No chance of CNN or the NY Times buying this. Figure it gets on about page 35. After the Bush bashing as an "arch-conservative right wing Republican" and the extolling of "progressive mainstream fair-minded Democrats" like the esteemed Senators Edward Kennedy(Two Fingers o'Chivas, No Ice-Mass.), Hillary Rodham Clinton(Witch-NY) and Charles Schumer(Whiner-NY)covers the first 34 pages.
Study: No Sign Saddam Transferred WMD
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 16, 2003
Filed at 9:45 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new study by an independent military and intelligence expert who toured Iraq recently found no evidence that Saddam Hussein tried to transfer weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.
Anthony Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, met with top U.S. officials in Iraq, including David Kay, the CIA representative leading the search for chemical, biological and other unconventional weapons.
President Bush, in justifying the invasion and occupation of Iraq, said he feared Saddam, then Iraq's authoritarian president, would supply weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida.
``No evidence of any Iraqi effort to transfer weapons of mass destruction technology or weapons to terrorists. Only possibility was Saddam's Fedayeen, and talk only,'' Cordesman wrote of his briefing with Kay. The Fedayeen is the deposed leader's former paramilitary force.
Cordesman, who also met with L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, said foreign terrorists appear to be crossing the border from Syria, with some entering from Saudi Arabia and a few from Iran.
He said that U.S. troops ``still face major threats from criminal elements released at the end of the war.''
The report said Saddam appears to be cut off and isolated, constantly on the move with no real role in controlling the anti-American forces.
Over the course of his Nov. 1-12 visit, Cordesman traveled to Baghdad, Babel, Tikrit and Kirkuk, among other areas, meeting with combat commanders and staff in high-threat areas.
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September 12, 2003
The Washington Times
Eli J. Lake
The Taliban claimed in a 1997 meeting with U.S. officials that it had blocked attempts by both Iraq and Iran to contact Osama bin Laden, according to a previously confidential State Department memo made public yesterday.
The memo says that the assistant secretary of state, Karl Inderfurth, was told on Dec. 7, 1997, by the Taliban's acting minister of mines and industry, Armad Jan, that his government "had stopped allowing [bin Laden] to give public interviews and had frustrated Iranian and Iraqi efforts to contact him."
Contacted yesterday, Mr. Inderfurth said he did not believe the Taliban claim was credible at the time, and that he had no recollection of Taliban officials mentioning Iraqi or Iranian attempts to meet bin Laden in the following 19 meetings he would attend with the de facto Afghan regime for the next four years.
"I never saw any evidence in anything I was doing where there were any Iraqi connections," said Mr. Inderfurth, who was the Clinton administration's senior State Department official for South Asia.
"The Iraqis were not to my knowledge, players in the Afghan conflict. Almost every other country in the region was."
The memo, however, discloses a previously unreported link, or at least an Iraqi attempt to establish a link, with bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
The document was published by the National Security Archives, an independent institute located at George Washington University. It specializes in using the Freedom of Information Act and other legal means to obtain previously classified material for public release.
The Taliban conveyed its 1997 message to the State Department in the context of a broader pitch to improve ties with Washington.
During the meeting, the Taliban representatives requested agricultural assistance, recommended the United States reopen its embassy in Kabul and said they had been instructed by Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar to present a paper that opened with these words:
"The Islamic State of Afghanistan wants friendly relations with the U.S. and all countries of the world based on mutual respect and non-interference."
In February 2003, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell laid out evidence of an Iraq link to bin Laden, claiming that Iraqi intelligence agents had provided training in document forgery to al Qaeda.
He also spoke of links between the terrorist group and Iraq that went back to the early 1990s when bin Laden took refuge in Sudan.
In that presentation, Mr. Powell said, "A senior defector, one of Saddam's former intelligence chiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al Qaeda members on document forgery."
The Taliban's claim that they had been aware of and sought to stop Iraqi efforts to contact bin Laden now appears to back up Mr. Powell's Feb. 5 presentation.
