The U.S. intelligence community accurately predicted months before the Iraq war that al-Qaeda would link up with elements from former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime and militant Islamists to conduct terrorist attacks against U.S. forces in that country, according to a report released today by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The bold emphasis isn’t too difficult to understand. Simple enough to bring into an elementary school show and tell. If Saddam was removed from power the possibility existed that various stripes of extremists would take advantage of the chaos and lack of stability. That some of those radical Islamics that the relatively secular Saddam had under his thumb for over two decades would exploit the power vacuum that would existed on his removal was certainly predictable to those of us who were more interested in the truth then playing lapdog for The Commander Guy. Yet Bush supporter Ed Morrissey at the conservative Captains Quarters writes, So Now They Believe Saddamists And Islamists Would Work Together?, Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 25, 2007 4:08 PM
The release of Phase II of the review of pre-war intel has generated some odd comments from war critics. The same people who have told us over and over again that al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists would never have worked with a supposed secularist like Saddam Hussein now say “I told you so” when the pre-war intel warned of post-invasion connections between AQ and the Ba’athists
The part in bold is just a simple lie. I would be happy to read the passage from an A-list liberal blog or from a elected Democrat that ever said any such thing. The ” would never have worked with a supposed secularist like Saddam Hussein” – this also obviously false. There are a multitude of factions fighting each other in Iraq and while all the alliances are difficult to explain, one facet that is not complicated is that Saddam is dead. He does not have nor is he leading any factions aligned with anyone – and it is generally agreed that one of the Bush team’s biggest errors was not including the bathists in the first stages of rebuilding the government and creating order. This is from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Phase II report from September 2006 when both Houses of Congress were controlled by conservatives and the head of the Intelligence Committees in both Houses were Republicans, Report: Saddam and Al Qaeda Enemies, Not Collaborators
[Bin] Ladin generally opposed collaboration [with Baghdad]. (p. 65)
According to debriefs of multiple detainees — including Saddam Hussein and former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz — and capture documents, Saddam did not trust al-Qa’ida or any other radical Islamist group and did not want to cooperate with them. (p. 67)
Aziz underscored Saddam’s distrust of Islamic extremists like bin Ladin, stating that when the Iraqi regime started to see evidence that Wahabists had come to Iraq, “the Iraqi regime issued a decree aggressively outlawing Wahabism in Iraq and threatening offenders with execution.” (p. 67)
Another senior Iraqi official stated that Saddam did not like bin Ladin because he called Saddam an “unbeliever.” (p.73)
Conclusion 1: … Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qa’ida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al Qa’ida to provide material or operational support. Debriefings of key leaders of the former Iraqi regime indicate that Saddam distrusted Islamic radicals in general, and al Qa’ida in particular… Debriefings also indicate that Saddam issued a general order that Iraq should not deal with al Qa’ida. No postwar information suggests that the Iraqi regime attempted to facilitate a relationship with bin Ladin. (p. 105)
Conclusion 5:… Postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi (a Jordanian – Jordan is considered an American ally even though they clearly have terrorist among the population. Doesn’t that mean in Captain Ed’s world that we would be justified in invading Jordan)) and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi. (p. 109)
Ed goes on to restate the lie.
Jay Rockefeller wants to use the report to show what a folly it was to invade Iraq, but part of the reason we invaded Iraq was precisely to avoid Saddam and his henchmen from partnering with al-Qaeda. These same intel agencies produced this prediction because they also had intelligence that Saddam and AQ had already established contacts with each other.
Absolutely no evidence exists that such a relationship existed or that any collaboration was planned. Ed is worse then Bill O’Reilly, there’s so much spin, distortion and easily verified falsehood one wonders what the point is. Just a guess, but it is probably just some grist to feed the dead-enders who will likely live the rest of their lives in denial of the facts and the Ed’s of the Right feed them enough fairy dust to help them stay in a state of denial. Then Ed inadvertently proves the liberal case,
Since Saddam had never complied with the cease-fire and the UN resolutions on many issues, and in fact continued to fire on no-fly patrols, a state of war already existed.
