April 14, 2007

What Happened To 'Follow The Money'?

It gets disheartening defending the obvious pre-9/11 connections between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda when the White House seems unmotivated to do so, but Thomas Jocelyn and Andy McCarthy haven't been chased off the story by Senator Carl Levin and the Washington Post. When both asserted that no one had found connections between Saddam and AQ, they both reminded readers to follow the money:

But Levin's story, which was simply repeated without any real investigation by the Post or even the inspector general's office, relies on a false dichotomy. The senator now pretends that the CIA and other intelligence outfits had reached a rock-solid conclusion that there was no noteworthy relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda in 2002, but Feith's shop improperly pressed on. The Post summarized the inspector general's report as saying: " the CIA had concluded in June 2002 that there were few substantiated contacts between al-Qaeda operatives and Iraqi officials and had said that it lacked evidence of a long-term relationship like the ones Iraq had forged with other terrorist groups."

This is simply revisionist history at its worst.

Although there were certainly disagreements between the CIA and Feith's shop, both argued in 2002 that there was a relationship between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda. George Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, stated the CIA's position quite clearly in an October 7, 2002 letter to then head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL). Tenet explained, "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade." Iraq and al Qaeda "have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression." Tenet warned, "We have credible reporting that al-Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs." And, "Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians, coupled with growing indications of a relationship with al-Qaeda, suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent US military action."

Andy picks up on one very important connection between Iraq and AQ -- money:

Forgetting all of these circumstances, among others, Tom also recalls, as Steve Hayes, myself, and others have for some time, that in 1998, "Ayman al-Zawahiri was in Baghdad ... and collected a check for $300,000 from the Iraqi regime." I would add, for context, that this was in the same time frame as bin Laden and Zawahiri's infamous fatwa calling for the murder of Americans — which, if you read it, argues that American actions against Iraq are a big part of the justification. It also came just a few months before al Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassies in east Africa, the Clinton administration bombed a Sudanese phramaceutical factory because intel indicated it was a joint Iraqi/Qaeda chemical weapons venture, and Clinton counter-terror honcho Richard Clarke fretted that "wily old Osama would boogie to Baghdad" — of all places — if the U.S. made things too hot for Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Sure, maybe all this is just a big coincidence. But, given that al Qaeda is a 24/7 terror operation whose main target is the U.S., I've always wondered for what earthly purpose Senator Levin and other connection naysayers figure Saddam Hussein gave Ayman Zawahiri 300K?

The money came to Zawahiri right before the attacks on two American embassies. Sure sounds like Saddam funded, at least indirectly, attacks on American assets that resulted in the death of Americans. Does Carl Levin think that doesn't represent a connection?


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» 2007.04.14 Dem Perfidy // Islamism Delenda Est Roundup from Bill's Bites
Updated from the top. Please treat this as a blog-within-a-blog, come back often, and scroll down till you hit something you saw on your last visit. What Happened To 'Follow The Money'? Poor innocent mistweated widdle flying imams -- Update [Read More]

» What Happened To ‘Follow The Money’? from NoisyRoom.net
Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters: It gets disheartening defending the obvious pre-9/11 connections between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda when the White House seems unmotivated to do so, but Thomas Jocelyn and Andy McCarthy haven’t been chased... [Read More]

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