Since before the Iraq war, administration assertions of a link between Iraq and bin Laden have been widely criticized as exaggerated.
"I'm sure some Iraqi official met with some al Qaeda somewhere, but that does not demonstrate that two are working closely together," said Daniel Byman, an assistant professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
He pointed out that the United States has held captive several senior Iraqi officials who would have knowledge of any pre-Iraqi war connection with al Qaeda and yet no new evidence has been made public.
"We have a lot of senior al Qaeda folks captive and there are reasons we want to publicize these links," he said.
For example, Farouk Hijazi, a former senior Iraqi intelligence agent and ambassador to Tunisia who was reported to have met bin Laden in December 1998, has been in U.S. custody since late April.
But with the Bush administration's latest approach to the United Nations, much of the concern appears to have shifted to the presence of militant Islamists fighting in Iraq, in addition to secular Ba'ath Party operatives loyal to Saddam.
U.S. officials believe al Qaeda is active in Iraq, especially in some of the suicide attacks against Americans and other targets.
"We are now starting to see terrorists come into Iraq who could represent, and we are quite confident represent al Qaeda elements," Mr. Powell told Al Jazeera satellite television in an interview this week.
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Originally posted by tailgators@Nov 17 2003, 12:25 PM So Come back to NY and weeb have you got any thoughts on yesterday's JETS game.
Same sh!t different day...for a team that has four first round picks on their defensive line (five including Chester McGlockton) their line sucks. Let's see if Herm has any balls and fires Cotrell the day after the season.
I really hate to see them "waste" Pennington like this; he is a premier QB without doubt.
Originally posted by tailgators@Nov 17 2003, 03:07 PM You guys both passed the test good for you.
Perhaps you'd consider coming over to the landing strip sometime and discuss some football for a change.
I do. Just because you don't see the posts is your problem.
Now back to the subject topic...
Any response that Saddam and Osama have some linkage or are you too brainwashed to admit you might be wrong about the reasons to go to war?
I know, I know -- just because those two swell guys may have had lunch, doesn't mean we should flex our imperialistic, military might. And something about Bush being a neanderthal. And something else about the UN and France being the shining examples of civilization...
Originally posted by tailgators+Nov 17 2003, 08:19 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (tailgators @ Nov 17 2003, 08:19 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Spirit of Weeb@Nov 17 2003, 07:52 PM Any response that Saddam and Osama have some linkage or are you too brainwashed to admit you might be wrong about the reasons to go to war?
Check out the article I posted. [/b][/quote]
Forget logistics, money or support. Now the war was only justified IF Saddam's (non-existant to liberals) WMDs were transferred to Al Qaeda?
The liberal argument against war weakens by the day.
FWIW, these are the same exact claims that were made a year ago by picking through intelligence and finding the most favorable stories. The only thing "new" is that its being re-submitted in a modified report to the Senate intelligence committee for further analysis.
If this were remotely a revelation or smoking gun, why is it not appearing anywhere other than the Weekly Standard? Even FOX News' story of it is basically a feed of the WN article, and now it's off their front page en leiu of the ever-popular "gay marriage" scare.
It must be that huge conspiracy of the "liberal" media to suppress juicy war-justifying tidbits after cheering the war and all the coverage it affords for 2 years. All well and good, so where's the White House press conference to announce "case closed"?
The answer is, there's nothing new here to report. But keep thinking the whole thing was a righteous invasion to uncover the long conspiracy between Saddam, Osama, and hollywood liberals to nuke America. Of course, we'd have to find those nukes at some point to keep this myth alive.
BTW, for those who think Saddam and Osama are really in cahoots, aren't you remotely bothered by the fact neither has actually been found or brought to justice? Or do you get your daily reassurance from knowing we're over there pouring endless money and troop support into Iraqis who had NOTHING to do with 9/11, boxcutters, Saudi immigrants, or Afghanistan?
