Despite Findings, Bush Sees Iraq Tie to Al Qaeda

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #1
    The administration could so easily spin this to their advantage, but instead go stubbornly in the opposite direction. Why? The ongoing story, and the ongoing mystery....

    WASHINGTON — President Bush insisted Thursday that Saddam Hussein had "terrorist connections" to Al Qaeda — despite a finding by the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that there was no credible evidence of cooperation between the ousted Iraqi dictator and the global terrorist network.

    In a television interview later in the day, Vice President Dick Cheney challenged the commission's finding more strongly, arguing that the evidence of Hussein's ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorists "is overwhelming." Cheney criticized what he called "outrageous" and "irresponsible" media reports for distorting the issue.

    The comments marked the latest in a series of disputes between the White House and the bipartisan panel. The Bush administration has repeatedly sparred with commission members over their requests for documents and interviews with key officials and an extension of the panel's deadline for completing its report, now scheduled for release July 26.

    The White House made Hussein's alleged terrorist ties a key part of its argument that deposing the Iraqi leader was necessary to protect the United States from future attacks.

    Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Bush argued that "numerous contacts" over the years between members of the former Baghdad regime and followers of Al Qaeda proved that a "relationship" existed between Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

    "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda [is] because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda," Bush said.

    "Now, he was a threat because he had terrorist connections, not only Al Qaeda connections, but other connections to terrorist organizations," Bush added.

    Bush and his aides cited a 1996 meeting in Sudan between Iraqi intelligence officers and Bin Laden. They also cited Baghdad's offer of safe haven to Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal and members of the anti-Israeli Islamic Jihad, as well as Hussein's reported $25,000 payments to the families of Arab suicide bombers in Israel.

    They also cited Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan who runs the Al Tawhid terror network and has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in Iraq and elsewhere. Zarqawi was based in a Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq before the war. But his organization is said now to be based in Baghdad and appears to have grown substantially in size and lethal capability since the invasion.

    Zarqawi's ties to Bin Laden remain murky. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters Thursday that Zarqawi "may very well not have sworn allegiance" to Bin Laden — "maybe because he disagrees with him on something, maybe because he wants to be 'the Man' himself, and maybe for a reason that's not known to me."

    Commission staff investigating the Sept. 11 attacks announced Wednesday that they had found "no credible evidence" of cooperation between Hussein's regime and Al Qaeda in targeting America or its allies. A senior CIA analyst and a senior FBI official, both of whom appeared at the hearing, said they concurred with the finding.

    Thomas H. Kean, the commission chairman, told reporters Thursday that the panel did not dispute that Hussein's government and Al Qaeda had been in contact. But Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, said investigators determined "that there is no credible evidence that we can discover, after a long investigation, that Iraq and Saddam Hussein were in any way part of the attack on the United States."

    In his comments Thursday, Bush said his administration "never said" that the Sept. 11 attacks "were orchestrated between Saddam and Al Qaeda." Bush had first denied that linkage last September, six months after the invasion. His comments then were in response to Cheney's assertion that U.S. success in Iraq would strike at "the geographic base of the terrorists who had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

    Cheney appeared reluctant to abandon that position Thursday. Asked if Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attack during an interview on CNBC's "Capital Report," he replied, "We don't know. You know, what the commission said is they can't find any evidence of that."

    Cheney said "the one thing we have" indicating Iraqi support for the attacks is a Czech intelligence service report saying that lead hijacker Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague on April 9, 2001.

    "That's never been proven," he said. "It's never been refuted."

    The commission report said it had reviewed FBI evidence, Czech and U.S. intelligence data and interrogation reports from the Iraqi official Atta supposedly met, among other evidence. "We do not believe that such a meeting occurred," the commission staff concluded.

    Many counterterrorism and intelligence officials had questioned administration claims about Iraq's ties to terrorism before the war.

    Polls show that a plurality of Americans still believe that evidence clearly shows Iraq had supported Al Qaeda attacks. But critics insisted that the administration had misrepresented the threat.

    "Every time I asked, I was told there was no collaborative relationship," said Greg Thielmann, a former director at the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research. "If anything, it was a hostile relationship, because Saddam understood that Bin Laden wanted to do away with his kind of secular regime."

    "At this point, the White House position is just frankly bizarre," said Daniel Benjamin, a terrorism expert who served in the Clinton White House. "You've had a bipartisan committee sift through all this intelligence. There is no indication that they have anything different at their disposal than the White House has…. They're just repeating themselves, rather than admit they were wrong."

    White House officials gave no ground.

