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December 17, 2003
Saddam Tied to Multiple Insurgency Networks

Documents found on Saddam Hussein, and further intelligence gathered from them, links Saddam to at least fourteen clandestine terrorist cells within Iraq, senior military officials are reporting today:

"I think this network that sits over the cells was clearly responsible for financing of the cells, and we think we're into that network," said Army Brig. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, commander of the 1st Armored Division.

Acting quickly after realizing the significance of the document, which Dempsey likened to minutes of a meeting, troops of the 1st Armored Division conducted raids Sunday and Monday that netted three former Iraqi generals suspected of financing and guiding insurgent operations in the Baghdad area.

But Howard Dean says the capture of Saddam has not made America safer. Never mind that the soldiers in Iraq are now facing fewer insurgents, and those that are there are operating under a damaged leadership structure. Dean says that he "very much" hopes that Saddam's capture makes our soldiers safer. Perhaps Dean doesn't believe that our soldiers are American.

Since the announcement Sunday of Hussein's capture, U.S. military authorities have been bracing for a possible surge in attacks. But Sanchez reported Tuesday that the level of violence against U.S. and allied forces has remained about the same as immediately before the capture, averaging fewer than 20 attacks a day. Dempsey said that the number of attacks in the Baghdad area has actually declined, possibly reflecting a decision on the part of some insurgents "to go to ground" and hide, and see what new intelligence U.S. authorities have been able to glean.

But Howard Dean says the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.

At his news conference, Myers predicted that Hussein's capture would hurt the insurgency by undercutting its ability to recruit new members. "When you take this leader who at one time was a popular leader in the region and find him in a hole in the ground, that is a powerful signal that you may be on the wrong team and maybe should be thinking about some other line of work," the general said.

In the Los Angeles Times, their coverage of the story begins with this:

The small coterie of advisors and friends who assisted Saddam Hussein during his time as a fugitive represents a vital cog in the larger network of former regime loyalists funding and organizing the armed insurgency in Iraq, U.S. military officials said.

These Hussein confidants have relied on funds that may have been looted from the national treasury and stashed around the country to finance anti-coalition attacks, the officials said. The money has been used to hire legions of insurgents, including trigger-pullers, mortar men, bomb makers and others willing to wreak havoc, they said.

Three captured generals, disruption of large-scale financing of terrorism and insurgency, and a homicidal and genocidal anti-American tyrant, that had medium-range missile technology and was buying more of it from North Korea, meekly in American custody being interrogated by American intelligence ... but Howard Dean says the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.


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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 17, 2003 7:35 AM

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