And since I know 5ever will be on this the minute I reply (hi!, let's repeat the usual disclaimers: I was in support of the Afghanistan war in 2001, I would be in support of a massive troop project to scour the Pakistan/Afghan countryside for AQ and Bin Laden, and I'd have no problem with knowing about new efforts, Presidential acts, and bureaus to shore up US customs, powerplant and resevoir troop guards domestically, etc.
All of these would be logical "Taking Action" moves that remotely relate back to 9/11, both in bringing its perpetrators to justice and preventing a future disaster. Iraq for me still doesn't, and the link at the top of this thread doesn't change anything for me or most Americans with a firm opinion pro/con the war -- if it had any potential to, it would be top headline news EVERYWHERE by now.
Pull all the "how are you so sure there's no link" and "you're just selectively picking your own soundbites that favor your viewpoint" twists on me you want, but you've admitted in the past you thought there'd be more "evidence" at this point in the game if this war was really about WMDs and an Iraq-AQ connection. Now the Administration is already talking about pulling out, so again I ask you: do you really think we're going to find more "evidence" to support the high-level average American viewpoint on why we went in there -- leaving out our usual and well-hashed-out arguments about PNAC, how this should have been done in 1992 and 1998, Clinton and Democratic Senators endorsement of the war, the "resolutions" of the "useless" UN, and -- least of all? --the honest goals of the "War on Terrorism"?
More FWIW ... did anyone read the NY Post story cited? Is it anything more than the usual NY Post bluster, or is this another weird example of the war people like Rumsfeld, the CIA, Karl Rove, the Democrats (yes, it's not just a partisan thing!, and Republicans in the Senate are all playing in the press by "feeding" juicy stories and memos?
Joe Conason's Journal
The neoconservatives, once billed as foreign-policy "grown-ups," have turned out to be as discreet as a clique of teenage girls.
An "inaccurate" gusher from the neocon pipeline
Wading through constant leaks of classified material from the Bush administration, American intelligence officials must wonder whether the White House and the Pentagon can be trusted with anything more sensitive than a grocery list. First came the flaming of Valerie Plame last July; then the (possibly self-serving) Rumsfeld memo about the progress of the war on terror last month; and now, in the pages of the Weekly Standard, a sheaf of "top secret" documents concerning the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida.
That last item -- heavily promoted throughout the Murdoch media over the weekend -- is a memorandum annexed to an Oct. 27 letter sent by Douglas Feith, the Defense undersecretary for policy, to Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Jay Rockefeller, D- W.Va., the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The senators had asked Feith, neocon bureaucrat and former business partner of Richard Perle, to provide source citations for his testimony on the subject last July 10.
Evidently the letter's classified appendix was leaked to the Weekly Standard, which promptly published excerpts from it under the headline "Case Closed." That definitive tone resounds in the first paragraph: "Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al-Qaida training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al-Qaida -- perhaps even for [9/11 hijacker] Mohamed Atta -- according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by the Weekly Standard."
Read that opening sentence again, after perusing the article that follows, and it is obvious that even the quotations selected by writer Stephen Hayes fail to prove such sweeping assertions. Instead, what the quotes suggest is that while al-Qaida and Iraqi intelligence may have had contacts dating back to the early '90s, the ties between Saddam's state apparatus and the bin Laden group were sporadic and murky. And there is no new evidence linking Iraq to the 9/11 attacks, as the president recently acknowledged.
Perhaps, as Hayes predicts, more and better evidence will eventually emerge from the files and sources now being examined in Iraq and elsewhere. But he acknowledges that the Feith memo's sources offered contradictory answers to the most basic question. At least one senior Iraqi intelligence officer told U.S. interrogators that Saddam had rebuffed overtures from bin Laden after 1999. Other sources insisted that Iraq "considered" giving safe haven to the Saudi terrorist around that time. Hayes quotes second- and third-hand accounts of al-Qaida operatives receiving training in the use of chemical and biological weapons -- but what appears just as likely is that bin Laden asked for such assistance and got none.
