Posted by SAM on 20 March, 2008 at 12:31 pm. 15 comments already!

Well, AP has done it again. They’ve clearly ignored the latest investigation into ties between Saddam’s regime and the Al Queda network of terrorist groups. Even their own article tries to play both sides of the coin (a writing tactic used primarily by High School students to write book reports on texts they’ve never seen).

“Fact Check: Bush on Al Qaida, Iraqis”
By JENNIFER LOVEN

…That’s about as factual as the article gets. Beyond that, it’s filled with contradictions that try in vain to spin the documented findings to bolster their historically flawed position on the issue; that there were never and could never be any ties between Saddam’s regime and the Al Queda network.

“Evidence has accumulated from inside and outside the Bush administration that Iraq’s prewar government led by Saddam Hussein did not collaborate with al-Qaida or have any involvement in the 2001 attacks, as was suggested before the invasion and for some time after. This has stopped some — but not all — assertions by administration officials, such as Vice President Dick Cheney, of links between Saddam’s Iraq and the terrorist network.”

In this section, they’ve referred to “the terrorist network.” Too often many people refer to Al Queda as if it’s a Boy Scout troop or a military organization. It translates as “The Base” or “The Origin/starting point” of Islamic Holy War. It is a terrorist network as they’ve described-not a mere group. This does, however bring up one of the points that seem contradictory to me. At the first part of this section they say,

“…Saddam Hussein did not collaborate with al-Qaida…”/,

but the report itself spends literally dozens of pages detailing the documents that show Saddam’s regime did collaborate with groups that were part of the Al Queda network of terrorist groups. Among these (perhaps most prominently) was Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and the captured documents reviewed in the report specifically say the regime collaborated with EIJ at a time when 2/3 of the people who comprised Al Queda’s leadership were also leading EIJ. The report also gives specific examples of the regime working with EIJ on attacks and on deployment plans. The report similarly gives documented examples of collaboration between at least 4 other groups that were part of (what you describe as) the Al Queda network.

In reference to the ties between Al Queda and Iraq and the 911 attacks, I’d call attention to the repeated casus belli that the 911 Commission reported as being repeated by Osama Bin Laden (pg48 and 49). Here we find at least an indirect correlation between the US war on Iraq in the 1990’s and the rebirth of Al Queda in 12/92. However, let’s not ignore that the 911 attacks (according to Al Queda’s strategic planner and the 911 Commission) were authorized between 12/98 and 2/99 in direct, stated, declared response by Al Queda to the US Desert Fox strikes on Iraq (the plans had been brainstormed in 95/96, but weren’t authorized until “late 98 early 99” per 911 Commission report and Khalid Sheik Mohammed testimony).

There is another apparent contradiction in the article.

“The Iraq insurgency is believed to be foreign-led and pledges loyalty to the international terrorist network. But though the terms are often used interchangeably, particularly by military or administration officials, there is little or no evidence of coordination between the two groups. Experts question how closely they are even associated.”

If the Iraq insurgency is foreign led, and it pledges loyalty to the Al Queda international terrorist network, then how can the next sentence say that there is “…little or no evidence of coordination between the two groups.”? Either it’s foreign led and part of the terrorist network, or it’s not.

This is corroborated by the testimony of
captured Al Queda in Iraq leaders,
captured Al Queda leaders, and
captured regime leaders often caught working with Al Queda (to say nothing of the first hand accounts/tell all books written by soldiers who fought in the invasion and killed/captured Al Queda).
I’m not sure they’ve actually read the latest report that investigated regime ties to Al Queda, but the captured documents it reviewed and the analysis it formed are completely opposite of what they wrote here:

“Al-Qaida in Iraq did not exist before the U.S. invasion. It is mostly homegrown, with its rank and file almost all Iraqis, and was created afterward to fight the American presence and establish an Islamic fundamentalist state in Iraq. There has been no evidence presented that the group is plotting or intends attacks outside of Iraq.”

EACH of the groups that joined together to form what we commonly refer to as “Al Queda in Iraq” were:
* inside Iraq before 2003
* had liaison officers from the IIS working with them before 2003
* were part of the Al Queda network of terrorist groups before 2003

I hope they’ll take the time to read the actual Pentagon report. It admits right off the bat that there’s no “smoking gun” evidence of “operational ties” (of course the entire purpose of state-sponsored terror is to NOT have evidence that the state has attacked someone else), but it gives dozens of examples of collaborative ties between groups that were inside Iraq before the invasion, working with both the Al Queda network of terrorist groups and the IIS. It categorically concludes that Saddam’s regime was in fact willing (and did) work with Islamic radical groups, and it specifically says that his regime was a terrorist threat to the US (even asks the specific question and answers it with an emphasized/italicized “yes”).

From the Pentagon Report

“v. Conclusion
One question remains regarding Iraq’s terrorism capability: Is there
anything in the captured archives to indicate that Saddam had the will to use his
terrorist capabilities directly against United States? Judging from examples of
Saddam’s statements (Extract 34) before the 1991 Gulf War with the United
States, the answer is yes.”
[btw, no emphasis added on that ‘yes’. It’s emphasized in the report]

Nice going AP. Yeah, I know, it’s Jennifer Loven, but you’d think she could put aside her politics and actually do her job. I mean, if I can take the hour to read the report that categorically says
Saddam’s regime was a terrorist threat
Saddam’s regime was willing to work with radical Islamic holy warriors
Saddam’s regime DID work with radical Islamic holy warriors
and
Saddam’s regime worked with groups that were part of the “Al Queda network”

Might be time for the folks at AP to download the report and actually READ IT.

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