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The Saddam and Osama Switcheroo

This alone should bring Mr. Bush up on charges of war crimes….

We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy — the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein’s regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America. 

May God bless America. (Applause.)


Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam, al Qaida

By Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers
Mon March 10, 7:08 PM ET

WASHINGTON — An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida terrorist network.

The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam’s regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East , U.S. officials told McClatchy . However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

The new study of the Iraqi regime’s archives found no documents indicating a “direct operational link” between Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaida before the invasion, according to a U.S. official familiar with the report.

He and others spoke to McClatchy on condition of anonymity because the study isn’t due to be shared with Congress and released before Wednesday.

President Bush and his aides used Saddam’s alleged relationship with al Qaida, along with Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction, as arguments for invading Iraq after the September 11, 2001 , terrorist attacks.

Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in September 2002 that the United States had “bulletproof” evidence of cooperation between the radical Islamist terror group and Saddam’s secular dictatorship.

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell cited multiple linkages between Saddam and al Qaida in a watershed February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council to build international support for the invasion. Almost every one of the examples Powell cited turned out to be based on bogus or misinterpreted intelligence.

As recently as last July, Bush tried to tie al Qaida to the ongoing violence in Iraq . “The same people that attacked us on September the 11th is a crowd that is now bombing people, killing innocent men, women and children, many of whom are Muslims,” he said.

The new study, entitled “Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents”, was essentially completed last year and has been undergoing what one U.S. intelligence official described as a “painful” declassification review.

It was produced by a federally-funded think tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses , under contract to the Norfolk, Va .-based U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Spokesmen for the Joint Forces Command declined to comment until the report is released. One of the report’s authors, Kevin Woods , also declined to comment.

The issue of al Qaida in Iraq already has played a role in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Sen. John McCain , the presumptive GOP nominee, mocked Sen. Barack Obama , D-Ill, recently for saying that he’d keep some U.S. troops in Iraq if al Qaida established a base there.

“I have some news. Al Qaida is in Iraq ,” McCain told supporters. Obama retorted that, “There was no such thing as al Qaida in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade.” (In fact, al Qaida in Iraq didn’t emerge until 2004, a year after the invasion.)

The new study appears destined to be used by both critics and supporters of Bush’s decision to invade Iraq to advance their own familiar arguments.

MORE HERE

for more of the supposed connection, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein_and_al-Qaeda

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