A few days ago, I posted a translation of a document culled from the captured Iraqi documents that the US found during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This particular memo, dated March 17, 2001, comes from a brigadier general in the Iraqi Air Force and requests a list of volunteers from all units under his command for suicide attackers. The memo explicitly explains the targets for these terrorist attacks, as the original translation from Joseph Shahda shows:
The top secret letter 2205 of the Military Branch of Al Qadisya on 4/3/2001 announced by the top secret letter 246 from the Command of the military sector of Zi Kar on 8/3/2001 announced to us by the top secret letter 154 from the Command of Ali Military Division on 10/3/2001 we ask to provide that Division with the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests and according what is shown below to please review and inform us.
When I posted this document, readers of this blog questioned the accuracy of the translation. People know that Joseph translated this for Free Republic, a strongly pro-war website, and that it was distributed by Laurie Mylroie, another pro-war commentator. Skeptics felt that this pedigree lent itself to a possibly warped interpretation of the memo. While the accuracy of the translation remained in question, the actual text — which showed an active Iraqi terror program aimed at Americans — would not get the attention it deserved.
In order to solve this problem, I decided to hire two Arabic translators on my own.
I found a translation service, Language 123, that employs a number of translators who work as free agents. The first translator, Nabil Bouitieh, works in the UK as a full-time translator for several government services. He has language certificates from Karl Marx University in Dresden, the German Cultural Center in Damascus, a degree in translation from Polytechnic of Central London, and a Masters of Diplomatic Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of London. Separately, I also hired Hamania H, who works from Damascus. She earned several degrees in language at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, including masters in translation, foreign languages, and bachelors in both areas and in law as well.
Neither of them knew that I had asked the other to translate the document. I split out page 6 from the original PDF and sent it to both along with payment. They both returned their translations today, and their results make it clear that Joseph Shahda had it right all along. First, we have Nabil Bouitieh:
Top secret memoranda sent to Al-Kadisseiya Military branch No.2205 dated 04/03/2001 and to the Headquarters of Zee karr military branch No. 246 dated: 08/03/2001 that we were informed by another memo from Ali Unit military branch No. 154 dated: 10/03/2001. We urge you to inform the above mentioned unit of the names of people wishing to volunteer for suicide action to liberate Palestine and strike American interests according to the following below for your information and to let us know.
Now here’s the translation of the same passage from Hamania H:
A confidential letter of Qadisya Military Branch, that holds the number 2205 dated on 4/3/2001, notified upon a confidential letter issued by Thi Kar military command, that holds the number 246 dated on 8/3/2001 and notified to us upon a confidential letter issued by Ali squad military command, that holds the number 154 dated on 20/03/2001. Kindly provide the aforementioned squad with the names of persons desiring to volunteer in the suicidal act in order to liberate Palestine and to strike the American interests in accordance with the following details.
You are informed and we therefore expect you to notify us.
You will note that all three translations of this document — performed by three different people working independently of each other — all translate this section almost identically. All three explicitly show that the Iraqi military had ordered a call for volunteers to carry out suicide attacks on American interests, six months before 9/11 and two years almost to the day prior to our invasion.
This confirms that Saddam Hussein and his regime had every intention of attacking the US, either here or abroad or both, using members of their own military for terrorist attacks. That puts an end to all of the arguments about whether we should have attacked Iraq, we now know that Saddam and his military planned to attack us. This one document demonstrates that had we not acted to topple Saddam Hussein, he would have acted to kill Americans around the world.
UPDATE: Why “case closed”? Because this shows that Saddam had recruited suicide bombers to attack American interests — showing that destroying Saddam’s regime is an integral part of the war on terror, not a distraction.
What else could this memo mean? I look at the timing of this recruitment drive in this post.
BUMP 4/10/06: To top. Interesting that no one in the media, or really all that much in the blogosphere, seems to be picking this one up ….