    Scott McClellan, the president's spokesman, repeatedly insisted Thursday that the commission report was "perfectly consistent" with the administration's public statements about Iraq over the last two years.

    "If you look back at what we said, we said all along that Saddam Hussein's regime supported and harbored terrorists and there were ties to terrorism, including Al Qaeda," McClellan said.

    ...

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/la-na-bush18jun18,1,507345.story
     
  2. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #2
    so many of the quotes in this article are just beyond belief.

    "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda [is] because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda," Bush said.

    there ya go. no need to get muddled with any facts to support your view.

    Asked if Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attack during an interview on CNBC's "Capital Report," he replied, "We don't know. You know, what the commission said is they can't find any evidence of that."

    well, don't let the absence of evidence stand in your way. by this logic, wasn't every country potentially involved with al-qaeda?



    ironically, this administration has proven there is indeed a parallel universe...
     
  3. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #3
    How many threads are we going to have on this one topic?
    The 9/11 convention actually stated they did find a link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda.
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005237
     
  4. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #4
    I also heard on the radio today that 9/11 commission also stated that there were most deffinitely reports and evidence that Iraq was planning on terrorist activities in the US during 2002 and 2003.
     
  5. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #5
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13824
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    I'll answer these points as if they were yours - which of course they aren't: you're just trying it on, aren't you? You couldn't POSSIBLY agree with these foolish sentiments. You're too intelligent for that.

    If "serious consequences" are to consist of 10,000 civilians killed and the wholesale destruction of civil society, don't you think it would have been reasonable to spell that out? Or to get the agreement of the body in whose name the agreement was made? Or to wait a tad longer to see what the weapons inspectors came up with?

    The UN WAS serving the purpose of its founding: it was attempting to resolve the problem and prevent the outbreak of war, by the process of carrying out weapons inspections. The business of the UN did not and does not include launching preemptive wars.

    So you think that armies should have no political direction? That they should be allowed to breach every standard of ethical behaviour which they are fighting in the name of?

    What the hell is a "good war"? Are you mad?
     
  7. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #7
    No they didn't. Your opinion pieces that you keep posting don't prove ANYTHING. They are OPINION.

    If you look at what the 9/11 commission actually said, you'll see that they found no working relationship between the two entities. Yes, al Qaida requested assistance, but their requests were never answered. Other so called smoking guns, like the supposed meeting between al Qaida officials and Iraq officials in the Czek republic, were determined not to have happened by the commission, though Cheney keep repeating them as if they had happened.

    Here's a challenge:

    Go read the report the 9/11 commission put out and find the line or paragraph that says Iraq and al Qaida had a working relationship or aided each other's efforts. Here's a hint: you won't find it. They didn't say that.

    While some people are technically right that a lack of evidence doesn't disprove a connection, a lack of evidence doesn't prove a connection, either. And what should our standard of evidence be for going to war? It certainly should be higher than, "we didn't find evidence to disprove a connection."

    Now I'm curious which sentence of my total argument you'll choose to reply to. Gotta love a discussion where the person you are debating doesn't listen to a darn thing you say...

    Taft
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    so who was the keynote speaker at the 9/11 Convention?
     
  9. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #9
    i was gonna go but all the area hotels were booked. ntm, i just couldn't stomach the thought of the crowds, $6.00 hotdogs and all those dang 9/11 hucksters. but i heard the aftershow parties, especially kofi's, were rockin...someone told me bush and cheney got trashed and did a hilarious ventriliquist act.
    ;)
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #10
    Many people need to learn that there is "news" and then there is "opinion" masquerading as "news". This happens on both sides. And sometimes it takes looking at more than one "news" source to find out what is really happening.

    We as a nation need to get past the sound-bite and look deep into the issues that concerns us as individuals.
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    The tee-shirts were crap...
     
  12. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #12
    First off I heard 9/11 commission hasn't actually sent its report out, what the AP keeps reporting on is leaked sections of the report. And they themselves did say there was a Iraq Al-Qaeda link.
    Also
    A collaborative relationship -- ok lets play legalese with the dictionary and figure out how clintonese this is.
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040618/D839MJ0G0.html
     
  13. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #13
    bush is an idiot :)

    i don't know if my fellow democrats think this though...he he...but seriously, even a conservative, pro defense democrat like me should find something good about bush, right?

    he was right in going after bin laden in afganistan...he should have also gone into pakistan and saudi arabia and use force, if needed...but iraq? and it's usually the iraqi citizens, many who also hated saddam, who end up getting killed in the end

    sure saddam is a bad guy, a psychopath, but he is no terrorist and we wasted money and troops which could have been more wisely used in terrorist friendly countries...not chase after oil and call it routing out terrorists or those elusive WMD's

    iraq could be the main issue which defeats bush in november
     
  14. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    #14
    Did anybody forget the fact that the purpose of the 9/11 Commission wasn't to prove or disprove any ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda?