Ed wants to play Big Brothe doublespeak with the word containment. Containment means exactly the same thing as war in Ed World. At most we were having a Soviet style Cold War with Iraq to put pressure on them to change. That containment costs as about 2.5 billion dollars a year compared to the approximately 7 billion dollars a month we’re spending now and during that entire time from the end of the Gulf War until Bush’s invasion we had zero casualties. Why did we have zero casualties, because Iraq was a weak opponent incapable of inflicting any real damage on U.S. forces – see Operation Desert Fox. Ed of course had to drag the U.N. into it, this article addresses that to some degree. Ten Things Progressives Should Know About the United Nations Oil-for-Food Scandal
1. The program was poorly planned and managed. Set up in 1996, the United Nations oil-for-food program allowed the Iraqi government to sell oil to pay for food, infrastructure, medicine and humanitarian goods. The program was badly set-up and poorly managed, allowing Hussein’s regime to embezzle millions of dollars. According to a General Accounting Office report, Saddam embezzled $4.4 billion through pricing irregularities. By the Senate subcommittee’s higher count, Iraq got almost two-thirds of some $21 billion through the illicit trade deals or smuggling – most in deals made with governments before the program even began.
2. The program fed Iraqis and kept UN sanctions in place. The United States and the United Kingdom, as principal proponents of sanctions, voted for the creation of the program to address humanitarian and political concerns. As a result, Iraq’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs disintegrated, its conventional military forces crumbled, and the health of the civilian population improved. Under the program, millions of Iraqis were fed, child malnutrition and mortality went down, and access to electricity and clean water increased. Since the end of the program, malnutrition throughout the country has skyrocketed to the highest level in decades.
3. None of the money involved came from American taxpayers. Oil-for-food allowed the Iraqi government to sell Iraqi oil to pay for food, infrastructure, medicine and humanitarian goods. No U.S. money was involved. The United States government, which took over responsibility for Iraqi oil revenues following the invasion, failed to properly manage the newly-created account, known as the Development Fund for Iraq. As a result, according to government audits, the United States has failed to account for $8.8 billion in Iraqi oil money. Former Coalition Provisional Administrator Paul Bremer has refused to comment on where the money went.
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein’s regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq’s neighbors.
The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
The unclassified State Department documents sent to congressional committees with oversight of U.S. foreign policy divulge that the United States deemed such sales to be in the “national interest,” even though they generated billions of dollars in unmonitored revenue for Saddam’s regime.
A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.
…In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil – more than the rest of the world put together.
“The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions,” the report said. “On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.
We’ll probably never see Captain Spin or any other Republican blog do a genuine report on the Facts of the U.N. Oil for Food scandal because companies like Chevron, run by Republicans who give the vast majority of their political donations to Republicans were neck deep in the scandal. Much of that cheap oil was funneled through U.S. ally and NATO member Turkey.
This is an article just recently published that adressed the childish if not delusional BushCo and Captain Ed meme that if we don’t fight them over there, they’ll get some more box cutters attack us over here, Al-Qaeda in Iraq May Not Be Threat Here, Intelligence Experts Say Group Is Busy On Its Home Front
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the United States’ most formidable enemy in that country. But unlike Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization in Pakistan, U.S. intelligence officials and outside experts believe, the Iraqi branch poses little danger to the security of the U.S. homeland.
As the Democratic Congress continues to push for a military withdrawal, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have repeatedly warned that bin Laden plans to turn Iraq into the capital of an Islamic caliphate and a staging ground for attacks on the United States. “If we fail there,” Bush said in a February news conference, “the enemy will follow us here.”
Attacking the United States clearly remains on bin Laden’s agenda. But the likelihood that such an attack would be launched from Iraq, many experts contend, has sharply diminished over the past year as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has undergone dramatic changes. Once believed to include thousands of “foreign fighters,” it is now an overwhelmingly Iraqi organization whose aims are likely to remain focused on the struggle against the Shiite majority in Iraq, U.S. intelligence officials said.