Yes, there were connections between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 bad guys,
states Mark Levin, and quotes the 9/11 Commission Report,
- “Bin Ladin had in fact been sponsoring anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan, and sought to attract them into his Islamic army”
- “Bin Ladin apparently honored this pledge, at least for a time, although he continued to aid a group of Islamist extremist operating in part of Iraq (Kurdistan) outside of Baghdad’s control. In the late 1990s, these extremist groups suffered major defeats by Kurdish forces. In 2001, with Bin Ladin’s help they re-formed into an organization called Ansar al Islam.”
- “In March 1998, after Bin Ladin’s public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin.”
- “According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq.”
Read the rest — and remind yourself that Levin’s highlighting only a couple of pages.
The Anchoress has been exploring the question of whether last year the UN Confirm[ed]: WMDs Smuggled Out of Iraq in light of documents recently found in Doha, Qatar. Generation Why Blog explains that millions of pages of documents were unearthed in Iraq after the toppling of the regime, and intelligence analysts are reviewing them. I predict that the analysts will find that these documents contain a huge amount of evidence which, like the Oil-For-Food scandal, would have never been revealed had Saddam remained in power.
Hitchens puts it a lot more elloquently (emphasis mine),
We did not know and could not know, until after the invasion, of Saddam’s plan to buy long-range missiles off the shelf from Pyongyang, or of the centrifuge components buried on the property of his chief scientist, Dr. Mahdi Obeidi. The Duelfer report disclosed large latent facilities that were only waiting for the collapse of sanctions to resume activity.
That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t enough information before going into the war: In November 1998 (almost exactly seven years ago, during the Clinton administration) a grand jury in the United States District Court Southern District of New York found, based on the evidence then available (emphasis mine),
. . . that Al Qaeda, Bin Laden’s international terrorist group, forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in Sudan and with the government of Iran and with its associated group Hezballah to “work together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.”
Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons development.
Allow me to also point out the obvious (if you read the indictment) fact that this was a long-term relationship.
Did Iraq pose a serious threat to our national security? Yes. Did Congress believe Iraq posed a serious threat? Yes. Did Iraq have or seek to obtain weapons of mass destruction? Yes. Those are the facts.
But, as Gerard Baker of the London Times knows, You don’t have to be an amnesiac to be a Democrat, buddy, but it helps. Baker examines
the memory loss that seems to have gripped Democrats in the past few weeks. This is the “I’ve completely forgotten I once believed Saddam Hussein was a monstrous threat to our security” amnesia.
As the unpopular war in Iraq rumbles on, opportunistic Democrats are eagerly embracing the argument that opponents of the war used all along: Bush and Blair lied about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. This was objectionable enough when used by the charter members of the anti-war crowd. Remember that the evidence of Saddam’s accumulation of WMD in the past, his dissembling to international inspectors, the independent intelligence from other countries’ agencies that corroborated US and British claims is well documented, going way back to the times when peace-and love-promoting multilateralist Democrats were in the White House.
But the “Bush lied to us” whine is much worse when it comes from the mouths of those who insisted only three years ago, in voting for the war, that they were taking a heroic stand in defence of national security. Half the Democratic members of the Senate — oddly enough, including all those with serious presidential aspirations — John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden — voted for the war in 2002. The awful truth about many of these people is that their cynicism in distancing themselves from their support for the war is only matched by their cynicism in originally supporting it.
I agree with Baker that they are trapped, and now are resorting to the “He made me do it” defense, childish as it sounds.
Childishness is bad enough. Providing ready soundbites for the demoralization of the troops is beyond the pale.
The Republicans were right to call for the 403-3 vote (Update: final vote results here.) To me, the mere talk of withdrawal is absurd. Wars aren’t won by talking withdrawal.
We are at war, folks. It ain’t a game. We have to win.