials within his regime with deep ties to Islamic radicals; they didn’t suppress all branches of Islam. It remains that Saddam cooperated, trained, and funded both secular and religious terrorists. That’s just factually documented.

    The insurgency plan for Iraq included collaboration between Ba’athist officials and Islamic religious fighters. A Sufi sect of Islam also supported the regime. Many Ba’athists did have a religious affiliation to the Sufi/Sunni Islamic sect.

    Saddam did feel threatened by Islamists, which is why he worked with those who carried out terrorism outside of Iraq, as well as worked with those who he could manage inside Iraq. It’s similar to the kind of appeasement Saudi Arabia had been engaged in.

    Note again all the things Saddam did in the later years to appear more Islamic and religious.

    Pick up Ray Robison’s “Both in One Trench”. There’s much more, there.

  3. 54


    Jubuss, this thread is full of idiots. ain’t it?

    @ Green dodo

    Lesee. Baath party members won’t play with religious nuts…Cuz you say so, and NONE of us have EVER read ANYTHING about the Mideast…. Hmmm.

    Syria has been run by the Baath Party for around 60 years…Based upon Nazi’s, and sharing the same hate for Jews, and the same love of power….I guess that connection to Jew-hating Shiites in Iran for the past 20 years is a mirage, seeing as though Iran is run by 12th Imam-believin religious weirdoes.

    I will also assume (in light of the VAST historical genius shown here by our interlopers) is the Quo’ran writ in Saddam’s own blood PROVES he was a secularist…Right? Oh wait…Didn’t Sunni-Wahib Al-Q work with the deposed Baathist’s after the invasion? Then tried to start a civil war with Iraqi Shia? I’m sooooo confused.

    Hey dork. Nobody here is denying Saddam got into bed with whomever made his dick look bigger, but to claim there was NO working relationship with Wahib-schooled killers EVER, is shear blindness.

    Did he ever give homage to Al-Q? No. Did he work with them against the west and Israel? Yes.

    We have his own documents telling us he did…Oh wait…when I show them to you, you’ll claim they were faked by Rummy or some other BAD American. (For only an American can be bad)

    Oh…And some of us have big giant degrees in Mideast history, and spent time there…One or two of us MIGHT have even lived in Kyrgyzstan, and traveled extensively in that area of the Planet…That person or persons may have even done some time with the State Department under several administrations, most recently in the Sudan in conjuction with the UN, so if I were you, I would STFU about assuming certain things about the posters around here…Pray that someday you know 1/10th of what Mata has already shown you, and that Mr.Smith keeps being so dang nice to you, (in light of your idiocy.)

    Books? Lotsa books…Then try 5 to 10 years of actually being there with Moslem’s both radical, and not, to top off the badly written crap that gets passed off as “knowledge” in your circle. After that, read the Quo’ran in it’s original Arabic…a language that over 80% of the worlds Moslem’s DON’T read or speak, yet they are still forced to sound-out in Arabic anyway when “learning” that same Quo’ran. According to the highest jurists in Egypt, and Arabia, (even Qom!) every translation is Hiram. (forbidden and wrong for man to embark upon). But don’t let that stop you. Start with UCLA’s library (it’s online). They have the best translations of all 3 of the main books, by the main 4 “disciples”.
    Try not to get hung up on the meanderings and false time-lines of a madman who stole the god of pagans who worshiped a meteorite in Medina, and you’ll be OK.

    One more thing. Look up when the Wahib-school actually started. It was a long time BEFORE the Egyptian-boys ever got started.

  4. 55

    Green Eagle


    Yes, I too have lived and worked in the middle east.

    For someone who likes to pontificate about others assuming things about you, you sure were quick to assume a lot about me.

    There are plenty of people who have worked in the State Department, the Defense Department and in intelligence in this country who have given all of us a thorough lesson in the fact that they know sod all about the middle east, so the fact that you may have worked for the government does not impress me.

    What does impress me is your quick resorting to ridicule and contempt to answer what I have to say. I have had enough political arguments in my life that I do not care to waste my time talking to a person with your attitude.

