Al Qaeda Link to Iraqi Militia Doubted

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #1
    More evidence to support my pet theory that the Bush administration is working to split the 9-11 Commission along party lines.

    U.S. intelligence official disputes a claim that a terror operative served in Fedayeen Saddam.

    WASHINGTON — A U.S. intelligence official expressed skepticism Monday that a member of Al Qaeda had served as an officer in Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen militia, contradicting a claim made the day before by a member of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The intelligence official said the CIA had investigated the matter this year after documents recovered in Iraq listed an officer in the Fedayeen Saddam militia whose name was similar to that of a known Al Qaeda operative.

    The agency determined that the militia member and the terrorist operative were not the same person, the official said. "We think that it is not the same guy," said the intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The CIA's conclusion undercuts an assertion made by John F. Lehman, a Republican member of the Sept. 11 commission, who said in a television interview Sunday that new intelligence indicated that "there is at least one officer of Saddam's Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of Al Qaeda."

    Lehman made the comment on NBC's "Meet the Press." He could not be reached for comment late Monday.

    Lehman's claim has become the latest point of friction in the ongoing debate over the extent of Al Qaeda's ties to the former Iraqi government. The Bush administration frequently cited Iraq's alleged ties to Al Qaeda while building the case for war.

    The Sept. 11 commission issued a staff report last week concluding that although there were contacts between Hussein's regime and Al Qaeda during the 1990s, there was no evidence that there was a collaborative relationship between Baghdad and the terrorist network responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The report prompted fresh questions about the credibility of the administration's prewar claims, and the White House has staunchly refused to retreat. After the commission's report was released, Vice President Dick Cheney said "the evidence is overwhelming" that the Iraqi government had a relationship with Al Qaeda and suggested that the commission had not seen all the available information.

    Lehman sought to defend Cheney and others during his NBC appearance Sunday, and he cited the claim that an Al Qaeda member was part of the Fedayeen militia as an example of how the intelligence community's understanding of the ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq was still evolving.

    "There's new intelligence, and this has come since our staff report has been written," Lehman said. "New intelligence is coming in steadily from the interrogations in Guantanamo and Iraq, and from captured documents."

    The U.S. military operates a prison at its naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    The intelligence official said Lehman appeared to be referring to documents that included rosters of the Fedayeen Saddam. The militia melted away after the fall of Baghdad, but many believe that its former members continue to lead insurgent attacks on American forces.

    One name on the list closely resembled that of Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi, an Iraqi who escorted two Sept. 11 hijackers to a high-level Al Qaeda meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in January 2000.

    A CIA investigation this year "concluded that the individuals listed in captured Iraqi documents as members of the Fedayeen are not the same as the Iraqi who facilitated the arrival of a Sept. 11 hijacker in Kuala Lumpur," the U.S. intelligence official said.

    He noted that "names such as Ahmad, Hikmat and Shakir are pretty common in Arabic" and that the order in which they appear on the roster differs from the name of the Al Qaeda figure. The official said he could not provide any more information. ​

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fedayeen22jun22,1,2460796.story
     
  2. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #2
    i've noticed some subtle party-line shifting since the condi rice testimony. there's no doubt it will become more pronounced as the commission finishes their report and the election draws nearer. regardless of the committee's sworn objectivity...they ARE career politicians and none of them is going to commit political suicide. i watched lehman on MTP and thought he basically "parroted" cheney's remarks.....some almost verbatim.

    i think we're heading for a buffet style conclusion with each party picking the items that bolster their views. if the commission reaches a single conclusion--i'll be very surprised.
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    IJ - is it your feeling that lehman is acting at the behest of the administration?
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    It sounds to me as if Lehman is pulling from an internal GOP talking points memo, but I'm pretty sure there's no official 'go do this for us' kind of thing on the record.
     
  5. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    I don't know if his remarks were orchestrated by the White House, but IMO this kind of statement is clearly being encouraged. Bush and Cheney elected to give their differences with the commission staff over the Saddam/al-Qaeda link the full court press, when they could just as easily have spun it their way and otherwise let it ride. To me, this looks like an open invitation to the commissioners to take sides -- and the case of Lehman at least, it appears to have worked. If the 9-11 Commission fails to issue a unanimous report, the administration's finger prints will be all over the scene of the crime.
     
  6. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #6
    oops, I did it again
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    ...and in florida, all guys named Ahmad were just removed from the voter rolls. along w/ all guys named Arnold in Dade county...
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    How about in CA?
     
  9. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #9
     
  10. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    Stop it, stop it, stop it!!!!

    Contacts do not equal a collaborative relationship. The 9/11 commission concluded that contact occurred, but that no collaborative relationship was found. And that is not in reference to 9/11. Rather, no collaborative relationship was found going back over ten years.