Most of the rest of the story -- and apparently the most damning items in the Feith memo -- is old material. The Standard story offers up its chestnuts in a breathless tone that sometimes verges on the comical. To explain why more evidence of the al-Qaida connection has yet to surface, Hayes notes that "both Saddam and bin Laden were desperate to keep their cooperation secret. (Remember, Iraqi intelligence used liquid paper on an internal intelligence document to conceal bin Laden's name.)" Obviously, those villains assumed that nobody would have a penknife handy to scrape away the White-out.
Still, the nation's intelligence agencies were clearly alarmed by the leaking of the Feith memo, which names various important sources. On Saturday, with a screaming New York Post front-page headline on the newsstands, the Pentagon issued this statement:
"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate ...
"The items listed in the classified annex were either raw reports or products of the CIA, the [National Security Agency], or, in one case, the [Defense Intelligence Agency]. The provision of the classified annex to the Intelligence Committee was cleared by other agencies and done with the permission of the Intelligence Community. The selection of the documents was made by [the Defense Department] to respond to the Committee's question. The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida, and it drew no conclusions.
"Individuals who leak or purport to leak classified information are doing serious harm to national security; such activity is deplorable and may be illegal."
Deplorable indeed, but don't expect anyone to be held accountable for this breach or others to come. The neoconservatives, once billed as mature, responsible foreign-policy "grown-ups," have turned out to be as discreet as a clique of teenage girls. Their political tactics may be almost as perilous and unwise as their policies.
It was the right thing to do before and it is the right thing to do now. Just because moveon.org doesn't have a mea culpa on their front page doesn't mean anything. We could find a huge warehouse of active WMD, capture both Saddam and OBL together and the NY Times would still downplay the decision to go to war in Iraq.
Bush has stated the case and stuck to it from the outset, and yet you still accuse him of waffling. They aren't pulling out - Bush keeps on repeating the "stay the course" line, where's the confusion? The case was and is air-tight and strong, you know a "case-closed" press event would be meaningless. I honestly can't fathom that you are dismissing this evidence partly because Time magainze and Newsweek aren't publicly eating crow over it.
You oprate from the assumption that Saddam 1) was not and would never have been a threat and 2) was not, in any way shape or form connectinged to, supporting or "in cahoots" with OBL or AQ. Perhaps you acknowledge that he supprted terrorism (tough to deny this) but just thought that he couldn't have possibly supported AQ and therefore the war is bogus. This is your bedrock with which you analyse every peive of evidence. You keep saying Iraq had "nothing to do with AQ" and refuse to acknowledge all of the evidence that has mounted and hope that the repitition of this statement or your personal belief in its veracity will make it true. This is the same type of evidenciary body with which most Americans fault the USA for NOT acting on prior to 9-11. "If only someone had connected the dots...." Well, guess what - now someone IS connecting the dots. This isn't very complicated stuff.
Sure, it would be better to have captured Saddam and OBL. Contrary to what you think, we are still looking for them. And be fair - you are equivocating strategically for the mere and transparent puropse of taking a pot-shot at Bush. "Saddam and OBL aren't threats, but if they are, Bush hasn't captured them yet, nyah, nyah, ni-nyah nyah! You are implying that AQ hasn't been weakened or that Saddam is still as powerful as he once was, both of which you know clearly to be untrue. Besides, the Afgnaistan war is against AQ and it supporters. As soon as we DO capture both men, the lefties will be saying that all we have done is spawn a thousand more OBLs and that AQ is still "very much alive, perhaps even emboldened by OBL's maryterdom" or something.
Is the war going perfectly well? No. Is it going a lot better than Newsweek woulr have us believe...I certainly believe so. My cousins and their buddies write to us often and my fathers contacts ffrom his service years all paint a better picture than most Americans are getting.