    The media got their interpretation of the whole thing, and took off with their "There were no connections" headlines, which is crap. Al Qaeda may not have been working directly with Saddam, but they were definitely working with other terrorists in Iraq. You also have to take into account, that the only real witnesses to these ties, are 2 captured Al Qaeda leaders. Never mind the Iraqi Prime Minister, who had a bit more to say about the Iraq-Al Qaeda situation.

    If you get your news from mainstream media, you're probably going to believe that the 9/11 commission disproved any link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. If you've read the 9/11 commission's report, you might agree otherwise, or you might read it like the media, and see the same thing. Of course, when the vice chairman of the 9/11 commission goes to blast the media because they take the report out of context and make up their own facts, you have to wonder what kind of bias we really have in our mainstream media, and what their real intentions are...

    Food for thought:
    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/6/18/92642.shtml
    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/6/16/132355.shtml
    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/6/19/123344.shtml
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    g4scott -

    you decry the interpretation of the "mainstream media," and claim that all of us who pay attention to it have been misled. then you assert that there is an iraq/AQ link. what is your source for this link? is it actually newsmax?

    other than bland and vague arguments about the "liberal media," by what stretch of the imagination does newsmax have the story right but everyone else wrong?

    from your first newsmax link:
    i had a look at the transcript of that interview, here. what did hamilton actually say?
    nowhere does he say, "There are all kinds of ties," or "There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein's lieutenants." the transcript is there, Hamilton didn't say it.

    also absent is any mention of the mainstream media getting it wrong. though hamilton did say there were contacts, newsmax put a completely different spin on it, implying hamilton's comments defended the bush administration's assertion of linkage. hamilton did not, newsmax was disingenuous.

    so what gives? is newsmax the kind of media outlet you want to trust?
     
  16. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #16

    Buy that logic the United States should invade itself. We have not only our homegrown terrorists but we have Al Qaida working with terrorists here. hmmm...
     
  17. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    That's right, and they didn't. They concluded only that no credible evidence could be found to demonstrate a collaborate relationship. All of this would have been fairly small news had it not been for the administration's adamant refusal to accept this conclusion, though it would have been easy for them to do so, and even to spin it in their favor. Instead, Cheney went so far as to say that the administration was in possession of information proving a collaborative relationship, which only raises the question of why, if this is true, that this evidence wasn't presented to the commission.

    I suppose if you got all of your information from sources like Newsmax, you might not see how bizarre this situation has become. You might also not see how hard the administration is working to undermine the work of the 9-11 Commission.
     
  18. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #18

    Which means the Commission is right on target or pretty darn close! Or they fear that they will uncover something else :eek: Ain't specualtion fun :D
     
  19. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Seems like I mentioned this theory in another thread, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the administration is hoping to split the commission along party lines, so that they won't be able to issue a unanimous report. That way, at least some of the more damaging conclusions could be written off as "just politics." They don't lose much if they don't succeed, but they could effectively neutralize the commission's findings if they do -- which would be a big win for them (and a loss for the American people, as if that figured into their calculations). The administration opposed the formation of the commission from the start, so you can safely bet that Bush won't shed any tears if they fail. It's just another way the Bush administration is working for "truth, justice and the American way."
     
  20. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #20
    Um we didn't attack Iraq because they had ties to Al-Qaeda.[​IMG]
     
  21. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #21

    No, we attacked Iraq because they have oil :D

    Actually CheneyBush can't decide *why* we attacked Iraq. Some days it is to free the Iraqi people others it is because they have WMD's others it is because they have ties to Al Qaeda (still can't get the spellling on that one)

    Like your eye rolling smiley.
     
  22. Voltron macrumors newbie

    Voltron

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    #22
    Does that include the fact that one of the people they should've been investigating was on their own panel and she refused to get off of it to make room for someone who wasn't implecated?
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #23
    Boy, I think that I will only read the unbiased news from the links you provided. Can't trust the liberal media folks over at the Washington Times. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Agathon macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

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    #24
    Why is it surprising that Iraqi intelligence might want to meet and talk with Al Quaeda or other Middle East terrorist organizations?

    I'd want to keep tabs on them as best as I could if I were running a Middle Eastern country, but that doesn't mean the same as helping them.
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #25
    You have a point. Look at the sorts that our government meets up with.
     

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