June 25, 2004

More evidence

Again, not a smoking gun, but more evidence of ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda are discussed in this New York Times article.
Update: link fixed thanks to Brad.

Posted by richard at June 25, 2004 10:22 AM

Richard: not only can't you establish a link between al Qaeda and Iraq — you can't even establish a link to this article.

Posted by: Brad A. at June 25, 2004 11:21 AM

Guilt by association? Rumsfeld personally met with Saddam Hussein! Bush invited Taliban leaders to the White House in the months prior to 9/11!

Cheney said on Meet the Press on Dec 9 2001, "It's been pretty well confirmed that he [Atta] did go to Prague go to Prague and he did meet with a Senior Official of the Iraqi Intelligence service." Last week on CNBC, we outright denied that PUBLIC statement:

CNBC: "You have said in the past that it was quote "pretty well confirmed."

Cheney: "No, I never said that. Never said that. Absolutely not."

(baltimore sun although I originally saw the video clips on the Jon Stewart Show.)

A couple of things: Cheney, and the other bush admins ability to lie, baldfaced in front of public evidence to the contrary, is inexcusable. But even more so, how substantial is this evidence anyway? Is it worth $200 bn in war costs (the total over the next 10 years)?
Meeting is bad, yes, but it is not active support. IF anything, I think it shows that containment WAS working because Saddam didn't want any part of bin Laden.

Cheney went on to say, "We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down." Hello! I can't prove that bin Laden didn't meet with santa claus, should we invade in the North Pole!!!

Look, I'm not ready to ascribe horrible motives to why we went to war. I believe that Bush is trying to do his best for the country. Bush's ineptness and lack of admissions of his failures will certainly madden those that disagree with Bush. The real test, however, is when those who support his high-level ideas start to withdraw their support of him for how badly he is bungling the execution of their shared agenda.

Posted by: Michael W. at June 28, 2004 02:32 PM

You continue to post "this guy met with that guy" evidence. I don't doubt that most of the bad people in the world have met each other and have probably even griped with each other about how they dislike the United States.

I do appreciate your efforts in continuing to bring this evidence to our attention. But when you post this weak evidence as part of your broader case for war, you actually weaken your argument.

Again, there may be a reasonable case for war out there, but when you suggest that Bin Laden asking for - but not getting - help from Saddam in overthwrowing the Saudis (a noble cause by the way) is a substantial part of that argument, you implicitly suggest that the rest of your argument isn't substantially stronger. Otherwise you wouldn't even bother to post such minor, circumstantial evidence.

Again, if all you had were a hundred "Iraq agrees to rebroadcast propoganda"s, you wouldn't even think about war. And if you had more than that, you wouldn't even think about posting when evidence like this came to light.

Posted by: Mike F. at June 30, 2004 06:59 PM

Mike F.,

I understand where you are coming from. I guess I'm just posting this stuff less to convince anyone (see it's working!) and more because I believed (and believe) it to be the case that al-Qaeda and Iraq had ties and were cooperating before the war. I therefore care about evidence that supports (or refutes) this, regardless of the Case for War™.

Also, I don't think you read the article closely. It was about Saddam, specifically his mukhabarat, seeking to start ties with bin Laden – not the other way around.

And finally, yes, by itself this article is weak, a single piece of the puzzle, but it corroborates other evidence that I've posted before, i.e. that Iraq considered bin Laden "an asset" in Saudi Arabia, and it adds color to other reports, e.g. the state of the relationship around the time of the al-Shifa bombing in Sudan.

And finally, I'm responding to T McGee's criticism that all of the evidence comes from National Review and Weekly Standard – so I'm posting additional evidence of the same type of contact, but from a news source that is supposedly more credible.

Posted by: richard at July 1, 2004 09:46 AM