Yes, did I expect to find weapons by now? Sure, I did. But weapons are only one form of "evidence." I am pretty sure I have been pretty consistent on the evidence aspect - the evidence supporting this war and damning Saddam has been susbstantial for years! But Kay's report is pretty damaging (again, your boy Sullivan has some good points about this) and the search continues. I admittedly thought we'd have found weapons by now, but the evidence ALREADY justifies this war from solely a WMD perspective, the AQ evidence just further makes opposition, IMO, ridiculous. Saddam had not stopped prusing WMD - I urge you to read Kay's report. 'Well, fine, but where are the WMD then?" That is a great question, but to ask it does not imply that they don't or didn't exist. We haven't found Saddam yet - does he exist? Trite, sure. But if Saddam had destroyed his WMD in the buildup to the war I don't care - as long as he and they are gone. If he gave them away to Syria or sold them to terrorists that is lamentable. But the notion that he never would have ever considered doing that until W started the war talk is so absurd that it barely deserves recognition. If he got rid of them, fine. For all we know he has been doing that for years. Stopping that flow at any time is a good thing.
The administration has not talked about pulling out. "Pulling out" has been in the news - which is about as significant a development as the dump I just finished taking. I love it when people say "Yeah, the WMD issue has been forgotten" just because they haven;t loggen on to cnn.com and read an article about it in a while. The attentio spans of people are insane.
Sorry - I appreciate your views, but on this subject I am unwilling to budge. If you'd want to talk about procedural mistakes Bush made along the way, or alternative procedural things we could have done better, fine...I am open to discussion and Bush is in no way perfect and the very nature of war lends itself to arm-chair QB-ing. But on the major, big picture question of whether or not this war was justified, I am simply too firmly entrenched to budge. Not only do I agree with it, I have wanted Saddam removed by force since 1991. His links to terror are clear, his pursuit of illicit weapons well-documented and his regional agression historical fact. It is a no-brainer.
(BTW - are you into Euro-punk/alternative at all? I am - Suede, Blur, Stone Roses, Weddint Present, Saw Doctors, and classic bands like the Cure, Love & Rockets all rock!
Dude, I never expected YOU to budge one bit. I simply objected to Spirit of Weeb's typically smarmy thread starter claiming that this "news" suddenly means anyone who doubted Bush's honesty and veracity should be drafting up 'mea culpas'. And despite that, I sat on this for FOUR DAYS with a "wait and see" attitude, because I do believe that how many media outlets pick up a story -- and what 'spin' each gives to it -- goes a longer way towards guaging a clear-headed response to it.
As for why Time and Newsweek aren't running with it, I think you overestimate the stubbornness, integrity, or consistency of ANY media outlet. Time and Newsweek and their ilk never took a "Stance" on the war, they simply published a lot of juicy stories that could be spun on either "side". These guys are not like politicians, and they have no long-term memory of what they 'reported' a month or a year ago. If there was serious new evidence proving that Saddam and Osama were like the two Bills handshaking at Gillette stadium as lampooned and captioned on every NFL message board like a disease, the mainstream media whores would have ZERO problem going at it full throttle even if some ninnies in the Wash Post or NY Times continued their devil's advocacy on the op/ed pages.
Speaking of the Post, here's their take on it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2003Nov17.html
(What IS it with Rumsfeld, Rove and leaking memos? Not that they're anywhere near as much a problem as outing an actual operative, but it's funny how every other story about the DoD or White House vis-a-vis Iraq comes in the form of an "outed memo". )
The rest is our usual disagreement, and I respect your opinion. I disagree with phrases like "air tight" to describe Bush's selling of the war to the American people, and I thought I remembered you critiquing his particular chosen talking points in the past even if you agree with the results and underlying objectives. My main point in jumping this thread was to disagree that the NewsMax thing is remotely a "Case Closed" revelation.
Love to talk more about music, which I'll keep in the Pixies thread we started below...
Originally posted by jets5ever@Nov 18 2003, 02:10 PM It was the right thing to do before and it is the right thing to do now. Just because moveon.org doesn't have a mea culpa on their front page doesn't mean anything. We could find a huge warehouse of active WMD, capture both Saddam and OBL together and the NY Times would still downplay the decision to go to war in Iraq.
