This Modern Age

Posts Tagged ‘Charles Duelfer

Iraq War – Remembering the Causes: Part III

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Welcome to the series for Part I click here, for Part II click here.

Terrorist & al-Qaeda Connections to Iraq

Given all of this, WMDs is not the only reason we went to war in Iraq.  Often the President’s critics object to the war in Iraq being labeled as a part of the War on Terrorism.  The London Telegraph has been the greatest source of journalism that has found links between al-Qaeda and Iraq, but there have been other sources as well. 

  • Documents have been found that have correspondence between an Iraqi Intelligence Chief and Saddam Hussein that place Mohamed Atta in Baghdad in 2001 for “training.” A member of Iraq’s Presidential Committee has verified the validity of this correspondence.
  • Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague in December 1994 and June 2000. There is a CIA memo and Czech intelligence that supports this.
  • Ahmed Shakir, an Iraqi national:
  1. Hosted a 9/11 hijacker in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000
  2. Traveled and met with terrorists worldwide
  3. Was detained in September 2001 with contact information for ’93 World Trade Center terrorists, ’98 embassy bombers, ’00 USS Cole plotters, and 9/11 hijackers (This dude had the hook-ups!).  There are memos that this from our Defense Intelligence Agency and our National Security Agency.
  4. The CIA has phone records of Shakir receiving telephone calls from the house where the ’93 WTC bombing was planned.
  • Other CIA memos list at least 50 instances of contact between al-Qaeda and Iraq from 1990 to March 2003.
  • The London Telegraph links Mohamed Atta to Iraq-based Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. Ziad, another 9/11 pilot, also seems to have had connections to Nidal.
  • During the 1999 “What do we do with Osama?” debacle hosted by the Sudan, Saddam offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq. He ended up in Afghanistan.
  • Salmon Pak – It’s hard to know where to start on this one.

Salmon Pak is a terrorist training camp south of Baghdad.  Defectors say that men came from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco to train there.  Here is the kicker.  The unique item to Salmon Pak is an empty Boeing 707.  There are aerial photos of this.  Funny enough, the camp doesn’t have a runway; the plane just sits there.  Charles Duelfer testified that he saw the plane from a helicopter and that the Iraqis told it was for (get this) counter- terrorist training. 

Salmon Pak opened in 1995.  This is the same year that al-Qaeda members started plotting in the Philippines on how to hijack airliners and slam them into U.S. landmarks.  Their drawn up plans show they wanted to get up to 15 airliners.  November 2001, the NY Times quotes Saban Khodada (Do you know what these names are doing to my spell check?), an Iraqi defector, saying that there was a six month curriculum at Salmon Pak teaching terrorists how to hijack airplanes with small knives and their bare hands.  The London Observer also has work on this.  They quote a man in Iraqi Intelligence by the name of Mukhabarat. 

  • It’s clear that Saddam paid between $15,000 and $25,000 to families of Palestinian suicide bombers for their services of ridding the world of Zionist devils, known commonly as Jewish women and children.

All of this information pushes Iraq from a perceived threat into an actual threat and certainly confirms that Iraq is a valid target in the War on Terror.

Iraq War – Remembering the Causes: Part II

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If you need to catch up, Iraq War- Remebering the Causes: Part I can be found here.

David Kay rightly admits that somehow we made some decisions based on bad intelligence.  But it was Saddam Hussein who put forth a great effort to make our bad intelligence on WMDs look good.  UNSCOM was blocked from inspecting sites that they wanted access to in Iraq.  Iraqi escorts forbid UNSCOM from taking any photographs during inspections.  Various Iraqi personnel were not allowed to answer UNSCOM’s questions.  And worst yet, UNSCOM inspectors would be forced to wait outside of building, sometimes for up to twenty-four hours, while trucks would leave filled with who-knows-what.  When they would finally be allowed in the buildings would be empty; no furniture or documents.  Obviously weapons inspectors were never intended to find any evidence of WMDs.  Most of this information is from the testimony of Charles Duelfer, the former vice-chair of UNSCOM.  David Kay filled in this odd gap of “We can’t find weapons” – “Saddam doesn’t seem to have any, yet he acted like he did.”  God Bless him, Saddam thought he had WMDs.  He was paying big money for materials and scientists and he was getting robbed blind.  This means he had every intention of developing these weapons but only through his own dumb fault it didn’t work out.  That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard happen to a tyrant since the seventy straight years of “bad weather” that prevented the Soviet Union from growing any food and being the workers’ paradise it should have been.  Meanwhile, during his testimony Kay made an observation that should have caught everyone’s attention.  Kay believes, “this may be one of those cases where it was even more dangerous than we thought.  [When] we have the complete record, you’re going to discover that after 1998 it became a regime that was totally corrupt.  Individuals were out for their own protection.  And in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood… of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated…  We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq.  And we now know that there was little control over Iraq’s weapons capabilities. … Iraq was a very dangerous place.”   

It will be tempting for political enemies of George W. Bush to say that he lied and manipulated the American people to get us into a war with Iraq.  But follow that through to its logical conclusion.  To have lied, he would have had to know that the intelligence of the United States, Great Britain, Israel, France, Germany, Australia and the United Nations was false.  George W. Bush and Tony Blair made the best decision they could with the information they had.  Countless other people examined the same intelligence and came to the same conclusion.  Bush and Blair had two choices, put their trust in their own and their allies’ intelligence or in promises from Saddam Hussein, a warmongering madman, who has pursued nuclear weapons more than once and used chemical weapons on his own people.  In the end, there was intelligence that was perfectly accurate – Hussein was hiding that he was actively pursuing WMDs.

For Iraq War – Remembering the Causes: Part III click here.