    By the way, I learned in the middle east to like and respect the Arabs I worked with. I sense behind your words a lot of contempt for them; this attitude will prevent you from ever understanding what is right in front of your face, regardless of how many degrees you may have, and how many government jobs you have held.

  5. 56


    Let’s look at what you’ve posited (ad nauseum)

    1 Baath party has NEVER been religious, al la some sort of mideast athiest club.

    2 Saddam was baathist, ergo he NEVER COULD work with Al-Q, or by default, any other “religious” group, even when it would have served his interests.

    3 No Baathist belongs to Sunni Islam.

    4 Bush sucks, and we’re stupid rubes.

    5 Read undefined and unspecified books.

    And we’re supposed to take you serious?

    Yeah…You and Juan Cole.

  6. 57

    Green Eagle


    I told you that I am not going to engage in a pointless conversation with an angry, smug egomaniac, who is just looking to stoke their own ego at someone else’s expense.

    Been there, done that. No more.


  7. 58

    Hard Right

    You know, I’v always wanted to discuss the ramifications of the repercussions of…what? You’re leaving? MF’r. 😉

    Sounds like you just described yourself there, GE.

  8. 59



    Well I, for one, appreciated the HUGE volume of supporting documents, and verifiable data you supplied during your stay. The references to the best books on the subject were helpful to me as well, along with your vivid descriptions of the situations during your stay in the M/E.

    I can now see why you are the one true source of all things Middle-Eastern and Islamic.

    I do wish we here, and indeed the whole world, would recognize the shear brilliance of a person such as yourself, and that they all refrain from any and all questioning of your infallible body of knowledge.

    It was truly an honor to bask in your greatness. It was 5 minutes I’ll never forget.

  9. 61


    @Aye 😉

    But I was serious!!

    That dissertation pertaining to regional political developments since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, vis a vie historical tribal associations and the influence of Nazism therein was riveting, especially with all the newly discovered evidence he supplied!

    Breathtaking…Just ask him.

  10. 62


    Actually, Saddam didn’t follow all of the Ba’ath party customs, and in fact he went against many of them. He frequently chose different paths than what many Pan Arabists(and ultimately Ba’ath members since they were Pan Arabists) would have chosen. This is why many Ba’athists outside of Iraq did not like him, aside from all of the intrusions.

    For example, in the neighboring country of Syria, the Ba’ath party had many problems with Saddam. Some of them involved trade, and border disputes. However, one issue stuck out like a sore thumb and that was how Saddam had continually given support to Mujahideen(religious fighter) members. Which the Al Asad family sometimes felt threatened by due to how close Iraq was, and the possibility that Mujahideen members who were aligned with Saddam could be operating in Syria.

    Don’t take this statement out of context, I am not saying that this was the only reason or the original reason why the Husseins and the Al Asads had problems. But, it certainly was a key factor in perpetuating much of the disdain between the two.

  11. 63


    Good view, Ryan.

    Too many people are too quick to claim absolutes, and to “put things into boxes”. If any one “box” in called for in the matters of the M/E it’s the box labeled: “Power”. All things derive from that starting point.

  12. 64


    By the way, when I say Mujahideen. I am refering to the Mujahideen Al Shura group. Not trying to sound rude or anything of the sort, but if one doesn’t know who they are and that they are a part of the Al Qaeda network, then seriously, read up on it. Just a suggestion.

  13. 65

    Green Eagle


    Of course, I agree with you about Saddam not being particularly concerned with Baath precedents; he was a bad man who would do just about anything that would benefit himself. What would not benefit him was an Islamist movement which would threaten his legitimacy (such as it was,) and in this regard it suited his convenience to follow this particular Baath precept.

    Does it mean that Saddam, or Hafez Assad would never stoop to alliances of convenience with Hamas or Hezbollah? No, but Saddam certainly would not share power with a group which he saw as Saudi-backed, and which was a direct threat to his rule, should it ever become established in the mideast.

  14. 66


    I was in no way confused by your statement, as I am familiar with Saddam’s tactics in keeping his neighbor “in line”. In fact it only show even more strongly the willingness of Saddam to use whomever to support his goals, even if those “tools” are religious in-nature, and are used against an entity whom many people thought of as his ideological/political-twin.