    You keep quoting these hardcore conservative sites expecting people to believe what they are saying. They got it wrong. The commission did not find collaboration between Iraq and al Quaida. Please either:

    a) stop posting these opinion pieces claiming there was a relationship

    or

    b) show me that the 9/11 commission did in fact find a collaborative relationship between Iraq and al Qaida.

    If a relationship was discovered by the commission, it should be very easy to prove. If you have any integrity whatsoever, you'll respond to this charge, in full.

    Taft
     
  11. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #11
    I think the pressure on the GOP loyalists on the commission must be intense. It doesn't take a phone call from Bush or Rove; these guys have every friend and associate telling them they are killing Bush's chances for reelection. Every time I hear someone from the commission talk they always speak of the unity on the commission, but I think the facts and their impact on Bush will test some of these folks commitment to the truth.
     
  12. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #12
    Speaking of this issue, spinsanity did a great piece analyzing exactly what the Bush administration has said about al Qaida's relationship with the 9/11 attacks. Hint: they hinted that Iraq was involved.

    Also on that page, you'll see an analysis of how some Democrats and liberals are distorting some of Bush's rhetoric.

    That's what's great about spinsanity: they give both sides a good reaming when they are being disingenuous.

    Edit: here's the link: http://www.spinsanity.org/post.html?2004_06_20_archive.html#108780918427108137

    Taft
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #13
    Not that they don't do a good job sometimes, but the amount of time and effort the people at spinsanity spent on arguing about the Bush administration's use of (or in their point of view - not using) the word "imminent" blew my mind. Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees! I think they try to be so even handed that they miss the big picture of from where the the big lies are coming. Anyway, they are still a good resource.
     
  14. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    Hinted, broadly hinted, gave anyone with the slightest inclination towards believing it a reason to think so. They spent months dancing right on top of that line, but never went over it. Now what?
     
  15. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #15
    yes I know they use Clintonese in their report.
     
  16. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #16
    Not a very full response.
     
  17. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #17
    Is this true or false?
    What about this?
    How about this, is this true?
    How about this?
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13903
    With all these facts how could the 9/11 commission deduce no connection between Iraq and al-qaeda? Yes so we have no provable evidence that we could use in a court of law blah blah blah. This aint a court of law. [​IMG]
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    The interviewee is trying to sell a book.
     
  19. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    Voltron, I do not think that the fact that there was "contact" between Iraq and Al Qaeda necessarily implies meaningful collaboration. Bear in mind that Iraq, as a Secular Regime, was not particularily liked by Islamic devotees, and any agreement made could have been in the interest of Defense for Iraq, which is a legitimate course of action for a State to make.

    Also, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Sudan and Pakistan have all supported directly or indirectly, "terrorist" organizations, for a variety of reasons ranging from realpolitik to the propensity of Muslim countries to support and encourage Islam...what makes Iraq so special in this regard? Did any of these connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda pose a security threat to the US? More so than any of the other countries I listed? This all seems like a statement of the obvious used as a justification for the administrations' policy w/ regards to Iraq and the ME in general.

    Finally, since the US supported, funded and trained Bin Laden in the '80s, does that mean that the US can be held accountable for supporting "terrorists" Should we invade ourselves as retaliation?
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    You haven't got the manpower. ;)
     
  21. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    Of course the answer to all of these questions is, "9-11 changed everything."

    Including the ability to think straight, apparently.
     
  22. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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  23. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #23
    And those countries also need to be dealt with.
    Hopefully through peaceful means. But Iraq we dealt with through peaceful means over 12 years unsuccessfully so it was time to give up on it.

    I believe the US funded Bin Laden as a means to combat communism?
    Sometimes you must partner with an evil to get rid of a worse evil.
     
  24. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    With reference to your first paragraph, again I would ask why did we need to deal with Iraq through any means in the first place? We invaded Iraq the first time to free Kuwait, which in and of itself posed no security threat to the US, although it might have damaged US oil interests. As far as WMD go, we didn't seem to mind them when they were employed against Iran during their war in the '80's (where we supported Saddam), and in and of themselves, chemical and biological weapons development did not pose a security threat to the US either...especially since a host of other countries in the region have similar weapons capabilities (Pakistan even has Nuclear capabilities). Saddam may have been a despot, and treated his populace horribly, but as the leader of a SECULAR regime in the ME, he would probably be the last to attack the US on their own soil, or US interests outside of his borders...it seems like such a spurious argument...

    With reference to your second paragraph, if that is true (in an absolute sense), why did we not offer to support Saddam and other ME countries with financial and logistical support (even weaponry, it's not like it would be a precendent), to undercut cooperation between Al Qaeda and ME states, and to address their security concerns...lesser of two evils, right?
     
  25. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #25
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=18820
     

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