Bush has stated the case and stuck to it from the outset, and yet you still accuse him of waffling.
Disarming Iraq of its "Massive Stockpile of WMD's" was the primary and pretty much the only justification Bush gave during the run up to this war. To insinuate anything else is dishonest and revisionist.
I am not interested in re-hashing our debate about gay marriage. However, in light of the Mass, court decision I have this question to ask of you:
Does it bother you that it takes judicial activism to get to the desired end? I mean, shouldn't decisions like this be up to the legislature, which reflects the will of the majority of people? I know, I know, the SJC is merely "instructing" the legislature, with the caveat that they'll strike down anything that is inconsistent with their ruling.
But it boggles my mind that the courts can simply subvert the will of the elected representatives of the people as easily as they do. We don't live in a democracy, we really don't. Regardless of whether or not you are for or against gay marriage, judicial activism is scary and I truly DO think the Democrats (because they can't win elections lately) are clinging to the courts for their agenda. This is party what fuels the present circus of nominee filibustering.
(Before you bring up Florida 2000 as an example of conservative judicial activism, I implore you to use common sense and realize that, in legal terms, all the Supreme Court did was strike down the insanely activist decison reached by the Florida Supreme Court. "CAP Bush" the favorite nickname used by some is ironic, in that had Gore actually won due to the illegal, cherry-picked recount ordered by the Florida Court that is EXACTLY what Gore would have been. Hey, the electoral college is a dumb system, it really is. But Gore lost, fair and square. If those elderly Florida people could read ballots, maybe they wouldn;t have voted for Buchanon) - It is STILL funny to me to this very day that essentially a big reason why the Dems lost in 2000 is because a lot of them were simply too stupid to vote for their guy!
Originally posted by tailgators+Nov 18 2003, 02:04 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (tailgators @ Nov 18 2003, 02:04 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--jets5ever@Nov 18 2003, 02:10 PM It was the right thing to do before and it is the right thing to do now. Just because moveon.org doesn't have a mea culpa on their front page doesn't mean anything. We could find a huge warehouse of active WMD, capture both Saddam and OBL together and the NY Times would still downplay the decision to go to war in Iraq.
Bush has stated the case and stuck to it from the outset, and yet you still accuse him of waffling.
Disarming Iraq of its "Massive Stockpile of WMD's" was the primary and pretty much the only justification Bush gave during the run up to this war. To insinuate anything else is dishonest and revisionist. [/b][/quote]
You're right - he never mentioned ties to terror or previous regional aggression.
Jet Set -
True, the way Bush sold the war was not "air-tight." I think he should have done a far better job of explaining that Saddam had stockpiles that were unaccounted for and that it was up to him to destroy them, not up to the world to find them. If he doens't come clean, we have to assume that he still has them. To do otherwise would be suicide. I don't think couching it suchly would have undermined support and it would have hlped to set a realistic timeframe for post-war WMD hunting.
I didn't want to comment until now either, mostly because I have tired of this debate and secondly because I also didn't think it was revolutionary "news" either. But again, I was already convinced, so the 'case closed' stuff isn't meant for my eyes.
It's not a case closed based on this "new" evidence. All intelligence does is paint a picture. State can say ths intel is right, this intel is wrong and who knows what is true? State bricked on intel leading up to 9-11, but is now a flawless authority on Iraq-AQ evidence. We just don't know. State disavowes that the Prague meeting took place, but Turkey is ADAMANT that it did. The Brits STILL maintain that Saddam sought uranium from Africa, State says one particular document concerning one particular transaction was forged. There is a ton of more evidence about Saddam and ties to terror out there. It all paints a picture and people sometimes have to make decisions based on that intelligence, fully cognizant of the flaws involved. And this doens't even consider the stuff that isn't de-classified!! It's a tough gig, for sure.