    Saddam knew that Assad only remains in power because of the fear he and his father have lorded over the country for lo these many years. His tribe (the Kalbiyya, an offshoot of Alawi, which is Shia in creed, but considered heretical by all Moslems, and members of Ba’ath) have long been a small, but rich and powerful force in the country, but because of their size and exposure, are susceptible to overt/covert violence which if successful, would let the non-moderate, non Ba’ath Shia, (which are far more numerous, and backed by Iran) threaten Assad’s power.

    Saddam would regularly use this weakness to push Assad into doing what he wanted done, when he needed it done. The Assad’s have played their chess-pieces in all this as well, alternating “loyalties” to Ba’athist Saddam, Khomenist Iran, Wahib Saudi, and the feckless, bleeding-heart Europeans… meanwhile using Lebanon as a “Queen” for/against all of the above, plus Israel and America.

    Again…It’s all about the Power, and the survival.

  15. 67


    GreenEagle’s very first post:

    Anyone with the most superficial knowledge of modern Arab history would know that Saddam and Al Qaida would have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I suggest you try acquiring some knowledge on this subject before falling for this ludicrous assertion.

    I repeat: no one with any real knowledge of the Baath party and of Wahabism could possibly imagine an alliance between these people. Don’t let yourselves be suckers for Bush’s nonsensical claim.

    (Notice the harshness, and the insulting nature)

    Aaaand his last post:

    Does it mean that Saddam, or Hafez Assad would never stoop to alliances of convenience with Hamas or Hezbollah? No, but Saddam certainly would not share power with a group which he saw as Saudi-backed, and which was a direct threat to his rule, should it ever become established in the mideast.

    I submit, that NO ONE in this thread has put forth the position that Saddam was somehow open to powersharing.

    I also submit that GreenEagle has now turned, and accepted the premise put forth, that Saddam “stooped to allianaces of convenience”, which is what everyone else has just spent 60 some-odd posts telling him.

    I futher submit that opening with insults, usually results in counter-insults.

  16. 68

    Green Eagle


    I have nothing to say to you. You are here not to discuss the issues, but to stoke your ego at the expense of others, and that is a game I will not play.

  17. 69


    Green Eagle, Al Qaeda is not considered Saudi supported. In fact, the terror group shares a distaste of the Saudi government and the royal family with Saddam Hussein. Some of the 9-11 attackers were Saudi, and had a history of operating against the Saudi government and royal family when they were being learning in the Madrasas.

    Here is a good article for your scrutiny, it’s from the New York Times newspaper and even though it does offer a tiny amount of evidence supporting the 9-11 families’ lawsuit against the Saudi government, it goes on to say that as lawyers study the documents being used to support a case against the House of Saud, they are finding no connections between the two or the charities that are supposedly aiding Al Qaeda. Either way, it provides a pretty balanced view on the subject.

    Here is the URL if you would like to take a look for yourself rather than have me tell you what’s in it; Also, here are some pretty good articles that show why Michael Kellog (a lawyer from the 9-11 families’ lawsuit against the Saudi royal family mentioned in the New York Times article) believes that the Saudis aren’t responsible for the 9-11 attacks. The URLs are;, and

    I think it’s also quiet relevant to mention that the Saudi royal family shares a common enemy with the U.S. and that’s Al Qaeda. At the same time, they’ve done a lot to help us capture and fight members who were trying to carry out attacks.

    -Here are some additional articles that I thought were interesting;

  18. 71

    Aye Chihuahua



    Sorry, hope my comment isn’t too hard on the eyes with the big URLs. I don’t know how to make links like everyone else.

    Here’s how to embed links:

    See the little right arrow under the word “Comment” above the comment box? Click on that and you get an HTML menu with shortcut buttons.

    The one that says “Link” is that one that you are interested in.

    Type your text, then highlight the words that you want to use for the embed. Once highlighted, click “Link” and paste the link in the pop up box and click “OK”. (Make sure the “http” portion that is in the popup box disappears when you paste your link.)

    Also, here are some pretty good articles that show why Michael Kellog (a lawyer from the 9-11 families’ lawsuit against the Saudi royal family mentioned in the New York Times article) believes that the Saudis aren’t responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

    Hope that’s clear as mud.

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